The Chemistry of Essential Oils and Their Uses for Stress Relief and More: Part Two
Using essential oils can have a myriad of benefits, including stress relief and promoting positive emotional states. For patients, caregivers, and anyone interested in improving their health and wellbeing, these oils have a great deal of potential.
In our last post, we took a look at the effects these oils can have on your endocannabinoid system, which regulates a number of important processes within the body. Specifically, essential oils can activate powerful responses from the body’s CB2 receptors, which affect both your immune system and your hormone levels. In doing so, they have therapeutic potential for treating a number of health conditions.
Let’s take a look at why essential oils may have these effects, and explore some oils which you may want to use as part of your self-care regime.
Why Do Essential Oils Affect CB2 Receptors in the Body?
Anything that works with the CB2 receptors in the body is known as a cannabinoid. There are chemicals that exist naturally in the body that can do this, but some cannabinoids are also derived from plants. These are known as exocannabinoids because they exist outside of the body, and there are three main ones: CannabiDiol (CBD), TetraHydroCannabinol (THC), and BetaCaroPhyllene (BCP).
According to Dr. David K. Hill, dōTERRA’s Chief Medical Officer, most oils that claim to contain CBD only contain it in extremely small quantities, too low to have any desired effect. THC, meanwhile, doesn’t have much effect on the CB2 receptors.
BCP, on the other hand, reacts exclusively with the CB2 receptors, and has a lot of therapeutic potential. This exocannabinoid is found in many essential oils, and can have many health benefits for patients and caregivers alike.
Incorporating Essential Oils Into Your Self-Care Routine
To experience the benefits of exocannabinoids, Dr. Hill recommends DoTerra’s Copaiba oil. This oil is distilled from the resin of the Copaifera officinalis tree found in Central and South America, and its pleasant aroma is spicy and woody.
The benefits of using this oil can include liver and antioxidant support, digestive support, and cardiovascular support. It may help you to sustain proper immune responses and respiratory function, and may support neurological function. Using essential oils can also have a deeply calming effect, soothing your emotions and reducing stress.
There are many ways to use an oil like this as part of a daily self-care regime, including mixing a few drops with water, diffusing it, or taking a few drops under your tongue.
We recommend applying essential oils topically, incorporating them into a daily acupressure massage. Just rub a few drops of the oil directly onto your skin on the acupoints you’ll be stimulating. The scents themselves can be very calming, making the whole experience more enjoyable and relaxing.
If you’re not sure how to use essential oils or have any questions about which oils are right for you, ask your acupuncturist at your next session. At 5 Point Acupuncture, we want to help all our patients experience the long-lasting benefits of these alternative therapies, and we’re more than happy to have a chat about the oils we recommend and how to use them.