We are living in a culture that is constantly on the go. Unfortunately, chronic daily stress can and does contribute to health issues. Long story short, just being under stress over long periods of time can affect your sleep, digestion, thyroid, fertility, memory, and basically every normal function in your body.
If we add to that toxic, low-quality self-care products that we ingest or apply to our skin, the physiology of the body gets thrown for a vicious loop! Knowing this, we are always looking for ways to decrease the amount of stress our bodies encounter. Let us consider some natural ways to slow down, turn off, and stay calm. Meditation, aromatherapy, and bath taking are a few strategies that we can utilize. While doing this, know that specific scents and essential oils can compound these relaxing effects. Some useful products that can heighten your calming mood are rollerballs, room sprays, and a foot and body scrub. Here are some ideas to create some of your own self-care products
In a rollerball, combine a total of 20 drops of essential oils, then fill the rest of the roller ball with fractionated coconut oil. In this recipe, we used 10 drops of DoTerra Balance blend, 10 drops of lemongrass, and fractionated coconut oil. A great technique to use the calming effects of a rollerball is to roll it behind the ears, at the base of the skull, and on the insides of the wrists. For the room spray, we used a 2-ounce glass spray bottle and filled it about 90% with water. Then added 15 drops of clary sage, 15 drops of geranium, and 6 drops of juniper berry. You can also add a little splash of vodka, which will act as a preservative for the oils. When feeling stressed, spray once or twice and take a nice deep breath in. Close your eyes and focus on the calming scent that surrounds you. In the foot and body scrub, we combined ¼ cup of warm shea butter, 2 tablespoons of unscented lotion, 2 tablespoons each of sugar and salt, 10 drops of lavender, and 10 drops of cedarwood. Mix thoroughly, and transfer into a sealable jar. Outlined below are some specific components in the oils we used and how they act to support calming effects in the body.
- DoTerra “Balance:” A combination of spruce needle/leaf, ho wood, frankincense resin, blue tansy flower, and blue chamomile flower
- Lemongrass: contains a component called Geranial: balanced heart rate, anti-tumor effects on lung, breast, colon, kidney, liver, pancreatic, skin cancers
- Clary Sage: *Linalyl acetate: relaxes vasculature of smooth muscle. *Linalool: showed decrease in systolic BP, and decrease in skin temperature when used topically
- Juniper Berry: *α-pinene: α-pinene has shown significant anti-ulcer effects and a great correlation between the concentration of α-pinene and gastroprotective effect. Juniper oil helps to support liver and kidney function and has a grounding effect.
Body and foot scrub:
- *Lavender: Contains some of the same positive components as clary sage, such as linalool and linalyl acetate. Lavender has also been shown to help support restful sleep when inhaled.
- Cedar: *cedrol: exposure to Cedrol significantly decreased HR, SBP, and DBP compared to air while it increased sensitivity to change in the outside change in atmospheric pressure. Also, breathing rate decreased during exposure to cedrol. These results, along with the previous studies reporting a close relationship between respiratory and cardiovascular functions, suggest that these changes in respiratory functions were consistent with above cardiovascular changes. These patterns of changes show that Cedrol inhalation created an increase in parasympathetic activity (relaxation) and a reduction in sympathetic activity, (stress response) consistent with the idea of a relaxant effect of Cedrol.
The act of rubbing supports better circulation by bringing blood flow to the skin’s surface, as well as lymph drainage. The scrubbing motion and action also feels great on your skin while you are applying it to the body. Also, by choosing specific calming scents add to the experience, and can heighten your mood and mindset. Another great reason to make these products is that you have control of the ingredients, you know they are good quality, and you can mix and combine in any way you want. These products are more cost effective than purchasing similar products in the stores, and they can make a thoughtful, custom gift for anyone.
For more information about stress reduction, essential oil, and self-care products, feel free to contact Lauren and Dr. Kyle at Integrative Wellness Group.