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Q: I find I have a slow metabolism and that I am lacking in energy. Can you send me an aromatherapy massage recipe that would help in these two areas? Thanks, E.G.
A: Dear E., Essential oils will not really change your metabolism in any significant way, but they can be helpful, when combined with other steps, to help with fatigue. First, it is important for you to make sure that you know what is causing your fatigue and slow metabolism. Talk with your health care provider to make sure that you don't have an under-active thyroid or some other identifiable physical cause. If there is no specific illness that needs to be addressed, could there be stress in your life that is contributing to this?
Fatigue is a common problem in our society and while it does not always have a specific medical cause, there is usually some lifestyle factor or factors that are contributing. Lack of exercise, stress, and poor diet are often involved. For this reason, to take charge of the situation, you need to take action on several fronts. Start slowly, but try to add a little gentle exercise to your life; explore and implement sound nutritional changes; and, explore stress relief strategies.
While doing this, it will definitely help to use some essential oils. In general, we do not use truly stimulating oils to help fatigue since such oils are overwhelming to a system that is already tired. You want to use gently uplifting and even relaxing essential oils. Here are some suggestions: lavender, frankincense, petitgrain, juniper, orange, roman chamomile (maximum two drops in any application), eucalyptus citriodora (maximum two drops), small amounts of peppermint (one drop in a massage blend or diffuser or bath).
Many people who are tired are not sleeping well at night - lavender, roman chamomile,clary sage, and sweet marjoram will help you sleep. You can use these oils singly or in combinations of two or three oils in the following ways:
Make a massage oil using one tablespoon of carrier oil (such as grapeseed or sweet almond oil) and a total of 4 to six drops of essential oil; this is enough for one massage
Mix a total of 5 drops of essential oil with a tablespoon of milk and add to your bath
Put 4 drops of essential oil onto a fan diffuser or in a bowl of steaming water.
Usually, combinations of essential oils are more effective than a single oil. I especially like lavender and orange or lavender, orange and frankincense. I also like juniper, petitgrain and lavender, or lavender and peppermint (daytime only, since peppermint will keep you awake). Chamomile and eucalyptus citriodora are also nice. The amounts I have given are maximums; less is often effective, so try and see. Do not expect dramatic results. Overcoming fatigue takes time, patience, and a gentle approach.
Finally, I also want to add that if you have the resources, I think that acupuncture is the single most effective intervention for fatigue that does not have a specific medical cause.
I hope that this helps.Please feel free to write or call if you have any questions or just want to chat. Best Regards, - Joie Power, Ph.D.