• Harper O’Neill, MS, LCMHCA

The Power of Essential Oils

Essential oils can be a powerful tool for both our physical and our mental health. There

are three ways to use essential oils to support your body:


*Topically: take a drop or two of your favorite oil and apply it to your skin for anything

from sore muscles to releasing emotional tension from your body

*Aromatically: dropping oils in a diffuser to disperse through the air or applying a few

drops in your hand and inhaling them through your nose

*Internally: with oils that are safe for ingesting, create capsules to swallow or add a drop

or two to your water for added health benefits


Since essential oils can penetrate the cell membranes of our body and cross the

brain/blood barrier, inhaling them can stimulate your olfactory system (otherwise known as how

we are able to smell). Olfactory receptors take particles of the oils into our bloodstream and

limbic system which is the emotional center of our brains. Based on the particles sent to your

brain, your body knows how to respond to restore balance to our emotions and body. Anxiety,

depression, fear, anger and joy all originate from this region of our brains, so supplementing

with essential oils can be very powerful (Essential Oil Desk Reference, 4th Edition).


My clients will always find me diffusing some of my favorite oils in the office to promote

feelings of relaxation and peace within the counseling setting. I have included some of my

favorite Young Living essential oils, as well as how I use them down below.


*Topically:

-Release: a powerful blend of oils to encourage the release of emotions held

within the body, can be used during EMDR sessions or when individuals are experiencing

physical tension from emotional difficulties

-Kidpower: from Young Living’s Kidscents line, safe for use with children, used

on children and adults to promote feelings of courage when applied to chest and wrists

-Lavender: promotes feelings of relaxation and peace, helpful for restful sleep

when applied to feet or chest


*Aromatically:

-Valor: there is a strong connection between this oil and emotional health, it

promotes feelings of relaxation, peace and courage

-Peace and Calming: a blend of calming oils which can encourage feelings of

peace when inhaled through a diffuser or drops in your hands

-Stress Away: works well paired with guided imagery or progressive muscle

relaxation to help integrate feelings of relaxation from mind to body


*Internally:

-Peppermint: putting a drop underneath the tongue can help to ground individuals

who are feeling anxious or experiencing a panic attack (be careful - this is spicy!)

-Digize: there is a correlation between emotional health and gut health, this oil is

powerful for restoring healthy functioning to the digestive system when taken internally

-Thieves: when we are stressed, our immune systems can be lowered, ingesting

this oil helps promote healing within the immune system


*With essential oils, it is very important to verify the quality of your oils before diffusing,

applying topically and ingesting. Be sure to look for additives and artificial ingredients.

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