Using Essential Oils to Treat PTSD!
Men and women across the globe suffer from an anxiety disorder known as post traumatic stress disorder, popularly known by its acronym PTSD. Anyone that has dealt with some type of traumatic event can have this disorder, which is why it’s a common problem for individuals serving in the military. These men and women live through and see things that the average person never has to deal with and it can affect them both physically and mentally.
There are three main classes of PTSD symptoms:
- Re-experiencing: intrusive memories, sleep disturbance, dissociation, intense anger or anxiety at memory
- Avoidance: avoidance, detachment, estrangement, numbing, “shutting down”
- Hyper arousal: nightmares, irritability, sleep disturbance, anger, aggression, impulsivity, panic attacks, exaggerated startle response
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Not everyone that goes through something traumatic will develop this disorder, but the ones that do must deal with a wide variety of feelings that include anger, confusion, depression, nervousness and fear. Traditional treatments include therapy and prescription drugs. However, there are alternatives for those who prefer a more natural approach. One option that’s getting a lot of attention lately is aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy means the use of aromas for their healing properties. This practice has dated back centuries. In fact, Essential Oils are even mentioned in the Bible!
Before we get more into the use of essential oils for PTSD, I have to share a story about why I love Young Living Oils so much!
Retired Master Sergeant Jess Johnson served in the U.S. Army for 30 years as a Green Beret. After retiring, Johnson continued to serve his country as a contractor in Iraq and around the world.
Johnson began his long career in the U.S. military at the tender age of 18 as a medic serving on the front lines in Vietnam. He served in the 101st Airborne Division as their lead M.A.S.H. medic in charge of triage. Like many soldiers, he saw many unimaginable horrors in the heat of war. And like many soldiers, he has suffered from the effects of PTSD ever since, including nightmares, anger, and inability to sleep. You can read more >>>HERE<<< about his story and what Young Living Founder Gary Young did to help this Veteran.
Aromatherapy for PTSD
Aromatherapy uses essential oils to naturally treat and relieve the symptoms associated with PTSD. For example, lemon oil helps to relieve mild depression and lavender can help you relax and sleep more peacefully. Some oils help to relieve sore, tight muscles caused by stress and tension while others help to calm nerves and promote a sense of peace. Peace and Calming essential oil is a very popular blend used for treating these symptoms.
Having the ability to choose an oil to treat a specific symptom is one thing that makes aromatherapy such a great choice for treating PTSD. Another reason it’s popular is there are normally no side effects associated with these oils. I say “normally” because there are exceptions. These oils are very strong so you must use them correctly. If you’re not familiar with aromatherapy, consult with a professional before using them to be safe.
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Which Essential Oils Work For Someone with PTSD
- White Angelica. White Angelica is an essential oil blend designed to counter negativity and give a feeling of security. The blend includes Ylang Ylang, Rose, Melissa, Sandalwood, Geranium, Spruce, Myrrh, Hyssop, Bergamot, and Rosewood.
- Deep Relief. A blend of nine – yes NINE – different oils! Peppermint, Wintergreen, Dorado Azul, Clove, Copaiba, Lemon, Vetiver, Canadian Balsam Fir, and Helichrysum. Helps to relieve muscle tension, soreness, soothes sore joints and ligaments, calms stressed nerves, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving.
- Peace and Calming. A blend of Ylang Ylang, Orange, Tangerine, Patchouli, and Blue Tansy. Mentioned above, this blend promotes relaxation, deep sense of peace and emotional well-being, dampens tensions, and uplifts feelings. You can use this blend in a diffuser, add to bath water, apply to wrists, edge of ears, or feet. Combine with lavender for insomnia.
- PanAway. A blend of Wintergreen, helichrysum, clove, and peppermint. Helps to reduce pain and inflammation and accelerates healing. You can even add this to your bath water!
- Stress Away. We use this often! This oil is a blend of Copaiba, Lime, Cedarwood, Vanilla, Ocotea and Lavender. Brings feeling of peace and tranquility, helps relieve daily stress and nervous tension, improves mental response, restores equilibrium, promotes relaxation, and lowers hypertension. Can also help to lower hypertension because of its ability to reduce stress.
- Lavender. Used as a relaxant and anti-inflammatory. I also use this oil in the allergy pills I make for my husband.
- SARA. This blend is so important to have on hand during difficult or emotional times. A blend Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Rose, and Blue Tansy. It helps relax into a mental state to facilitate the release of trauma.
- RutaVaLa. A blend of 3 oils – Ruta (Ruta Graveolens), Valerian and Lavender. This blend promotes body and mind, soothes stressed nerves, and induces sleep.
- Trauma Life. This oil contains Valerian, Lavender, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Rose, Helichrysum, Spruce, Geranium, Davana and Citrus Hystrix. Aids in combating stress, uproots trauma that causes insomnia, anger, restlessness, and a weakened immune response.
- Valor. A blend of Black Spruce, Blue Tansy, Rosewood, and Frankincense. This blend helps energy alignment of the body, increases feelings of strength, courage, and self-esteem.
- Tranquil. Blend of 3 oils – Lavender, Cedarwood and Roman Chamomile. All 3 of these oils are documented for helping to reduce anxiety and bring calmness. Helps to reduce restlessness, decreases anxiety, calming effect on mind and body, uplifting and relaxing, promotes sleep and reduces stress. Put together as a blend and you have something that will promote sleep as well as help to reduce stress.
- Release. Another great blend containing Ylang Ylang, Lavandin, Geranium, Sandalwood and Blue Tansy. Aids in the release of anger and memory trauma from the liver, opens subconscious mind through pineal stimulation.
- Joy. This is one of my personal favorites! A wonderful aromatic blend of Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Lemon, Coriandrum Sativum Seed Oil, Mandarin, Jasmine, Roman chamomile, Palmarosa, and Rose! It produces magnetic energy and helps overcome grief and depression.
- Present Time. A nice blend of Neroli, Spruce, and Ylang Ylang. Helps with empowering, helping you get beyond the past and move towards the future.
- Frankincense. This one comes up also in the oil blend Trauma Life. Frankincense is another oil that helps stimulate the limbic region of the brain, which is where we deal with our emotions.
Ways to Use Essential Oils
The most common way to use essential oils is with a diffuser, which is why there are so many different styles and sizes available. A diffuser will break up the oil and disperses the particles into the air where you breathe them into your lungs. It’s the fastest way to absorb the oil into the body. Putting a few drops of oil mixed with carrier oil into your warm bath water is another way to diffuse these oils.
You can also use essential oils by mixing them with carrier oil and rubbing the mixture directly onto the skin. This is the best method for easing sore, achy muscles caused by stress and tension. You can also mix the oil with water and put it in a spray bottle to use as an air freshener or put a couple of drops on your pillow at night to help you rest more peacefully.
I personally use this diffuser and we have one in almost every room:
Using essential oils to treat PTSD has other benefits that can help improve your overall health in addition to helping with the symptoms associated with this disorder. For example, they can boost your immune system, increase circulation and aid the digestive system.
If you’re suffering with PTSD, aromatherapy may be exactly what you need to help relieve your symptoms. It’s a natural and effective way to help you feel better so you can move past the traumatic events causing the disorder and enjoy life to its fullest.
Recommended reading for families living with PTSD….
& In Awe,
If this post was beneficial to you on PTSD, you may also like “How To Bloom When War Comes Home.”