I have always been skeptical about essential oils, resolute in my belief that they're void of any therapeutic power. I mean, how? How could the inhalation of peppermint minimize my headaches? How could dabbing cedarwood on my temples ground me? Get real. To be totally honest, I thought it was a bunch of hippie nonsense - as I sit here on my yoga mat eating hummus and seed crackers, listening to Xavier Rudd. A part of me has always wanted to believe in the power of essential oils. So many of my friends utilize them, many of whom are fellow yogis and yoga teachers. I trust these people and there isn't an ounce of me that questions their intentions for using oils or the success they report from doing so. I guess I just veered away from the concept, accepting that maybe oils work for them but they definitely won't work for me. It's not like my olfactory senses are dormant. I promise you they're very much awake. I just never thought smell had much of an influence on my overall wellness. I never thought smell could help me achieve balance in any aspect of my life.
Here's where I was proven wrong. Fast forward - a close friend just happens to be a doTerra Wellness Advocate, an incredible woman who trusts in the positive influence natural oils can have on our physical, mental and emotional well-being (Jenny Pietzsch, I'm talking to you!). She stands behind the therapeutic effects of oils, but has never forced oils on me, despite knowing that I am a stress internalizing, multi-too-much-tasking, never say no kind of person who could absolutely benefit from them. Yes, I’m a bit of a perfectionistic workaholic and my health has definitely begun to deteriorate as a result. I break myself down - this isn't the first time and it probably won't be the last. And these are cold, hard facts. Aside from practicing and teaching yoga and drinking copious amounts of tea I have discovered zill methods successful at achieving mental ease.
I think Jenny sensed my accumulating stress levels, they've been borderline breakdown lately and as a result I haven't been sleeping well, or really at all. Maybe it's the bags around my eyes that gave it away. About a week or so ago she nonchalantly slipped me a few oil samples. She didn't say much just put them in my hand after a yoga class and that was that. Admittedly, I didn't use them right away. They sat on my table collecting dust.
The insomnia worsened and after a few nights of literally no shut eye I became desperate for any sort of sleep remedy. Melatonin was even turning its back on me. I saw the oils sitting there and remembered Jenny telling me lavender was a calming oil known to bring about relaxation. I wasn't really sure what to do with it, clueless as to how I could foster these healing effects. I remembered a teacher massaging oil on my temples and third eye in savasana so that's where I started. I applied the lavender right before bed - and guess what? I slept like a BABY - a freaking baby! It was incredible. I've continued using the lavender before bed, testing it's validity, and each night I sink into a beautiful slumber.
I think I’m hooked. If this is any indication of how effective oils are at balancing us out, sign me up!
I am so incredibly excited to learn more about aromatherapy and its therapeutic applications. I'm eager to add this layer of natural healing to my personal practice and life and am keen to eventually integrate oils into my classes and workshops.
Essential oils (head shake), who would've known?
The honest learnings and raw reflections of my practice and my life. Unedited.