Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Power of Essential Oils & Positive Associations

--Feature: "Life w/Fyfe: Confessions of a Holistic Mom"--

For a long time, the most difficult part of my morning, without fail, was when I had to brush my daughter’s hair. It is long, and fine, and I don’t know what she does when she sleeps, because no matter how well I comb it at night, there is always a huge knot right at the back of her head the next morning.

Oh, the complaints! The shouts were so horrible that I wondered what my neighbors thought I was doing, even though I was combing gently from the bottom and holding her hair above the knot. My son, who was just over a year and in the habit of repeating everything his sister did, would join in the screaming so that by the time we were finished, the whole house was shouting. Sometimes the dog even joined in.

It was a wonderful way to begin the day.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I tried applying an essential oil blend to the back of her neck before I started the brushing. She loves the smell of this blend which contains soothing oils like tangerine and rose. She was more visibly relaxed as I started to brush, and actually screamed less than normal. Afterward, she said, “Mommy I didn’t yell when you brushed my hair!” I replied that I noticed that.

The next day I repeated the pattern, and again, no complaints. This time she told me that the essential oils were making her “braver.” I agreed.

In fact, it reminded me of why I got involved using essential oils almost ten years ago – in order to balance my mood, which at that time, tended toward depression. It also reminded me how the oils helped me to move past depression. I always applied the oils in the morning, over my heart chakra, and made an affirmation, such as: “I face life with dignity, grace, and with joy.” Well, at the time that wasn’t the case, but I said it anyway, and because I felt so good when I put the oils on, I felt good while I said it.

Many of us might be familiar with the studies that show that our sense of smell is deeply connected to our emotional center and that we have powerful associations with certain fragrances. All of us have memories associated with smells, some good, some bad. I believe what I was doing was creating good associations with certain smells (the essential oils) and making a statement that my mind was more readily able to accept because of how good I felt.

I repeated that morning ritual day after day for about three months, (sometimes repeating it again in the afternoon because I started to enjoy it) when I noticed that I was feeling better. It was a subtle difference. However, I wasn’t experiencing the deeper lows. Throughout the day, I felt sad, disappointed, annoyed, embarrassed, or whatever the appropriate emotion was for the moment, but I moved through these emotions fairly quickly, and didn’t get “stuck” like I had in the past. It was wonderful.

I love that I’m passing along this lesson to my daughter, who will one day have more difficult struggles than having her hair brushed. Creating positive associations is a small but powerful way of helping us get through some of life’s difficulties. And we can smell really good while we do it.

Lisa Fyfe is a contributing columnist for The Lohasian. Her column, “Life with Fyfe: Confessions of a Holistic Mom” delivers a perspective on the everyday life of a modern holistic mom, as well as provides an insider look into best strategies for natural health and healing for the whole family.

Lisa is a Reiki Master, and an expert in Essential Oil Healing, and has spent the last several years extensively researching traditional diet and nutrition, with a focus on “whole,” locally grown and raised natural foods. She is also the creator of a website that focuses on the physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental aspects of depression which can be found at www.holistic-treatment-for-depression.com She is a married mother of two children, Sophie and Max.

To Reach Lisa, Email Here at lisafyfe (at) verizon.net

1 comment:

Sara said...

What a sweet turn of events for a ritual that was so unpleasant. Thank you for sharing. :) I love to rub a little pure lavender oil on my temples whenever I am feeling stressed or frazzled. I always instantly feel more confident and relaxed.