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Essential Oils Blog

Wellness Archives

The Ultimate Guide to Allergies and Essential Oils

Allergies happen, and they’re not fun.

You’re not alone! 40-60 million Americans suffer from allergies every year.

Allergies affect everyone differently, ranging from mild sniffles to severe breathing issues and constant itching.

We’ve all been there: When it feels like your eyes just won’t stop watering, or you’ll never stop sneezing. Why even bother wearing makeup when you have to blow your nose every 30 seconds?

We’ve put together a definitive guide to allergies and essential oils to help you out:


What’s an allergy, and what causes them?

Allergies are an abnormal reaction to an otherwise harmless substance, like animal dander, pollen, mold, or certain foods.  An allergy sufferer’s immune system identifies these things as being bad for the body, even when they’re not.

Allergy symptoms are different for everyone,  ranging from minor irritation (sniffles and itching) to anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening emergency (in other words, really, really bad news). While most allergies have no true “cure,” there are ways to ease the symptoms associated with them.


How can essential oils help minimize the effects of this seasonal threat?

Essential oils are super concentrated, aromatic liquids extracted from different parts of plant known to help ease symptoms associated with many different issues. Essential oils are also an excellent choice to help ease symptoms associated with allergies, plus they’re a safe (and all-natural) option.

Used for both healing and aromatic benefits, essential oils can help ease symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.


Ways to utilize essential oils to support respiratory relief include:


These are our top 5 best essential oils for symptom relief:

Our team of Plant Therapy Certified Aromatherapists have nailed down the the top 5 essential oils that help ease symptoms associated with seasonal allergies:


There are several ways these Essential Oils can help:

Get on-the-go relief: Personal inhalers are great little tools that you can keep in your pocket or purse. They can go almost anywhere with you, and last for 3-4 months once you’ve mixed them. Perfect for pollen season!

Here’s how to mix your Essential Oils for a personal inhaler:

  1. You’ll need empty personal inhalers, with cotton wicks. Place the wicks in a small glass bowl.
  2. Add 6-8 drops of one of the top five essential oils listed above.
  3. Gently roll the wick through the oil, making sure it is all gets absorbed.
  4. Place the wick into the inhaler and snap the end cap into place.

Get relief at home: Try using one of the top five essential oils listed above in your diffuser at home. 6-8 drops diffused for about 60 minutes will not only make you whole house smell great, but also gives you relief from the respiratory discomfort.

All of the above essential oils are also KidSafe! Which means your whole household benefits, not just the grown-ups.

Get instant relief with a face steam: Use one drop of Fir Needle in a very warm (not boiling!) bowl of water. Position your head over the bowl and cover with a towel for 5 minutes, keeping your eyes closed.

Breath deeply, and let the aroma of Fir Needle penetrate into your lungs.

TIP: Don’t use this technique with small children, and take care to avoid burning yourself with the warm water.


Synergies to support overall respiratory health:

Another great option to help during this time are our 2 synergies created to help with seasonal pollen threats.

Adults can use both synergies, but Clear Again is not KidSafe and not recommended for children under the age of 10.

Use these synergies in a personal inhaler, in your favorite Plant Therapy aromatherapy diffuser, or a diffuser locket.

You can also apply Sneezy Stop to the chest or neck, when diluted at a 1-3% with your favorite carrier oil. And Clear Again when diluted at a 3-5% ratio. This method is great for night time, and lets the oil do it’s work while you sleep.


Spring Ahead!

It may still be chilly outside, but March marks the time of year when our thoughts turn to Spring. Thanks to Daylight Saving Time, or DST, many of us are going to be enjoying more sunshine in the evening, and soon, those long summer nights. Spring DST does have a notable drawback, though – on Sunday, March 11 at 2 a.m. local time, clocks will move one hour ahead. That means one less hour of wonderful sleep to prepare us for the upcoming Monday. Let’s take a look at what you can do to seamlessly transition into DST with the help of some amazing essential oils!

While losing an hour of sleep may not seem like such a big deal, this slightly annoying adjustment can really affect your body’s internal 24-hour clock, or circadian rhythm. Since light is our body’s principal time cue, when the amount of light we experience during the day suddenly changes, our body clock goes out of sync. In more serious cases, this can lead to a higher risk of sleep disorders, strokes, and even heart attacks. A 2013 study published in the journal Open Heart found a 25% increase in the number of heart attacks occurring the day after Spring DST [1]. Other possible less serious symptoms known to occur following DST are fatigue, decreased productivity, cluster headaches, impaired concentration and memory, daytime sleepiness, and an increase in workplace injuries on the following Monday [2].

We are all unique individuals, so how the time change will impact you really depends on your own lifestyle, health, and sleep habits. However, there are some great ways for everyone to jump start their body’s transition during the time change.

First, if possible, plan your sleep schedule a few days before DST. Even trying to snooze about 15 to 30 minutes before you typically do can make a big difference when that one hour loss comes along. Symptoms from sleep loss are common immediately following the time change, and that groggy feeling can seriously impact your day. Set yourself up for sleep success by creating an environment that enhances your ability to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. That way, you can wake up refreshed and alert. Diffusing certain oils support restful sleep; try these oils and synergies to combat Daylight Saving Time grogginess:




Next, take the time to eat a good, healthy breakfast Monday morning. This is going to help sync your body’s clock to the new change and help stay alert. However, since any amount of sleep deprivation can affect your body’s hormone levels, you may notice a change in appetite, an increase in cravings, and possibly some overeating.  Our Munchy Stop Synergy may be a great friend while your body adjusts. Fill up an aromatherapy inhaler with this synergy and take a whiff whenever that munchy-craving comes on! That way, you can support your body by feeding it nutritious foods rather than constantly going back for another, possibly junky, snack.


 Finally, do what you can to stay energized throughout the day! When your energy starts to droop and you begin dreaming of being back in bed, try a walk outside. Exposing yourself to sunshine is a natural way to increase alertness and adjust your body to the time change. Try these energy and brain-boosting synergies and oils to stay on top of your game:




This year, don’t be bogged down when you “skip” ahead. Essential oils help you adjust to the time change without missing a beat!



[1] Sandhu, A., Seth, M., Gurm, HS. (2014). Daylight saving time and myocardial infarction. Open Heart. 2014;1:e000019.doi:10.1136/openhrt-2013-000019

[2] Barnes, C., Wagner, D. (2009). Change to daylight saving time cuts into sleep and increases workplace injuries. American Psychological Association. Journal of Applied Psychology. Vol. 94, No. 5, 1305-1317

Essential Oils and ADHD

Essential oils are great support for so many ailments we battle each day – which you probably already know if you’ve been reading out blog! But did you know these amazing all-natural oils can also provide relief for symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, or ADHD?

If the term ADHD sounds familiar, it’s likely because approximately 11% of all U.S. children have been diagnosed with it at some point in their young lives. That’s 6.4 million kids – one out of every 11. About 60% of children with ADHD become adults who have ADHD, which is about 4% of the adult population [1]. Maybe your own child has ADHD, your spouse or significant other, maybe your neighbor or co-worker’s children. The point is, ADHD is a pretty prevalent brain-based syndrome. It can cause real every-day challenges for both children and adults. These challenges can include controlling impulses and hyperactivity, staying organized, maintaining concentration and motivation, the ability to learn, and being able to enjoy regular deep and restful sleep. Relationships with others may suffer as well, since some people with ADHD struggle with their social skills.

So, essential oils can help?

Many essential oil’s primary properties include helping to increase focus, stay alert, and calm down the mind and body. These oils can be an amazing compliment to treatments already in place for an individual with ADHD (such as behavioral management, family training, and/or prescribed medication). However, whether you are a parent, an educator, an adult with ADHD, or anyone else interested in using essential oils for ADHD, approach cautiously. Since there is a very limited amount of research done on this topic, you should always consult with a physician before making any kind of changes to a treatment plan.

The most frequently cited case study done on ADHD and essential oils comes from the late Dr. Terry S. Friedmann, M.D., A.B.H.M. For a two year period (1999-2001), Dr. Friedmann experimented with oils on a group of 40 children, half of whom had an ADHD diagnosis, and half of whom did not (the “control” group). Each day, the children were asked to inhale essential oils when they began to feel “scattered.” For each essential oil Dr. Friedmann was testing, the children used it for 30 days. Ultimately, the study concluded that certain essential oils really did make a significant impact on the symptoms of ADHD. In particular, Lavender, Cedarwood, and Vetiver oils were used and Vetiver made the most notable success in improving performance [2].

Where should I start?

First, let’s take a moment to appreciate Plant Therapy’s unique blend of bright and uplifting essential oils that make up our A+ Attention Synergy. Perfect to help calm an overactive body while bringing focus and clarity, this synergy is a great place to start for anyone looking to support an individual with ADHD.  A+ Attention is part of our KidSafe line of products, which means that each essential oil used in this synergy is totally safe for young children.

To use, just add 5 to 10 drops to a personal aromatherapy inhaler. There’s really no beating the convenience and ease of using a personal aromatherapy inhaler – it’s perfect to take to work or to pack in a child’s backpack so they can use it whenever they feel like they need it (but please check with the school first! Your district may have a policy about bringing essential oils to school, so check with the child’s teacher or administration). Or, dilute A+ Attention with a carrier oil (2-4%) and apply topically to the chest, back of neck, and wrists.

Another great option to support individuals with ADHD is our Clarity Synergy. The essential oils used in this blend have therapeutic benefits that enhance focus and memory. For any task requiring sustained mental effort, Clarity may be just what you need. Use it in the same ways directed above, but keep in mind that this is not part of our KidSafe line.

If you’re looking to try single oils for ADHD support, here are a few suggestions to start you off.

Remember, no two people are exactly the same. What may work well for one person may not work the same for another. The oils listed here are those known to be either calming for the mind and body or can improve mental clarity and boost memory.

  • Chamomile Roman – Soothing, comforting, and famous for its calming properties, this is an especially great choice if you’re looking for an oil to help get deep, refreshing sleep.
  • Lavender – Surprised? Of course not! Lavender is such a powerhouse oil with an incredibly wide range of therapeutic properties! It pops up all over the place. If you have an ailment, there’s a good likelihood that Lavender is on the list to help you get through it. For ADHD support, Lavender is known to reduce feelings of nervousness, bring calm to the mind, and, like Chamomile Roman, help the user to get a peaceful night of sleep.
  • Vetiver – While also a fantastic choice for promoting sleep, this oil was notably found most effective during Dr. Friedmann’s study. Further, it can help calm the ‘mind chatter’ that prevents the mind from focusing, leading to an increase in concentration.
  • Cedarwood – This is a great choice for creating a positive atmosphere and warding off negative thinking. It has a woody, rich scent known to calm the mind and balance emotions.
  • Frankincense – The soothing properties of Frankincense may be exactly what’s needed to help calm an overactive mind and body. Plus, it is also a great support to the immune system!

Try out these recipes for your diffuser or personal aromatherapy inhaler to enjoy their awesome therapeutic benefits!

Focus Blend 1

3 drops Frankincense Carteri

2 drops Lavender

2 drops Lime or Mandarin

Focus Blend 2

3 drops Balsam Fir

2 drops Frankincense Carteri

2 drops Grapefruit Pink

1 drop Orange Sweet

ADHD and essential oils – what do you think? Have you ever tried oils to support yourself or someone else with ADHD? Let us know in the comments below!




[1] Adult ADHD. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Retrieved from

[2] Friedmann, T. S. Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).


February Oil of the Month – Douglas Fir and Silver Fir

Trees Of Winter

I used to live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The presence of Douglas Fir trees dotted our landscape for many miles. It is a rugged and strikingly beautiful terrain. The fragrance of these giants is also present, as you breathe in that sweet and balsam-like aroma everywhere.  It is cleansing, grounding, uplifting, and restoring.

Plant Therapy gives us the gift of Fir trees this month with not one, but two essential oils. Douglas Fir and Silver Fir are the featured oils for the month of February. As they were going around the office to preview, I became excited for our customers as I took in the scent of the oils, one at a time.  Douglas Fir essential oil has that familiar conifer scent with a subtle apple note to it. The Silver fir is different, yet also inspiring and boosting to the mind.

Many of you are familiar with the smaller trees as Christmas Trees, but the benefits are more far-reaching then December.  Both essential oils have similar benefits. They can be used to cleanse the air, to boost mood, to clear congestion and stuffiness, for tight muscles and are excellent to use in DIY cleaning products as well. They could be wonderful used in a  diffuser recipe or applied topically. Douglas Fir and Silver Fir blend well with many different essential oils. Oils such as citrus, floral, and other woodsy oils can each create a different beautiful blend with these two features.


Download Product Template Sheet here.


I have put together these two recipes for you to enjoy;

Focus Blend  (for use in personal inhaler)

3 drops Douglas Fir

2 drops Frankincense Carteri

2 drops Orange Blood

Put on the wick of a  personal inhaler.


Respiratory Blend

3 drops Silver Fir

2 drops Balm Mint Bush

2 drops Lavandin

1 drop Bergamot

10 ml of your choice of carrier oils (the amt used in a roller bottle)

Using an empty roller bottle (or one of our other choice of bottles). Put essential oils in the bottle and then add carrier until filled, snap on roller ball.  Apply to chest or wrists.

Hopefully, you are one of the lucky ones to have purchased these oils. Relax, sit back and allow yourself to be transformed…

Aromatherapy for Overcoming Overthinking

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist

I’m going to let you in on a little secret …well, not so secret if you know me. I have a tendency toward overthinking. Yep, my mind is seriously an overactive overachiever. And, if I don’t manage my mind, it can border on obsessive, repetitive thinking like a hamster running on the perpetual wheel to nowhere.

For as long as I can remember, my mind has been like a stalker on steroids in certain situations. It races ahead with thoughts that I sometimes struggle to process before it races on to the next. I talked fast as a child, and even now sometimes when I get over stimulated. I have been told this is a result of my mouth trying to keep up with my mind.

In some instances a fast-moving mind has served me well. Fast thinking on my feet was a plus in the corporate world, most especially when I worked in crisis communications. And, seriously, I’m the girl you want in an emergency making excellent lightening decisions with a laser focus.

On a day-to-day basis, though, not learning to slow overthinking can lead to a sense of feeling overwhelmed and overtired.

But, until several years ago, I didn’t know there was a way to slow the flow.

And, then, I attended a meditation workshop where I learned “the mind is like a monkey that has been stung by a scorpion.” (there are many variations on this theme from ancient Buddhist teachings).


That was an illuminating moment. Not only did this accurately describe the inner workings of my mind, but also for so many others from millennia to modern times. And, ancient medicine had already addressed how to control our thoughts rather than letting our thoughts control us.

In this last blog we discussed a type of obsessive thinking that occurs when the mind wanders into worry.

When the “Mind Runs Amok

And, we detailed some simple practices to calm the mind by counting our breath coupled with aromatic companions that may be helpful for dealing with this type of distress.

Continuing that discussion, I wanted to share three other ways I find where overthinking can overtake my mind.


Creative Channeling

One of the things I’ve learned about my hard wiring is that I get super excited by cool concepts. I will then tuck this new notion away in amorphous form for future reference. Then, suddenly, something will trigger a lightening round where all the dots start to connect themselves at super speed and I am then able to perceive the idea in a prevailing pattern.

This process of coalescing into concepts I can now see sets in motion what I call creative channeling, Ideas and information begin to swiftly come together seemingly without effort as I furiously write to keep up with the flow lest the information making itself known become lost.

The upside to this is that it powers my passion and inspiration for writing. There are times when I can write like I am on fire and feel like I am simply a channel for the creativity flowing from fingertips to the keyboard.

One downside is I might find myself drafting at 3:00 a.m., or after I started meditation, because it is always the most quiet of moments that fuels the fire. I end up torn between needing sleep and needing to not lose the moment of creative flow. If I try to sleep, I worry it will be gone and my mind goes on repeat to try to remember.

Here are some ways I work to balance creative inspiration with creating quiet time:

  • Keep a tablet by the bed (paper or electronic) to jot down the notes.
  • Create more quiet time and space during the day to allow time to go with the flow
  • Get to bed at an earlier time knowing  the channeling may come so I can get it down and get to bed.


Persistent Problem Solving

Sometimes a problem presents itself that we just want to get solved. So, we go over and over it in our mind seemingly into oblivion without getting it resolved. And, sometimes, we try to stay a step of ahead of what we imagine may come by trying to solve for the many iterations in advance.

Yet, when we go over and over something without a solution, it can lead us to fret on repeat. A good friend once told me repetitively asking the same question over and over again in our mind, when we don’t have the answer, is like continuing to hit the button on a computer keyboard when the operating system is stuck. You get nowhere, the computer doesn’t have a chance to reboot, and you can trigger a bigger issue.

I have learned if you have gone over many aspects of a problem and don’t yet see a solution, you likely don’t yet have enough information. Here it becomes important to be comfortable tabling the problem solving until you do. And, you have to get out of your own head and own way for the information to come.

Here are some ways I work on balancing problem solving with letting the mind off duty for the moment:

  • Keep a thought journal with you – just a small, thin booklet that is easy to carry in your purse or have on you at all times. Write down the question or problem you have and then let go trusting it is now written and doesn’t need to be held in your thoughts on a persistent basis.
  • Engage in introspective practices that calm the mind so you can hear yourself think. If you are repeatedly in asking/doing mode in your mind, you won’t be ready to be in receiving mode when the information makes itself known.
  • I find that different bits of information begin to come to me like pieces of a puzzle. I write them down even if I don’t know where they fit, just feeling and trusting that they do.
  • For me, eventually, the dots then just begin to naturally connect. Usually, when I am open and ready for the answer.
  • And if you are trying to solve for things that don’t yet exist, as the saying goes, “cross that bridge when you come to it.” Worrying about it now is a waste of energy.


Inquisition Into Infinity

Oh my gosh do I have a mind that likes to know things. I have an avid curiosity and a life-long love of learning. This passion has been a bonus in my professional and personal life due a love of research of inquiry. Knowing new things feeds my mind and my spirit.

But, when you take me as a whole, with the tendency toward all the ways my over zealous can mind overthink as outlined above, this is another area I can wander into the weeds of obsessive thinking.

I’ve noticed this especially with the advent of the smart phone. It can be problematic for a mind like mine to have a mini-computer in the palm of my hand. While I do have everything I need with me to manage my life at all times, I also have the ability to get sucked down a rabbit hole at any given time.

I can be adding something to my calendar and two hours later I am still watching a cooking demo for root vegetables. I’ve learned some really intriguing things, but probably not the best time or with the best use of my time, especially if it just before sleep.

I swear, I was only going to set my alarm and now I see a great video on how to curl my hair. Apparently, this is common as I am seeing more and more articles about our smartphone addiction overall.

This reminds me of the advent of email, especially at the office (yes, I am old enough to remember). At first, we would just get a few here and there. Then, when the concept finally caught on, we started to get barraged. The more we tried to respond instantaneously, the less we got done as all we were doing was reacting to email.

We learned to set aside time to review and respond to email to protect the most productive parts of our day and get our most pressing work done. We checked in the morning, after lunch, and later in the afternoon. In this way we were responsive, but not held hostage. Certainly, there were exceptions for things that were urgent, once we discerned that to be true.

This practice could also be suitable for how we keep connected through our smartphone. Not every notification is urgent and not every interesting item you chance across is important in that moment. This isn’t easy, I know. I am still really working on this. Anything my mind wants to know, at any given moment, I can Google with the flick of a finger and a few taps of my thumb.

Here are some other ways I am working to balance wanting to know now with not needing to know right now:

  • If you get notifications on your phone from various apps, discern if it is urgent or important, or just interesting. If it is urgent, respond. If it is important, decide if it is a priority over what you currently need to be doing. If it is just interesting save it for later.
  • Bookmark, to save posts  on social media to save for later
  • Email articles and recipes and such to yourself perhaps to a  folder of interesting things for later at leisure
  • Create certain times of day when you can go back and pursue the things that piqued your interest sand set yourself a time limit
  • Don’t pick up your phone before bed. Have everything preset for morning (seriously a hard one for a me and seriously a detriment to soothing sleep).


Aromatherapy for An Overactive Mind

The same practice of counting our breaths, as detailed When the Mind Runs Amok, can cut the cord of continuous thinking beyond what’s beneficial.

To accompany your practices of overcoming overthinking, once again, aromatherapy makes an awesome ally. Essential oils excel at supporting the mind, and there are certain selections that are exceptional for repetitive and obsessive thinking.

I’ve combined my favorites into the synergies below with some suggestions for how they may best serve. As always, it is important to experiment so you can experience what works best for you.

Now, that you have had an insider’s look to my overactive mind, if you recognize anything familiar, I hope you find these suggestions helpful on your own journey to slow the flow!

All of these recipes are written as mini-master blends. You can add as written to your diffuser.  To add to a personal aromatherapy inhaler, simply multiply the mini-master blend by 3 for 15 drops total.


Quiet Mind

For when the mind is working overtime running on that hamster wheel to nowhere. This is a great general synergy to take on the go for any situation from sunrise to slumber.

2 drops Basil Linalool Ocimum basilicum

2 drops Bergamot Citrus bergamia

1 drop Sandalwood Australian Santalum spicatum


Fret Free

I like this synergy for quieting the mind before bed. It is especially good for when the wheels keep turning and you need support shifting down for a peaceful slumber.

2 drops Frankincense Carteri Boswellia carteri

2 drops Orange Sweet Citrus sinensis

1 drop Marjoram Sweet Origanum majorana


Zen Zone

I just love this synergy when I need to just let go and drop into the zone for to introspection and meditation. I find it calming, centering, grounding and uplifting. This is one of my go-to’s to help bring me back to balance found in quiet time.

2 drops Bergamot Citrus bergamia

1 drop Blue Cypress Callitris intratropica

1 drop Davana Artemisia pallens

1 drop Sandalwood Australian Santalum spicatum




When the Mind Runs Amok

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist

With a new year, many of us start a fresh set of intentions for improving our health and wellbeing. So, we count steps walked and clock miles ran. We count calories and reps at the gym or laps in the pool. And, some of us measure our BMI, numbers on the scale, or the inches around our waist.

But, what about counting our breath?

Wait. What? Why?

Ok, let me back up a bit.

We often put the focus squarely and solely on the measures of our physical health. But, ehnancing our emotional and mental health is just as important.

If you follow my blogs, you know I am an advocate for the mind, body, spirit connection and the impact it has on our wellness. When our whole being is in balance, we can find our own optimal level of wellbeing.

Our best of  intentions for improving our vitality can be overtaken by our lack of attention to our state of mind.  For a balanced equation in measuring our wellbeing, the mind most definitely matters. In fact, it is actually mission control.

 So, what does this have to do with counting our breath?

When, our thoughts and emotions are out of balance, it can create havoc with our overall wellbeing. The good news is we actually have a built-in mechanism to take charge of where our mind travels. Simply counting our breath can help rebalance to our being. Coupling our breaths with an aromatic companion can create an even more enhancing experience.


When the Mind Runs Amok

Many of us, myself included, have a tendency to let our minds run away with us. I think of it as the mind running amok. Sometimes, I begin to worry or feel anxious solely because I am imagining all that can go wrong down to worst-case scenario for things that have yet to happen. This is especially true if I am about to experience change or make a big decision. Instead of focusing on faith that all will be well, I can “what if this, and what if that” myself into feeling fissures of fear.

Now, before I go on, I want to clear up any possible confusion. We aren’t talking about a deep sense of worry or anxiousness from significant situational, physiological to psychological issues.

Situational issues might include life’s major stressors such as divorce, job change or loss, financial change, a move, death or serious illness and so on. Physiological imbalances may include chemical imbalances in the mind and body that affect a healthy state of mind to the point of debilitating anxiousness, worry or sadness. Psychological issues could include PTSD, phobias or other mental, emotional impairments.

I have dealt with all of these, and while there are things I could do to help myself,  I also needed the help of qualified health practitioners in partnership with my self-care.

But, what if outside of those significantly serious scenarios, we have a tendency toward worry? To imagine worse case scenario when it doesn’t necessarily exist? Can we support a happier state of mind through self-care? 

The Short Answer is “Yes.”

Most of us know if we are “worriers.”

Worry is exhausting on all levels of our being and can diminish our ability to be well.

When we begin to remove worry as a constant source of distress, our whole being has the ability to rebalance and replenish. If left in a chronic state, continued distress of the mind leads to stress in the body, which can take a toll on our mental and physical health.



You can read more about this in:

Take a Breath and Cool Your Jets

But, by becoming aware of our worry when we are in the moment,  we can take control and switch our mind from autopilot run amok to a conscious state where we may steer our thoughts to back to slow and steady.

And, we can do this simply with two natural tools when we find our thoughts tail spinning for reasons not based in our current reality.

Are you ready? Here’s what we need:

  • Our own natural breath
  • Aromatherapy as an amazing ally


Calming Your Mind in the Moment:  Counting Your Breath and Aromatic Anchors

Let’s start with deep breaths and aromatic anchors. We can create a positive association in the brain by connecting a supportive affirmation with a soothing scent to make an aromatic anchor. In this way, we can quickly send a message to our mind that all is well when we subsequently smell the same scent again. This is a great practice to have when you find yourself wandering into worry and need to flip the switch.

First, we want to create an affirmation that is calming to us when our mind in a state of calamity. An affirmation is a positive thought used to replace a negative thought stated in the present tense. I like to use “all is well,” for example, but it is important to use what works for you.

We can enhance this experience by creating a practice combining our affirmation with counting deep breaths. When I was a child, and my emotions became stormy, my mom always told me to take deep breaths and count to three. Naturally, our mothers were right because we now know the deliberate act of slow, deep breathing sends signals to the brain to turn off the stressed state.

Next, we can choose an aromatic synergy that is soothing to us and supports the positive state of mind we are seeking. For this practice, I recommend either adding your synergy to a personal aromatherapy inhaler or diffuser jewelry so it can be with you to whiff when needed.

This is how it would work all together.

  • Choose your affirmation to repeat during times of worry
  • Choose your aromatic synergy to help soothe your senses
  • Create a personal inhaler
  • Use the following deep breathing exercise when needed


An Aromatic Deep Breathing Exercise:

  1. Hold the inhaler under one nostril while gently holding the other nostril closed.
  2. Begin to repeat your chosen affirmation to yourself.
  3. Inhale your aromatic synergy gently, deeply, and slowly down into the lungs, feeling your belly expand, to the count of 3.
  4. Hold a moment.
  5. Exhale slowly, through the mouth, to the count of 3.
  6. Repeat on the other side.
  7. Repeat on each side if desired.


 Suggestion for Creating Your Own Synergy

This is one of my all-time favorites for letting go of worry and bringing myself back into balance, especially when I find myself in a heightened state after the fact, or when I become aware of it beginning to bubble up from below:

Add the following to a personal aromatherapy inhaler:

6 drops Geranium Bourbon Pelargonium x asperum

6 drops Neroli Citrus x aurantium

3 drops Orange Sweet Citrus sinensis


Suggestions for Ready Made Synergies

Worry Free – blended to support a relaxed state of mind during times of tension and anxiousness.

Grounded Foundation — helps to soothe, calm and relax when you are feeling distressed by encouraging a sense of safety and security.


Calming Your Mind as as a Practice: Counting Your Breath and Aromatic Meditation

Because thoughts are things that can have real effect on our wellbeing, it is important to learn to drive our own mind, rather than letting it run amok.  This is where meditation can make a great impact.

You read more about the many benefits to our wellbeing in:

M is for Meditation

When we talk about the practice of meditation, it can create a variety of impressions depending on what you’ve heard or experienced. And, for those of us who are worriers, we don’t want the idea of this to be overwhelming.

What we are really talking about is simply a practice of calming the mind and learning to taking control of our thoughts, rather than letting our thoughts control us.

And, this  practice of calming the mind works wonderfully both as a preventive measure and to  be prepared when we become aware of thoughts heading in a wayward direction.

To keep this simple, here we also use the practice of counting the breath and aromatherapy. Here, again, aromatherapy is a great ally by helping to calm the mind, creating a sense of peace, and opening us to a higher state of consciousness.

For meditation, I like to use my diffuser, but you can also use a personal aromatherapy inhaler before you begin.

Seven Simple Steps to Aromatic Meditation

  1. Choose an aromatic blend.
  2. Find a quiet place to practice. Noise canceling ear phones with soothing music may help.
  3. Start your diffuser (for no more than 60 minutes) Or, inhale from your personal aromatherapy inhaler.
  4. Sit in a comfortable position and gently close your eyes.
  5. Simply focus on your natural breath and begin counting each breath.
  6. Thoughts may bubble up.  Just notice them, let them go without emotion or judgement like they are floating on by.
  7. Return to counting your breath.


Suggestions for Creating Your Own Synergy

I like this particular synergy when I am meditating to calm my mind run amok. I find it centering, clarifying and uplifting to support me in seeking a more clear state of mind.

3 drops Grapefruit Pink Citrus x paradisi

1 drop Lemon Citrus x limon

1 drop Buddha Wood Eremophila mitchellii



Suggestions for Ready Made Synergies

Clear Intuition — helps to quiet the conscious mind, encourage introspection and connect to a higher state of consciousness while remaining grounded in peace.

Meditation Synergy Blend — helps to take you into a calmer, more meditative state of mind.


I hope you find these practices combining counting your breath with aromatherapy as a companion helpful in easing your mind when you tend to wander into a state of worry. To truly enhance our overall wellbeing and vitality, it is important to care for our whole being. So, while you are focused on counting your steps to feel more fit, don’t forget to include a practice of counting your breath to create more calm on your journey toward the most fabulous feeling you!

From Surviving to Thriving with the Power of Essential Oils

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist

If you’ve followed my blogs, you are likely familiar with my backstory. Unhappily successful executive desperately wants to jump off the rapidly racing treadmill, is too afraid, and literally and figuratively gets run off the road in a life-threatening, life-altering blink-of-an-eye moment. Wakes up, literally and figuratively, to a new reality of re-learning how to move more step-wise through life in search of restoration and revitalization.

 That’s pretty much the skinny. So, why am I rehashing this again? 

Because it has been 10 years since the traumatic event that launched me onto this part of my life’s journey. I mark this milestone as the rebirth of my authentic self. And, truly, it has taken the entirety of that decade to really gain a more profound perspective about this phase of my path.

When we can free ourselves from the muck by re-focusing from the life-altering to the life-affirming, we can shift from surviving to thriving and find our own sense of optimal well-being.

The key to gaining my well-being was getting myself unstuck in order to find my way forward. So, in honor of that process and progress, I want to share what I have learned about getting out of my own way. My hope is that my story helps others who also want to be on their own way after a traumatic event.

 And, here is the short story.

After any type of trauma we can become mired in a mental morass that may keep us from moving forward. When we can free ourselves from the muck by re-focusing from the life-altering to the life-affirming, we can shift from surviving to thriving and find our own sense of optimal well-being.

 So, let’s talk about that.

Trauma affects us on all three levels of our existence: mind, body and spirit.  It rocks our whole being and upends how we know to be in the world. With physical trauma, modern medicine has rendered many miracles, of which I am one.[1] Yet, when we experience a traumatic illness or injury, it challenges the very definition of clinical recovery — returning to our former state of health and functionality. [2]

We contend with acute and chronic changes to our physical state; such as functional limitations; our emotional state, including a sense of loss, fear, anger, stress and anxiety; and our spiritual state, including questions about the very purpose of our existence. And, we may feel challenged about how to integrate these changes into our very core essence.[3]

These are the things I have experienced in my own personal journey. I have also learned they are a commonly shared experience calling for recognition and research in the clinical community in order to better support those who have survived traumatic illness and injury. [4] [5]

When we experience a trauma, we often see our lives as before and after. The thing that happened could be my story if I stopped there. An ending to what I saw as my life before. We see this with folks who define their sense of self by their condition long after the thing that happened.

Moving a step beyond, we can also become mired down in the longer-term aftermath, stopping at the sense of surviving.  What I wanted was to move beyond these first two stages to a sense of thriving. And, it was the thing that happened that pushed me off that perpetual treadmill propelling onto a new trajectory to get unstuck from the muck.

Please understand, while I perceived this perspective early on in my mind, it hasn’t been simply a flip-of-a-switch, but rather a lot of work rewiring into the deep recesses of my being that formerly framed how I lived my life.  For me, that part of my journey has taken me nearly a decade of delving deeper into self-care, self-love, and self-acceptance, to truly let it seep down to the level of my soul.

Getting Stuck in the Surviving Stage.

Because, initially, I didn’t know how to be in my new world, I kept trying to retreat into the old by holding onto my former ways to be who I thought I should be. So, I tried to wrap myself in a super hero cape and carry on. In reality, I was trying to fly with a false security blanket that was not keeping me safe. On the surface I projected a sense of being fine. Sitting just slightly below the surface was a swirling storm of disordered emotions holding back my healing. Here’s just a sample:

Not fully accepting what had happened and what I needed to happen to support my healing: I would push too hard  and too fast to be “before Ellen” and the Universe pushed back delaying my healing through several setbacks. “I don’t have time for this. I need to get back to work.”

A sense of cheating death and potential doom. When every doctor ever looks at my medical history it goes like this: Looks at chart.  Looks at me. Looks at chart again. Looks at me in stunned disbelief. Then, says, “Wow! No one usually survives and/or walks away from that.” Me to self: “Whoa! What the heck? That’s a heavy load and that’s scary.

Which leads to guilt. I did not feel I deserved to fully experience my feelings about loss and fear. “Why me and not others? Others have it worse. I should be grateful and not complain.”

 Then, existential pressure. I felt like I had been given the gift of a do-over and wanted to get it right. As an over achiever,  I handled this like a burden not wanting to mess it up, rather than seeing that experience as a blessing. “Why did I survive? What am I meant to do?” I must make this meaningful.”

So… I just totally disconnected.  My emotions were too messy and scary and I didn’t have the skills to know how to process them. I also did not understand they were part of the package.

I thought I was giving off the vibe of “I’m fine. Really. I am sincerely grateful for what I have and just want to move forward.” However, I learned that I was actually giving off the vibe of numbing out.  Rather than dealing with the mental and spiritual aspects of what happened, I was creating further distress by divorcing myself from what I felt. Because what I felt about what happened was scary and I was the girl who stood on her own two feet.

By focusing solely on my physical needs while neglecting my emotional and spiritual needs, I was creating a fragmentation in caring for my whole person. I was fighting the forces of nature and the factors of my own functional facility. And, I was trying to get back on the treadmill I knew, rather than facing the future.

My fear of moving forward caused me to get worse, not better. This literally caused a  repetitive replay of taking one step forward and two steps back in my functional ability. Treading water. Trying to survive. Wanting more, but not seeing how that was possible. What I wasn’t seeing was how I was standing in my own way, based on what I believed.

And then, the traumatic event finally went from breakdown to breakthrough. But, rather than happening after the immediate injury, it happened in an instant two years later.

In my struggle to push back and perform at previous levels from before, I hurt myself significantly for the second time in two years after the initial accident. It was enough to scare my rehabilitation specialists. The miracle workers had successfully put my body back together three times, and each incident had its own challenges. This time, while I had been slow to grasp the gravity of my situation, I was finally scared straight.

That was my “aha” moment: It was time to seek support for my mind and spirit, as well as my body, so that my whole being could heal.

This is what I learned.

While I wanted to keep a positive outlook, I was not dealing with the challenging emotions associated with the trauma because I believed they served no purpose. I thought they would drag me back, but in actuality, they were causing me to be stuck.

With the help of a gifted healer to support my mental, emotional and spiritual needs, I learned what you believe and what you feel are different tracks of your being. One is an aspect of your mental state and the other arises from your emotional state. When they are not in alignment, it can create a sense of dissonance or disharmony.

Because of my inability to cope, my mind managed to disconnect from the trauma that had occurred, creating a state of dissociation. I wasn’t experiencing my feelings, but they were there below the surface creating significant disturbances.

I learned how to begin to untangle the two. I learned that life-long beliefs could be changed, especially if they are keeping us unhealthy. And, I learned to experience my negative emotions while feeling safe so they could be exorcised.

Perhaps, most significantly, I learned when we try to recover our old life, to the day before the thing happened, we are trying to go backward. This keeps us stuck in the surviving stage, or even relapsing further as I did in the thing-that-happened stage. But, when we choose to reclaim our lives, we can begin to move forward from surviving to thriving.
Moving from Surviving to Thriving

The clinical miracle workers had worked their magic. But I wanted to more fully experience reclaiming my life, even if I moved forward by fractions.

The mind matters. Much of what was holding me back was myself in my own mind. Letting go of negative thought patterns and self-limiting belief systems helps liberate our spirits and better supports the ability of our bodies.

Engaging in conscious wellness has been vital to restoring  whole-being balance. When our mind, body, and spirit are in balance we can better reclaim our lives. Holistic healing arts such as yoga, massage, energy work, acupuncture, meditation and aromatherapy have played a vital role in bridging the span between the limits of functional recovery and the unlimited potential of reaching my own level of optimal well-being.

Like many aspects of tending to our well-being, this has been a practice grounded in awareness and an ongoing series of conscious choices about my mindset one step after the next. And I have learned to call in the professional and personal support as needed all along the way.

The closer I came to mastering my mind, the easier it became to release the shackles that bound me from flying free. My outlook became sunnier, my emotions more centered. Work flowed more freely, and I was able to do more physically.

Where there was once resistance to the changes from fear, there is now more resilience to changes on the go, allowing me to bend and bounce while I re-balance and grow.

But, let me be real here. It has taken me almost 10 years to own my pathway. And that includes the before the thing that happened, the thing that happened, and the after the thing that happened as my journey in its entirety so far.

I don’t want to give the impression “I’ve arrived,” or I have reached “enlightenment.” I am just hoping to leave some lights on for others along the way from what I’ve learned so far. What I can say for sure: Learning these lessons has helped me realize my potential and my purpose and created a greater sense of wholeness and health.

Aromatherapy as an Essential Companion

Today, I am grateful I am able to blend my professional and personal passions with aromatherapy to create a synergy of support for myself, as well as others.

Aromatherapy came into my life many years ago in the “before” part of my journey creating the gateway to accessing natural healing arts.  Since then, aromatherapy has been a constant companion in my self-care. When the “after” came, especially after my “aha” moment, I incorporated aromatherapy in my healing journey, every step of the way, to help bridge that the gap in moving forward from surviving to thriving.

Aromatic essences excel in supporting challenging mental states while soothing the emotions. They can help to ease discomfort experienced in the physical body. And, they can help restore the spirit.  Most significantly, aromatherapy blends wonderfully into all of my self-care and self-balancing practices expanding the essential experience.

Here are just a few links you might find helpful about how to incorporate aromatherapy in your healing journey:

Food for Thought

Take a Breath and Cool Your Jets

M is for Meditation

An Achilles Heel to Healing

What Does Holistic Have to Do With Our Health

What Exactly is Subtle Aromatherapy

Chakra Synergies for Self Care

Essential Oil Well-being: Be Gentle, Be Generous, Be Grateful

New You from the Inside Out

And, here is a synergy to especially support moving forward from Surviving to Thriving

For me, this synergy embodies all the attributes I seek in moving from surviving to thriving. It can be used to support us in letting go of what was, assist us in moving forward to reclaim our lives, and sustain us in our capacity to thrive.

This can be inhaled by placing in a diffuser, or a personal inhaler. Because the scent resonates so deeply with me, I also like to dilute it to 2% in a 10 ml roller ball bottle and wear it on my pulse points to gently waft over me as my own personal restorative perfume.


2 drops Black Pepper Piper nigrum

1 drop Sandalwood Indian Santalum album

1 drop Orange Blood Citrus sinensis

1 drop Peru Balsam Myroxylon balsamum

The intention of this synergy is to help us restore our overall sense of balance and well-being. It helps us to ground, strengthen and replenish our spirits while encouraging a sense of peace, calm and serenity for the mind. It uplifts the heart and promotes a sense acceptance, compassion and  optimism.

It supports the clearing of blocked energy and encourages healing on all levels of our being. And it helps us let go of challenging emotions such as fear, anger and frustration while promoting a sense of  courage, self-confidence and self-empowerment.

From my heart to yours, I wish you peace and empowerment on your journey from surviving to thriving.  May your whole being thrive in the light of your own personal optimal well-being.



Keim, Joni, and Ruah Bull. Aromatherapy & Subtle Energy Techniques: Compassionate Healing with Essential Oils. N.p.: CreateSpace, 2015. Print.

Shutes, Jade. The Dynamics of Blending: A Guide to Blending . Willow Springs, NC: NW College for Herbal and Aromatic Studies, 2011. Print.

[1] The National Action Plan for Cancer Survivorship. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 29 Apr. 2009,

[2] Richomond, Therese S, et al. “Journey towards Recovery Following Physical Trauma.”Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 32, no. 6, 2000, pp. 1341–1347.,

[3] Richomond, Therese S, et al. “Journey towards Recovery Following Physical Trauma.”Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 32, no. 6, 2000, pp. 1341–1347.,

[4] Richomond, Therese S, et al. “Journey towards Recovery Following Physical Trauma.”Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 32, no. 6, 2000, pp. 1341–1347.,

[5] The National Action Plan for Cancer Survivorship. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 29 Apr. 2009,

5 Natural Ways to Manage Stress

Natural stress relief is possible with aromatherapy.

As we continue on this pathway toward a new, better you, one resolution that many people are making is: Manage stress better.

This subject can seem a little daunting to talk about because there are so many coping techniques — and what works for one, might not work for others. But hopefully this article will help you learn which essential oils and techniques, together, can help you manage stress and become a better you.

According to the American Psychological Association, “Stress occurs when you perceive that demands placed on you — such as work, school or relationships — exceed your ability to cope. Some stress can be beneficial at times, producing a boost that provides the drive and energy to help people get through situations like exams or work deadlines. However, an extreme amount of stress can have health consequences, affecting the immune, cardiovascular and neuroendocrine and central nervous systems, and take a severe emotional toll”.(2)

When we feel the weight of stress in life we can tend to feel upset, sad, angry, or uptight. We tend to lash out or close off to those we care the most about. That is why we came up with some safe, natural ways to help you manage stress and take care of yourself from the inside out.

Try These 5 Natural Stress-Reducers

Decompress From The Stress

In order to decompress from the stress, take a break from whatever is stressing you out. It might be easier said than done, but here are some suggestions you can use to do exactly that.

  • If you are a stay-at-home parent, getting “away” from your stress can be a little challenging. But you still deserve a timeout if your stress level has hit an all-time high. Grab your personal aromatherapy inhaler, add a few drops of Worry Free, and inhale. Put yourself in the closet, bathroom, or anywhere secluded for a “timeout.” Take a moment to relax and let the aroma take over your senses. Count to 10 (or 20, or 30, or however long you need) and then get back in the game! (Note: This technique works very well for on-the-job incidents, too.)
  • If your stress is created by something that you can’t literally “walk away from,” then just take a moment to pause and shift your focus to something else. Work on a crossword puzzle, do the dishes, or watch puppy videos on YouTube. Add Lavender and Sandalwood Australian to your aromatherapy diffuser as you finish that project on your to-do list, clean the house, or read a book that you enjoy to give your mind a mental break.
Aromatherapy with essential oils, along with activities such as yoga, exercise, and meditation, can help reduce stress.Get Active

Being physically active can really help your overall stress level. 

“When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. So it stands to reason that if your body feels better, so does your mind. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress… And conventional wisdom holds that a workout of low to moderate intensity makes you feel energized and healthy.

Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects”(3)

To get active, start by applying Energy Synergy Roll-On to your wrists and inhale. This will give your senses a safe, natural boost. Then, do 30 minutes of activity to get your heart rate up. This can include running, a workout routine, walking, biking, hiking, etc. When you have finished, apply Calming The Child Roll-On and inhale. With the endorphins released from your physical activity and the wonderful aroma of Calming The Child, your stressors will feel manageable and you will be ready to tackle your stress head-on.

Laughter is The Best Medicine

Being happy is a great way to reduce stress, and what better way to get happy than laughing? “Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you to release anger and be more forgiving… With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.”(4)

To help prepare for a moment of laughter, add equal parts of Bergamot, Patchouli, and Grapefruit Pink to your aromatherapy diffuser, grab a funny movie, book, podcast, or friend and laugh the day away. The combination of Bergamot, Patchouli, and Grapefruit Pink will create an atmosphere that is positive and uplifting, while freshening up the room with a wonderful aroma.

Social Support

When times are rough, grab a friend, a family member, or someone you trust. Lean on them to provide a listening ear. Their love and support can help you deal with your stress. 

Before you head out the door, grab your favorite aromatherapy diffuser necklace and add a few drops of Tranquil Synergy to the pad. Let the soothing aroma work its wonder as it assists you achieve mental relaxation. This will put you in a better state of mind as you chat with your friend, family, or loved one.

Reflect and Meditate

Last, but not least, take some time out and meditate. In Certified Aromatherapist Ellen Brenner’s article “Doing Nothing is Doing Something” she says, “When we can turn off the stress, switch off the mental chatter and let our spirit just go with the flow, we support our body’s built-in mechanism to keep us in a state of balance”. We need to take time for ourselves to do nothing. Relax. Reflect. This recipe from “Doing Nothing is Doing Something” can be used in the diffuser, in a personal inhaler, or added to a cotton ball you place nearby.

Soothing Chai for the Soul (Inhalation Blend)

1 drop Cardamom

1 drop Cinnamon Leaf

1 drop Clove Bud

1 drop Ginger Root CO2

1 drop Black Pepper

You might also like to add:

1 drop Vanilla (CO2 or Oleoresin)

“This restorative blend is intended to support body, mind and spirit coming back into balance, especially after mental and emotional exhaustion, and a sense of depleted vitality on all levels. It is calming, comforting, uplifting, warming, grounding, soothing, stimulating, strengthening and rejuvenating. Helps to promote confidence, personal power, courage and stamina, motivation and intentions. Provides support for immune system and nervous systems and helps to clear blocks in our natural energy flow. Promotes clarity of the conscious mind and helps to connect to spiritual guidance and wisdom”.(1)

Stress is inevitable. But with aromatherapy and these helpful tips, hopefully you can manage your stress in a safe, natural way. Whatever life throws your way, reach for Plant Therapy essential oils and some of these proven stress-beating techniques!


1. Brenner, Ellen. “Doing Nothing is Doing Something.” Plant Therapy Blog,, 22 Dec. 2017.

2. Five Tips To Help Manage Stress. (n.d.). Retrieved January 05, 2018, from

3. Physical Activity Reduces Stress. (n.d.). Retrieved January 05, 2018, from

4. Robinson, Lawrence, et al. “Laughter is the Best Medicine.” Laughter is the Best Medicine: The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter,, Oct. 2017,

Essential Oil Well-being: Be Gentle, Be Generous, Be Grateful

By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist

Essential well-being. Where mind, body, and spirit meet aromatherapy.

Essential Wellbeing: Where mind, body and spirit meet aromatherapy.

As you may know, from reading my previous blogs, the catalyst for my own healing journey started with a traumatic injury. I mention this here because, in retrospect, there is actually a prequel to that moment in time.

Prior to the accident, I did not live a healthy life. I lived the idea of the “American Dream.” Marriage, dream house, well-educated, big job, nice car, travel to amazing places. Regardless of what it took for me, and what it took out of me, I persisted in how life was “meant to be.”

This led to living life in a persistently unhealthy way.

While I wasn’t always unhappy, the underlying threads holding together the fabric of my health were fraying.  Always battling my weight. Never enough sleep. Not enough energy for physical activity. No time for creative outlets. False energy in caffeine and sugar to keep up the go, go, go pace. And, I was living in a chronic state of stress to where I often didn’t even notice it wasn’t normal. As a result, I was also living with multiple chronic conditions caused by inflammation and autoimmune responses that my physicians at the highest levels of academic medicine couldn’t keep in check.

 I was heading for a health crisis.

One of my most insightful physicians led the integrative medicine department at the university medical center where I worked. She explained the connections between my mind, body and spirit, their impact on my health, and the effects of the life I was living on my whole being. She pushed me to make changes and warned of an imminent and more intensive break down to my health. This was also the physician who first incorporated aromatherapy into my wellness plan when she prescribed the sleep hygiene routine with lavender discussed in Slipping Into Slumber.

Lavender essential oil and salt baths can help relax the senses.

Newly divorced, and dealing with a new boss creating a hostile work environment, I didn’t heed her warnings. I couldn’t see how to make changes while my senses remained in fight or flight status and I continued to flail out of fear of failure. What I didn’t realize was I was failing myself, and my health was failing because of my inability to focus on feeling well. And then, I received word that I would require urgent surgery for what seemed an unexpected issue with an extended recovery period. During that rest period, I came to the conclusion that the solution was to simply surgically remove everything else that was unhealthy and, then, I would be well.

I was wrong.

It was indeed critical that I extricate myself from the influences of the extreme external stressors such as the ex-husband from an emotionally abusive marriage, the current hostile job environment, and the health issue requiring surgery. But what I failed to realize was the work that remained within in order to address the aftermath, as well as to correct my course so I could become well. So, l continued dashing down my life path, which I thought I had cleared of ongoing danger, until the night a horse ran right across my literal path as I drove down a dark and rainy road.

That was the catalyst that literally and figuratively hurtled me off my path that night. With it came the realization I had received the gift of a “do-over.” What I knew for sure was I wanted to do whatever it took to enhance my overall well-being. And, so, while I worked on my physical rehabilitation, I learned I also needed to work on my mind and spirit to truly begin to walk in wellness.

Working from Within

For me, there was no single “aha” moment of revelation illuminating the way in living color while working in those areas of my being that lie beneath. Instead, there has been exploration, experience and evolving — often with gifted healers to help guide the way. The process is active and it is intentional. It can take constant adjustment, like standing in a boat riding the waves, sometimes standing still, sometimes gently rocking, and sometimes getting tossed about.

Plant Therapy essential oils help heal from within.

I also learned there is no arrival at state of perfection in the practice of conscious wellness. Instead, I see the path toward optimal well-being as state of awareness in which we make a series of choices about what works best for us in mindful moments that make needed self-care a priority. An approach that nourishes our mind, body and spirit so that our whole being can flourish by bringing ourselves into a better state of balance.

In addition to the conventional care I required, I added many natural healing techniques to enhance the healing process for my whole being. Massage, gentle yoga, acupuncture, meditation, energy work, and of course, aromatherapy. I continue with these practices today to help sustain my well-being, and help me back on course when I wander off. And, in many ways I much healthier than I was in the years “before.”

Growing Well

As I continue to walk this path, what has came to me most recently is that rather than “getting well,” I am “growing well.”

Like in nature, essential oils can help people grow well. And, this is an important distinction. Rather than passively waiting for a return to health, growing well is a more active, engaged and empowered process in my healing journey. It implies the intention of tending to yourself. Tilling deeper into the soil to turn over old thought patterns and remove blocks that are depleting our well-being. Plant and nourish new seeds so your whole being can better flourish.

In nature, plants produce essential oils to support their ability to flourish. We can incorporate the natural gifts of these aromatic essences into our own self-care routines to support our own ability to grow well. On its own, aromatherapy shines in supporting our practice of growing well by nurturing our mind and nourishing our spirit. Incorporated into our self-care routines, aromatic essences create a synergy that enhances and expands the experience.

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding which practices work for you. What is important is finding what fits best for your unique needs.

If you are looking for some inspiration, you might like to start with the articles linked below. Each suggests some self care routines synergistically supported by aromatherapy.

Regardless of which road you choose to travel toward growing well, one thing I have learned for sure:  It is vital to tend to yourself with loving care. Like the planting of new seeds, we reap what we sow, and what we want is well-being that grows in a nourished and balanced environment, sprouting from a nurtured mind and spirit.

With this in mind, I have outlined below what I have come to call “My Three Be G’s for Growing Well” along with some aromatherapy options that you may consider to support you in sustaining that space for yourself.

My Three Be G’s for Growing Well

Be Gentle

  • Let go of expectation — don’t set time frames, measurements, or any other types of metrics to beat. If you need to see how far you have come, you can take a look back to where you started.
  • Invite, don’t push — be at peace with yourself, not at war.
  • Be resilient — be soft enough in your stance; flex, bend, and bounce back. 

Be Generous

  • Give yourself the gift of time for self-care and for the process to play out. Don’t set a timer on your forward progress.
  • Self-care is not selfish. It is putting on your own oxygen mask first to be prepared for what comes and where you are needed next.
  • You are a gift and you have gifts to share. Being well enough to share your gifts also allows you to be in your purpose.

Be Grateful 

  • Rather than battle your body, be grateful for what it endures on your behalf. Thank yourself, don’t berate yourself.
  • Frustration and irritation create blocks in the road.
  • Being sidelined by illness or injury is never a blessing. But, the time created can be used to re-calibrate, restore and renew. Use it well.

Be Gentle, Be Generous and Be Grateful can serve as affirmations to gently remind ourselves to come back to a positive place in our journey to grow well. When we combine these with aromatherapy, we can create an aromatic anchor to help bring us back when we find we have wandered away simply by inhaling our chosen scent. For this reason, and as always, it is important to choose what you feel best supports your own sensibilities.

When supporting emotional or spiritual needs, inhalation is the best approach. You could add 15 drops to a personal aromatherapy inhaler, add about 5 drops per 100 mL of water to your diffuser, add 1 or 2 drops total to aromatherapy jewelry, or create up to a 2% dilution and apply to pulse points with a roller bottle to smell (6 drops essential oils to 10 ml carrier oil).

I have included a recipe below, as well as some ready-made synergies to help inspire you on your way as you choose your own path to growing well.

A Suggested Synergy to Make:

Flourishing Spirit

3 drops Ho Wood Cinnamomum camphora

1 drop Elemi Canarium luzonicum

1 drop Spearmint Mentha spicata

Evoking the sweetness of life, Flourishing Spirit can create a feeling of infusing the spirit with an expansive sense of wellbeing. Soothing, calming and uplifting, the scent can support feelings contentment and compassion while gently encouraging balance to mind, body and spirit to fortify our vitality and instill a sense of renewed vibrancy.

Cautions: None known when diluted properly.  It is recommended that spearmint be diluted to 1.7% or less when applied topically on its own. For purposes of this blend, you will be well within range if the total blend is diluted 2% as recommended for topical application.

Plant Therapy's Chakra Synergy essential oils promote balance, inner peace and happiness. Or, Choose a Ready Made Synergy:

Loving Compassion — From Plant Therapy’s Chakra Synergy line, this comforting and calming synergy helps to nourish the heart center and spirit. This scent invites positive energy and encourages a joyful outlook promoting unconditional love, compassion and acceptance, including for ourselves.

Calming the Child — a staff and customer favorite from the KidSafe® line, this synergy is fantastic for folks of all ages in need of some soothing to the senses. Calming and uplifting, this synergy supports a sense of serenity with its happy, sweet scent.

Tell us what you think! How do you intend to: Be Gentle, Be Generous and Be Grateful? Let us know in the comments below. 

Essential Oils for Better Sleep

Thankfully, there are several all-natural ways to improve your sleep, so if you are really serious about getting more quality snooze time, try these suggestions.How did you sleep last night?

This simple question may not be something you think about, but perhaps you should. According to findings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1), more than one-third of Americans are sleep-deprived, meaning millions of groggy people are struggling to pull themselves out of bed every day. There’s a good reason why the energy drink industry is an explosive multi-billion dollar business! Fatigue during the day can cause potentially hazardous outcomes, especially when driving drowsy, and those caffeinated drinks are immediate stimulates. But it’s important to remember they are only brief quick-fixes for the very serious problem of sleep deprivation.

Regularly skimping on deep rest can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, and other metabolic diseases. When feelings of excessive sleepiness begin, it is often accompanied with irritability and overactive emotions. Sleep deprivation can cause cognitive problems, such as difficulty focusing, slowed speech, impaired memory, and an inability to concentrate.

Sleep like a baby again

Most of us learn about the importance of quality sleep when we are young; however, as adults, those recommended 7 to 8 hours of snoozing become so elusive. With all the daily to-dos, demands from work, home, or school, sleep tends to get pushed aside. For whatever reason, something so critical to our health and well-being falls off our list of priorities, and our bodies respond immediately. A good night’s rest isn’t just good for your energy level the next day — when asleep, our bodies are hard at work repairing, replenishing, and replacing cells, while also releasing growth hormones to rebuild muscles and joints.

Unfortunately, regularly getting a full night of restful sleep is a lot easier said than done. And if your nighttime routine has been inconsistent, it may take a while to re-train your body (see aromatherapist Ellen Brenner’s Slipping Into Slumber article to learn how).

Prescription and over-the-counter sleep medications usually have a pretty long list of side-effects. Some can become addictive, and over time drugs may impair cognitive abilities.

Thankfully, there are several all-natural ways to improve your sleep. So if you are really serious about getting more quality snooze time, try these suggestions:
  1. Using essential oils for a good night’s rest is an all-natural alternative worth trying. Plant Therapy offers a variety of synergy blends and single oils to fit your needs. Using Relax Synergy is a great way to promote a peaceful, tranquil state of mind and wind down after a stressful day.  Sleep Aid Synergy was specially designed by our Certified Aromatherapists to help calm your mind and body into relaxation before going to bed. If you have children in your home, consider trying KidSafe Nighty Night Synergy, which promotes a calming and peaceful atmosphere to help safely lull your little ones — and you! — into a deep and restful sleep. Single oils, such as Lavender, Mandarin, Vetiver, and Rose Absolute are known for their relaxing and balancing properties, making them perfect additions to your bedtime routine. Remember, everyone is made up a little differently; what helps you fall and stay asleep may be different than someone else. So don’t be afraid to try different essential oils to learn what works best for you.
  2. Add some daily exercise into your schedule! Don’t fret over what time is “best” to get your workout in — just do it! People who work out regularly sleep better and longer than those who don’t. Set aside time in your day to get your heart rate up, join a HIIT program, or sign up for yoga.
  3. Limit your screen time before bed. TVs. Computers. Phones. Tablets. These are all brain stimulates that can make it challenging to fall asleep if you use them too close to bedtime. The light emitted from electronics promotes wakefulness and inhibit the release of your body’s sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Many electronic devices have an option to reduce their output of blue light by using warmer colors to the light up the screen. This causes less restlessness before bedtime if you absolutely have to have an electronic device on.
  4. Assess your sleep space. Is your bedroom always a mess? Is it too cold or too warm? Does your mattress cause you to wake up with a sore back? The environment you sleep in seriously impacts your ability to snooze well. Look around your room and see where you can make improvements. While buying a new mattress may not be in your budget right now, quick changes like decluttering your room or adjusting the thermostat will create a more ideal sleep space.
  5. Eat and drink lightly before bed. Eating too much food before sleeping can overload your digestive system, affecting how well you are able to sleep. Try to finish eating at least one hour before you head off to bed. Stop drinking about two hours before bed to lower the odds of getting up in the middle of the night. Waking in the middle of the night when nature calls can make it hard to fall back asleep quickly.

Don’t let sleeplessness control your life! Regularly getting a full night of restful slumber is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. Making small adjustments to your evening routine can make huge positive changes for your health. We hope you consider adding some aromatherapy into your nighttime environment to really settle down and get the rest you deserve!

We want to hear from you! What are your tips and tricks for getting a good night’s rest? Share in the comments below. Maybe something you share will help someone else — after all, we at Plant Therapy are here to support one another on our well-being journeys!

References: (1)

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