Essential Oils for Eating Disorder Recovery

May 23, 2016 • Eating Disorder, Health, Recovery, Yoga • Views: 6532

Aromatherapy is a term you’ve probably heard thrown around a zillion times. Aroma may be why you choose one shampoo or cleaning product over another. Within seconds of inhaling an aroma, our mind registers the scent along a spectrum that ranges from smelling great to disgusting.

So what is happening here with our sniffer? Well, scientists who study this stuff tell us the body can recognize over 10,000 unique scents, and our subconscious mind through the olfactory system into the amygdala in the brain, immediately tells our body and therefore our emotions, that we “love” “like” or “detest” a smell.

The aroma of a flower like jasmine is so beautiful, so gracious, so “heady” that we could almost drink it in, surrounding ourselves with it for days! Alternatively, if a skunk is passing nearby, that smell generates a fast ‘yuck’ reaction that tells us to get moving pronto so we don’t get sprayed. Our nose knows!

Natural aromatics or scents taken from plants in the form of essential oils, can have a rapid and powerful effect on our mood and emotions. I’m talking about the scent of REAL plant like the seeds, bark, resin, petals of a flower, rind of a fruit that we get by steam distillation or cold expression. Real plants have a very different therapeutic effect on our bodies versus artificial fragrances meant to mimic a plant’s smell.

Therapeutic grade essential oils are liquid essences of plants that we can use aromatically in a variety of ways to shift our mood within seconds of smelling them. I won’t get into the science and research here – of which there are thousands of peer-reviewed articles in a national research database called – but to sum it up, nature provides some awesome solutions to a happier, healthier life when we use just a few drops of these essential oils.

For thousands of years, nearly every culture around the world has used plant-based medicines in the form of herbs and oils. Essential oils can be used by everyone as powerful healing tools with a little study.

The bottom line is that our sense of smell can truly shift us to a new place, fast. For those in recovery, carrying a small bottle of a high-quality essential oil or essential oil blend in your purse or pocket, can be an amazingly simple and effective tool to pull out periodically to take a deep inhalation and let the magic of nature go to work to shift you to a better place.

Each plant and therefore essential oil has its own emotional purpose or profile. Leading aromatherapists around the world agree that by merely inhaling a high-quality, therapeutic grade essential oil can shift our mood and emotion in minutes. Take a look at some of these suggestions provided by Daniel McDonald of Enlighten Alternative Healing:

Grapefruit – “The Oil of Honoring the Body”

This crisp and uplifting aroma that is taken from the rind of the grapefruit.

“Grapefruit teaches true respect and appreciation for one’s physical body…supports individuals who struggle to honor their physical body and are caught in patterns of mistreatment.”

White Fir – “The Oil of Generational Healing”

Taken from distillation of this pine tree’s needles, inhaling this oil transports us deep into the forest.

“White Fir addresses generational issues…patterns and traditions passed down from family member to family member…offering a refuge of spiritual protection and helps individual stay true to their path of healing.”

Marjoram – “The Oil of Connection”

Subtle, grounding aroma comes from the leaves of this perennial, bushy herb plant.

“Majoram aids those who are unable to trust others and form meaningful relationships…may tend toward reclusive behaviors…restores trust and openness so that true bonds of love may be formed.”

Harnessing the emotional power of essential oils is really simple. Just open the bottle and inhale the aroma with a few deep breaths. Put a few drops on a tissue and raise it to your nose periodically. Get a handy and portable option like a nasal inhaler or a mini spray mister from an aromatherapy supply store ( is one of my favorites). I’m a fan of maximizing the benefit of diffusing a few drops of essential oils. There are lots of options, but an ultra-sonic diffuser is really the best way to diffuse high-quality oils where you just put a couple of drops into a water vat inside, turn it on for a few hours in a room, and it mists out the oil you can breathe in.

Aromatherapy and essential oils are such a powerful tool for recovery and emotional well being. There are many, many choices out there – I know, I’ve tried them over the years! They have made all the difference for me, my family, my massage and wellness center clients and yoga friends.

Marty Harger believes it is time for everyone to bring natural healing back into their homes. As a life-long enthusiast of essential oils and beautiful aromas, she is the business leader of an international team of over 12,000 doTERRA Wellness Advocates. Marty produced and co-authored a book called The Essential Yoga Program for yogis and their instructors to create monthly workshops that introduce doTERRA essential oils to deepen and enhance the practice. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist and wellness center owner who believes that nature provides many beautiful solutions to a healthy and happy life. Marty can be reached at 801-712- 5406 or by e-mail. For more information about doTERRA essential oils, click here.

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