There’s tension in the air these days, and with the flood from the endless news cycle, our minds are constantly working to process new information. This causes stress and anxiety, and sometimes a feeling of being out of our control. The good news is that there are practices not designed to calm the world outside ourselves, but to calm the inner world so it’s not so easily disrupted. These practices, like yoga, massage, meditation, and work with essential oils, can shift the power balance back onto our own shoulders, giving us practical tools to harness that power.
Kristen Gaudioso, a holistic life coach base in Wading River, has found essential oils to be an empowering tool in taking charge of life’s imbalances. When her baby girl suffered from seemingly relentless ear infections, and the prescribed antibiotics weren’t working, Gaudioso decided it was time to look further. Her doctor recommended chiropractic work, which opened her to a whole new realm of alternative medicine.
“I became more aware of the things we were using medicinally, and I realized they weren’t helping,” said Gaudioso. “So I started looking into holistic alternatives.”
When she discovered essential oils, she said the impact was profound. Her daughter had been getting ear infections like clockwork, every four weeks.
“We were one ear infection away from getting tubes put in her ears,” said Gaudioso.
She learned about DoTerra, a brand of essential oils available online. These oils, which are distilled from plants, each have unique healing benefits. In her case, she started with Frankincense oil and a blend of other oils designed to offer immune support.
“We’d put the oils in roller bottles,” she said, noting that oils must always be diluted for use on children, “and we applied it to the bottoms of her feet every night before bed.”
When four weeks passed and the ear infection didn’t recur, she thought it was a coincidence. But then six weeks, and eight, came and went, and the ear infections didn’t return.
“Now I have three kids,” she said, “and it’s so empowering as a mom to be able to have the tools we need to take care of our family.”
Guadioso did a DoTerra training online and is now certified to educate and sell the products. Frankincense is still a go-to oil for her, one that has so many benefits she doesn’t know where to start.
“Frankincense is grounding, so it’s good for stress and anxiety,” said Gaudioso. “It’s also good for cellular support.”
While experts debate about the effects of using essential oils internally, Gaudioso does ingest frankincense as part of her daily health regimen. Because of its known benefits for the skin, she also adds a few drops of the essential oil to her facial moisturizer.
Gaudioso loves to share her knowledge of essential oils with the community, and she started offering workshops at East Hampton Library, which are free to the public, last month. They focused on looking at traditional over-the-counter medications and considering natural alternatives. This month, she will lead a workshop focused on easing stress, anxiety, and depression through the use of essential oils.
“We will do a ‘make-and-take’,” she explained. “As people show up we will have them choose one of six different blends they can make to address emotional needs like stress, anxiety, sleep, and depression. I’ll show them how easy it is to make a blend. They’ll put it into a roller bottle that they can take home and use as they need.”
Some go-to oils for these emotional issues include lavender, vetiver, spruce, and white fir.
“Any woody oil or oil derived from a tree is going to be very grounding,” explained Gaudioso.
Because tree, grass, and herb-derived oils are rich in esters and oxides, they tend to promote soothing and renewal. It’s also helpful to think about where the oil resides in the plant. For breathing issues, oils extracted from the leaves, like pine or eucalyptus, are beneficial. To ease anxiety and instill a sense of grounding, oils extracted from the root, like ginger, have powerful effects.
“You can use essential oils for emotional benefits and physical health,” said Gaudioso. “They work within your body naturally at a cellular level to help with healing and regeneration.”
Kristen Gaudioso’s workshop on essential oils will take place on Sunday, May 14, at 1 p.m. at The East Hampton Library, 159 Main Street in East Hampton. The workshop is free. For more information, visit easthamptonlibrary.org.