WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS, AND HOW DO THEY WORK?

Essential Oils have been used for centuries to promote healing and relaxation and, as our knowledge increases, we create stronger and more potent forms of what was used so many years ago. Like the pyramids of Egypt, they have stood the test of time, quite simply because they work.

Essential Oils are highly concentrated oils, extracted from plants that offer a range of health and well-being benefits to the user, and which can be absorbed into the body in two distinct ways. The first is through the nasal cavity through the process of olfaction and, secondly, they can be absorbed into the skin. Due to their very small molecular structure, the molecules penetrate the epidermis into the layers of the dermis, to aid in cell function. Depending on the oil, these benefits can stay in the system from 30 minutes to 24 hours.  

A Big Choice

There are many different brands of essential oils on the market which, as with most products, have varying degrees of quality. The best that we have found is the Doterra range of Oils. They are free from synthetic fillers,  are of very high quality and, most importantly, produce the best outcomes for our clients.  When using these oils, there are some very basic rules to follow. Always keep them out of direct sunlight, never smell the oils directly from the bottle – they are too concentrated. You need to  use a paper test strip and, unless directed otherwise, avoid applying them directly to the skin, as they need to be diluted with a medium, like fractionated coconut oil. It is advised to use a diffuser to create an ambient room scent, rather than an oil burner, as the heat can limit the full aroma and potency of the oil.

When trying to create a blend of oils for a specific condition or ailment, it is best to combine oils that combine the top, middle and bass notes. Just like a beautiful perfume, essential oils have a time-frame of how long they will last.  Once they oxidize with air, they create an immediate smell which will last up to two hours, and usually consist of floral or herb scents. The middle notes (which are defined as herb or spicy in scent) can last up to 5 hours, and then come the bass notes, which can last up to 2 days on skin that is not washed. The bass notes make up the primary scent, and are usually quite earthy or woody.

The Scent of Oils

In understanding essential oils, it is important to note the process of olfaction, which is our body’s way of perceiving scents.  Some of the most remarkable cells in the body are found in the nasal cavity. These nerve cells can help our bodies perceive about 1 trillion different scents, and are linked via the limbic lobe to influence our hormone levels – which can ease depression and anxiety, lower blood pressure -which can make us feel more relaxed,  and is directly linked to our long-term memory.  Our  sense of smell is intertwined with the part of our brain that manages our emotions and, therefore, what we smell can impact upon our emotional wellbeing. The use of essential oils is now regarded as one of the most potent ways of positively impacting upon our emotional health.

Use With Care

When using these oils, they should always be used as directed, and caution should be taken when in the initial stages of pregnancy. If a client shows a history of allergic reactions, or a client  is suffering from migraines,  the oils might make the condition more severe. It is also advised to take care with young children, as some oils are not recommended  for children under 6 years of age and, if older, the oils need to be diluted.  Essentials oils are highly effective when used as part of a balanced healthy lifestyle. If unsure of the benefits, and potential positive impact, relating to a specific health concern, it is advised to seek the advice of a health-care professional.  Essential Oils are by no means a cure for all the ailments that they claim to influence. However, they may ease the severity of  symptoms and, in a lot of cases, this can give back a higher quality of life for the user.   If you stop and ask yourself what are three things that are limiting your potential for health and happiness,  the chances are that using essential oils can help with most of the points.

Stand on nature’s doorstep as we have, and discover  why, after 6000 years, they are called Essential Oils – that is because they are indeed Essential.

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