I was first turned on to the many benefits of essential oils when I met the founder of 21 Drops, Advanced Clinical Essential Oil Specialist, Cary Caster. She studied aromatherapy in Europe where aromatherapy is widely recognized as a medical treatment — It’s based upon the principle that oils, extracted from various parts of plants, can help support your body’s physical and mental well-being. Essential oils can be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, have healing properties and strengthen your immune system. They also have many other benefits including the ability to help you focus, feel more passion, control your appetite, detox and even control stress and pain, which makes them the ideal complementary medicine for everyone, including those about to undergo surgery.
As someone who gets anxious before any doctors appointment — be it the dentist for a cleaning, my yearly checkup with my primary care physician or a full body skin check with my dermatologist — I can attest that the use of essential oils to help you relax can be a game-changer as the anxiety is always worse than the actual procedure. Though many swear by anti-anxiety medications like Xanax or Valium, I’m a big fan of essential oils because you can reap similar benefits, without the side effects or possibility of addiction.
Essential oils work through inhalation, topical application or a combination of the two, but are usually most effective when both methods are combined. With inhalation, you simply breathe them in which ignites a physiological response that stimulates changes in your body depending upon the specific essential oil being inhaled. When you apply it topically, minuscule-sized molecules of the essential oil are easily absorbed through the skin where they then pass into the bloodstream to affect change. For better penetration, it’s best to apply to freshly cleansed skin and if the essential oil isn’t already blended, you should mix it in with a thin carrier oil like jojoba or sweet almond oil instead of the heavier ones like olive oil.
Clinical studies have shown that specific essential oils can help get a handle on your daily life and can even be used before during and after surgery to help alleviate a variety of issues. In regards to pre and post op procedures, here’s what you can expect:
- They can help ease anxiety. Choose lavender, orange, rose or Roman chamomile to reduce stress and apprehension about your upcoming surgery.
- They can help reduce pain. Eucalyptus has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Rosemary has analgesic and antispasmodic properties. Sandalwood will help relax the nervous system, thereby reducing nerve pain. Depending on what’s causing you discomfort, there’s an oil to help you bear it.
- They can help with post-operative nausea or vomiting. Choose ginger or peppermint essential oil to help relieve digestive issues.
- They have anti-bacterial properties. Choose cinnamon, tea tree or lemongrass for help with healing.
It’s important to note that some essential oils are not suitable for pregnant women or people with certain medical conditions as they can have possible interactions when prescribed drugs are involved or when they’re used on those with certain metabolic conditions. Always check with your doctor before incorporating essential oils in any form of your treatment plan.
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(featured image via pinterest)