Ever wish you had a calm button? You do. Here’s how to access it…
Want to learn about a secret “calm” button that chills you out, on the spot?
Today, I want to talk with you about essential oils. They are very lightweight, so they easily distribute into the air. We breathe them in, and when they reach the top of the nose, they engage the olfactory nerve. This nerve is hard-wired into the very small center part of our brain, the hypothalamus. This part of the brain is the “caveman brain”…it’s the non-thinking center, the limbic seat, which controls all sorts of reactions like heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. These are probably triggering in your mind those symptoms which get set off in a stress response…the heart rate increases, respiration increases, etc. when we experience stress.
How essential oils work:
The olfactory nerve and the hypothalamus are hard-wired, so when we breathe in a certain essential oil, we can trigger a calm response. It’s not even a matter of having to think about it, it just goes right to the center part of our brains and calms us down. Our heart rate comes down, our blood pressure comes down, we can breath more deeply, we start thinking differently. And it’s all because these essential oils are interacting with the central, core part of our brains. It’s pretty amazing what they can do!
A few examples:
Different essential oils have different effects on us. So I’m going to show you a couple that have relaxing or calming effects on us, and introduce them to you. The first one is lavender — you’re probably familiar with that one, it’s pretty popular — and the second one is geranium. Also, sandalwood is one I often keep in my office — I often use it to help me focus — I just couldn’t find it for this video.
Essential oils come in these dark vials, which is very important because the compounds are very sensitive and can easily oxidize in direct sunlight. If you open up a vial, you notice immediately that it has a very strong smell. These are highly concentrated. If you place a drop in your palm, you’ll notice that, even though it is technically and oil by its chemical nature, it feels very light and quickly dissipates into the air. And this is one of the ways in which we are going to use essential oils.
A simple technique:
Place a single drop into your palm, rub it around a few times, cup your hands over your nose, and breathe deeply. Simple, right? This is a tool you can use anytime, day or night. At a moment’s notice — anytime you feel that rise, notice a tightness — just place a drop, rub your hands together, and simply inhale deeply. You’re bringing those compounds right into your olfactory nerve, which is fantastic.
Lisa, thank you for sharing this information. I particularly liked the information on HOW essential oils work in the brain. This makes so much sense. I’m sending this video to some young ladies that I know would appreciate this!
I think that this would be really helpful for kids who are neurologically damaged and stuck in “fight or flight” mode most of the time. I’ve got a son who has FAS and his adrenalin is almost always up. Ordering those three very soon! Thanks for the explanation!
Thanks @M! So grateful for you passing it along!
@Margaret in VA– Absolutely! My sister is a teacher for children with autism and she has found that many moms are super successful utilizing essential oils with their children…for all children actually! I use them with mine often.
A little tip, when you are in the car and there is a “vibe” (bickering, whining, ect) that you want to change…put a drop on a cotton ball and stick it in the vent and it diffuses through the whole car – happy smells 🙂
Thanks! Sometimes if I have trouble falling asleep, I will put some lavendar on a cottonball and place it next to my pillow. It works great to keep the anxiety away.
Thank you so much.
Question: where is the best place to but essential oil?
That would really depend on what you are using essential oils for and which ones you are using…if it is a mild EO, like ones I mention in this video, after I inhale a few times, I tend to put some on the back of my neck, my temples (not near my eyes!) and even under my nose to keep getting the diffusion benefit!
You can also rub them on your feet and they will be circulated throughout your whole body!
Great video. I have a couple of oils, that I use in the bath or mixed with carrier oils that can make all the difference. I also love rescue remedy too.
I actually have lavender and geranium on my bedside table but had no idea HOW they work! This is so helpful and encouraging… Plus why wouldn’t one want to fall asleep smelling flowers … 🙂 Thanks, Lisa!!
What insightful information to share! I had no idea that I could use this quick tip whenever and wherever I want! How helpful and empowering to know we have access to such a robust tool!
Love, love, loved it! Honestly, I use essential oils in my adult and infant massages (lavender, chamomile and mandarin) but I never knew the reason or the science behind why it works!
Lisa, this is an excellent post, loved the explanation makes so much sense. I need get me some calming oils pronto!
Hi Lisa, great information and explanation! Besides the three essential oils mentioned are there any others known for their calming abilities? Two of the ones you mentioned give me headaches. I’m going to check out geranium (sp?), I have my fingers crossed that I don’t react.
Interesting. I wonder if it would help my 4 yr old daughter calm herself. I should give it a try and see!
Thanks Lisa- I really needed this info- both for me and my 13 yo daughter!
This was awesome. As a natural soapmaker, who uses only essential oils, I love understanding how eo’s work in the brain. Also, this video was a great jumping off point for our homeschool science study this morning on the brain. I used your video as the intro. and then we read a bit more and practiced it. My daughter is a budding herbalist and loved this information.