Essential oil Safety
One of the most common things I get asked about before a massage session is a question about essential oils! There is so much information out there, and it can be a bit confusing to know who to listen to and what is the correct answer. I love using essential oils, but part of loving them is to know when they are appropriate to use, how to use them safely and when NOT to grab the oil bottle.
I understand that some people who sell these oils are very passionate and very well meaning. Unfortunately, a lot of this information comes from sales funnels and not from actual education. It's important to know the difference. You may not agree with everything I say, ultimately it is up to each of us to do be responsible for our own health and choices affecting it. I love my clients, and want them to be safe.
If you are really wanting to use Essential Oils as a centerpiece to your health and healing, it is important for you to consult or hire a certified aromatherapist.
They may or may not sell essential oils, but usually they create and sell their own blends vs a huge company. I use essential oils not as a centerpiece but as a way to enhance my own healing, mood, energy, and when working with my massage clients. In fact, I often stopped following the book definitions of which oils are best for what, and have learned from watching my clients, that our noses tend to tell us what we need.
Below are just a few points I find myself sharing with clients on a regular basis.
1.Follow your gut! If something sounds off, or a little wacky, if something sounds too good to be true, listen to your gut. Most of my clients questioning safe essential oil practices already feel something is off! Trust that feeling. It may even be about a specific oil. Listen to your body.
2.Stay away from a seller or company who claims that their oils "Are the ONLY Oils" that you should ever be using. Just like every other product on the market there are high quality and low quality, as well as everything in the middle. There are many companies that offer wonderful pure oils.
3. Do not ever ingest the oils. Let me repeat this: DO NOT INGEST THE OILS......EVER! If you don't believe me, check out what Tisserand and Young have to say about it.
"Continuously taking multiple essential oils internally on a daily basis, can be very damaging to the liver, kidneys, stomach, and intestines. Long-term use of any powerful drug does, though. Our organs can not process copious amounts of these chemical constituents and they can build up in our system and cause failure over time. Tisserand & Young (Essential Oil Safety, 2013)"
4.Always use a carrier oil. You can add a few drops to coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed, or any of your favorites. Yes, I have personally been burned by oils. No it was not just my body detoxing. I have also had an allergic reaction and been sensitive to an array of oils. If you have any reaction to an oil, the response should be to stop using oils, consult a doctor. Do not add more. Do not ever use in your eyes, and be sure to wash your hands if something spills.
5.Less really is more. Aromatherapy works by inhaling the essential oils and their healing properties crossing your blood brain barrier into our system. We do not need to over use the oils to make this happen.
My favorite herbalist Susun Weed and many of the herbalists who follow the Wise Woman Tradition do not even use essential oils. In fact, if I don't have to use the oils to enhance the herbal products, I don't use them at all. I'll share about this more in another blog!