I have struggled with symptoms of anxiety since my final year in high school. It was at its peak from age 18 – age 24, which was also the same time that I was sexual assaulted and that my eating disorder was most active. I don’t believe that one caused the others but I do think that when I eat in a way that is no longer disordered, my body is better at coping with stress. That when I am mental well, I am better able to take care of my physical health. That is why I believe that self-care and body positivity are connected. For all of that time and for many years after, I was prescribed anti-anxiety medication. It worked for me at the time and in many situations, it was practically life-saving. My use of these medications slowly decreased as I learned ways to cope with and manage my emotions through yoga, meditation, self-care and counselling. I still had a desire to have a few anti-anxiety pills in my possession for those “just in case” types of moments and would use them around once a month on extremely stressful days. Unfortunately, I no longer have access to a family doctor, as a result of moving to rural northern Ontario, where services are not as abundant as they are in more centrally located urban areas. So I needed to find another way to manage my remaining symptoms and since I didn’t have a doctor, I knew it had to be something natural or that I could buy over the counter at the local pharmacy.
Eventually, I stumbled upon aromatherapy and it seemed like a suitable option, worth looking into further at the very least. As a trained trauma counsellor, I am familiar with the power of scent as an emotional trigger when a specific smell is connected with a traumatic event, and so the premise behind aromatherapy made sense to me. I started to investigate different options for which essential oils would work best for me, as well as the best options for delivery. There are a few ways to use essential oils as aromatherapy because the goal is to inhale the oil. One obvious, but inconvenient, way to use aromatherapy is to simply smell the oil directly out of the bottle or an inhaler. Similar to this, and one I make use of is an aromatherapy necklace. It is a small silver, heart shaped locket that contains a small piece of fabric that you drop the oil onto and then wear around your neck. The front of the locket has a bunch of openings to allow you to inhale the essential oils as you go about your day. You can see me wearing it in a few photos in my SWAK blog post and also in the photo below. Another way to use aromatherapy is to combine essential oils with a carrier oil and use it instead of a body lotion or in a roller ball for use on specific areas of your body, depending on the ailment you are targeting. There are also three ways of diffusing the oils into the air, which are incredibly popular. I will quickly describe some of the pros and cons of each below.
When you are diffusing essential oils, it is best if you can avoid diluting them or adding heat as this will ensure you are receiving the maximum benefits of the aromatherapy. This is exactly why I am so in love with my new Raindrop Diffuser from Organic Aromas. Unlike oil burners that use candles and heat the oil until it creates a steam, the Raindrop Diffuser uses no heat at all. The internet is full of small plastic diffusers that are problematic because they require you to add water to the oils and because the oils eventually break down the plastic which is particularly dangerous if the plastic is not BPA free. Unfortunately, many of these products are produced to be cheap and therefore are likely not made with the best interests of the consumer in mind. The Organic Aromas diffusers are made of glass, with a natural or black wood base, no plastic at all, which is more natural and much safer. Glass is a much safer product to use with essential oils, which is part of the reason they are always sold and stored in tiny glass bottles. You can even get them with hand carved designs on them for a tiny bit more money. I’m kind of obsessed with the Tropical Forest Hand-Carved version of the diffuser that you will find on their website. There is no need to water down your oils with the Organic Aromas diffusers which means you are inhaling the oil without adding extra moisture into the air, something that would be pretty problematic in some climates. Plus, adding water dilutes the oil and the overall impact on both your physical health and your mood.
The Raindrop Diffuser comes with Organic Aromas’ Signature Blend that creates both a relaxed feeling and a clearer respiratory system. The scent quickly feels the room with an almost invisible mist. I’m a huge fan of Serenity, Lavender and Burglars blend from Organic Aroma. Their scents are 100% pure essential oils that are still affordable, unlike some of the most well-known brands out there. Prices range from $7 – $24 for a 10 ml bottle. Proper essential oils should always differ in price depending on the ingredients, only fake scented oils will have all of the blends priced the exact same. The Designer Series essential oil gift set from Organic Aromas is the perfect place to start if you are new to aromatherapy. The Raindrop Diffuser includes a small light when the product is turned on, it changes colour and produces an additional calming or meditative effect. The parts require to run the machine create a tiny noise when the product is on and running. It runs in cycles of two minutes on and one minute off for 2 hours when it automatically stops running. The diffuser is no longer emitting oil but the light will stay on and continue to change colour. On a scale of 1-10 where my old in window air conditioner is a 10 and my new MacBook Air is a 1, this diffuser is a 2 in terms of the amount of noise it produces. It is barely audible when the TV or radio is on but you can hear a little something if it is running in an otherwise silent room. After two days of using it before bed, I find I no longer notice it at all.
In fact, I totally love my new Raindrop Diffuser from Organic Aromas. Using it makes me feel calmer and in control of my emotions, which is a powerful feeling. I especially love to use it before bed to help settle my mind before heading off to sleep. I turn it on a couple of hours before I would like to be sleeping and I have found I have to turn it off myself because I am usually ready for bed more quickly than I planned. Yep, it works that well! The Serenity Blend is perfect for this purpose because it is made up of lavender, lime, ylang-ylang and cedarwood oils so it reduces insomnia, anxiety and depression. I consider it the perfect oil for me and I know a lot of you will agree with me. I think most people will absolutely love this product as much as I do because it contains some of the most popular essential oils out there and because it targets issues that so many of us struggle with or would like some additional help with. In case you still aren’t totally sold on how amazing this essential oil blend is, the website description is; “Serenity is a unique, gentle blend of a variety of essential oils, each with distinctive therapeutic effects, including sedation, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and analgesic properties. When diffused in one of our ionic nebulizing aromatherapy diffusers, the effects are immediate and obvious. This blend helps calm tensions and uplifts the spirit, promoting relaxation and a deep sense of peace. The Serenity essential oil blend is especially useful for those who seek to balance their mind, body and spirit after an active or stressful day. In addition, it has been shown to be useful as a method to calm and comfort children.”