Essential Oils and Your Health… what’s all the craze about???
ESSENTIAL OILS ARE EVERYWHERE!! This is in part due to the spread of two major companies: Young Living and DoTerra. Since then the essential oil craze began and has been getting larger ever since, although essential oils have been used for centuries for many different ailments and symptoms. We use essential oils DAILY in our household whether for aromatic reasons, every day beauty, cleaning, or health improvement! Personally, I have kicked all of those icky chemically made perfumes to the curb and only use essential oils (easily personalized daily for whatever the mood)!!
But what are essential oils exactly??
Essential oils are the natural aromatic compounds which are extracted from the seeds, bark, stems, roots, and flowers of plants which are often called the “lifeblood” of the plant. This is done primarily by steam distillation but other processes could include cold pressing which is mainly used for citrus oils, resin tapping (for oils that come from tree saps like frankincense and copaiba), and absolute oil extraction (used for delicate plants like jasmine and neroli). Pure essential oils should NEVER contain fillers or artificial ingredients that dilute their active qualities.
The use of plants over the years has been linked to the physical, emotional, and spiritual well being of the human body for 100’s of years if not more. While essential oils smell AMAZING (well most of them) they also have both medicinal and therapeutic benefits and are often used as natural DRUGLESS ALTERNATIVES in holistic health care practices such as some Chiropractic offices, Naturopath office, massage therapy offices among many others! The unique chemistry of essential oils allows them to be used aromatically OR topically and some can even be used as dietary aids to promote vitality and well-being (although please make sure if you are utilizing them as dietary aids you are consulting with a trained essential oil certified practitioner or aromatherapist).
As said above… essential oils can be utilized as a DRUGLESS therapy. In other words, without the use of pharmaceutical drugs! Our bodies are AMAZING machines that are capable of HEALING THEMSELVES. We just need to remove the interference. As chiropractors we remove the musculoskeletal and nervous system interferences by providing specific chiropractic adjustments to the spine where needed to remove irritation to vital nerves that carry information to and from your brain to the rest of your body. We remove these interferences safely and effectively thus restoring the proper mechanical and neural function to the body, allowing the body to function more optimally thus giving it a better chance at healing itself naturally! The way it was meant to!
That is why chiropractic is not just for back pain! Chiropractic enhances every function of the body from breathing to digestion and everything in between!
We are removing the CAUSES of your pain or ailments though some ailments can also include a combination of other causes including diet, environmental, and of course the chemical things we put in or on our bodies.
While the use of pharmaceutical drugs has helped many people live fuller and longer lives, there is definitely a growing concern about the number of medications that people take as well as their dependency on them and most alarming the SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS that accompany many of them. Here are some alarming statistics:
In 2010 nearly 60% of drug overdose deaths involved properly prescribed pharmaceutical drugs
Spending on prescription drugs in the U.S. has risen nearly 6-fold since 1990, reflecting substantial increases in the treatment of chronic conditions (wait a minute… shouldn’t we be getting healthier???)
15% of U.S. adults ages 20+ and 40% of U.S. adults 65+ take 5 medications or more!
Adverse drug reactions cause an estimatied 100,000 deaths each year which is TEN TIMES the death toll from illegal drugs
Adverse drug reactions are one of the LEADING causes of MORBIDITY and MORTALITY in health care.
Wouldn’t you want to use an arsenal of NATURAL ALTERNATIVES with ZERO SIDE EFFECTS before subjecting your body to some of those side effects listed on that commercial you just watched last night while watching CSI or The Bachelor if it was available to you? …the great thing… many times IT IS!!
What sort of drugless therapy is available to me??
Don’t forget the biggest part of drugless therapy is YOU! Drugless therapy modalities many times can start with lifestyle modification, diet and food pattern alterations, and simple daily exercise! As well, therapies can include hydrotherapy, acupuncture, yoga, reiki, exercise therapy, use of essential oils, and of course CHIROPRACTIC! The whole idea is that your body has the ability to heal itself and utilizing these therapies will give your body the boost it needs at times to do so!
“The human body has an incredible capacity for survival and healing,” says Dr. Loomis. “Unfortunately, western medicine is more inclined to introduce synthetic substances to kill off harmful bacteria which also have the potential to damage healthy cells and tissue in the process.”
So how then can I utilize Essential oils as part of my healthy lifestyle team?
Essential oils are similar to herbal and folk medicines but are 100 to 10000 times more concentrated. Unlike prescription drugs, essential oils very rarely generate any negative side effects. A growing body of research has found that most viruses, fungi, and bacteria cannot live in the presence of most essential oils, particularly the ones that are high in chemical compounds such as phenols, carvacrol, thymol and terpenes. Therefore, anecdotal evidence suggests that those who regularly use essential oils are less likely to contract infectious diseases and those who do, tend to recover faster than those who use antibiotics! This is wonderful as there has been growing evidence that overuse of antibiotics can cause an antibiotic resistance!
In chiropractic, it is always important for patients to feel as ease when getting adjusted. Not only does this help them relax which allows some of the muscular tissue to relax, but it at times makes the adjustment easier and can reduce residual soreness and tenderness post adjustment. Therapeutic grade essential oils can help with relaxation as well as speed healing. The application of certain oils or blends of oils can increase circulation, decrease soreness and discomfort, and calm and relax muscle tissue. The combination of the chiropractic adjustment and essential oils is truly a double wammy against pain from over-use injuries, sports injuries, arthritis, fibromyalgia, painful menstruation, illness and much more. It is important to remember, however, that essential oils are NOT correcting the CAUSE of your pain and simply ENHANCE the healing of tissue which helps to ease symptoms while the body heals. This is not underestimating the healing ability of essential oils I in many cases but simply that they do not correct the cause.
According to the Arthritis Foundation’s official website, Dr. Mehmet Oz said,
“Aromatherapy is effective because it works directly on the amygdala, the brain’s emotional center.”
So, not only do they take a direct route to the brain which can inhibit pain and decrease anxiety, many oils have anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmotic and calming properties, all of which aid in the relief of pain. For instance, chamomile, marjoram and lavender are highly effective for inflammation. Thyme and eucalyptus both have anti spasmotic properties that make them useful for monthly cramps, muscle cramping and pain. Wintergeen is not a widely used essential oil but studies have demonstrated that wintergreen has powerful cortisone-like effects which can offer immediate relief.
The point here is to create a healthier lifestyle of eating good healthy nutritious foods, getting in daily exercise, and having your arsenal of Natural Drugless Therapies including regular chiropractic care, the use of essential oils, etc that will allow your body to continue to function optimally and your health does not suffer.
On a daily basis as you walk into Creekwood Chiropractic West Point you will smell the aroma of essential oils whether a single oil or a blend. Many days we will diffuse oils in the office dependent upon the season. During the winter season we are diffusing oils to aid in relaxation, respiratory circulation, and purifying the air. Staying adjusted and adding in the use of oils allows the team here at Creekwood to avoid “catching” a cold or the flu and as well allows our bodies to properly fight off these ailments when they do arise typically lasting a few days in comparison to the weeks we note many people dealing with these winter issues.
Can essential oils be used on anyone?
Mostly yes. However, please use caution, as precautions should be taken with pregnancy, children and for people who are on certain medications.
Brands we trust:
Great selection of essential oil singles, synergistic blends, and carrier oils. Starter kits make things easy to start out depending on use.
Where to buy: www.edensgarden.com
Ratings: most give this brand/company high marks for quality, price and service.
**LOCAL TIDBIT - Essentially Natural Products (www.facebook.com/essentiallynaturalproducts provides an array of roll ons, sprays and other natural and organic skin care products including deodorants, massage oils, etc. All are made by her by hand with essential oils from EdensGarden. This would allow for possible personalization! Wonderful new company! Go check it out and keep our local small businesses going!
**Second local business option for Essential Oils. The Good Earth Company. Patti, at the good earth company has a small array currently of essential oil blends which can be utilized in skin care or in a diffiuser at home! She also makes this blends herself. Patti is an Essential Oil Coach as well as yoga instructor. (Www.facebook.com/thegoodearthcompany)
Founded in 2008, making this company relatively new. There are multiple single oils as well as several signature blends and kits cotaining an array of the most popular oils and blends.
Where to buy: Only from independent consultants either in person or online.
Ratings and reviews: high marks for quality but lower marks for pricing. The kits get excellent reviews however.
*DoTerra oils are utilized as an aromatherapy add on to any massage at Bliss Spa here in West Point as well.
Mountain Rose Herbs:
This company has offered organic products since 1987. They have an extensive selection of single essential oils along with blended oils and products.
Where to get them: their website. You may find some of them in local retailer stores.
Ratings:excellent for quality, price and ease or ordering. Offers a loyalty program and student discounts!
Offers several single essential oils, a wide selection of popular blends, and products that contain essential oils. Prices are however climbing due to this being an MLM company.
Where to get them: Online and from independent distributors.
Ratings and Review: some people take exception to the fact that Young Living is a multi-level marketing (MLM) company and that their product prices can be much higher...however the products themselves do receive high marks for quality. Most are particularly satisfied with the company’s blended oils. If you know someone locally who sells these please support them in their endeavors to have a business. Many of these young people are moms just trying to make a living or some extra cash for the kiddos. You can also just become a distributor yourself to get their prices at wholesale. The choice is up to YOU.
While there are many other essential oil companies and brands this is just a short list of the brands that we have personally used. As we become more familiar with other brands we will add to this list. If you have knowledge of some wonderful brands not on this list please share with us as we are always learning to try to give you the best information possible!!
Have a wonderful day!
Yours in health,
P.S This is not to say that all medications are bad, as noted above many of them do save lives at times, but this serves as a chance for us to ask MORE QUESTIONS about our overall health and what we put into our bodies and ASK MORE QUESTIONS about possible alternatives. YOUR BEST HEALTH POSSIBLE MATTERS!
Another Sampling of Popular Essential Oils:
Eucalyptus – Helps with respiratory problems including sinusitis, allergies and bronchitis.
Ginger – Cuts down on inflammation and helps to improve digestion, offers joint support and decreases nausea.
Clove – Has anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial properties and is a known antioxidant.
Frankincense – Reduces inflammation, supports brain health, helps to heal age spots and boosts immunity
Lavender – Helps to improve mood and relaxation while helps with the healing of cuts and burns.
Oregano – This is a powerful anti-microbial that works to speed up the ability to fight a cold and can help to kill fungus. Apply a drop to the bottom of your feet.
Tea Tree – Also, known as Melaleuca, this is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial oil that can cut down on bad odors while providing stimulation for the immune system. It also helps with acne and a variety of other skin issues.
Information compiled from knowledge of doctor as well as:
Annals of Family Medicine, September/October 2012, vol. 10 no. 5 452-460 (article found here: http://www.annfammed.org/content/10/5/452.full#cited-by)
Kantor ED, Rehm CD, Haas JS, Chan AT, Giovannucci EL. Trends in Prescription Drug Use Among Adults in the United States From 1999-2012. JAMA. 2015;314(17):1818-1830. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.13766
Essential Oils Natural Remedies: Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing (Althea Press) 2015