I wanted to share a quick tip that I’ve found really, really helpful for me. I am on the fence about the actual effectiveness of essential oils. I know people who swear by them, and I know people who haven’t noticed much of a difference one way or another.
I would be one of the “meh” people, even though I really want them to do something dramatic for me. They just don’t, for whatever reason.
I do use them for grounding purposes, and in that situation, they’re awesome.
Smell is an often-overlooked sense that packs a tremendous punch. There are tons of tips out there for grounding, but for me, using EO’s is a particularly effective one. I think this is probably because the oils that I use for grounding are unique in that they engage my nose. Most of my flashbacks do not involve a powerful smell, and the ones that do, can be overridden quickly by an EO.
The important thing to do is find one that you like that has no association with anything in the past. For me, this has been a little oil called marjoram. Marjoram is a little bit flowery, a little bit woody, a little bit exotic-smelling, and has absolutely no connection to anything in my life *except* the present day. When I smell marjoram, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I’m an adult, I’m in a safe place, and it’s 2016. Is that not priceless to survivors?!
But you can use any oil and smell that you like. It’s rumored amongst the EO people that whatever oil you’re drawn to, that oil contains properties that your body needs. So pick something that appeals to you.
Marjoram also just happens to be called “the Oil of Connection,” according to my friend Ruthie, which is why I first started experimenting with it because of the attachment disorder I used to wrestle with. It has positive effects on the limbic system and also serves to relieve muscle tension and has a calming and relaxing effect on the brain. What’s not to love? 😉
Anyway, I wanted to pass this tool on as a suggestion to anyone looking for more (or better) grounding techniques. EO’s can be a little costly depending on which one you want and what size, but the good news is, you can buy a teensy tiny bottle and it will last you forever. I’ve had a teensy tiny bottle of marjoram (think thimble-sized) last me almost a year now and I still have 1/4 of it. And I think I’d have more except for the lid accidentally came unscrewed in my purse and it christened the contents before I discovered it. (On the plus side, my checkbooks are very calm and grounded, and my wallet hasn’t had a flashback in at least 6 months.) So it’s an economical investment.
The way I use marjoram is: I just rub a few drops into the palms of my hands, and cup my hands over my nose and mouth, and inhale a few times. I carry it around with me in my purse and use it whenever I get unexpectedly triggered by something in my environment.
Example: a few months ago on a nice day, I was at a park, enjoying the weather. Someone arrived who was smoking some kind of pipe that smelled like my granddad’s pipe (I believe he may have been a perpetrator). I started getting panicky as soon as I smelled it. First I tried removing my shoes and grinding my feet into the ground. Then I went for a walk (barefooted) on the prickly mulch. Those things helped, but the smell continued to waft over me and re-instigate the panic. Finally I remembered that I had the EO’s in the car so I retrieved them, breathed in the marjoram, and even rubbed a drop or two right under my nose to block the pipe smell and voila! I went about my day and didn’t have to leave the park and have my life completely derailed by the olfactory association with the pipe. I’ve done this several times in several situations and the EO’s work every time.
I’m not particularly loyal to any one brand. Mine happen to be Doterra and if you need a consultant I can forward you a name. But there are many brands of essential oils, as well as many many smells to choose from. They all have different things they are supposed to help with, so if it sounds like something you want to try, be sure and do some research to see if there’s anything in particular that you might find helpful.