Essential Oils and a Beginner’s Experience With Aromatherapy

Greetings Daizies,

When I first got my apartment I was so excited to get an oil diffuser and essentials oils and begin my experimentation with aromatherapy. I imagined walking into my home with relaxing scents and just an amazing vibe. I knew the oils would make the rooms smell good but I was more curious about if I would actually experience any other benefits with my mood or health.

How is aromatherapy health related?

Aromatherapy is a natural form of medicine described as “the art of science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit” as defined by the Natural Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. Some of the benefits of using essential oils, often topically or by diffusing, are reduced stress, relaxation, calmness, and joy.

It’s been 4 months since I got my first diffuser and set of essential oils kit and I have since added a new kit to my collection. I purchased both kits from Amazon for about $15. The first kit was from Pure Body Naturals and included lavender, eucalyptus, sweet orange, tea tree, peppermint, and lemongrass. The first diffuser I bought was from Bed Bath and Beyond but it broke just 3 months later. I bought a new one from Amazon recently but I don’t like how quick the 150ml of water runs out so I will be in search of a new one. Around the holiday season I wanted to treat myself to another kit and this time I wanted to try some oils that aren’t talked about as much. I ended up getting a relaxing essential oils set which included ylang ylang, bergamot, frankincense, lemon, cinnamon, and lavender again. All together I have 12 essential oils and have noted some of my favorite mixtures for mood, overall smell, and health.

Sample Kit for Beginners
Relaxing Essential Oils

Mood

Lemongrass+Lavender

For a while I used lemongrass oil to help me fall asleep. I rubbed a few drops of lemongrass on the bottom of my feet right before bed and I do think it helps my mind slow down and my body fall into a restful sleep. I stopped using it every night because I didn’t want to condition my brain to thinking I could only sleep with some oil on my feet. However, lemongrass is one of my favorite oils to help me unwind.

Lemon+Cinnamon

Lemon is a sharp smell that I use when I want to be upbeat and productive. I decided to mix it with cinnamon one day and really enjoyed the mixture. The health benefits for cinnamon are suppose to help relax your muscles and joints. I haven’t yet experienced that with cinnamon but I overall just love the smell.

Frankincense+Lavender

I was most excited to try frankincense oil since it’s super ancient and in the bible. Upon research I found that it has benefits that reduce stress and anxiety, helps boost immune system, and reduce pain and inflammation. I’ve combined frankincense with lavender to ease any stress and when I want to feel peaceful.

Bergamot+Lemon+Frankincense

Bergamot is a new oil that I just recently discovered. It is often used to foster an uplifting mood. Because of this, I mix with lemon and together the scent gives me a feeling of rejuvenation. I mix with frankincense especially when I want to be productive but in a relaxed way. Just getting things done but not being tense about it. I like using these types of mixtures when I am feeling creative.

Favorite Scent Combinations

Sweet Orange+Lemongrass

This is a citrusy but warm smell. It makes my house smell like Bath & Bodyworks but not in an overwhelming way. I use about 6 drops of sweet orange and 4 drops of lemongrass.

Lavender+Bergamot

I’ve always enjoyed the scent of lavender and often combine it with just about any of the oils I have. I combine lavender and burgamont for a flowery forest type of scent.

Cinnamon+Sweet Orange/Lemon

The smell of cinnamon reminds me of the holidays or just a warm, cozy home. I love cinnamon oil because I get the natural smell of cinnamon and can mix it with other warm smells. I think of cinnamon in the food form when it comes to mixing. Cinnamon with other fruit flavors mixed well in my head so I tried them out.

Health

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus has definitely helped me with headaches. I noticed it was used when I was getting a massage in Mexico. When I would get antsy or move around, the masseuse would have me inhale a towel with eucalyptus and it made me relax. I tried the same thing last week when my mind was just clogged and I had a headache. I sprinkled a few drops of eucalyptus oil onto a warm towel and laid it on my face first, then directly onto my forehead and my neck where I felt tension. The headache went away before I fell asleep and I woke up quite refreshed.

Eucalyptus+Peppermint

Both of these oils are refreshing when I mix them together. I use them when I am feeling a little tired, headache, nauseous, or not quite balanced. It’s kind of like when you have a cold eat something spicy to clear your nose. This combination feels like I’m clearing my head.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is used often in hair and skin care because of it’s anti-fungal and antioxidant properties. I saw a pimple on my chin at night and dabbed some peppermint oil on a wet q-tip. I gently applied the q-tip to the budding pimple and the next morning it was gone.

Tea Tree

Tea tree is also another oil I love for my hair and also skin. It worked wonders for ingrown hairs and dark spots. I don’t like tea tree for diffusing at all, since it smells like a cleaning supply being diffused, but I love it for hair and skin.

Lavender

Lavender really is a calming oil for me. I’ve noticed it has helped me when I am trying to slow down my thoughts and relax. I place a drop or two on my finger tips and gently massage my temples while taking deep breaths. All of this combined helps ease the stress and tension I may be feeling.

Overall Experience

I see my collection growing this year as I get more acclimated to essential oils. I don’t see essential oils as controlling my mood or emotions. I see them as something that can aid a mood but not control itOften times I am already feeling a certain way and I will use oils that match the mood or other oils that are said to help decrease negative feelings. Using essential oils is just a portion of the holistic habits and actions in wellness that have positively affected my wellbeing.

I hope you all are having a wonderful New Year so far. Maybe you can go out and try some essential oils as a new experiment this year!

As always,

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Update: Summer 2017 Fitness

Greeting Daizies,

I wanted to post an update regarding my summer 2017 fitness goals.During the earlier part of summer, I had signed up for a YMCA membership and was going to the gym 3 times a week. My ultimate goal was to loose 15 pounds by the time school started, become stronger, and have a healthier diet.

Readjusting my Weight-loss Goal to No Weight-loss Goal at All

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Fast forward to now and my outlook on fitness has completely changed. I was so adamant about loosing 15 pounds in order to achieve the weight I had when I was studying abroad. Now, I am not all about weight-loss. Last fall of 20016, I was traveling almost every week which meant walking about 20-30 miles a week. My lifestyle has changed and I don’t want to be stuck trying to force my body to maintain the weight I had at 20 or in high school.

What I’m focused on now is being active in a way that is sustainable. I’ve spent majority of college and actually most of my life with some sort of weight loss goal. Even in middle school I wanted loose weight, usually a small amount, but I always wanted to change something. At some point you gotta just be happy with how your body changes and the way it is.  I’m finally at that point now. My body changes as my lifestyle changes and I want to be more focused on working my way up to actually exercising frequently even when I get busy.

Now I want to focus more on my goal of improving my performance with working out rather than weight loss. This means, being able to run a little longer and lift 10 pound weights with my squats eventually. My weight will fluctuate a few pounds up and down and having a strict schedule of loosing weight became frustrating and wasn’t that fun. I’m at a healthy weight for my height, so I don’t want to put so much pressure on myself to loose so much weight just to be at the same size I was when I was younger. I want to love and appreciate the way my body is now.

Nap or Gym?

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The hardest thing with staying consistent was actually leaving my house to go workout once the weather started getting cold. After class and work, the main thing that’s on my mind is taking a nap, and once I’m in the house I’m in the house.It’s rainy season during the fall and winter, and there’s not much that can make me leave the house once I’m inside lol.So there were several weeks where I was in the zone juggling school and finding the motivation to exercise even at home was difficult. Towards the end of the summer, that fire slowly died down as I was so eager to end work and go to Ghana. When school started I went maybe once a month, and three times this month of December. Sometimes, I did workouts at home when I felt like it. Next year I hope to feel like it more, or maybe incorporate light exercise into my morning routine of yoga. I’ll have more time in the morning/afternoon since my classes start a little later next quarter (it’s my last quarter omg!).

But What About All Those Swiss Rolls?

Okay I can admit my diet hasn’t change much since my summer article. I pretty much eat whatever I want.  On a weekly basis I will most likely eat my famous homemade sub sandwich, some form of chicken and rice, peppered steak, oatmeal/cereal/bagel and cream cheese for breakfast. I’d say overall I have an average/healthy diet. I always have some apples, grapes, bananas, and oranges in rotation and of course I’m drinking plenty of water. But I am a sweets person, and I did just eat a box of swiss rolls to myself within 3 days lol. I hate depriving myself of what I love (chocolate cakes and cookies lol) so why should I? I just know that once I start, it’s hard to stop. Therefore, not getting into the habit of ALWAYS buying Tollhouse cookies and Simply juices are better for me. I “try” *keyword is “try”*

Overall, my biggest health success was accepting my body weight as is and having a more positive body image and increasing my water intake.

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Have a great New Year everyone!-POP