One of the first things I learned during my diagnosis time was that stressing out was never beneficial for what I now shared with my body. As time went on, I’d see from online MS friends and hear from the drs that avoiding stress in all of its many forms was a really good idea. But you know sometimes life isn’t as polite as to avoid throwing curve balls at us. The stresses of everyday life take a toll on everything, especially chronic illness. Having children, being married, paying bills, your car breaking down, work deadlines – stress! Stress we can’t always avoid.
These days, I notice that when I start stressing out about something, one of my annoying visible symptoms (a breathing tic) increases a few folds. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be “bad” stress, even if I am excited or happy – any taxing on my emotions is counted as over stimulation, and my body pays in kind (or in mean!)
A few weeks ago, I wrote about MS and Depression. One of my friends, Paige, shared with me this link about the treatment of depression using Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. I read it and started doing a little research, what I also found that was in addition to depression, certain oils also help with relaxation, calming (anti-anxiety), balancing mood, and soothing. The link offered DIY recipes for different emotional conditions – that you either want to bring about or avoid.
* There are two different types of depression, situation and clinical. Clinical depression will often most likely call for further specialized treatments, such as medication or/and counseling. Essential oils alone won’t cure the condition, but who’s to say it won’t offer some aid. That being said, please do your own research before you use any essential oils. Speak with your health care provider and whatever you do – do not stop medications to use only essential oils unless you have been advised it is safe to do so by a doctor.
After some research, I found an oil blend that was specifically for uplifting the mood. I saw that it had many – almost all of the oils that the DIY article recommended. It was a little pricy, but I considered that if I bought each one of the oils on its own, I might end up paying around the same price. So I bought the oil, invested in a cute diffuser (it changes colors!) and hoped 1)it smelled nice 2)it would work!
Now, if it didn’t work and only made my living room smell nice, I was ok with that.
If if it didn’t smell nice, but worked, I read that I could add the oil to another oil and put it on the soles of my feet, therefore I wouldn’t have to smell it that much.
If it didn’t smell good and it didn’t work, I would have lost money, but at least I would know!
The oil smelled nice to me! (My sister doesn’t like it) I was excited to get started and as I enjoyed the happy colors of my new diffuser, I wondered how I would know if these oils helped at all. I felt just fine inhaling the scent of the oil, I didn’t feel as if I was really any different, I just felt good – I felt ok – clear minded, and figured I got the first scenario – at least my living room smelled nice! I enjoyed the rest of the evening in my nice smelling living room and then went to bed. When I woke up at around 3 am I felt them – the anxiety and sadness that I have been cloaked under for the past few months, they were back – it was almost as if they were sitting there, just waiting to return to me.
The oils HAD helped me! I was stunned. Because I felt so “normal” while the diffuser was on, I hadn’t noticed that anxiety wasn’t nipping at my neck, sadness wasn’t blooming in my heart. I felt like my old normal. Anti-depressants most likely will still have to be a part of my MS care, and as long as I take an interferon for MS – that might never change. It’s nice to know though, that if I don’t have access to medicine, or won’t be able to take it in a timely manner, essential oils will be an option. I might have never known. Thanks Paige for sharing that link!
In order to maximize my time inhaling the scent of the oil and getting a few moments of relaxation time, I use this handy gif that helps to regulate breathing. This is especially helpful if you suffer from anxiety or you aren’t a good “breather”.
please click here to see it
Take a moment and take 5 good deep breaths. You’ll feel calmer.
Here is a brochure of tips and tricks for stress management provided by the NMSS.