Another hectic day in the life of you! Wouldn’t it be great if you could just toddle off to a luxurious spa every time your mind silently screams, ‘My God, I think I’m going crazy!’
Family life can be extremely stressful and as much as you love your demanding little tots and your hormonal moody teenagers, it’s great to escape now and again. Okay, so it’s not practical or affordable for you to book a spa break at the drop of a hat, but with a little bit of imagination, careful planning, and a little aromatherapy, you can reduce your stress levels while at the same time creating a calming and relaxing atmosphere in your home.
You will need to invest in a small collection of essential oils. Instead of buying them all at once, start off with oils you feel you most need and the fragrance that you feel most attracted to – citrus, floral, herbal or earthy. Obviously you need to think about the therapeutic action of your oil, but if the smell of it doesn’t appeal to your senses, it won’t relax you. However, when two or more oils are blended together, the fragrance will be altered, so it’s good to experiment.
Table 1 lists some popular and easily obtained essential oils, emotional conditions that they can be used for, and safety advice for each one. Be sure to store your oils in a cool place, out of direct sunlight and away from children.
|My essential oils||When to use it||When to avoid it|
|Anxiety, confidence issues,|
negative thoughts, PMT,
Just before and during sunbathing
|Impatience, impulsiveness, |
|No contraindications. Safest and most recommended oil for use on babies and children.|
Babies under 12 months,
Before and after drinking alcohol.
|Need for affection, anxiety,|
|May irritate very sensitive skin.|
fear, insecure feelings,
negative and irrational thoughts or behaviour,
irrational thoughts or behaviour,
low sex drive (aphrodisiac),
|Use in moderation.|
|Depression, insomnia, |
sadness and regret,
stress and nervous tension.
Aphrodisiac, Lack of confidence,
Emotional stress, Fear,
|Use in moderation|
Smell is the quickest way for essential oils to enter your system and when they are heated in an oil burner, they evaporate and the molecules travel up your nose entering your bloodstream via your respiratory system. This is also a very safe and straightforward way of getting the oils into your system.
You may use a standard oil burner that uses a candle (Fig 1), but you must be careful not to let the water evaporate completely. An electric burner is safer but a bit more expensive. (Fig 2) Fill burner with water and add 5-8 drops of oil.
|Fig 1||Fig 2||
keep out of Children's Reach
Use table 2 (below) to help you select 2-3 different oils most suited to your needs. You may like to keep a note of how your chosen blend makes you feel because aromatherapy can affect everybody in a slightly different way.
|When your agitated toddler feels the need to challenge your nervous system, this blend will help to create a calm atmosphere and lift the spirits.||1-2 drops of chamomile
3 drops of bergamot
1 drop of lavender
|These oils will have a balancing effect on the hormones of your moody teens, while at the same time easing your mental and emotional stress.||2 drops of geranium
2 drops of marjoram
1 drop of ylang ylang
|This is a nice blend of oils to use when you are feeling tired, miserable or anxious and will help you to have a more positive outlook on your busy life.||1 drop of clary sage
1 drop of patchouli
1 drop of rose
If your children are very young, it may be difficult to plan an evening of pampering for yourself, especially if they are not great sleepers. You can ask your partner to totally take charge of them for the evening or if you’re a single parent, you may have a friend who can help out. For any teenagers loitering around the house, you must insist that unless the house is on fire, you are not to be disturbed. As a parent you may have recently acquired some very effective bribery skills – use them!
Fill your bath with very warm water. Measure about 5 ml of milk or alcohol and add 2 drops of geranium, 2 drops of bergamot and 1 drop of marjoram – essential oils won’t disperse in water without the aid of a fat or alcohol substance. You may also choose one of the suggested blends in table 2. Add to the bath and immerse yourself into the warmth of your aromatherapy cocoon. Close your eyes and lose yourself in an imaginary little place created just by you. Allow your breathing to flow as naturally as possible, slow and deep. Begin to feel all the tension and stress being released from your body and become aware of your mind filling with peace and tranquillity.
Following your bath, lavish your body with some oil such as sweet almond to nourish and soften your skin.
Massage can be one of the most enjoyable ways of receiving the benefits of aromatherapy. The essential oils need to be mixed with carrier oils, such as sweet almond or olive. This ‘carries’ the essential oils around your body allowing them to enter your bloodstream via the pores in your skin.
The rule to remember when mixing a massage blend is to add no more than 2 drops of essential oil per 5ml of carrier oil. For children under 12, pregnant women and elderly people, no more than 1 drop of essential oil per 5 ml. Pregnant women are best treated by a qualified aromatherapist.
Family duties sometimes get in the way of enjoying a close loving relationship and sleep often seems more appealing than an evening of passion. However, with a little effort and the help of aromatherapy, partner massage can be fun and exciting. It can be as simple or as adventurous as you want it to be.
About an hour before you are ready to begin your massage, switch on your oil burner, fill with water and add 1 drop of patchouli and 2 drops of marjoram. This will not only relax you, but will also put you in a romantic mood.
Measure 30ml of sweet almond oil into a small glass jar or bottle, add 2 drops of ylang ylang, 2 drops of marjoram and 1 drop of lavender. This particular blend of oils along with the massage will relax your mind, warm your muscles and stimulate the passion within you. Use gentle massage strokes to begin with and then as you relax you can become more adventurous.
Continue to experiment with your collection of essential oils, whether it be bathing, massaging or burning them – you can burn the oils as often as you wish. Why not make your bath a weekly treat and be sure to use massage as a fun way of keeping the fire lit in your relationship?
‘Safety of Essential Oils’ will guide you in the right direction and help you to use your oils in a safe manner. Learn which oils are safest and why some are not recommended for use in aromatherapy.
Using essential oils in the home is the best way to learn about aromatherapy. You may prefer to keep it personal, but why not add aromatherapy to your list of qualifications. If you’re a therapist that has little interest in massage, you can still treat your clients with aromatherapy. As a professional aromatherapist, it will be easier for you to choose which oils to burn in your treatment room. You will learn about the chemical composition of each oil enabling you to understand the effects aromatherapy has on the human body. Aromatherapy along with hot stone massage can be a wonderful combination. Learn how to create essential oil blends to help with almost any ailment your client presents with. You can include aromatherapy in your homecare advice as it complements most therapies. See here for some Holistic Training Colleges.
If you don’t see a training centre here that’s close to you, let me know and I’ll find a reputable college in your area. I will be posting more learning centres in the future. To receive my posts straight to your inbox, why not subscribe to my emailing list. And what I’d really love is for you to contact me if you have any advice you’d like to share with other student and qualified therapists.