Essential Oils, a Perfect Holistic Modality for Supporting Mental Health in a Naturopathic Medicine Practice
Last week, I discussed how naturopathic doctors (NDs) can help to fill the gap in holistic mental health. This is especially relevant related to the current psychological crisis. During this time, when effective psychiatric interventions are not being fully implemented, NDs offer natural and individualized wellness support to enhance emotional wellbeing and complement standard of care.*
One of my favorite modalities to support mood, that I use personally and with my clients, is essential oils. Essential oils are an integrative mind-body intervention that fit within all the naturopathic principles. They are an important resource that I use across my subspecialties of mental health, mind-body medicine, women’s health, and digestive health. This is due to their ability to simultaneously shift biochemistry, psychology, and physiology. They are holistic, synergistic, easily accessible, and widely utilized.
Essential oils can be used to assist with alleviating some of the turmoil and overwhelm that is so prevalent due to current events. This post will highlight essential oils blends to support the body and mind and relieve tension.
A Few Notes on Essential Oils Blends
This blog focuses on various combinations of essential oils, known as blends. Creating essential oil blends is a complex process. One must be versed in aromatherapy to accomplish a mixture of complimentary chemical constituents with therapeutic effects. (source) This is why I rely on trusted suppliers that produce quality essential oils and have expertise in essential oils’ chemistry.
That being said, if you are a DIYer and want to study a bit on blending oils, you can usually safely combine up to five essential oils with similar properties. Most often this is done using a carrier oil to achieve a 2.5-3% dilution rate (about 8 drops per oil/15 ml jar).
It’s also important to note that blends containing certain citrus oils can result in photosensitivity. To prevent unwanted discoloration, these should be used aromatically or applied topically at nighttime. They should not be applied to exposed skin just before heading outdoors.
The blends in this post can be applied to skin and diffused. Only ingest essential oils from a quality manufacture that labels them safe for internal use! To learn more about safe ingestion of essential oils read this article.
Now onto the highlighted oil blends for October.
Four Essential Oils Blends for Calming, Self-Care, and Body Support
Tummy Tension Relief Blend
Many people have become familiar with the mind-body connection by observing how emotional stress impacts digestion, the gut-brain connection. With all of today’s emotional upheavals and everyday stressors, gastrointestinal processes can easily become disturbed.
This Tummy Tension Relief Blend is a combination of essential oils to support optimal digestive health. It can help to soothe gut troubles that can result from emotional stress and rushing through meals to meet deadlines. Its soft mint aroma is calming to the brain and assists with tension relief in the belly. This mixture also enhances focus, eases physical discomfort, and supports the body’s natural defense mechanisms.
Application: Combine a few of these oils in a carrier oil, or in a pre-ready blend, and apply over the belly. Inhale from the bottle to calm down a jittery belly.
Body Defense Blend
This blend is meant to support the body’s defense and repair processes. During times of stress, our ability to heal and regenerate are strained. The Body Defense Blend combines the Thieves blend with other oils including lemongrass, oregano, and thyme. These essential oils can help to keep the body in harmony while also offering a revitalizing fragrance to reduce fatigue and uplift the spirits.
Applications: This blend should be diluted in a carrier oil and applied to the bottoms of feet, as the oils in this are “hot,” meaning they can create a lot of warmth.
Grounding Oil Blend
This Grounding Oil Blend is one of my go-to blends for promoting more courage during trying days. It contains the comforting aromas of fir and camphor essential oils. These scents help to alleviate the “out of body” feeling resulting from a whirling, swirling brain. Added to this blend is the ancient spiritual oil of frankincense. This essential oil eases the mind and provides overall physiological support. Finally, this mixture is enhanced with rose geranium oil for optimizing emotional and hormonal wellbeing.
Applications: My favorite way to use this blend is by diluting a few drops in a carrier oil and applying it over my wrists and perfume points. You can also add these oils to your diffuser to invite a warm, cozy, and comforting aroma into your home.
A Heart Synergy Blend
Combing fir oils with other calming oils can help to balance the heart and nervous system. An example of a Heart Synergy Blend would include a fir oil, spice oils, ylang ylang flower oil, and helichrysum italicum flower oil.
The phytoncides found in fir oils support body defenses and are stress-relieving. The enticing aroma of ylang ylang supports the nervous system, calms the cardiovascular system, and relieves emotional tension. Helichyrsum is soothing to the mind and also can alleviate external skin irritations that can occur when one is overly stressed.
Applications: Apply a few drops of these oils diluted in your favorite carrier oil on perfume points and over the heart at night. Add these oils to the diffuser to promote calm, comfort the heart, and ease the nerves.
Essential oils are synergistic and have multiple effects. Everyone’s biochemistry differs, and what oils and compounds work best for them can change as their body’s needs and circumstances are altered. For example, some may notice at one time lavender was working well for anxiety, but lately they are finding bergamot more effective.
For this reason, I offer education on various blends. It is my hope that you will find the ones that work for you to provide you with some solace and ease during this trying time.
For more resources on essential oils and naturopathic medicine modalities to calm the brain and relieve overwhelm, watch this short video.
Mental Health Resources
If you are in need of additional support and professional health, please reach out!
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (U.S.) — Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Crisis Text Line — Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor
- Lifeline Crisis Chat — Chat online with a specialist who can provide emotional support, crisis intervention and suicide prevention services at www.crisischat.org
Other Uplifting Resources
Naturopathic Medicine Week
This week is Naturopathic Medicine Week! A shout out of gratitude to all my clients and colleagues!
Disclaimer: This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. (Affiliation link.)
According to experts and the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no approved standard of care treatment, cure, or preventative for COVID-19. Supportive measures and containment are in full force as a result. Please see the CDC website and your state’s website for more information and updates. They also state when to contact your physician related to symptoms and travel history, exposures. Please read my more detailed article on this subject here.
This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. The studies are not based solely on a specific brand of an essential oil, unless stated. Please read the full study for more information.
Thanks Pixabay and Canva.