Guest Blog: Using Essential Oils to Relax and Calm Stress in Workspace by Heather Morse MS, ATC, OTC
Surely by now you have heard someone talk about using essential oils for this ailment or that sleep issue. If you have not, you are in for a treat. The mantra of most “Oilers” is, “I have an oil for that.” It’s true, there is an oil for almost everything!
Essential oils have been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years. There are over 188 references to essential oils in the Bible including Frankincense and Myrrh. These were just two of the oils used in the “holy anointing oil.” There is evidence that oils were used in the mummification of Egyptian pharaohs, as Frankincense was found in King Tuts tomb. Oils are not a new fad! Oils have some medicinal value and can certainly enhance your current methods for just about anything.
Today we are discussing using oils in your workspace to help with a variety of things like stress, focus, motivation, energy and relaxation. We experience all of these at work on a daily basis. It can be an emotional roller coaster!
First, what exactly are essential oils? This is important! In the beginning of modern times, oils were used more for fragrance (think perfumes). Today, after much labor and hundreds of clinical studies, we know there is real medicinal value. Essential oils are volatile liquids that are distilled from plants. In general terms, all parts of the plant are used including the seed, root, leaves etc. It is important to note that chemists CANNOT reproduce a pure oil in a lab. Because they are made from the plant, oils will vary in their chemical constituents. These variants are determined by many factors including growing season, location, climate, altitude, soil conditions and many other factors. This exact reason is why oils are so helpful to our bodies. A synthetic version of an oil is NOT the same thing and our bodies know the difference. Think: side effects! No good.
Pure oils have the most benefit for our mind, body, and spirit! Our bodies were not made to ingest, breath or absorb any type of chemical regardless of the “natural” label on the package.
It is important to find a good, trusted source for your oils. You can read more about this at www.seedtoseal.com.
I personally use Young Living oils. I love the transparency of the company and their commitment to bringing pure oils to every home. If something in the oil is not just right they will trash the oil and not sell it. Rather than make a buck they stand behind their quality. For this reason, sometimes things go out of stock for a long time. It is frustrating, but also comforting to know that a company is willing to sacrifice a sale to produce pure quality oils. Plus, I can visit any of their farms and see exactly what is happening to my oil from the moment the soil is tilled to the moment the sticker is put on the bottle. Wonder if I can do that at a big box pharmaceutical company?
If you are interested in the pure chemistry of oils I highly recommend the book by Dr. David Stewart, “The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple.” It really goes into detail about the importance of pure oils and their benefit to our bodies.
Secondly, what are the ways can you use oils? The three most common methods are inhalation, topical application, and ingestion. My entire family and I do all three. In the workplace diffusing and topical application will be the best methods. You can even subject your co-worker – they need this stuff too! For the purposes of this blog we will just be talking about diffusing or applying topically.
Diffusing means to put oils in a diffuser (ultrasonic) with water and let that baby bring joy and happiness to your space! Topical application means to rub it on your skin in various places depending on the need. Some people and schools of thought will advise to dilute your oils before applying topically. I personally do not dilute, but I have also spent many hours researching and learning proper application. Please be on the safe side and dilute initially so you avoid having a skin reaction. If you are using PURE oils this will be only minor. If you are not using pure oils, your reaction could be worse, and would be attributed to a synthetic chemical used in the oils.
If you are concerned about using essential oils with certain medications, I recommend searching for Lindsey Elmore on Facebook or her website, www.thefarmacistalabama.com She is a pharmacist with a wealth of knowledge regarding oils, medications and appropriate safety!
My top oils for de-stressing at work:
- Stress Away: This is a blended oil, which means there are several oils combined together to make the blend. Blended oils are combined usually based on each oils constituents. Some have a high note, base note, ketons or phenols. This gets complicated, but again, if chemistry is your wheel house, do the research. There are a ton of words I cannot even pronounce that help describe what oils are made of! (They are basically Latin terms that I skipped in my chemistry class.) Stress Away is an oil that combines Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood (my favorite of all time), Ocotea and Lavender. If you look at each oil individually they each offer something different. The grouping together is a perfect blend for emotional balance. Sometimes stress can intermingle with our immune systems and influence it in a not so positive manner. Using Stress Away can enhance our body’s immune system to stick up for itself against the pressure of stress. I also like this oil for when you have just walked out of the meeting or hanged up the phone with that person who makes you want to punch a wall, scream obscenities or in general trash your desk. Let’s just say that many of my devices have been saved by a few drops of Stress Away!
- Lavender: This is a single oil made from the lavender plant. It is also used in many blends. This oil is the staple of all oils. It is the must have oil at all times! We use it in our house for literally everything. You have a tummy discomfort? Rub some lavender (add some peppermint) on it. You can’t sleep? Add some lavender to the diffuser next to your bed. You cut your foot and it is still bleeding? Drop some lavender on it. You have a sore on your lip? Use lavender. If in doubt about which oil is best, use lavender. Lavender is a universal oil that the body just knows where it is needed. At work, the oil would best be used for calming and emotional balance as well as nervous system support. Think along the lines of “I am so angry and stressed that I am breathing heavy and shaking.” Then think, Lavender!
- Peppermint and Lemon: These are two great oils that when used together provide the ability to enhance focus and attention. I secretly put it in the diffuser on Saturday mornings when chores need to be completed. The family just magically has the energy and attention to get it done, start to finish. These are also two must have oils. The diversity of their uses is too long to list. Cleaning comes to mind with lemon as well as cooking! My morning Shakeology is so much better with a drop of peppermint – and brownies are also yummy with it! Remember, only pure oils are safe for ingesting and the FDA actually states that several oils including these, are “GRAS,” generally regarded as safe, as a food flavoring
- Joy: This is by far my absolute favorite oil! Yes, I also love this as much as Cedarwood – and many others! Joy has changed the dynamics of my home and home office. I think I could teach an entire class on this oil alone. It is a blended oil that contains Rose, one of the most coveted and expensive oils around. It also contains Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Rosewood, Lemon, Mandarin, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa. It directly affects emotional balance. It promotes feelings of joy and love. It can literally change your mood within seconds. We are NOT morning people and I am a firm believer that waking up on the wrong or right side of the bed can determine your entire day. Joy is in the diffuser if there is even the slightest hint of negativity in my home, where my office is located. When the husband or boys argue they “don’t need any joy,” I put it on myself, because they obviously do!
There you have it – my choices for oils while at work, in the car, at home, at the in laws, Christmas dinner, anywhere! The power of oils has changed our lives for the better and I hope it will for you too!
For more information about using oils or questions visit www.blessedandoily.com
Heather Morse MS, ATC, OTC
Heather is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Orthopedic Tech in the medical sales industry. Her background in sports medicine has been a staple in her life for more than 20 years. From helping injured athletes get back in the game to teaching athletes how to prevent injuries, oils have made their way into her career. The journey with oils started in 2014 while using them to make Christmas gifts. She attended a beginner’s class and discovered there is a medicinal benefit to essential oils. She and her family have used them to wean off prescription medications after surgery, to quit smoking and to become a means of relief as a first option for almost any aliment a typical family endures. This discovery has also led her to begin an apprenticeship in herbs and herbal medicine. You may contact Heather directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her team site www.blessedandoily.com