What exactly are essential oils? Probably the best way to explain them is, they are compounds that are extracted from various types of plants. Essential oils are processed in such a way that they are able to maintain the plant's scent, taste and health benefits. Personally, I am a huge fan of them. I like how potent they are. I like how helpful they are. And, I like how long the scent of them linger. Yeah, essential oils are dope.
When I first started using them, it was strictly as a perfume/cologne alternative. These days, I use them for homeopathic reasons too. Lavender is great for sleep. Rosemary is great for hair growth. You can check out my article, "8 Natural Aphrodisiac Scents, Where They Go & How To Make Them Last" to see how they can help you out, in a major way, in the bedroom department (wink). But if you'd like to learn about how to apply essential oils in a therapeutic health-related kind of way, not only do I have six different oils that I think you should get into, but six places on your body where you should put them. Are you ready to start feeling much better? Let's do this.
(Special note: Make sure to always mix essential oils with some type of carrier oil. Most of them are quite potent and can irritate your skin if you don't.)
Aside from the fact that applying a little lavender oil (along with a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut) can help to stop a receding hairline, because lavender is the kind of oil that contains properties that help to treat anxiety, insomnia and even depression-related symptoms, it would make sense why massaging a little of it along your hairline or temples would be a great way to reduce stress. In fact, if you have a headache or even a migraine, applying the oil to this area of your head can help to relieve some of the pain and tension that you feel.
Application Tip: While it's super effective to massage lavender oil directly along your hairline or onto your temples, an alternative approach is to put a few drops on a piece of tissue and inhale the oil directly. While this method won't do anything to get your hair to grow back, it can help to knock your headache discomfort within a matter of moments.
2. Rim of Ears
Just like a lot of research points to the fact that a lot of health issues can be diagnosed (and relieved) through reflexology, there are also studies that reveal providing special attention to our ears can help to heal our systems too; it's called auriculotherapy. When people participate in auricular acupuncture, it can do everything from lower blood pressure and relieve stress to suppress appetites and improve their quality of sleep.
If you'd prefer to "ease into" auriculotherapy, something that you might want to try is rubbing some rose oil on the rim of your ears. The properties in rose oil are perfect for increasing feelings of calm, fighting migraines and even creating a mental atmosphere in order to make sounder decisions.
Application Tip: Add 2-3 drops of rose oil to a half teaspoon of sweet almond oil. Apply some of the oil to your fingertips and then rub the oil blend along the rim of both ears. Rub it in as much as possible and allow the oil to penetrate for the rest of the day.
A lot of times, when we think of applying something to our wrists, it's strictly for scent purposes. However, this is a great place to put essential oils for health reasons too. Because your radial artery runs along the inside of your wrists, applying oils there is one of the fastest ways for the oils to hit your bloodstream. A good oil to try is oregano oil. It's a potent oil that fights bacteria, reduces free radicals and reduces bodily inflammation. So, if you're feeling under the weather, some oregano oil on your wrists might be all that you need to get to feeling like your old self again.
Application Tip: Again, since your wrist is a pulse point, it's a good idea to check out this essential oil dilution chart, just so you can determine how much carrier oil to mix in with the kind of oregano oil that you plan to use.
If you've got digestive issues of any kind, you might want to rub some peppermint oil onto your tummy. Aside from it being the kind of oil that can clear up congestion, relieve PMS-related symptoms and help to speed up the healing process of the common cold, peppermint oil is also able to reduce nausea, treat irritable bowel syndrome and make menstrual cramps more bearable too.
Application Tip: Peppermint oil is pretty potent, so you'll probably only need 3-5 drops per one-third cup of your favorite carrier oil (due to olive oil's antioxidants, it's a good pick for this). Warm up the oil in your microwave for 15 seconds and then massage the oil directly into your abdomen. The menthol will provide a cooling sensation as the warm oil soothes you at the same time. Also, if you'd prefer to drink the oil, you can put a couple of drops into your water or smoothie, so long as the peppermint oil is 100 percent pure.
Whether you've got restless leg syndrome, varicose veins or muscle soreness, chamomile oil is a wonderful natural remedy. It's an oil that reduces inflammation and muscle spasms. Chamomile oil also heals wounds and skin conditions like eczema and rashes, plus it can promote a good night's sleep.
Application Tip: Either add 10-15 drops of chamomile oil into your bathwater or massage your legs with 3-5 drops per a cup of your favorite carrier oil. Massage your legs right after showering or bathing for instant relief from any discomfort that your legs may be feeling.
6. Bottom of Feet
One of the reasons why you should be extra cautious about where you choose to walk around barefoot is because some of the largest pores on your body are located at the bottom of your feet. This means that, similar to your wrists, this is another way for essential oils to hit your bloodstream quicker.
For this reason, bergamot is a wonderful oil to apply to this part of your body. Its antibacterial and antibiotic properties fight infection, alleviate pain, lower blood pressure, relieve stress and, if you rub the oil on your entire foot, bergamot will keep it extra smooth too.
Application Tip: A cool way to massage the bottom of your feet while applying bergamot oil to it is to use a roll-on. You can purchase empty bottles for essential oil via sites like Etsy and Got Oil Supplies. Now what are you waiting on? Get some essential oil and get to feeling better!
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
7 Essential Oils All Naturalistas Need For Their Hair
The DIY Way To Prep Your Feet For Spring
9 All-Natural Ways To Quench Dehydrated Skin
Featured image by Shutterstock
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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
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From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
Featured image by skynesher/Getty Images