It’s Spring! Spring is a time of renewal, new beginnings, rejuvenation, hope, personal growth, and expanding energy. We feel this sense of emerging into the light as snow melts and trees come into bud and turn green. Baby animals are everywhere! Streams are full of running water, fields are flowering, gardens are sending up shoots, and the sun returns to the earth. Today we’ll capture the essence of spring when we make body oils, support lotions, aroma mists, and diffuser combinations. We’ll apply our formulations in several ways for self-care. Watch the presentation and then review the Presentation Notes for formulas and directions.
It’s Spring! Spring is a time of renewal, new beginnings, rejuvenation, hope, personal growth, and expanding energy. We feel this sense of emerging into the light as snow melts and trees come into bud and turn green. Baby animals are everywhere! Streams are full of running water, fields are flowering, gardens are sending up shoots, and the sun returns to the earth. Today we’ll capture the essence of spring when we make body oils, support lotions, aroma mists, and diffuser combinations. We’ll apply our formulations in several ways for self-care.
Synergies and Aroma Intensity
- We’ll call our essential oil formulations synergies. Synergies are a combination of essential oils with complementary therapeutic effects formulated to meet specific wellness goals.
- We can compose synergies with a physiological focus on the body, a psychological focus on mind and emotions, a spiritual focus on plant symbols and meanings, or a holistic focus with oil for each area.
- Today, let’s make holistic synergies. These formulas are combinations of four essential oils. We choose one oil for its effects on the body, one for effects on the mind, one for emotions, and one for the spirit.
- When we create synergies, we want to pay attention to aroma intensity. Aroma intensity refers to the strength of the aroma of a particular essential oil. Some essential oils smell very strong, while others smell very soft. The scent of an oil has nothing to do with its therapeutic potency. Something can smell strong and have a mild action or smell soft and have an intense action.
- We assign each essential oil a number. One indicates that an essential oil smells very strong, while ten indicates that an essential oil smells very soft.
- The whole point of understanding aroma intensity is to achieve a balanced aroma. If you combine essential oils in equal amounts, your formula will smell like the strongest aroma in the batch. We want to create synergies with their own unique scents.
- So, let’s imagine that we want to create a synergy using sandalwood (a very soft aroma somewhere between a nine and ten), bergamot, another delicate aroma assigned an eight, lavender right in the middle at a five, and rosemary, a more robust aroma at a two.
- To achieve a balance of aromas, we would combine nine drops of sandalwood, eight of bergamot, five drops of lavender, and two drops of rosemary. So we end up with a synergy that smells unique because it has hints of each essential oil.
- Unfortunately, we don’t have time to do a deep dive into blending today, so I’ll point you toward my free guide. The guide covers several different blending methods, including aroma intensity.
Get the Free Essential Oils Blending Guide
A sumptuous bathing ritual, a formulation to support a friend living with disappointment, insomnia, a natural perfume, or low back pain. The reasons people create essential oil synergies are many and diverse. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn about primary methods for blending essential oils. These are techniques that help you create beautiful aromas whether your formulation has a physiological, psychological, or spiritual focus. You’ll explore synergies and discover how to achieve balance in a blend by considering aroma intensity, the evaporative harmonies of blends that contain top, middle, and base note molecules, and morphologically based combinations.
Spring Smellscape Synergies
- Let’s create some synergies inspired by the season of spring. We’ll combine undiluted essential oils in a small bottle (2-5 milliliters) with a dropper top. Later we’ll add the finished synergy to a carrier product.
- I want to call our first synergy Spring Embrace. This formula is all about moving mindfully into the renewal offered by the spring season.
- Body: We’ll use bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) for its effects on the body. This essential oil, steam distilled from the tree’s leaves, has powerful effects on the respiratory, muscular, lymph, and immune system. Today, we’ll choose it for its lymph-stimulating properties. Bay laurel will help us break our Netflix habit and get ourselves back on a nature trail!
- Mind: We’ll choose bergamot (Citrus bergamia) for its effects on the mind. Research demonstrates that inhaled bergamot balances important neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate. So if you feel mentally slow, think of bergamot as your brain-balance buddy.
- It’s important to know that bergamot is phototoxic and increases the sunburn reaction of the skin. So, if you plan to go into the sun, don’t apply synergies with bergamot to your skin. Instead, use a diffuser to disperse bergamot in your environment where you can inhale these molecules of magic.
- Emotions: For emotions, let’s choose Neroli essential oil steam distilled from the flower petals of the bitter orange tree (Citrus × aurantium). Neroli helps us expand into the spring season because it is a notable euphoric.
- Euphorics are agents that promote positive feelings of expansion, connection, and consciousness.
- In general terms, euphorics work by increasing the activity of the pre-frontal cortex. They also act directly on some types of serotonin receptors. Euphorics sedate the amygdala and the thalamus to take down are reactivity to fear-based thoughts.
- Euphorics essential oils contain small amounts of psychedelic substances but are not as strong as psychedelic mushrooms or peyote.
- However, euphorics give you a powerful sense of being one with our world. I like to say that euphorics place you in your body and in the universe simultaneously.
- Spirit: Our spirit oil is cypress (Cupressus sempervirens). People associate cypress with transitions and cycles in the Mediterranean region where these trees originate.
- Cypress trees (with their lovely pointy shape) remind us to let go of the past, accept the here and now, and move forward with a grateful spirit.
- Spring Embrace Formula: Combine three drops of bay laurel with eight drops of bergamot, two drops of neroli, and four drops of cypress. Suppose we need more than 17 drops to make up a synergy, then we’ll double or triple the formula.
BERGAMOT: Research demonstrates that inhaled bergamot (Citrus bergamia) balances important neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate. So if you feel mentally slow, think of bergamot as your brain-balance buddy.
- Our next synergy, we’ll call Pure Purpose. This formula helps us purify our body, mind, emotions, and spirit as we enter the renewal offered by the spring season.
- Body: Let’s use juniper berry (Juniperus communis) for its diuretic properties that stimulate the body’s natural detoxification mechanisms. Juniper berry makes an excellent springtime tonic when we want to eliminate that bloated sedentary feeling leftover from winter.
- Mind: Camphor essential oil distilled from the leaves of (Cinnamomum camphora) grown in India suppresses GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that sedates the central nervous system. Inhaled camphor promotes mental clarity and alert mind states.
- Emotions: bright, fresh clary sage (Salvia sclarea) has well-known antidepressant activity. Research shows that clary sage increases serotonin levels to lift moods.
- Spirit: For the spirit, we’ll turn to the symbolism of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). Lavender reminds us to live with a noble heart. We don’t have time to explore lavender’s complex cultural history today, so we’ll depend on the words of Hildegard of Bingen.
- Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) was a German abbess, writer, philosopher, herbalist, and visionary. She is considered the founder of scientific natural history in Germany.
- Of lavender, she writes, “Lavender wine will provide the person with pure knowledge and a clear understanding. Lavender leads to purity of purpose and purity of character.”
- Hildegard’s writings about lavender remind me of a Serbian saying, “Be humble, for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.” I believe this saying perfectly captures the nature and spiritual quality of lavender.
- Pure Purpose Formula: Combine three drops of juniper berry with four drops of Indian camphor, two drops of clary sage, and five drops of lavender. If we need more than 14 drops to make up a synergy, we’ll just double, triple, or quadruple the formula.
LAVENDER: Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) reminds us to live with a noble heart. Like the old Serbian proverb, lavender says, “Be humble, for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.”
- The final synergy we’ll call Flexible Spirit.
- Body: Let’s use Silver Fir (Abies alba) for its powerful effects on the muscular, respiratory, and immune systems. I love this essential oil because it is fortifying and tonic. It imparts energy to the body, especially as we transition between seasons.
- Mind: Lemon (Citrus limon) balances brain levels of serotonin and dopamine when inhaled. Lemon is also a nervine agent. It has a tonic effect on the nervous system. Nervines sedate or stimulate the nervous system to bring it into balance.
- Emotions: We’re choosing frankincense (Boswellia sacra) oil for emotions. Like clary sage in the last synergy, frankincense is euphoric.
- The ritual use of frankincense in the ancient world was enormous, and its psychoactive effects were well-known and documented by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and pre-Islamic Arabs.
- Modern scientists confirm that burning frankincense causes euphoria because two components in the resin (olivetol and verbenol) react when burned to form tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in cannabis.
- THC is not present in frankincense essential oil. However, it is still considered euphoric because of the presence of incensole acetate, widely researched as an anti-anxiety and antidepressant agent.
- Spirit: Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) represents adaptability and knowing when to bend or not bend around people and circumstances. Geranium says, “Are you bending too much around a stronger personality or someone who has authority over you?” Geranium asks, “Are you bending too little for the people you love?” Are you a pushover, or are you ridged? What’s the right amount of bend for the situation?
- Adaptable Spirit Formula: Combine four drops of silver fir, eight drops of lemon, five drops of frankincense, and one drop of geranium. Geranium can stick out in a formula. If you don’t smell the geranium, add another drop. If you need more than 18 drops to create a formulation, just double or triple the formula.
GERANIUM: Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) represents adaptability and knowing when to bend or not bend around people and circumstances. Geranium says, “Are you bending too much around a stronger personality or someone who has authority over you?” Geranium asks, “Are you bending too little for the people you love?” Are you a pushover, or are you ridged? What’s the right amount of bend for the situation?
Body Oils, Lotions, Aroma Mists, and More
- We can use these synergies to make body oils, support lotions, aroma mists, or diffuser formulas.
- Body Oil: Let’s start by making a body oil or massage lubricant. We’ll combine one ounce of carrier oil with 12-24 drops of an essential oil synergy. If we make up larger sizes of lubricants, we’ll double or triple the formula.
- There are a wide variety of different carrier oils you can choose with unique therapeutic properties. The critical thing to remember is that carrier oils should be expeller-pressed and organic. Try expeller-pressed sunflower or avocado from the health food store.
- Support Lotion: A support lotion is a body lotion with therapeutic effects that extend beyond skincare. Again, we’ll combine one ounce of carrier lotion or cream with 12-24 drops of an essential oil synergy. You just double, triple, or quadruple the formula if you want to make more.
- Make sure any lotion or cream you use is composed of natural ingredients and doesn’t contain mineral oil, petroleum, lanolin, fragrance, or dye. These ingredients cause harmful reactions or interact negatively with essential oils.
- Aroma Mist: You use this basic formula whenever you want to make an aroma mist. Combine one ounce of purified water with 12-24 drops of an essential oil synergy. You can add two tablespoons of high-proof vodka to give the blend a little added sparkle. If you want to make more than one ounce for a larger mist bottle, just double, triple, or quadruple the formula. Always shake the mist before application.
- Diffuser: Add an undiluted synergy to an electric diffuser following the manufactures directions. Often this involves adding the synergy to water in the unit. Disperse the essential oils into your living or working space and inhale.
EXCHANGE MASSAGE WITH A COLLEAGUE: Mix a spring smellscape synergy into massage oil, cream, or lotion and apply it to the body during a relaxation massage. Plan a wellness massage exchange with a colleague and enhance your session with the rejuvenation of the spring season.
Methods of Application
- Massage: Mix the chosen synergy into massage oil, cream, or lotion and apply it to the body during a relaxation massage. Plan a wellness massage exchange with a colleague and enhance your session with spring smellscapes.
- Sugar Glow: Another great self-care activity is a sugar glow. Everyone gravitates towards salt glows, but sugar glows are more soothing and softening and don’t dry out the skin.
- Rough, scrubby textures invigorate the nervous system and leave you feeling refreshed.
- First, compile your supplies. You’ll need a bowl of medium or fine-grained table sugar. You can also try fine-grained brown sugar. You’ll need a body oil enhanced with one of the spring smellscapes, a tub or a shower, and bath towels. Get everything you need ready, and light some candles in your bathroom to give the environment a magical glow.
- Apply a layer of body oil to your skin but avoid the bottoms of your feet as you might slip in the tub.
- Turn on the water to the correct temperature and start filling the tub.
- Step into the shallow water and take a palmful of sugar from the bowl. Add a little body oil to the sugar in your palm and rub it up your legs.
- Scrub your legs at a comfortable depth. Continue to add a dollop of oil to sugar in your palm as you scrub your body.
- Add more sugar for more scrub and add more oil for more lubrication.
- Sugar will fall into the tub of water, and this is fine. It will dissolve and go down the drain.
- You might add a bit of sugar to your favorite body wash to scrub the bottoms of your feet.
- When you’re done scrubbing, sink into your tub and soak, inhaling the lovely and brain-soothing aromas. Don’t wash with soap. Let the oil continue to absorb into your skin and when you’re ready, exit the tub, dry off, and love your soft skin!
- If you don’t have a tub, just apply the scrub while standing on a bath mat outside the shower stall. When you’re done scrubbing, step into the shower and breath deeply as the warmth of the water releases the aromas. Toss the soiled bath mat in the laundry when you finish your self-care scrub.
- Support Lotion: Smooth an aromatherapy support lotion on your neck, upper chest, and arms anytime you want a boost. Carry a support lotion with you during the day, apply it when you need a break, inhale and connect with nature anywhere and anytime.
- Aroma Mist: To apply an aroma mist, spritz it in a high arch over your head and shoulders. You don’t want to treat yourself like a windshield and spray the mist into your face as some essential oils might absorb through the thin skin of your eyelids and irritate your eyes.
- Use aroma mists for moments of mental refreshment throughout your busy day.
- Thanks so much for letting me share spring smellscapes with you. You can always reach me at [email protected] or through the contact us link at massage master online.
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