“If you were conscious, that is to say totally present in the Now, all negativity would dissolve almost instantly. It could not survive in your presence.”
~ Eckhart Tolle
Happy Valentine’s Day!
What are you up to today? My husband and I are celebrating V-Day the same way we did pretty much every other holiday this past year - a special dinner at home, dessert, and a movie on the couch with our doggos. Tonight, I convinced Jason to watch Soul because I agreed to Dunkirk last night!
I hope last week’s post inspired you to lavish yourself with the love and care you deserve.
This week I want to delve deeper into a topic I mentioned in that post: aromatherapy.
I’ve been using aromatherapy for about ten years.
It started with adding essential oils to my DIY house cleaning products, deodorants, laundry detergents, body scrubs, and salves. Pretty soon, everyone was telling me how nice I smelled. We’re talking friends, co-workers, strangers I happened to be standing next to… everyone.
I even got a message from an eBay buyer after selling a couple of gently used shirts. She said something like, “This may sound weird, but do you make your own laundry detergent? If so, may I ask what essential oils you use? These shirts smell amazing!”
That’s how I knew I was on to something. (Read on to learn my secret formula.)
Let’s get into it, shall we?
What are essential oils?
If you don’t use essential oils already, you’ve probably heard of them. Essential oils have been getting a lot of attention for benefits ranging from easing headaches and promoting relaxation to disinfecting surfaces.
But what are they?
Essential oils capture a plant’s unique compounds (essence) through an extraction process like steam distillation or cold pressing.
It’s important to pay attention to how an essential oil was produced because some types use chemical processes. Those are often cheaper, but they’re not considered genuine essential oils.
In addition to their fragrance, essential oils have various other properties that make them useful. Some are naturally antimicrobial, and others reduce nausea, heal burns, or brighten your mood.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils. It may seem like a recent trend in holistic health, but aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years. Aromatic oils are a staple of ayurvedic medicine, an ancient healing system that originated in India.
Aromatherapy is an easy and inexpensive way to enhance your overall quality of life.
How does aromatherapy work?
When you inhale an essential oil, the membranes inside your nasal passages absorb the scent molecules, which stimulates olfactory nerves. The olfactory bulb is part of your brain’s limbic system, a group of structures involved in memory, behavior, and emotional responses.
That’s why certain scents quickly bring up memories and emotions.
In addition to attaching meaning to emotions and encoding long-term memories, the limbic system plays a role in various physiological processes, including immune and endocrine function, sleep, and sexual arousal.
So, certain essential oils have immune-boosting, germ-killing, passion-igniting effects. That’s why I say aromatherapy is the perfect thing to get into for V-Day! Even in a “normal” (non-pandemic) year, there’s always the seasonal flu lurking about.
The best essential oils for beginners
I have so many bottles of essential oils; I need a designated Caboodle to organize them. If you’re starting out with aromatherapy, these are the oils I recommend:
Lavender to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and aid sleep
Peppermint to increase focus and reduce symptoms of tension and sinus headaches
Tea tree to kill germs and fight infections
Eucalyptus to breathe easier when you have a cough or sinus congestion
Rosemary to reduce pain, inflammation, and stress
Lemon (or orange or grapefruit) to brighten your mood and disinfect surfaces
Please note - I am not a doctor or aromatherapist, and this is not medical advice!!!
Some people have allergies to certain plants and their oils, so proceed with caution, and when in doubt, check with your physician.
By the way - the custom blend that gained the attention of the eBay buyer was a mix of lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint. It’s still a personal fave!
As far as brands go, I love NOW® essential oils. They’re of excellent quality and less costly than other popular brands like DoTERRA®.
I recently bought myself this Love At First Scent kit. It has a blend called Naturally Lovable, which contains essential oils of lemon, orange, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, and jasmine absolute. I’ve been using it every night in my bedroom diffuser.
I like to say, “I am naturally lovable” out loud when I add the oil to the water because affirmations.
I also add a few drops of the cinnamon and bergamot oils from the kit to the cast-iron kettle on top of our woodstove.
It creates a warm and soothing vibe, which nicely offsets the cold weather we’ve been having in Maine.
There’s already so much love in this week’s newsletter; I’m going to skip the Lauren Loves segment.
Sending lots of love and wishes for a relaxing, fun, and pleasurable long weekend!