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    How to Use Essential OIls for Stress Relief

    essential-oilEssential oils have been used since ancient times as a remedy for stress and anxiety. The website for Discovery Fit and Health has a good article about the history of aromatherapy that includes links to more information about the healing benefits of essential oils. An article in the Japanese Journal of Pharmacology reported that breathing in the aroma of the essential oils of patchouli and rose oil resulted in a 40% reduction of sympathetic nervous system activity. Rose oil lowered adrenaline by 30%. Studies show that lavender has the ability to lower cortisol levels and reduce aggression, anxiety and stress.  Lavender is known for its versatility, found to have over two dozen other therapeutic qualities besides its effectiveness as a stress relief remedy.

    My very favorite remedy for muscle tension after work, stress and fatigue is to draw a very hot bath and add a spa treatment composed of Epsom HYPERLINK “http://www.naturalnews.com/042753_epsom_salt_baths_remarkable_health_benefits_detoxificatin_technique.html” salts, sea mineral salts and essential oils.

    A simple base recipe for an Epsom salt mineral bath

    • 2 cups Epsom salts
    • ½ cup mineral sea salt or Himalayan salt (fine grain)
    • ½ teaspoon of natural vanilla extract
    • 10 —15 drops of your favorite essential oils; for instance- my favorite for muscle tension and stress
      • 15 drops  Lavender essential oil
      • 5 drops Eucalyptus oil
      • 5 drops Peppermint essential oil

    Draw a hot bath, and while the tub is filling, prepare your bath salt mix.  Mix the Epsom salt and sea salt together, and then add the vanilla and essential oils, rubbing the oils into the salt mix.  You can then rub the salt mix that remains on your hands onto your skin as a salt scrub.

    A salt scrub base recipe

    • 1 cup sea salt (fine grain)
    • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) grape seed oil
    • 2 ounces (1/4 cup avocado oil
    • 1 Tablespoon natural vitamin E (synthetic is not therapeutic)
    • 20-30 drops of essential oil blend

    Mix all the oils together and pour the mixture into a glass storage jar with an airtight seal.  Slowly add the bath salts and mix well.  Store in a cool dark place.  Adding a drop or two of rosemary essential oil will help to preserve your spa scrub.

    You will soon find which essential oils you love the best.  For some good combinations, I’ve listed here some essential oil blends that you can use with the base recipes above.

    Lavender is a wonderful plant that is helpful for a wide variety of conditions.  It is known for its calming effect, and is also a very effective antibacterial and antiviral.  Here is a good blend for a stress-busting mineral salt bath: double the amounts for the salt scrub recipe:

    • 4 drops Lavender essential oil
    • 4 drops Lavender essential oil
    • 4 drops Lemon essential oil
    • 12 drops Clary Sage essential oil

    One of my favorite essential oils to use in a mineral salt bath is Juniper Berry.  Juniper berry is relaxing, relieves arthritis pain, and is used as relief for the symptoms of cold and flu.

    For stress, use the following blend:

    • 4 drops of Juniper Berry essential oil
    • 6 drops of Bergamot essential oil
    • 2 drops of Sandalwood

    For painful menstruation, use the following blend:

    • 8 drops Juniper Berry essential oil
    • 4 drops Clary Sage essential oil
    • 4 drops Lavender essential oil

    For arthritis, use the following blend:

    • 4 drops Juniper Berry essential oil
    • 4 drops Cypress essential oil
    • 2 drops Rosemary essential oil

    For colds and flu, use the following blend:

    • 6 drops Juniper Berry essential oil
    • 6 drops Lemon essential oil
    • 3 drops Pine essential oil

    This Lemongrass blend is good for both a mineral salt bath and the salt scrub recipe; simply double the amounts for the salt scrub. Lemongrass is used for its ability to relieve muscular tension, and as an antidepressant.

    To uplift the mood and increase vitality during periods of sustained stress:

    • 2 drops Lemongrass essential oil
    • 8 drops Mandarin Orange essential oil
    • 8 drops Neroli essential oil (Neroli is extremely expensive; a less expensive alternative Is Petitgrain essential oil, also from the bitter orange tree)

    Geranium essential oil is antidepressant and anti-inflammatory and uplifts the spirit.  This blend can be used for the mineral salt bath and the salt scrub recipe, simply double the amounts for the salt scrub.

    For uplifting the spirit and relieving a low mood:

    • 3 drops Geranium essential oil
    • 6 drops Clary Sage essential oil
    • 3 drops Neroli essential oil (Neroli is extremely expensive; a less expensive alternative Is Petitgrain essential oil, also from the bitter orange tree)

    For relief of muscular aches and inflammation, use this mix:

    • 5 drops Geranium essential oil
    • 10 drops Lavender essential oil

    Ylang-Ylang sooths the nerves and is antidepressant.  It has a sweet floral scent and is very good for type-A personalities who feel compelled to control every aspect of their life – a truly stressful task!  This blend is wonderful for either bath or salt scrub – using double the amounts for the sea salt scrub recipe.

    For a stressed out mind:

    • 3 drops Ylang Ylang essential oil
    • 3 drops Patchouli essential oil
    • 6 drops Sandalwood essential oil

    For slowing down elevated heartbeat and rapid breathing:

    • 6 drops Ylang Ylang
    • 6 drops Neroli essential oil (Neroli is extremely expensive; a less expensive alternative Is Petitgrain essential oil, also from the bitter orange tree)
    • 3 drops Lavender essential oil

    When you create your healing bath salts, you may want to put on some healing music and begin with meditation in preparation for mixing the essential oils.  Many herbalists believe that no two people can create the same blend even when using the same ingredients from the same bottles in the same amounts.  The ingredients take on some of the qualities of the preparer, so you will want to take care when you put together your healing bath salt mix. Just as food prepared when angry or depressed will reflect the mood of the cook, so it is with the essential oil preparations.

    As a mother and massage therapist, I have benefitted from the healing qualities of natural essential oils for decades.  I would love to hear about which essential oils that you find relaxing.  How do you prepare and use them?  Please share your story with others in the Comments section below.

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