This blog comes straight from one of our wonderful massage therapists, Julie Hartman!
What is all the “hype” about essential oils?
I think everyone now has either heard of, or used some kind of essential oil. Some think it’s just a gimmick, while others know the simple fact that a good essential oil is all natural, and can help with staying above the wellness line.
What is an essential oil?
An essential oil is the “essence” of a plant, obtained by water or steam distillation, or by cold pressing (for citrus peel oils). Through this process, the oils inside a plant can be extracted into a highly concentrated form.
Most companies are jumping on the essential oil band wagon. Sadly some of those companies still have toxic ingredients in their products so beware…. Just because it contains essential oil, doesn’t mean it’s a healthy product.
When looking for an essential oil you want to be sure it is a pure essential oil with no foreign or synthetic ingredients. The way the oil is processed is also VERY important. Some companies do not process or store the oils properly which not only can make them rancid, but can improve all the health properties from them.
Oils can be diffused, used topically, or inhaled directly. While essential oils are natural, they still need to be treated as you would when taking a medication. Do your research and educate yourself. For example, when first using oils topically, a carrier oil should be used. This will help dilute the high concentration of the oil, and prevent any skin irritation, especially those with sensitive skin. Citrus oils are photosensitive and should not be worn outside in the sun as it can burn your skin. These are just a couple examples of why you should do your due diligence and educate yourself before using oils. You wouldn’t just take a medication prescribed by your doctor before reading the side effects and warnings; the same should hold true with using an essential oil.
If all the information on essential oils seems overwhelming, a good place to start is lavender, which has many benefits. Lavender can help induce relaxation, calm the pain of burns, including sunburn. It can help ease anxiety and be a mood stabilizer. You can put it in a diffuser, rub it on pressure points, or even rub it on the bottom of your feet before going to bed.
I love using my essential oils daily!!
Stay tuned for more information about using essential oils. I will highlight different oils and how they can be used. I will also include some DIY recipes you can make to help rid your home/life of toxins. Keep an eye out for some special oily stocking stuffers coming this holiday season!
Peace, love, and oils
~Julie Hartman, LMT