Updated: Sep 1, 2022
Katrina R. Bell, LPC, LPCS Candidate
Do you know anyone dealing with mental health issues who feel like their current treatment (medication, therapy, coping strategies) are not working? I know I do! I recently began to incorporate essential oils into my practice as a way to offer a more holistic approach to mental health issues with my clients. Many of them have reported some benefits when they use them in conjunction with their medication (if they are prescribed any), therapy and other coping strategies.
So, what are essential oils?
They are the aromatic extracts from a plant that are normally found in the leaves, stems, bark, flowers and even the fruit. They are normally distilled into a liquid but can also be extracted by cold pressing and are very concentrated.
What are essential oils used for?
Essential oils have been around for thousands of years and have been used for aromatic and therapeutic reasons. Many people are now searching for more natural options to health so there clearly has been an increase in the use of essential oils and it is trending right now!
How to use essential oils?
They are normally used in 3 different ways:
Aromatic-using diffusers to release the oils into the air (oil can be diffused via electric diffusers, wooden reeds, necklaces, and bracelets.
Topical-rubbing directly onto skin (temples, feet, wrists, back, neck)
Internal-taking by mouth (many people place a few drops into tea or directly into their mouth
****PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRYING ANY OF THESE****
Essential Oils and Mental Health
How does it help with Mental Health and how to use them?
There are many different oils that can help with mood, stress, and relaxation. In my practice, I have worked with clients who have incorporated essential oils along with breathing and visual imagery exercises and report great improvement in their mood and ability to cope. Essential oils like Lavender, Bergomot, Chamomille, Ylang Ylang have calming effects. Other essential oils like Lemon, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Rosemary, and Peppermint have invigorating effects. Essential oils can also be used to help decrease headaches and tension, increase passion and to clarify or cleanse (think burning sage in your home to get rid of bad vibes). When working with my clients I usually have them begin with Lavender. If they see benefits, I have them try others. Essential oils can be blended to create certain effects. I use Pinterest to find blends that work for me. I also use the following links as a guide to my blends as well:
www.diffuserblends.com ($2.99/month after 7-day trial)
Where can you find Essential Oils?
They can be found online at Amazon and major retailers, but they have become widely available at places like Walmart, Target, drug stores, Ross, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. I also have found a large selection at my local Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Earth Fare, GNC and Vitamin Shoppe.
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