Have you wanted to add essential oils into your daily wellness routine, but you’re not sure where to begin? There are a variety of ways to use essential oils that aromatherapists refer to as “methods of use”. An effective way to experience essential oils is through one method of use called inhalation. A safe and easy tool to begin with would be an inhaler (or aromastick).
What is an inhaler?
Inhalers (or "aromasticks") are small tubes with cotton inside, and they have a cover or a cap. They can be made from either plastic or metal. A specially formulated blend of essential oils is applied to the cotton, and it is safely tucked away in a tube that that fits inside of the cover. The cover is easily removed for access to the tube to breathe in the aroma. They are re-usable for 3-6 months, depending on the blend.
How does the aromatherapy work?
When you breathe in the aroma through your nose, it goes through your olfactory system, and triggers messages in your brain (specifically the limbic area). This then triggers communication with other organs and systems of your body. By inhaling the aroma from the inhaler, you can support various aspects of your wellness: physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Inhalers are a good choice for personal use and they are great starter tool for your wellness kit. They are a great option for people who choose not to diffuse in their homes for possible safety reasons (pets, kids, etc). Inhalers are also a wonderful option for someone who works in a scent-free environment because you are the only one that is using it. The aroma will not affect others. It is safe for daily use, and you can use it as often as you need to (with few exceptions). They are convenient and can be carried in your pocket, purse, backpack, or set on your desk or bedside table.
There are many benefits depending on the formulation of the essential oils used in the inhaler. For instance, an inhaler that has a "calming" blend could be beneficial during times of stress and needing to have extra support to ground and regulate your nervous system. Another example is how many hospitals are using inhalers for patients that have nausea. They use a more "soothing" blend that could include essential oils such as ginger or spearmint.
I love them because they encourage us to remember to take a time out during the really stressful moments, and just breathe. Because in times of stress, we often forget to take deep breaths to help bring peace. By combining breath work, visualization, and a calming inhaler, you can ease symptoms of stress and support your body's return to homeostasis.
Where can I purchase them?
NECA currently carries four different inhalers that are ready for you to use as soon as you take it out of the box. The blends we offer are Energizing, Soothing, Calming, and Uplifting. Each inhaler comes with an insert that briefly describes the history of aromatherapy, how it works, safety information, and how to care for your inhaler. It also includes information on how to use it (trust me, this is important!). Lastly, there is a visualization enclosed for you to focus on while using the inhaler to solidify that mind/body connection.
These inhalers are made here locally by a trusted colleague of mine. This specific brand has been used in a major local hospital system here in the Twin Cities with great success.
You can also purchase them online, but just make sure that you are buying them from reputable vendors. A few things to look for would be if there is an aromatherapist on staff with the company, the quality of oils that they're sourcing, and price (inhalers typically do not cost more than $10 a piece).
Lastly, if you are looking for an inhaler with an essential oil blend that has been custom made for your needs, you can schedule an aromatherapy consultation with me at the wellness center. We will spend some time reviewing your medical history, allergies, medications, and discuss your specific goals. You can also explore some of the essential oils that I work with on a regular basis to find your likes and dislikes. This is an important part of the process if you're looking for an inhaler that you will use for emotional wellness.
Next time you're in the area, swing by and check ours out! We have testers out in the waiting area with additional information.
Breathe in and be well!
Jen Shepherd, MSW, LICSW, CCA
*These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.