Grief & Loss is a topic near and dear to my heart after having struggled with personal loss with the passing of my first husband in 2009. Today marks the 8th Annivesary of his death. Some years I pass by and don’t even realize what day it is. Other years, I’m crippled with grief. While I am grateful that I have been blessed with meeting and falling in love with someone who knew my late husband, who has been incredibly supportive and allowed me everything I needed to move forward after such a loss, very few days go by that I don’t think of my dear Rob at least once. He may be gone but he will never be forgotten and I’m thankful of the short time we had together.
Today is one of those years that I struggle. I didn’t sleep well, it’s rainy and dreary outside and there’s not enough coffee in the world to give me the get up and go I need to feel motivated. I know several other friends and family members who have struggled with grief and loss of loved ones and thought maybe I would use this pain today as a way to reach out and share some of what I’ve learned with others. So I’m taking a snippet of my class I taught last year on Mental Wellness and Emotional Support with Essential Oils to share with you today. I hope you find something of value in this post.
The class I taught back in May of 2016 referenced Dr. Carolyn Mein’s Releasing Emotional Patterns book and techniques. I will not be reviewing her technique in detail so I highly encourage you to check out her book. It is a must-have for any oily reference library, especially if you struggle with mental health issues. As a licensed mental health counselor, I can tell you it has been an invaluable reference for helping to start to bring essential oils into my practice with clients.
Unfortunately, my go-to reference guide for all things oily, the Essential Oils Pocket Reference by Life Science Publishing, doesn’t really list oils specifically for grief. They do have a section on emotional trauma but that was pretty vague. So, I’ve included the graphic above from an online class I attended last year on Essential Oils and Emotions taught by Rosy Crescitelli. I do not know the source of the image with oils added, but the original “Five Stages of Grief” image source credit belongs to Journey to Genius. You can use the oils listed aromatically, topically on VitaFlex emotional points on the ear (see picture below), or use in conjunction with Dr. Mein’s Releasing Emotional Patterns techniques.
For Denial – use Transformation to help start to accept your loss and move forward
For Bargaining – use Peppermint to help uplift and cleanse/purify your soul
For Depression – use Joy to bring peace to your heart
For Acceptance – use Acceptance to help move towards acceptance of your loss
Another of my favorite oily resources, the Reference Guide for Essential Oils app (on iTunes and Google Play for Android), which I love for the convenience of having right in my phone at all times, did have a few suggestions for using essential oils for grief and loss. Here is what it suggested:
- Single Oils – Bergamot (turns grief into joy), Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Lavender, Roman Chamomile
- Blends – Forgiveness, Gentle Baby (massage whole body), Hope, Joy (over the heart), Present Time, Release, Sacred Mountain (back of the neck), 3 Wise Men (rub on crown), Transformation, Valor* (on the feet), White Angelica (on the forehead or shoulders)
Usage Instructions from the Reference Guide for Essential Oils app:
- Aromatic – diffuse into the air, inhale directly or apply to tissue
- Topical – apply to auricular emotional points (see picture below). Dilute with V-6 or other carrier to create a massage oil and massage onto the skin.
Emotional Ear Chart from Essential Oils Pocket Reference Guide
I also found a really useful blog written by Mary Hyatt on how to help move through grief with essential oils. She has a lot of great recipes for help dealing with the different stages of grief so I wanted to include it in addition to the oils and blends listed above. She uses a different oil company so I have modified the recipes slightly to reflect the corresponding Young Living blends where appropriate. Here is a link to her original blog if you would like to read it: http://marycrimmins.com/releasing-grief-with-essentials-oils/
To release – 25 drops of Bergamot + 15 drops of Roman Chamomile + 7 drops Cypress + 6 drops Marjoram. Mix up in a glass vial or empty glass bottle. Add 5-7 drops to a diffuser and run for 15 minutes per hour while home.
For sadness – 6 drops of Cypress + 4 drops of Frankincense + 4 drops of Joy. Mix up in a glass vial or empty glass bottle. Diffuse for 15 minutes every hour. Apply a few drops to the forearms, rub together, and inhale often.
If you are stuck in old grief – 4 drops Valor* + 4 drops Orange + 2 drops Lavender + 2 drops Melissa. Mix up in a glass vial or empty glass bottle. Diffuse for 15 minutes every hour. Apply a few drops to the forearms, rub together, and inhale often.
And here’s another great blog with suggestions and experiences from other essential oil users on how essential oils and blends have helped them cope with their grief: http://transformwithessentialoils.com.au/essential-oils-support-grieving/
And lastly, I thought it might be useful to include my notes from the Grief Seminar I attended as part of my grief process group in 2009. This doesn’t include any oily information but it would be easy to incorporate the oils discussed above during a discussion of the following topics. If you are not my friend on Facebook you will need to send me a friend request to view the notes (please send me a Private Message first so I know who you are and why you are requesting to be my friend so I don’t ignore the request): https://www.facebook.com/notes/celia-helen-mckechnie/grief-seminar/140769630453
So there it is. Today I’m diffusing Joy and Orange in my office and wearing Peace & Calming on my wrists to help find some peace and get through the day. I hope that you too find peace today if you are struggling with grief and loss or any other emotional difficulty.
Love and Light to you my friend,
* Because of Young Living’s Seed to Seal Guarantee and commitment to sustainable farming practices, Valor and Peace & Calming essential oil blends are often out of stock. You can substitute Valor II and Peace & Calming II for these oil blends when not available. While slightly different oils go into these blends, they were designed by Gary Young to have similar energetic properties and to be used for the same purposes. Just another reason why I love Young Living!
Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. I am an aromatherapy student but I am not a medical doctor. Products and techniques mentioned here are to help support your specific areas of concern and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.