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Lavender & Massage: the “Swiss Army Knife” of Essential Oils

  • Aug 1, 2013

By Elizabeth Skelton, Massage Therapist, Aromatherapy Specialist

I have been a massage therapist since 2009, and 3 years ago I fell in love with essential oils. I was introduced to them in school but didn’t start noticing their effects until I started applying them on my clients via massage. One day that I remember particularly, I was 5 months pregnant and it was a long day at work. Ilavender had several clients and naturally I would get worn out quicker than usual. My daughter was kicking me and my ribs nonstop that morning. My second client requested an aromatherapy massage. I was still new at using essential oils but she wanted something relaxing, so together we picked Lavender. While the client got undressed and on the table, I was outside the room mixing her oil. Well, my daughter must have been excited because there she went kicking away! After a minute or two, though, I noticed that when I was directly breathing in this client’s mixture she would quit kicking and fidgeting. I thought, “hmmm…..nah, it’s just in my head.” So, I finished mixing and rubbed some on my hands and forearms to make sure it wasn’t too strong. The scent was ‘just right’ so I proceeded to my client and started her massage. Throughout that 60min massage, Iris didn’t kick once and I felt at ease. My client was also very happy with her massage and said she felt much more relaxed. As the day went on, Iris started kicking again. I was getting ready to start a deep tissue massage this time, and it was shortly after lunch, so I was a little fatigued. I thought to myself, “maybe the Lavender really did calm her down,” so I diluted a little bit and put some on my belly this time. Within a minute she quit kicking and I had a realization! For the 1st time I really started to become interested in learning more about these oils. I was in shock, and even now, after much research and studies, I find myself still amazed at the benefits derived from essential oils.

lavender3Lavender is one of the safest essential oils to use. When talking to people about essential oils this is always the “starter oil.” I take it slow with essential oil information when talking to clients because, like myself, I found it to be rather confusing when I tried to consume all the information in at once. Lavender is something you really can’t go wrong with. You could dump a whole bottle on you and still be safe, although you may get really relaxed!

I love to see a person’s reaction when they use an essential oil for the first time and come to me and say “Elizabeth, it actually worked!” They always look amazed and sometimes whisper it so no one else knows they used some strange way of relieving whatever ailment was bothering them. I usually laugh and say “I know, that’s why I recommended you try it!”

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I have to sometimes remind myself of back when I was pregnant and how shocked I was for the first time. It really is something you have to try to believe.

Another AMAZING story with Lavender happened just over a year ago. Once again it was with Iris. While living out in the country near Austin, TX, Iris and I where outside in the lovely dry heat enjoying the day. One thing you always have to keep an eye for in Texas is Fire Ants. You never walk around barefooted outside! I turned around for maybe a minute or two to grab our water to drink. In that time she starts screaming and running towards me. I’m looking at her asking what’s wrong. I didn’t notice anything right away, then as my eyes is focusing in on her little legs running towards me I see Fire Ants crawling up her legs and all over her socks! I dropped the water glasses and immediately ran to her ripping her shoes off, then socks and at this point I just rip all her clothes off of her, making sure I could see her skin very clearly.

For a little child these suckers could be very poisonous if stung several times. Seeing her run to me in tears and screaming like that is something I will never forget, it brought tears to my eyes because I knew she was going to be swollen and itchy and I didn’t know what to do, or so I thought.

I rushed her inside and into to my bathroom where I keep all my medicines. Then suddenly it dawned on me that I read something about Lavender helping with bee stings. This wasn’t a bee sting, but I didn’t know what to put on her and lived over half hour away to closest store. So I applied Lavender directly to her legs and ankles.

Not even a few seconds later she felt relief, quit scratching, and quit crying. Within 10min she wanted to go back outside! Now, granted, mom over here was still freaked out by what just happened and the sight of her, but she was acting just fine!!FireAntsLavender

I could tell a difference in the swelling of the stings within 15min. She never got any scars from it because she never scratched them from the moment I applied the Lavender. In fact she never even paid any attention to it. I kept putting Lavender on her several times that day and the next few days. I couldn’t have been more thankful and Iris still to this day talks about when she got bit by Fire Ants and mommy put Lavender on her! I will say that I don’t think the Lavender would have been so successful if I wasn’t able to apply it right away. I recommend every mom to have a bottle in her purse and a bottle at home.

Here are some other uses for Lavender:

  • Apply and massage into newly-scarred areas to reduce scar tissue.
  • Apply to sole of feet right before laying down to go to bed to help you fall asleep. This works great on small children as well.
  • Apply to dry chapped lips to begin repair.
  • Helps eliminate motion sickness. Put a drop on wrists and navel, then breathe in the scent deeply.
  • Add a drop to clean washcloth and throw in dryer with laundry. (Can also add a few drops of coconut oil for static reduction!)
  • Soothes cuts or scrapes
  • Apply to sunburn to relieve pain and speed healing.
  • Directly apply to bruises to speed healing. Works great along with Arnica. (This has been done for centuries and works very well. When I do a post operation lymphatic drainage massage I always use lavender on the clients bruises and also to Iris’s little shins- being a typical 3yr old playing.)

So as you can see, Mother Nature has her medicine too. It has been around for so long that modern day society has basically forgotten how to use it. I am not saying this is a cure-all by any means, but you can’t go wrong with Lavender, and it won’t hurt you or your child. It is safe to use during pregnancy, but I always recommend diluting it.

Not all essential oils are created equal!! You want to only use 100% pure essential oils, nothing synthetic unless you are only wanting to wear it as a perfume. This is why body soaps, hand soap and other cosmetic products do not offer you therapeutic relief. Synthetic oils are made to have a similar scent as the real plant but are all chemically made to save on manufacturing cost.

I hope this blog has been useful to you and new information for you to consider while living during these struggling times of costly healthcare payments. Discovering effective, natural ways to help with pain and other discomforts can save you a lot of money in the long run. If I didn’t think to use the Lavender on Iris that day, I may have never discovered it’s possibilities.

Here at the Sholar Center we are striving to meet all your needs: Body, Mind and Spirit. Wishing all who read this a great day!Elizabeth

With love,

Elizabeth Skelton, your Massage Therapist with a true love of nature 🙂

“A wise man should realize that health is his most valuable possession.” – Hippocrates