STRESS RELIEF MASSAGE BLEND RECIPES STRESS RELIEF MASSAGE BLEND RECIPES


STRESS RELIEF MASSAGE BLEND RECIPES

April 11, 2017    
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IN ESSENCE...

  • Aromatherapy has provided a natural solution to combat the consequences of the complex relationship between our stress and our psychological make-up.

  • Scent and, most importantly, our associations with scent, play a vital role in dealing with the things that can bring our mood down.

  • For feelings of stress and grief, it is a good idea to choose essential oils that are known to have an uplifting effect.

  • There’s nothing more powerful to help us deal with our stress than to spend time relaxing and gathering ourselves in a state of calm, for which there are ideal essential oils.

  • Aromatherapy can be a valuable tool for stress relief alongside exercise and a healthy diet.
 
 

IMPACT OF ESSENTIAL OILS ON MOOD

As our lives become faster in a world that is increasingly demanding and, for some, seemingly threatening, depression and anxiety is something many of us might experience at some point in our life. While depression and anxiety are nothing new, most of us can recognize the growing profile and prevalence of this psychological phenomenon in our modern world. 

Whether we face a stressful period of our life, find ourselves unable to manage the general buildup of stress (whether from balancing work, family or relationships), or must confront a more severe and enduring emotional battle, most of us can relate to a moment in time when we find ourselves unable to cope with our day to day lives. But life is meant to be joyful, not filled with stress.

Today, we live in what many theorists refer to as “The Medicated State”, where psychiatry and neuropsychology (viewing depression and anxiety through the perspective of physical events in the brain that can be chemically manipulated) have increasingly ruled the day. This has been born from an emphasis on the evolution of science and technology on developing pharmaceutical drugs. It has become popular because of economic factors, seen as a practical alternative to other forms of psychology that are costly in both time and money (such as therapy, which is economically unviable for many people).

There are many natural ways to combat stress and actively control mood swings. There is no single solution, and even modern pharmaceuticals used in treating clinical depression and anxiety disorders must concede an element of subjectivity and individualism of psychological make-up and even the most popular psychoactive drugs have differing effects on people, and can work for some and not others. No one situation is the same, nor the mind that is affected by it. For many who have turned to natural solutions to combat mild stress and unhappiness, aromatherapy has provided a valuable tool, alongside exercise and a healthy diet.

Many aromatherapy treatments have long been heralded as a natural way of inducing states of calm. If you find yourself suffering extreme states of anxiety and depression, it is important to seek psychological or medical advice. But there are various ways that secrets of aromatherapists can be useful for mild and every-day stress and low mood; and even in conjunction with other treatments, it can provide one more method of finding a solution that works for you. Firstly, the oils may directly affect mood levels.

For feelings of unhappiness or low mood, it is a good idea to choose those which have been attributed to an uplifting effect, which may alter both mood and energy levels. These include:

  • Bergamot
  • Cypress
  • Lemongrass
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
 
 

ESSENTIAL OILS FOR STRESS RELIEF

Those who suffer from stress will battle increased neural activity, as our problems literally keep us awake. This can ironically lessen our ability to deal with the problems causing this stress, as we miss out on the restorative powers of deep sleep and suffer the physical and psychological consequences (increasing the feeling of being “burnt out”, or physically and emotionally pushed beyond one’s limits).

Those who are experiencing a period of unhappiness and low mood may also have interrupted sleep patterns because of serotonin – the natural brain chemical connected to our mood and feelings of well-being – plays a role in the regulation of sleep. When we are feeling low or unhappy, our serotonin levels have dropped; this shortage can, in turn, cause erratic sleep or insomnia.

Many aromatherapy treatments have long been heralded as a natural way of inducing states of calm and (therefore) sleep; so, whilst these oils do not directly address the chemical levels in the brain (as do anti-depressants and psycho-active medication), they can help other elements of our life that do (such as sleep).

There’s nothing more powerful to help us deal with our stress than to spend time relaxing and gathering ourselves in a state of calm with which to approach our busy lives. Oils for this include:

  • Chamomile
  • Geranium
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Marjoram
  • Neroli
  • Patchouli
  • Rose
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang Ylang

Beyond this, it is important to remember that smell is also a phenomenon that works emotionally on the basis of personal association. While these listed oils are thought to have properties that work on a more direct physical level, never underestimate the power of scent in terms of the connections we give them. A past client of mine (during my time as a counselor and psychotherapist) once used raspberry oil because it reminded her of the raspberry bushes that lined her front porch where she would watch the sunset as a child. This subconscious association facilitated a powerful regression that gave her feelings of safety and well-being during trying times. Even though raspberry oil may not classically be seen as having any emotionally effective properties, her mind had created a powerful association that was entirely her own, and entirely effective. What’s more is that she had arrived at this realization after exploring her attraction to anything raspberry without her understanding the origins. Like many people, she had never given the origins of her personal penchants much thought. But when I asked her why she found herself drawn to the scent of raspberry whenever she was down (suggesting an obvious unconscious mechanism to create a happier space) she remembered her fond memories on the front porch of her parents’ farm. She soon purchased some raspberry essential oil, and to this day, I imagine uses it to comfort her whenever she feels overwhelmed by the day-to-day trials of her life.

So, never underestimate the power of smell! Referred to as Olfactory Psychology, this is an area still very much being explored by modern science, and it is generally conceded that the realm of scent is indeed a powerful but complicated world. Whilst depression and anxiety can – at the extreme end – be a largely physical phenomenon, for most of us, the stress and unhappiness we encounter and experience is still predominantly a problem that is psychodynamic (that is, connected to events in our lives and the context in which we deal with them), and each has a complex relationship between their psychological make-up, what has happened in their lives, what is currently happening and their ability to react and deal with the things that can cause us stress or bring our mood down. The scent and, most importantly, our associations with scent, plays a vital role in this, alongside a myriad of other components. It is a powerful and unique concept to remember when approaching the world of Aromatherapy – a world that may run even deeper than many think.

 


 

STRESS RELIEVING BLEND

 

The following combination of essential oils helps to reduce stress and tension and their associated symptoms:

 
INGREDIENTS MEASURE
Carrier Oil
(Sweet Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, or Grape Seed Oil recommended)
7 t.
Bergamot Essential Oil 5 drops
Mandarin Essential Oil 4 drops
Lavender Essential Oil 4 drops
Lemongrass Essential Oil 3 drops

INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Mix the essential oils.
  2. Dilute by adding the carrier oil.
  3. Massage onto chest for comforting and penetrating warmth.
 
 
  • Carrier Oil (Sweet Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, or Grape Seed Oil recommended): Avocado carrier oil is an odorless healing oil that is silky to the touch and easily absorbed by the skin. Its anti-wrinkle and regenerative properties prevent the early onset of visible signs of aging by keeping the skin hydrated, nourished, elastic, and soft.

  • Bergamot Essential Oil: This energizing oil is known to boost blood circulation and to reduce nervous tension, stress, and anxiety, which in turn replaces negative mental states with feelings of joy, refreshment, and vigor. The relief of heavy emotional stressors such as sadness may lead to reduced blood pressure, relaxation, and better regulation of the sleep hormones serotonin and dopamine, which may lead to better sleep.

  • Mandarin Essential Oil: This sedative oil relaxes the nerves and promotes feelings of calm, eliminating stress and anxiety.

  • Lavender Essential Oil: This calming oil is a popular choice for those looking to relieve both emotional and physical stress ranging from sadness to headaches. Its soothing scent diminishes feelings of restlessness and exhaustion.

  • Lemongrass Essential Oil: This sedative oil is commonly used to relieve anxiety, irritability, and sleeplessness, improving the length and quality of sleep.

 


 

BERGAMOT AND GERANIUM MASSAGE BALM

 

The following is a recipe for a blend that can be used in an uplifting massage:

 
INGREDIENTS MEASURE
Cocoa Butter 15 g
Apricot Kernel Oil 85 ml
Bergamot Essential Oil 30 drops
Geranium Essential Oil 18 drops
Clary Sage Essential Oil 12 drops

INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Melt the butter with the apricot kernel oil.
  2. Let it cool, then add the essential oils and mix thoroughly.
  3. Store in a clean container out of sunlight.

PRECAUTIONS:
  1. Do not use Bergamot before exposure to the sun.
  2. Avoid Geranium and Clary Sage oils during pregnancy.
 
 
  • Cocoa Butter: This moisturizer increases levels of endorphins and serotonin, providing a general emotional boost. The magnesium contained in the cacao is believed to prevent mood swings, and Phenylethylamine, which is a stimulant in the cacao, can lead to a keen sense of awareness, energy, and endurance.

  • Apricot Kernel Oil: This light, non-greasy, skin-softening oil is fast-absorbing and deeply penetrating. It soothes dry, irritated skin and locks in lasting moisture.

  • Bergamot Essential Oil: This energizing oil is known to boost blood circulation and to reduce nervous tension, stress, and anxiety, which in turn replaces negative mental states with feelings of joy, refreshment, and vigor. The relief of heavy emotional stressors such as sadness may lead to reduced blood pressure, relaxation, and better regulation of the sleep hormones serotonin and dopamine, which may lead to better sleep.

  • Geranium Essential Oil: The sweet, floral scent of this uplifting oil offers relaxation to body and mind. It is known to improve mental function and to boost the moods of those who suffer from anger, anxiety, and depression.

  • Clary Sage Essential Oil: This relaxing oil soothes nervous tension and reduces feelings of stress, boosting feelings of optimism. By relieving anxiety, it can help regulate sleep patterns and quality.


IMPORTANT: All New Directions Aromatics (NDA) products are for external use only unless otherwise indicated. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, and it should not be used by anyone who is pregnant or under the care of a medical practitioner. Please refer to our policies for further details, and our disclaimer below.

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