The Natural Boutique Blog

Aromatherapy and Aging

May 14, 2019

No matter how you look at it, we are all aging.  As we age, the human body goes through some changes.  As an Aromatherapist in her 60’s, I have had the opportunity to experience some of these changes.  I am not thrilled with all of them to be perfectly honest.  I am learning how to work through these changes using essential oils to gracefully age.

Let’s address a few areas in this article on aging and proper use of essential oils.

Energy

As we age, slowing down is a common reality.  If you wake up feeling tired and have trouble getting motivated, consider a wake up blend of essential oils in your morning shower or bath.  Valerie Ann Worwood recommends:

            Bergamot 2 drops

            Rosemary 1 drop

            Grapefruit 1 drop

Use 3-4 drops in a bath or 1 or 2 in a shower.  Use this blend in inhalation therapy to get your “get up and go” off and running.  Consider gentle stretching after you have done your inhalation therapy. 

Dry body brushing is another way to get the circulation moving and to give you a gentle wake up call.  This is a great way to remove dead skin, so your healthy skin oil blends are able to penetrate more effectively.

There are a few oils that are recommended for stimulating the nervous system when your “get up and go” got up and left!

Chrissie Wildwood recommends several essential oils for different actions in the nervous system.  For example:

            Adrenal stimulants to balance stress-related exhaustion are basil, geranium, rosemary.

            Stimulating oils to restore energy include black pepper, peppermint, coriander and rosemary.

These can be used in a diffuser or made into a room spray for inhalation therapy.

Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a concern at any age, because if unnoticed or untreated, it can lead to many other disorders of the heart, the kidneys and even stroke.  Stress is a trigger for increased blood pressure. 

Essential oils can be utilized to control some of the symptoms of high blood pressure.  Oils such as clary sage, lavender, geranium, neroli, marjoram, sweet, rose otto, melissa , ylang ylang, frankincense, chamomile roman, petigrain and sandalwood  are suggestions.

A recommended body massage oil recipe contains 5 drops lavender, 10 drops marjoram sweet, and 5 drops geranium in 2 to 4 ounces of carrier oil.

Circulation

Poor circulation in feet and legs may occur at any age; however, as we age, we may see it more pronounced with tissue breakdown, along with diseases like diabetes, vascular veins and cholesterol issues. 

Of course exercise and good eating habits help to reduce symptoms of poor circulation.  When we look at the consequences of aging and our skin, we know that the skin gets thinner and more fragile.

Essential oils can help increase circulation and keep delicate skin supple.

Oils used for a foot and leg massage:

            Black pepper

            Geranium

            Clove bud

            Basil linalool

The oils are blended in a light carrier oil such as almond oil.  They are then massaged in the feet and worked up the back of the leg to behind the knee.  Do this for both legs.  Dry body brushing is another good practice for healthy circulation.

A dry body brush is usually made out of a natural material such as sisal.  You use a dry brush and brush toward the heart on dry skin.  This is very energizing and also removes dry, dead skin.  With this, the conditioning oils will penetrate the epidermis better and  skin will be left supple, and conditioned.

Memory Loss and Dementia

Forgetfulness or memory lapses can happen at any age.  Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease are very different.

Essential oils can be very helpful in stimulating memories and enhancing memory.  Valerie Worwood refers to the book, The Fragrant Mind in an explanation as to why essential oils are so effective.

“Using essential oils regularly seems to give access to areas of our memory that might otherwise be overloaded with the plethora of daily events, or ignored by a conscious mind that has its own ideas about what is important.  Aromas are the direct route of access into the brain stimulating brain cells to respond.  Aroma probably works well to retrieve memorized information because it stimulates the hippocampus, which seems to be responsible for storing information, both about experiences and facts in the brain.  Aroma evokes memories _ it presses a button and flash, the memory is there.  How it does this, we do not know.”

There are several blends that are good at stimulating the memory for faster recall.  Examples include ginger, lemon cardamom and black pepper together.  Rosemary is also very effective.  Inhalation therapy or diffusion are recommended

Arthritis

Arthritis is the disease of the joints.  Pain and lack of mobility are common symptoms.   Essential oils can be helpful in relieving pain, swelling and inflammation.  The most affected joints are those in the hands and weight-bearing joints like the knees, ankles and hips.   The more the joints are used, the more tenderness and soft tissue swelling may occur, resulting in more pain. 

When arthritis is found in localized areas such as the hands, massage oil concentrates, compresses, and hand or foot baths are the most effective. 

There are several oils that help with reducing pain and inflammation.  Carrot seed and juniper aid in eliminating fluid and toxin accumulation in the joint and surrounding tissue.

A popular arthritis rub by Valerie Cooksley is:

14 drops lavender

10 drops rosemary

8 drops peppermint

6 drops juniper

30ml (one ounce) of vegetable oil such as almond or jojoba

Add the essential oils to a 2 ounce bottle then add the carrier oil.  Use small amounts by applying to painful or swollen joints.  This can be applied two to three times per day.

I have used this formula myself with great success.

Conclusion

When using essential oils, always make sure you are purchasing from professional, aromatherapy certified dealers.  To make sure you are getting the correct oil, be sure the Latin name, the country of origin, and how the plant was harvested are listed on the bottle.  Unfortunately, because aromatherapy is currently a popular trend, there are many adulterated, unhealthy oils on the market.

If you are on any prescription pharmaceuticals, make sure you check for contraindications with the essential oils being used and consult your medical practitioner.  Remember, these are very strong, natural medicines. 

Know how to dilute the oils for safe use.  A trained Aromatherapist can assist you with proper dilution ratios and provide material safety data if needed.

Finally, enjoy the amazing results proper aromatherapy has to offer.   We can then glide into our senior years with grace and health.

Visit Website: https://naturespathways.com/northeast-wisconsin-edition/aromatherapy-and-aging/

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