Healing through Aromatherapy
There I was at 30 years old, collapsed to the ground from unbearable pain. I knew that my physical pain was a symptom of something much bigger. I was tired of being in physical pain, tormented by my mind, and drowning in my depression. That was the day I decided I was taking my life back.
I can remember frequently sitting in a dark basement having suicidal thoughts as young as 14. I remember trying to tell my friends how I felt and being labeled by them as a “downer.” From then on, I didn’t speak to anyone about my depression other than my husband until I started writing about it on social media a couple of years ago. Being vulnerable and opening the door up to have those tough conversations with friends and even strangers on the internet has been extremely freeing and not carrying that burden alone anymore was a huge stride in improving my mental health.
But the day that I collapsed was the day I realized that my body needed healing, though I underestimated the strong connection it had to my mind at that time.
I started with my diet. I started eating better and lost weight, and my physical pain decreased, but I was still a wreck mentally.
I started researching holistic health, wellness, and functional medicine as my experience with traditional doctors had been frustrating and unfruitful.
I learned that what we put on and in our bodies matters. I learned that trauma can get stuck in our bodies and affect our brains. I learned balancing hormones and regulating the nervous system can improve mental health.
Surprisingly, one of the tools that really helped pull me out of the darkness was aromatherapy.
Essential oils have the ability to cross the blood brain barrier. Not even some medications have that ability. This makes them extremely powerful tools when it comes to mental health.
When an essential oil is smelt, the molecules immediately affect the part of our brain where our emotions are made, the amygdala and can stimulate the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
Our sense of smell is the only one of our five senses that does not get filtered by anything else. Therefore we can use essential oils to alter our mood almost instantly.
Citrus oils are great for uplifting a depressed mind, while tree oils are great for calming down an anxious one. Because of essential oils direct impact on the amygdala, they can also be used to process and release stuck emotions and trauma which is often one of the root causes of anxiety and or depression.
Not only that but when applied topically, they are absorbed by our skin and into our bloodstream which can help the function of systems in our bodies.
They are also useful for helping to regulate our nervous system. Our nervous system should switch fluidly between fight or flight and rest responses however when our nervous system is not regulated we can get “stuck on” or “stuck off” as it were, causing anxiety when on, and depression when off.
Of course, it’s not as simple as smelling a couple of oils and you’re magically fixed but when used consistently they can be powerful tools to combat negative emotions. Essential oils were the gateway to a healthier lifestyle for me.
Though not everyone can be completely cured, I believe everyone can find their gateway to healing; they just need to start somewhere. I will be releasing a free guide on this soon and I share with my followers what has worked for me in hopes it will empower and inspire them to find what works for them and never accept the thought they are a lost cause like they may have been lead to believe.
This is my journey in a nutshell but I share all the components in a lot more depth on my account @therobinamanda. If any of my journey resonates with you please follow me and I’d love to get to know you better.
I also want to thank Caitlin for reaching out to me to be a guest on ReelChat, as I view it such a privilege. I think the work she does with this blog is invaluable as I have seen the importance of community and connection in my own mental health journey.
If you are on your own journey right now give yourself grace on the bad days, share your feelings with a therapist or someone you trust, and know that healing is not linear but eventually those bad days become fewer and far between.
You got this.
Xo Robin Amanda