Your essential oils 101 course for incorporating healing and pain-relieving or relaxing oils into your practice
Essential oils are a hot commodity, and the popularity of these natural products have increased at breakneck speed over the past few years, moving from a spa specialty to a common household tool. Increasing numbers of people are purchasing, using and proselytizing the benefits of these concentrated plant extracts for personal aromatherapy, physical benefits and topical applications, and we’re going to give you the essential oils 101 course for chiropractic patients.
Essential oils are natural plant extracts collected from plant sources as varied as lemongrass, frankincense and sandalwood. An enormous amount of raw plant goes into every ounce of essential oil – 15 pounds of lavender for an ounce of oil, for instance. Patients use the resulting product in several ways – through an ultrasonic diffuser or diluted with a neutral oil (such as coconut or jojoba) on the skin, for example.
Essential oils for a chiropractic office
Essential oils and chiropractic medicine are a natural fit as both philosophies are based in innovating solutions to complex health problems, seeking pharmaceutically-minimized healing, promoting self-empowerment and embracing whole-self wellness.
Many chiropractors use essential oils for a much more basic reason — it’s important for patients to be comfortable when being adjusted. Feeling at ease can help relax muscles, making the adjustment easier and reducing residual soreness. Essential oils can increase circulation, decrease soreness and discomfort, and calm mind and body within minutes of application. So it makes sense that many offices are interested in incorporating essential oils to benefit their patients and augment their services, offering essential oils to clients among their slate of products.
There are a few factors to consider before jumping into this world with both feet – namely, the quality of the essential oil product, their safe use and the efficient integration of these natural tools into your services.
As pure as peppermint: the essential oil 101 on quality
Like CBD, there’s tremendous debate in marketing arenas over quality standards of essential oil companies. Essential oils are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – and therein lies the rub. Companies that self-regulate can say (almost) anything about a product without anyone looking askance. What’s an informed consumer to do?
Look for a company with a good reputation, a rich support network, and one that performs and reports GC/MS (molecular) testing on their oils. Get samples before you buy a large quantity and test them to make sure they’ll suit your needs. Does it smell like you expect it to? Does it have the potency and effect you are looking for?
Another way to assure that your essential oil product is best quality is to look for the USDA organic certification. This indicates that the farm where the plant was produced used organic growing practices to grow and harvest the product. Since essential oils are highly concentrated, organic certification provides an extra layer of assurance that the essential oil remains free from chemical pesticides. In general, organic essential oils are recommended by health experts over non-organic ones, and the certification gives a level of confidence that the company’s sourcing meets this strict government standard.
As healthy as helichrysum: the essential oil 101 on safety
The first medicines came directly from plants, and so it’s a no-brainer that essential oils can have significant effects on the human body. The potency of these products require a competent level of understanding about their benefits and limitations. Do know that safety testing on essential oils show very few side effects or risks when essential oils are used properly, according to the National Institutes of Health,and most essential oils are “generally recognized as safe” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Some practitioners advocate taking oils internally, but this can be dangerous. Swallowing essential oils is not recommended, no matter how pure the oil.
Full-strength essential oils pack a punch. Practitioners using essential oils topically need to follow dilution guidelines to avoid adverse skin reactions. Be aware that not all oils are appropriate for everyone. Children, people taking certain medications, those who are pregnant or nursing, and those preparing for surgery should avoid certain essential oils.
As useful as ylang ylang: essential oils for practice integration
The whole essential oil experience is so attractive to many because it is personal, effective, enriching and empowering. Essential oils have documented benefits for mood, stress-reduction, energy, memory, focus, and self-motivation. Many people also enjoy the benefits for pain management, sleep, strength, allergies, and as a tool to achieve various goals for physical health.
But these additional benefits have yet to be documented in research literature, and can vary by individual experience. When talking to your patients about the benefits of an oil, it is important to be upfront about the difference between known and assumed benefits, and let them find a blend and application regimen that works best for their condition.
But don’t underestimate the aromatherapy benefits of essential oils. Improved mood, reduced stress and myriad physical benefits can be discovered in the properties of each unique product and blend.
Make it easier for your clients to get to know and begin to love their essential oil experience by introducing them in an effective way, providing the right information and giving them the essential oils 101 informational tools to make their experience rewarding, empowering and beneficial to their health.
DERRICK WOODS is the founder and CEO of N8 Essentials. His long-term passion is rooted in helping people pursue healthier natural lifestyles with a focus on products that reduce daily exposure to manufactured chemicals with certified organic essential oils. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through N8essentials.com.