Essential Oils are a tangible self-care tool for healers and empaths.
After the placenta was delivered… blessed relief! I helped the labor and delivery nurse make that new mother and her baby comfortable after her fairly grueling 24-hour birth process. Helping women and families as a nurse-midwife was a challenging profession that took most, if not all, of my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy. I loved every minute of it, but it came at a cost, and I had to learn how to recharge my spirit.
I was a nurse-midwife with a strong healer/empath archetype, and I discovered that I needed to ground and balance my energy at least two to three times a day. In fact, our entire practice of nurse-midwives possessed the same healer/empath archetype. We worked in a very busy community hospital setting, so in order to maintain our balance, we would collaborate often to discuss what helped us maintain our core strengths as we were fully present for the women and families. We found a few tools that empowered us to remain present, centered and balanced and I find myself using these tools even now as a clinical aromatherapist.
Healers/empaths have the gift (and occasional burden) of picking up other people’s “stuff.” To have the healer/empath archetype one has to be initiated with a wound in their past. Wounded healers/empaths are called to heal themselves as well as assisting others in their healings. Because of this energy going inward and outward at the same time, we can feel drained or experience headaches or stomach aches depending on someone else’s life events. It’s imperative that we empaths realize this and take steps to put down other peoples’ burdens to find our center again. Try this simple method to regain your center: Breath deeply from your heart and stomach, hold your breath for 4 seconds, then 6 seconds, then 8 seconds in three cycles. This grounds our energy and increases oxygen to our cells and blood. It really feels good. Then, as silly as it seems, practice grinning or smiling!
Next, inhale a grounding blend with spikenard Nardostachys jatamansi, sandalwood Santalum lancelatum, and neroli Citrus aurantium in sweet almond oil as a carrier. I never get tired of this blend and my clients enjoy it as well. Sometimes I add grapefruit Citrus paradisi to uplift my mind as well. Spikenard helps with our spiritual pain, according to Gabriel Mojay, and sandalwood serves well as a major centering and anti-anxiety support for the emotions. Neroli works on the limbic system to influence balance emotionally. Grapefruit is just a joy to smell. It is light, the refreshing citrus aroma that can uplift even the saddest spirits.
Healers need help, and that help can come from prayer and meditation as well. Praying with this grounding and centering blend is one of my main tools to help me relax and refocus. I apply a few drops to the center of my forehead, inside my wrists, on my heart meridian (7 in acupuncture terms), and on the tops of my feet. Applying oils to the bottoms of the feet is not effective in skin absorption due to the thickness of the skin (Robert Tisserand, 2018).
Other options to help the healer/empath in us are to fast from excess sugar, processed foods, and TV news; set aside time to be alone and quiet; listen to soothing music; practice yoga, tai chi, or simply walk in nature or be by a body of water. I often look at works of art in a book or on the computer after applying my grounding blend. Petting a dog or cat or singing a favorite song or chant works well too. But the most important tool for me is to write or recite a gratitude list. Gratitude helps the healer/empath in me immediately come to the present moment, in peace. It can be as simple as thanking God for simple things as we drive home — the car, our hands, feet, lungs, heartbeat, our feelings, and even our fatigue, grief, aches, and pains that let us know we’re truly alive. Gratitude is amazing — it is calming, and it is freeing.
I will leave you with one of the prayers I say over and over again, “I am grateful in the present moment now with joy.” Keeping the grounding process simple is my aim and focus. May all of you healer/empaths find peace in your jobs, vocations, and professions, and may we all practice these grounding and centering principles on a regular basis to find true peace and joy in our lives!
Battaglia, Salvatore, (2018). The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 3rd edition. Brisbane, Australia: Black Pepper Creative Publishing.
Holmes, Peter, (2016). Aromatic; A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics: Volume 1: Principles and Profiles; Philadelphia & London; Singing Dragon Publishing.
Myss, Caroline, (2003). Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential. New York, NY; Harmony Books Publishing.
Mojay, Gabriel, (1997). Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit; Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils. Rochester, Vermont; Healing Arts Press.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25798643 Inhalation administration of the sesquiterpenoid from Spikenard has a mild sedative effect, 2015.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28395396. A Randomized Controlled Trial Provides Evidence to Support Aromatherapy of Sandalwood and Lavender to Minimize Anxiety in Women Undergoing Breast Biopsy, 2017.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31211612 Neroli aroma for anxiety in patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome: A double-blind placebo-controlled trial, 2019.
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