by Rachel Raba
Everything about Washington, D.C. is fast-paced and highly-charged, constantly assaulting residents’ emotions. Not surprisingly, the metro area tops Movoto’s list of stressed-out cities.
Humans function as a whole, with mind, body and spirit inseparably connected, each requiring balance and nourishment for total wellness. The body’s cells are wired to self-heal. Stress interferes with this self-healing process. Anyone who eats, encounters people, uses a cellphone, drives a car or follows politics experiences it. According to the American Institute of Stress, numerous emotional and physical disorders are linked to stress, such as depression, anxiety, heart attack, stroke, hyptertension, autoimmune conditions, peptic ulcer, GERD and degenerative neurological disorders. This makes learning to manage stress imperative.
Smell is the fastest way to affect emotions and reduce stress. When the aromatic molecules of plant-derived essential oils (EOs) are inhaled, they travel quickly to the part of the brain that impacts emotions, behavior and memory. Commonly used for respiratory health, digestion, immune support and pain reduction, this makes EOs equally powerful for relaxation, mood enhancement, emotional balance and sleep support.
EOs offer a safe and easy way to cope with stress. They not only provide immediate relief through their ability to calm and uplift, but work to eliminate the deep-rooted causes of stress without side effects. In 2015, for example, two clinical trials concluded that inhalation of geranium and orange EOs was effective for reducing anxiety during labor, an incredibly stressful life event.
Other EOs useful for counteracting stress include bergamot, cedarwood, frankincense, lavender, roman chamomile, rose, vetiver and ylang ylang. They can be inhaled, diffused, used in baths and massages, or applied to the temples, back of neck, shoulders or chest, transporting one from frayed nerves to an elevated well-being.
Rachel Raba is a doTERRA Wellness Advocate and aromatherapy student who teaches classes locally on what essential oils are, how they work, and how they can be used to support overall health and wellness. She helps people rid their homes of toxic cleaning and personal care products, as well as stabilize their emotions, get better sleep, improve their digestion and increase their energy. For more information, email HolisticallyHealthyHome@gmail.com or visit HolisticallyHealthyHome.com.