Essential oils are all the rage these days. Multi-level marketing companies have popularized their use for cleaning, boosting immunity, and helping children with common sleep and focus issues. But, how about essential oils for relaxation? Most people are familiar with lavender as a sleep aid, but there are several other oils useful for calming the mind. In addition, we can do more than add a few drops to bath bombs or diffusers to enjoy their effects. Essential oils are powerful allies that serve us in many ways. Let’s dig into how we can use them for relaxation and which oils are best. Because, lavender is not the only oil good for this purpose!
8 Ways to Use Essential Oils for Relaxation
Essential Oil Diffuser
The first way to enjoy essential oils for relaxation is perhaps the most well-known. It is by adding about 15 drops of your favorite essential oil to a diffuser. A diffuser is a device that releases a small amount of steam into the air and disperses the oil with the steam. So, the device “diffuses” the oil over a large area through water droplets, generally. These used to be modified incense burners, but now they are much more sophisticated. Now, you can diffuse oils into the air without heat or flame.
All you have to do is fill the diffuser with water up to the fill line, add 15-25 drops of oil, position the filled compartment correctly, and turn it on. Most of the time, the diffuser is a cool air diffuser like this one. In addition, most of them turn themselves off, too. These diffusers do need to be plugged into a wall outlet and should never be used near a bath or shower. They are usually used for cleaning the room air or setting a mood. So, if you want to use one to help you relax, put it in your bedroom and start diffusing about a half hour before bed. Then, let it continue to diffuse while you are sleeping.
Back of the Neck
One way to feel the benefits of essential oils for relaxation immediately is through applying them to the back of the neck. Once you have diluted your oil (if needed) in a carrier oil, you simply rub it on the back of your neck. Then, your skin absorbs the oil and it travels directly to the limbic system of your brain, just as if you inhaled it. You might try this way if scents irritate you.
And, just so you know, the limbic system is responsible for emotions, memories, and hormones that control body functions. So, when you inhale oils, they stimulate or relax your body by interacting with this system. But, that is only one way they act on your body. Essential oils work in many other ways as well.
Temples and Wrist
Much like rubbing diluted oils on your neck, you can also rub them on your temples, sides of the neck, and/or wrists. In this way, you can apply the oils a lot like you would perfume. Indeed, perfumery was one of the first uses of essential oils. And, just like applying oils to your neck, your bloodstream absorbs them through the veins that are so close to the skin’s surface. And, it is a less direct way of inhaling them, just like using a diffuser. It is also a safe way to see if an oil irritates you or the scent disagrees with you.
Bottom of the Feet
Reflexologists sometimes apply diluted essential oils to the bottoms of the feet. This helps because particular zones of the feet correspond to other parts of the body by way of the nervous system. Basically, by pressing on the nerve endings of the feet in a specific spot, a person can experience pain relief in another part of the body. Essential oils can magnify that relief. Very often, massage therapists use reflexology along with massage therapy.
Massage Body Oil
You don’t need to be a massage therapist to use body oils. So, you could dilute essential oils into a light oil, such as apricot or almond. Then, either you or your spouse could apply the oil all over your body. When using essential oils for relaxation, pay special attention to the neck and shoulders. Another area that gets tense is the lower back. Using oils in this way can be very romantic.
An aromatherapy necklace is a discrete way to inhale oils all day long. These beautiful necklaces have an insert to which you add an undiluted oil of choice. Just take out the insert, add a few drops of oil, and reinsert. Keep in mind, however, that you may need to reapply your favorite oil every so often. After all, the oil does lose its potency. But, these necklaces can help you stay calm during stressful situations, especially when other methods aren’t practical.
Essential Oils for Relaxation in the Bath
Another popular way to use essential oils for relaxation is in bath salts, body scrubs, and bath bombs. Taking a hot bath has always been a great way to relax. So, why not add some relaxing essential oils, too? Take a look at this video to see how to make your own bath bombs using essential oils and other natural ingredients.
All you need to do is add oils that help you relax and destress. These products are easy to make and most of the supplies are readily available. Julie Naturally offers Make Your Own Gift Baskets with full color, step-by-step instructions for how to make bath salts and body scrubs, along with other fun projects. Check it out! These items make great gifts, too. If you want more help and additional relaxation aids, check out this bundle that includes 60+ relaxing coloring pages and several videos.
You know the delicious smell of peppermint tea? It comes from the essential oils in the tea. So, some essential oils can be taken internally if they are properly diluted in a cup of water. Unlike a diffuser, however, you would only add 1-2 drops to a cup of hot water. Because oils don’t dissolve properly in water, they need to be mixed very well. They may also need the addition of a bit of something fatty to help. Otherwise, the oil may cling to the sides of your cup. Be careful with this one and don’t try this with kids.
What are the best essential oils for relaxation to use?
So, now that we’ve covered many different ways to use essential oils for relaxation, let’s talk about the oils. Which oils are best? Which oils are safe and easy to find? And, what about cost? Sometimes oils can be expensive. Lastly, what about kids? Which ones are safe for them to help them relax?
Here’s my list of favorites. Some of them, you may have never heard of before and some will be familiar.
Safe for Children, Even Babies
This oil is not specifically for stress and relaxation, but it does help you sleep. It is gentle enough to use with babies and is widely available. For babies and small children, it should be diluted.
This oil is useful for anxious children and is also very gentle. Please note that it does not behave the same as German or Moroccan Chamomile in the body. Be sure to get the right one.
Essential Oils for Relaxation Safe for Anyone, Ages 2+
These oils are generally safe, but should still be diluted in a carrier oil when applied to the skin. When applying them to the skin, apply the diluted oil on the chest and temples. Only Mandarin, Marjoram, and Ylang Ylang can be used internally and with great care. It is preferable to use a capsule and not tea if you want to use the oils in this way.
So, the next time you’re feeling stressed out, try these essential oils for relaxation. Put them in a soothing bath or try them in an aromatherapy necklace. Essential oils will help you manage your hectic days naturally!