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Essential Oils for Life

Updated: Aug 23

Essential Oils

Essential oils have been around from almost the beginning of time. They have been used in one form or another and are even mentioned in the Bible. First, the meaning of the word essential is crucial: vital, indispensable, and mandatory. Second, the word oil means something viscous in nature, liquid, and cannot be dissolved by water. So essential oils are just that. They are vital to the plants they come from but are fluid. These essential plant essences also have benefits for humans.

Essential oils are vital to the plant they come from because they give the plants, flowers, and trees their uniqueness. Without these oils, they would not have their distinct smell and benefits to the human body. These oils play a role in pollination and protecting the plants they come from. Plants, trees, and flowers have been given to us for different reasons. One of those reasons is that they have benefits for the human body. Most hold natural chemicals that aid in rejuvenation, relaxation, detoxification, and uplifting.

Essential oils are either distilled or cold-pressed from plants and have the characteristics of the plants they are derived from. These oils are called volatile compounds because they can change state quickly. They are small organic molecules that allow essential oils to move through the air quickly. Essential oils must be used safely and maturely like any other compound or chemical.

Essential oils are used in many cosmetics and body products today. There are many ways that they can be used. As massage therapists, we can use them aromatically and topically. It is important to remember that less is more with essential oils, meaning a lot is unnecessary.

According to Ramey et al., essential oils can have great benefits to the body and have shown, as well as some of their components, to possess antimicrobial, antiviral, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties as well as purported psychogenic effects such as relieving stress, benefits with helping depression and aiding with insomnia.

Types of uses of essential oils


Reed diffusor: Add a few drops of carrier oil into glass bottles, then place the reeds in the liquid. It will then diffuse through the room. Reed diffusers often use rattan sticks, which have small channels that allow the essential oil to travel up the stick and scent the room. Lighter oils (e.g., bergamot, grapefruit, or lemon essential oil) diffuse faster than heavier oils (base notes), such as patchouli and sandalwood essential oil.

Plug-in diffuser: These types of diffusers use pads that oils can be added to and then plugged directly into a light socket. How they work: These plug into the wall or your car charger unit. They use low heat to evaporate the essential oils into the air. Add 1-2 drops of essential oil on the pads, and that’s it.

Mist Diffuser: Water is placed into the bottom portion of the diffuser. A few drops of oil are added. The water and oils mix and then are dispersed into the air with a mist.

How it Works: This bit of technology produces a cool, fine mist in which essential oils are broken into tiny particles and delivered into the air.

Fan Diffuser: These units also use pads that oils can be added. Then a fan pushes air through the pads and then disperses into the air.

How it Works: Fan diffusers blow cool air across a disposable pad with 5-10 drops of oil.


Topical application is a very nice and effective way to apply essential oils. Because of their low molecular weight and lipid solubility, they penetrate the skin easily. Massage increases blood flow and further helps to distribute the oils throughout the body. When using topically, using a carrier oil or massage lotion is necessary. It is recommended to use a carrier oil along with essential oils when using it on the skin. ALWAYS make sure you are not allergic to oils or specific plants before using essential oils.

Sensitive areas to avoid:

  • Facial areas, especially around the eyes

  • Eyes & inner ears

  • Broken, damaged, or injured skin.


Before using essential oils, always ensure you do not have a health condition that is contraindicated by the specific oils you want to use or are not allergic to. Remember that certain oils are hot and should be used with carrier oil. If you have concerns or questions, please get in touch with a professional who works with essential oils. Citrus oils benefit the body. However, they should not be used in direct sunlight.

Start your journey to wellness today!!

Kiara Poloney LMT, FNP-C


Ramsey, J. T., Shropshire, B. C., Nagy, T. R., Chambers, K. D., Li, Y., & Korach, K. S. (2020). Essential Oils and Health. The Yale journal of biology and medicine, 93(2), 291–305.

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