Aromatherapy Expert Opinions Roundup
There is sometimes a lack of understanding when it comes to aromatherapy essential oils. We wanted to find out their top uses and clear up any uncertainty and provide information surrounding these oils.
That's why we reached out to 25 top aromatherapy experts and asked them:
"What are your top three uses of essential oils?"
We would like to say a big Thank You to all that took part in the roundup. You can quickly jump to a contributor by using these links:
Andrea Butje, Andreas Boxhorn, Audre Gutierrez, Claire Symes, Complementary Health Professionals, Deby Atterby, Diane Davies, Doctor Lynn, Felicia Tomasko, Frann Leach, Gill Farrer-Halls, Jan Randall, Jessica Sjoholm, Joy Watson, Kaia Baird, Karen Hansford, Kate Maier, Kristin Robinson, Laura Hoy, Laura Legere, Liz Buckles, Sian O'Flynn, Suzanne R. Banks, Stephen Frost, Sylla Sheppard-Hanger
Editor/Publisher - Aromatherapy Today - aromatherapytoday.com
Interesting as it may seem, when asked to nominate my top three ailments for which I use Essential Oils, I look back through my client’s consultation forms to help me with the answer.
I find that I seem to vary the Essential oils that I am using for specific ailments and this occurs quite often, allowing me to attain greater responses within the treatments in my clinics by varying the treatments of different conditions. I also consider the way the ailment changes during the process of healing.
Giving it some thought, I have decided to share three of my top ailments for which I use Essential Oils;-
- Skin disorders.
- Body detoxification.
Before formulating any product for my clients, I will always gather as much information as possible about drug intervention, as it is a high priority in the area of the elderly, who are generally on high levels of regular medication intake and over 50% of my clientele are of the pensioner age bracket.
I also take into account the integrity of my client’s skin. Being very aware of the fact that when aging sets in, it results in a rapid degradation, which in turn causes an increase of degradation in our largest organ, namely the skin.
Sadly with age, the mitosis of the cells will slow down and the tissue will become much thinner resulting in the rate of repair to slow down drastically.
Each Essential Oil is chosen for its excellent action, so with this in mind, I will explain each action in a little more detail and the skin condition is puritis.
Peppermint, or as we know it in the Aromatherapy world, (Mentha piperita), the actions of this essential oil are enormous, but in the case of itch relief, I find that peppermint essential oil has proven to have excellent analgesic, anti-inflammatory, cooling yet warming actions.
The actions of Mentha piperita are contributed to their high end of their chemistry, such as menthol and menthone.
Contra indications may include skin sensitivity, so small dosage should be used, preferable around 1%.
When choosing essential oils for skin issues such as puritis, our choice and dosage will vary greatly as we are all aware that no condition is identical to look at due to the client’s skin integrity which may vary considerably.
An excellent oil that I use in the treatment of puritis (itchy skin) is Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata). This essential oil only needs to be used in small doses, around 0.8% is recommended and I have had excellent results in reducing the itch. I place the importance of this oil due to its chemical structure of esters and sesquiterpenes.
Sadly, when excess scratching occurs, so does the ratio of broken skin, so my next oil is for tissue repair, Immortelle (Helychrisum italicum). This oil is just excellent for that reason and is also used in small dosages at around 0.05%. The esters and sesquiterpenes are what add to the healing properties of Helychrisum italicum. By adding these 3 oils to a lafogel medium, the results are fantastic.
Now, when working on client’s suffering from depression, I encourage my clients to carry an inhaler consisting of their unique Essential Oil formulation and one of the main Essential Oils I would use in this formulation is Bergamot, (Citrus aurantium bergomia). This oil is high in acetates and terpenes, making it excellent for this type of treatment.
Citrus aurantium bergomia is phototoxic, so one should be very cautious when working with this oil, taking precautions to prevent spillage on the skin. The particular prescriptions I prepare have had excellent results with both the young and aged alike, especially when the client is experiencing a panic attack.
My final treatment is my detox and elimination protocol, with this treatment, one of the oils I use is Cypress, (Cupressus sempervirens), this oil has a high amount of terpene, alcohols and acetate. The Essential oil works well in accelerating the detox and elimination process by assisting with the removal of stagnant toxins from the body systems, giving way to a healthy body.
This method of treatment is very important in our current way of life were we are sadly bombarded with chemicals and no matter how hard we try to reduce this intake, we cannot dismiss that our body’s will still encounter a build up throughout our cells and tissues.
© By Deby Atterby for Aromatic Aromathology Therapies.
Essential Oil Consultant - essentialoilsandyou.co.uk
After completing training with Neal's Yard Remedies in 2006 & a Diploma in Aromatherapy & Essential Oil Science, Laura began managing NHR Organic Oils, a company selling the highest quality organic essential oils. One of her favourite parts about this role was communicating with clients about how simply oils can be used to support health, wellbeing & nurturing. This inspired her to start a blog sharing the pure joy of using oils in every day life: www.essentialoilsandyou.co.uk
Throughout this time Laura has developed her way of working with oils. As well as using them as part of her daily rhythm, she makes bespoke blends in various forms, runs workshops & training in the community and for the general public, and acts as a consultant for use of essential oils in the Martlets hospice.
She now works at Mayfield Lavender, a family run organic lavender farm on the Surrey downs, which provides a beautiful space to bring her qualities to a wider audience.
My 3 top uses for essential oils:
Connection, Rituals and Nurturing.
Essential oils are a potent tool to support health and well-being, from chronic illness to the common cold, there is an array of oils to choose from, each with powerful properties that help ease many symptoms both in the body and the mind. There are a myriad of ways they can be used too, which can actually be a little overwhelming, but no matter what my symptoms may be, or what essential oil I feel like using, there are three main ways that I incorporate them into my daily life:
Connection - to support a consistent connection with my body and to reconnect to myself when I feel out of sorts;
Rituals - to use the oils in daily rituals that support me to live with a steady rhythm and stay connected with what's around me;
Nurturing - to use essential oils in a nurturing way that supports developing a deeper relationship with myself.
These ways can look quite different for each individual person, so here are some practical examples of how it can play out for me:
Connection - If I'm feeling a bit stressed, tired or distracted, I may take five minutes to sit and massage my wrists with some hand cream or massage oil blended with myrrh essential oil. This area feels particularly delicate to me and this action allows me to feel how tender my body is, so quite quickly it brings me back to myself which gives me a chance to address what ever is going on that resulted in me feeling out of sorts -hence the re-connection.
Rituals - In my daily tasks I like to bring a little touch of magic to what I do, I might add a sprinkle of lavender oil into my laundry powder or a few drops of lemon oil onto kitchen surfaces when I'm cleaning. It's a way of bringing my innate quality to every day life and recognizing each moment as precious.
Nurturing - The more I build the connection with myself and the daily rituals in my life, the more deeply I feel I naturally nurture myself. It seems that if I care enough to commit to the other two, the nurturing builds by itself. It's like I have more respect and time to care for myself. Rose is my favorite oil to use in this way, at the moment its in my face cream which also gets applied to other areas of my body that need attention, it’s likely to be in a perfume that I make (that I quite often just wear to bed) or a few drops in my shower gel which means my skin gets massaged with rose each morning –very delicious.
These are all simple ways that I use the oils and they don’t take too much time up. Everyone could use essential oils in their day to day life, perhaps in different practical ways depending on what they like and the practicalities of their day. But by bringing the focus to connection, rituals and nurturing, it tends to avoid the oils becoming just another quick fix for ailments and supports addressing the route cause of the issue. It also allows me to appreciate the real beauty and power in the oils, but also how important my part is in supporting my health and wellbeing.
If you would like more inspiration and practical advice on how to use essential oils check out my blog: essentialoilsandyou.co.uk
Massage therapist & Author - lauralegere.com
Since 1993 Laura Legere has been a massage therapist and an educator, instructor in essential oils for health, healing, emotional release and nutrition. Laura is author of It’s Not Weird Anymore: An Extraordinary True Tale andwinner of the 2011 Readers Favorite Award. A book about how Young Living Essential Oils saved her life from a severe head injury.
Peppermint oil helps with headaches, muscle and tissue discomfort, nausea, indigestion, insect repellent, insect bite neutralizer and more. One drop of Young Living’s peppermint oil is equivalent to 28 cups of peppermint tea and it takes up to an entire plant or more to
make one drop of oil.
I take Young Living’s clove oil in a veggie gel cap everyday because it is the highest antioxidant ever measured. On the ORAC ( Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale clove oil is almost 11,000 and way beyond any nutritional product ever measured. Clove oil can help stop and repair free radical damage. My Mom is celebrating her 90th birthday Feb 26th, 2016 and has been taking Young Living’s clove oil internally for 15 years and has no aches or pains. She is a jazz pianist, still plays and gets hired for gigs around town.
Deep Relief rollon blend from Young Living has worked wonders for myself and others. It contains a blend of peppermint, wintergreen, copaiba, lemon, balsam fir, clove, helichrysum, vetiver, palo santo and a dash of coconut oil. It helps with injury relief and headaches.
77% of essential oils on the market are synthetic, fake, toxic and dangerous. 22% are adulterated with fillers and 1% are the REAL McCoy. Be careful. More @ LauraLegere.com
Aromatherapist - aromahead.com
Andrea Butje is an internationally recognized Aromatherapist who is changing the educational paradigm through her inspired approach to teaching and creating community at Aromahead Institute.
Aromahead is known as one of the most innovative online schools in the country. The Institute’s elegant and intuitive classroom design make navigating its expansive digital learning environment a uniquely user-friendly experience.
Along with quality education Andrea is passionate about supporting essential oil distillers worldwide. Over the years she has traveled the world developing relationships with small, organic artisan distillers and connecting them with essential oil companies.
At Aromahead Institute we developed a Holistic Health Model for using essential oil that fits right into your questions of our top three uses of oils:
Vital Energy shows itself in our energy levels and our health. When we wake up in the morning feeling rested and energized, we know our vital energy is full. When we are healthy most of the time we know our constitution is strong. When we get sick a lot and feel depleted, our vital energy is low and could use some support.
1. Nourishing your vital energy is a long-term approach and includes lifestyle choices and habits, such as getting restful sleep, and reducing stress. When we sleep well out body has a better ability to resist whatever might be challenging for our minds and bodies. Essential oils bends for sleep can nourish our energy.
2. Protecting vital energy is more action oriented, this is what we do to literally get rid of germs and keep our immune system strong and revitalized. It is worth protecting ourselves in times of obvious stress. Becoming aware of these times will allow us to offer a little extra protection. The extra support for our vital energy helps it keep up with its usual duties of maintaining health. This is especially important during stressful times and for those of us that have really busy lives. Diffuser blends and natural cleaning products can help protect our vital energy.
3. Resolving acute issue blends are ideal when we just don't feel well and need relief from symptoms. This might be a essential oil blend for pain, for allergies or for a full blown cold. In the case of an acute issue, the vital energy has been “overwhelmed” and the balance is off. We now show physical symptoms – such as congestion, pain or low energy.
Naturopathic Doctor, Yoga Therapist & Author - doctorlynn.com
Dr. Anderson holds a Ph. D in Natural Health and a Doctorate of Naturopathy with an emphasis in Aromatherapy. She is the developer and owner of Kosmos Education, an education company providing continuing education credits to health and fitness professionals.
Dr. Anderson was the corporate educator for Aroma Vera, an international aromatherapy company; as such she traveled and lectured extensively both nationally and internationally. She has written numerous educational courses in the area of mind-body-spirit integration, yoga and natural health, and its application to traditional health and fitness practices. She has lectured extensively at major metropolitan areas across the U.S. and internationally and developed her own weekly radio talk shows about anti-aging and alternative medicine.
She is also a published author of a nutritional book for an international nutrition company, with headquarters in Beverly Hills, California, several books on yoga and nutrition, and a contributing writer to the Journal of Longevity, as well as, an advisory board member. She has been a speaker at the Chopra (Deepak Chopra) Center of Well Being. Dr. Anderson is a faculty member to the American Council on Exercise and has presented at various conventions, including the Motion Picture Wellness Center, East Coast Alliance, the Tiffany Kim Institute and Fitness Resources.
She has been featured in Shape Magazine, SELF, Red Book and the Chicago Times, as well as, numerous other major publications and talk radio shows. She is a contributing writer to the Huffington Post, Gaiam and Wisdom Times. Dr. Anderson is an internationally Yoga Alliance registered teacher. She is a Spin certified instructor and a member of ACE and IAYT. She also teaches anti-aging /fusion fitness classes. She has written, performed in and produced several fitness DVDs, Doctor Lynn’s Anti-Aging Workouts and Yoga Dance. These unique yoga/dance workouts promote fitness and health for the body, the mind and the soul. She has also written and published a companion book, Spiritual Fitness as well as several others books including Karma, because life becomes what life does. Originally from Maine, the mother of two children and grandmother of two boys, she now resides in Los Angeles, California with her husband Dan.
Antiseptic, decongestant and antidepressant are my top three uses for essential oils. Essential oils have many medicinal properties. There are over 400 known oils and documented uses. My favorites are the well-known oils of lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus. These oils are easy to understand and easy to use. When we get into the use of the more esoteric oils it takes the guidance of a professional.
What I especially like about my top three oils is that they do not interfere with any other method of treatment. For example with the common cold eucalyptus can be used to diffuse a room which both improves breathing and helps to cleanse the air. If someone is using a cold medication this essential oil can also be used.
Oils should never be taken internally without the guidance of a qualified practitioner. Also, caution should be used when using oils directly on the skin. In most cases it is best to mix with good carrier oils. That is one of the reasons I love lavender. It is safe to use directly on the skin for relieve of burns and sores.
Tea tree oil is also oil that can be used directly of the skin to treat infections and acne. So my favorite uses are the simplest, safest and yet effective use of essential oils.
Principal Teacher and examiner with the International Federation of Aromatherapists - ifaroma.org
Gill Farrer-Halls is a Principal Teacher and examiner with the IFA and has over 30 years experience in the field of aromatherapy. She is also a writer and has published 19 books with tiles on Aromatherapy, Buddhism and meditation, including the bestselling THE AROMATHERAPY BIBLE and her latest book published last year, THE SPIRIT IN AROMATHERAPY: WORKING WITH INTUITION.
First must be the use of essential oils and absolutes in skin care. I make most of my own skin care products and have done for decades, and I use a wide range of oils and absolutes as it’s important to not use any one oil continuously for any length of time. I incorporate essential oils and absolutes into home made creams and lotions as well as mixing them into base creams and lotions. I also make body butters and exfoliating scrubs. All these products are much enhanced by the addition of essential oils and absolutes for both their skin nurturing qualities and delightful fragrance.
This leads to another use; home made perfumes. With the proliferation of allergies on the increase I always try to avoid synthetic fragrance as much as possible, so homemade perfumes using only pure essential oils and absolutes is a good way of ensuring nothing nasty gets into something I apply to my body most days. I make both alcohol (ethanol) and oil based perfumes, but other than these two bases the only additions are essential oils and absolutes. With such a wide range available these days it is interesting and fun to create different types of fragrance for different moods and different times of day and night. My third use would be for healing; cuts and grazes, headaches, stress and tension, nausea, bruises and so forth. All these minor maladies respond well to the application of essential oils either in a bath, a diffuser, or a drop or 2 neat or diluted on the skin. There are plenty of other uses, but in summary these would be the initial three.
Herbal medicine and gluten free cooking author - shop.frannsalthealth.com
Frann Leach is well known for her books on herbal medicine and gluten free cooking. She also runs several health-related websites including the online health shop FrannsAltHealth.com.
When Gattefossé brought the attention of the West to aromatherapy in the early 20th century, he opened our eyes to a long tradition stretching back hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. In his honour, my top essential oil use is lavender for burns.
Lavender is mainly used for emotional and physical stress, but it is a great remedy for burns. Applied undiluted, it will assist healing and help prevent scarring and infections. Much better than butter (which is what my parents used), or even cold water. You can safely apply it whenever the pain gets too fierce, and know that you're only doing yourself good.
Second on my list is tea tree oil for psoriasis. I keep a huge bottle of this, and use it for all sorts of problems caused by infections, from spots to athlete's foot, making use of its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
Psoriasis is apparently an auto-immune condition, so you wouldn't expect tea tree oil to be much help. When I was diagnosed with psoriasis on my elbows and inside the ears, it never occurred to me to use tea tree; instead, I tried all the creams and butters commonly recommended - and they did nothing.
I started researching and found tea tree oil was used by some people for psoriasis. I had it to hand, so I tried it - and it was almost miraculous.
Psoriasis can't be cured, at least at our current level of understanding, but regular use of tea tree oil has got my psoriasis under control. I've even used it inside my ears on a cotton ear bud. It stung like billy-o for a couple of minutes, but the next day a layer of scales peeled off like a snake skin in reverse, leaving the skin underneath smooth and not painful at all. That was a while back, and the psoriasis in my ears hasn't returned.
Finally, my third favourite use of essential oils is helichrysum for muscle pain. It's very expensive, and hard to find, but you can use it in a 2% dilution with good results. Stiff shoulder? Sprained ankle? Muscle strain from too much golf? Massage with helichrysum. In my experience it works better than traditional liniments, and without the overpowering smell.
Massage & Aromatherapy - ddma.co.nz
BIO: Diane has been an aromatherapy and massage therapist since 2010. Trained at the prestigious Wellpark College in Auckland, she combines the holistic nature of massage and aromatherapy with the empathy gained from also being a formally trained counselor. She is also in the process of becoming a yoga teacher.
Skin care - By this I mean in the broadest sense of the term; not just for beauty purposes, but also very practical things like taking the sting out of a burn, healing a scab, graze or pimple, putting on an insect bite. You can use essential oils directly (in a few instances) such as a drop of lavender directly in a mosquito bite, or you can use as a compress on some inflammation or mix with a base oil to use as a moisturiser or for massage purposes. The list is endless really and beyond the scope of this. However, what I will say is that if people were more informed about how effective (both in terms of cost and efficacy) fruit, nut and essential oils were they would not bother with those expensive products that claim the fountain of youth but are usually filled with preservatives, fillers and petrochemicals.Mood enhancer - This is self-explanatory. Essential oils can be used in a diffuser or burner to fill one's home or work space with a beautiful aroma to relax or revive. Inhalation via a few drops in hot water with a towel over the head helps get those molecules right into the olfactory system, hitting the limbic system - the part of the brain responsible for invoking memory and the sub-conscious. Even a drop or two on a tissue kept on one's person and sniffed whenever required is a very effective mood enhancer. Having a full-body massage with essential oils is possibly the best mood enhancer on the planet!
Connecting with spirit - I love to use essential oils in meditation, to help ground and connect me to the spiritual side of life. Essential oils contain the vibration of the plant and can help us connect to nature in a very direct yet subtle way. I like to use essential oils to help address any imbalance of the chakras.
Holistic & clinical therapist - nature-to-nurture.co.uk
I initially trained at Neal's Yard Remedies School for Natural Medicine as an aromatherapist & am a member of IFPA. Upon graduating I joined NYR Therapy Rooms in St. Albans & set up Nature To Nurture working from my home in Hemel Hempstead. I dove straight into therapy work with a position for a well-established Physiotherapy & Osteopathy Clinic so I like to consider myself both a holistic & clinical therapist. I always mix techniques to provide relief & support but in a caring & as relaxing a way as possible for my clients.
My aim as a therapist is to treat & serve everyone to the very best of my abilities, using my skills and knowledge to help them to feel better, as effectively & carefully as possible. I consider it a privilege to practice & be able to bring the incredibly beneficial power of touch to people, volunteering at local hospices and hospitals. I believe that good mental & physical health can be obtained by holistic massage, treating as a whole person. My wish is to create a personally tailored blend & massage based around personal needs each time.
My top three uses of essential oils are:
- Musculoskeletal aches & pains
- Stress relief/anti-anxiety (depression & panic attacks etc)
I am a holistic & clinical massage therapist & aromatherapist working with my own company from home & also at a physiotherapy/osteopathy clinic. So due to the nature of my work I see a lot of serious conditions, both mental & physical, as well as people looking for timeout & stress relief. This can range from supporting people with serious long-term illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia & lymphoedema etc. to physical conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) & tendinitis, to sports injuries & work-related such as RSI & shoulder pain from long hours of desk work.
So my number one use is for pain relief, whether that be excruciating pain from a trapped nerve or more general aching. For this I use oils with analgesic properties such as Sweet Marjoram, Peppermint, Lavender (various chemotypes depending on the pain) & for deep/strong pain essential oils such as Clove Bud & Valerian.
My 2nd use is for inflammation as this tends to go hand in hand with aches/pains. I use anti-inflammatory oils such as Cinnamon Leaf, Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis), German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Yarrow & particularly Plai, a relative of Ginger with very strong anti-inflammatory properties. Also Rose & Immortelle/Helichrysum if the condition is skin-related.
Finally, my 3rd use is very much a sign of the times - essential oils that help with stress, anxiety & depression. These can range from euphorics & anti-depressants such as May Chang, Melissa & Ylang-Ylang to anxiolytics such as Nutmeg to calmatives & relaxants like Lavender, Bergamot, Frankincense, Neroli, Mandarin & Petitgrain.
Carole Preen, Julie Quinn and Julia Wood - complementaryhealthproessionals.co.uk
Blends for treatments are difficult because of the nature of aromatherapy - blends are always prepared for individual client needs as the time depending on their physical, emotional and mental health.
However, we have come up with 3 top uses between us for personal use, which I hope you like:
1. Bergamot oil - for when you are feeling a bit low due to pressures of work or lack of sunshine this time of year. Place a few drops on a tissue and place under the bra strap (for women), or directly onto your collar/scarf/clothing around the neck and inhale this uplifting fragrance all day long. This oil is well known for its uplifting qualities and it will help you have a more positive outlook on your day.
2. Blend of Sandalwood and Neroli - if you are having trouble getting off to sleep, this blend is perfect. Neroli helps your mind drift off and Sandalwood also helps to stop your mind from going over the days events. Sandalwood as a base oil also helps you stay asleep for a good night's rest. Place one drop of Neroli and two of Sandalwood on a tissue and place it under the pillow case.
3. Rose Otto - place a drop on your collar to help overcome hayfever. You will smell of roses all day but who cares!
Editor in Chief of LA YOGA Ayurveda and Health and Find Bliss President - layoga.com
BIO: Felicia Tomasko, RN E-RYT 500 is the editor in chief of LA YOGA Ayurveda and Health and Find Bliss Magazines. www.layoga.com. She is a longtime Ayurvedic practitioner who is coteaching the Ayurveda and Self-Care program at Loyola Marymount University http://www.svasthahealth.com/lmu/
Essential oils have been part of my entire adult life; I first became introduced to their magic in the beginning of my studies of the healing tradition of Ayurveda. According to the teachings of Ayurveda, everything has the potential to be medicinal and scent has a particular power for healing and for affecting our physiology as well as our spirit. My all-time favorite essential oil is lavender—so much so that many people who have known me for years associate the smell with seeing me. I am drawn to lavender for its anti-inflammatory properties as I have a tendency to have skin breakouts and irritations so I often use it neat (undiluted) directly on my skin to calm and soothe. When I apply it, I also feel a sense of calm. There is something about both the feeling of the botanical on my skin as well as the enveloping scent that I associate with the experience of feeling calm and ease.
For decades, lavender has been a constant in my life while a long list of other oils have had significant impacts and influences on my life. In addition to lavender on my skin, I’m a fan of the healing power of helichrysum and I’ve even seen my skin heal right before my eyes. While I love it more for its earthy, grounding scent and effect than for the power to heal, amber is another oil I enjoy putting directly on my skin.
In addition to applying oils to my skin, I’ve become a recent convert to diffusing oils in my home. I have a cold diffuser that is currently operating in my bathroom on an almost constant basis. Some of the many oils I’ve been diffusing include palo santo, frankincense, lemon, orange, eucalyptus, and clary sage, depending on the mood I want to create.
Essential oils have powerful disinfectant properties and I’ve been taking advantage of the anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties of oregano oil, placing a few drops on the inside of my athletic shoes every few weeks just to keep things fresh. As I continue to experiment with them, I am constantly finding new uses for essential oils.
Founder of Grateful Spirit Healing - gratefulspirithealing.com
BIO: Kristin Robinson is the founder of Grateful Spirit Healing, which offers a holistic path for those interested in natural solutions to healing, spiritual awareness, and empowerment through healthy living. As an artist, creative soul, and published author on various subjects including the use of essential oils for runners, Kristin also creates natural healing products with essential oils and herbal medicine. Her website is GratefulSpiritHealing.com
My top three uses for essential oils are preventative medicine, self-care, and natural relief from aches and pains.
I am grateful to have grown up in a home where natural health options were commonplace. Growing up, my siblings and I saw a traditional medical doctor and also a holistic naturopathic doctor. Chiropractic care, polarity, homeopathic remedies, organic foods and holistic therapies were just a normal part of our life. There was even a separate cabinet just for vitamins, tinctures, and natural remedies, which my family now has in our home as well. This exposure at young age has instilled and inspired a love of nature and the exploration of holistic healing that I still hold to this day.
While preventative medicine is becoming more mainstream these days, many folks in the traditional western medicine system still treat the symptoms, and merely offer a band-aid solution. I use essential oils at the first signs of a sniffle or feeling unwell. Whether it is a facial steam with essential oils under a cozy towel, a room diffuser, room spray, or nasal inhaler, essential oils help to clear and cleanse my environment, and boost my immune system naturally. I especially love to lather on an immune-boosting essential oil salve to the bottoms of my feet and cover them with socks so that my body can soak up all of their wholesome goodness while I sleep!
Self-care is not selfish – it’s essential! After a long day on my feet, I love soaking them in a blissful footbath with a special blend of essential oils. I feel rejuvenated and these moments of self-care allow me to sit, breathe, and be in the moment with gratitude.
As a runner, yogi, and adventurer in this thing we call life, I’ve had my share of bumps and bruises, along with muscular and joint pains. I’ve found that using essential oils is a safe and natural way to alleviate any achy joints, sore muscles, even headaches! As an added benefit, the essential oil blends smell amazing and work wonders to soothe and moisturize my skin.
Our bodies will begin to heal when we listen, with love, to their messages. Why pop a pill that is loaded with side effects (many unknown even!) when you can use essential oils – a healing solution for you AND healing for our beautiful Earth. Trust your own body’s innate healing wisdom and choose to find a natural remedy with essential oils to balance and heal your body, mind, and soul.
Aromatherapist, author, blogger and vlogger - suzannerbanks.com.au
BIO: Suzanne is a qualified Aromatherapist, blogger, botanical perfumer and published author on Aromatherapy with her book titled “Revelation! Reveal Your Destiny with Essential Oils”
Suzanne has been practising Aromatherapy for 20 years - her reputation for relaxing and healing treatments is world renowned and has led to a long list of clients including Kylie Minogue, Louise L. Hay and Doreen Virtue.
Suzanne has created signature Aromatherapy experiences, and has ben the producer of aromatic experiences for major Sydney events, corporate events and retreats including an intensive week meditation retreat with Deepak Chopra -“Seduction of Spirit”.
Hi, I'm Suzanne and I have been an Aromatherapist for over 20 years. I'm an author, blogger and vlogger too and here are my top 3 uses for essential oils:
1. Body Oil Blend
As a therapist, I make an individual oil blend for each client, to use in their treatment. The important thing to remember once you have chosen your oils, is to blend them together first, then add your base. Using this method allows the essential oils to form a synergistic combination , then when you add your cold pressed base, the blend has already had a chance to become something wonderful. Using a body oil blend on yourself as a moisturiser nourishes your skin and supports you emotionally and energetically throughout the day.
A quick and easy way to use essential oils is to add them to a diffuser, or vapouriser. There are so many great electric diffusers on the market today, so find a cute one you like and go for it. The essential oils are usually added to water which is then diffused throughout your space - home, bedroom, office - or anywhere really. Within a minute you will have scented your space beautifully, amplifying your intention to relax, get energised or to be peaceful and mindful - depending on which oils you have chosen on the day. You can set the scene for your environment easily and effortlessly with a diffuser.
The shower is a perfect place to give yourself an aromatherapy treatment. Choose an oil you like (or combination of oils). stand over the drain, add a few drops of oil to the bottom of the shower and have a complete essential oil steam treatment. Choose peppermint when you have a headache or need to wake up, lavender to chill out from a stressful day, or any oil you love. The steamy shower environment will vapourise the oils quickly and softly and you will feel an instant burst of divine scent from the aromatic medicine. it feels like you've been to an expensive spa and sat in a scented steam room - but you haven't had to leave the house! Brilliant.
Aromatherapist/Massage Therapist - newburywellbeing.com
BIO: Kate is a clinical and holistic aromatherapist and has a background in a range of massage techniques including lymphatic drainage massage and deep tissue massage. She is passionate about working on a deeper level with the body to achieve your treatment goals.
To destress/clear the mind/promote relaxation and sleep for people with ongoing stress due to work and family. Calming oils include basil/bergamot/lavender/Roman chamomile/sandalwood/frankincense. Can be inhaled and used topically. Especially affective with lymphatic drainage techniques or hot stones.
To relax tight muscles due to stress or exercise using anti-inflammatory and analgesic oils such as thyme/cajuput/lavender/marjoram/Roman chamomile/clove bud. When applied with a deep tissue/sports massage, the client can feel a significant improvement after one treatment.
To help balance hormones/reduce PMS or menopausal symptoms/improve chances of pregnancy if trying for a family. Useful oils are clary sage/geranium/Rose otto/juniper berry. For pregnant clients, safe oils for pregnancy are used at a reduced concentration. Safe oils include tea tree/petitgrain over flowers/ylang ylang/ginger.
Medicinal Aromatherapist - ShiningSunAromatherapy.com
Audre Gutierrez is a certified Medicinal Aromatherapist, and has studied in France with Dr. Malte Hozzel, and in the US with Barry Kapp, John Steele, and Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, among others. Formerly, Audre had a successful executive career, including 7 years with a major drug development company. She left the corporate world in 2001 to be a full-time partner in Wisdom of the Earth (WOTE), which she co-owns with Barry Kapp. Audre currently shares her time between Sedona, AZ (home of WOTE) and Santa Fe, NM, where she lives with her husband, Leonard, and their wonderful menagerie of animals. In 2008, she created her private practice, Shining Sun Aromatherapy, where she consults with clients on using essential oils to create a more vibrant, healthy, satisfying life; writes on aromatherapy and meditation; and teaches aromatherapy and living authentically to individuals and groups.
While physical needs were top of mind in considering this question, I will start there, but end with what I feel is perhaps the most profound contribution pure essential oils make to humankind.
One of the key ways the essences support us is calming or sedating us. This may be needed because of undue worry, anxiety or sleeplessness. In such cases, I zero in on what is going on to create these feelings…whether external and/or internal reasons…and then suggest essences to help allay the concerns, soothe the feelings and also get to the root or underlying causes. Essential oils like Tangerine, Blood Orange and Grapefruit can really lift one’s mood and sooth anxiety. Essences like Fir Balsam, White Spruce or Ocean Pine can help ground and center us, without sedating us. This can often be difficult to understand for people used to taking anti-anxiety drugs, as they associate calming with sedating. However, how thrilled they are to find that they can feel grounded and centered, with the help of the conifer essences, without feeling sluggish or sedated. In some cases, the sedating power of the plant kingdom is helpful to break patterns of sleeplessness. In those cases, I will suggest Spikenard or Buddha Wood, both of which are calming to the point of sedation.
Another top use of essential oils is the relief of physical pain. Whether it be a pulled muscle, tendonitis, “tennis elbow” or lower back pain, essential oils are incredibly effective at lessening or eliminating pain. There are many options in the plant kingdom, but I will mention several that have been highly effective for muscle, bone and nerve pain. One not very familiar to Americans is Cornmint, an essence we get from Nepal. This is highly effective at relieving deep-seated pain, such as hip pain, lower back pain and shoulder or neck pain. We like to layer it with Red Pine or Spike Lavender, as Cornmint can offer a very intense “Icy-hot” kind of experience, and layering it between two other analgesic and anti-inflammatory essences is a very effective approach. Sweet Birch is another “go to” essence for pain, as is Vetiver. One unique essence, Guaiacwood, which is very thick and salve-like, is incredible for joint pain relief when it is warmed up and applied on the painful area. I personally experienced permanent pain relief with just one application on a neck pain that had bothered me for months. Other essences had given brief relief, but when I finally took the time to warm up the Guaiacwood and pour it on the area…the pain vanished, never to return (and this was a couple of years ago).
Finally, I would like to say my favorite and most rewarding use of essential oils…pure, un-blended, un-diluted essential oils…is their ability to bring us to our authentic selves. Pure, single essential oils bring us back to Nature, to the ancient connection between humans and the natural world. Their ongoing use deepens and expands that connection, helping so many remember who they truly are and why they are on this planet. They bring us to our purpose and our heart-felt passions…helping many find their true calling, professionally, and their soul or heart family. They help us realize that we deserve to be happy, to be uplifted by our friends and family, and to be loved for who we truly are. That is a transformation that essences such as Laurel Leaf, Pinon Pine, Violet and Rhododendron can initiate, and can support as it unfolds. This, for me, is one of the most important contributions of essential oils, as lack of authenticity, lack of purpose is at the heart of many of the physical, emotional and spiritual maladies humans experience today.
Founder of Bourne Aroma - aromatherapyyork.co.uk
I qualified with a diploma in holistic aromatherapy at the Yorkshire School of Natural Healing in September 2014, and I am gradually building up my practice, working alongside a GP practice and a pharmacy close to York. I also continue to work part time with the NHS as a Senior Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, working with children born with a cleft lip and palate. As a mother of two children now grown up, I find myself with more time to spend in my lifelong interests: singing sewing and gardening, and of course to pursue my new career in aromatherapy!
I am a practising holistic aromatherapist working in the York area. My main use for essential oils as an aromatherapist is for massage, with my clients. A 60 or 70 minute massage is deeply relaxing and helps with a number of health conditions: clients come to see me for help with muscular aches and pains, sleeping problems, skin conditions, or maybe because they need time out from a stressful job or lifestyle. Some are carers for a loved one who is very ill, or as a professional, which is very demanding emotionally and physically. When it's not so easy to remove the cause of stress from your life, massage is one of the best ways of taking time out to deeply relax the body and mind. I use a blend of essential oils chosen for their therapeutic physical and emotional properties, and I may use a blend of 4 or 5 oils. Blending the oils is like blending notes in music: you combine top, middle and base notes to create an aromatic harmony, which is very individual for each person. The oils work synergistically: they work together for a more therapeutic effect. Also, oils which are very soothing for the skin, and relaxing for the muscles, have a similar effect on our minds: the mind - body connection is very important in aromatherapy.
Secondly, I use my favourite oils in blends to make creams or bath oils for myself. my favourite face cream is made from a simple, fragrance-free face cream, with the addition of Rose, frankincense, lavender, sweet orange and cardamom: it smells like heaven to me! In my bath I use a lovely blend of geranium, lavender, and sweet marjoram. The blend of oils is a very individual thing: each person has their own favourites, and it's good to experiment until you find the right one for you. A useful tip is to mix a few drops of your favourite blend in some milk or vodka: the oils mix easily in these liquids and then don't form as drops on the surface of the water.
Finally, everyone needs a basic first aid kit of essential oils in their medicine cabinet. Use lavender as first aid for burns, for fungal skin conditions, and in a compress for topical pain relief. A few drops in the bath, or rubbed gently into the temples helps to ease a headache without having to reach for the aspirin. Tea tree is also an excellent anti bacterial and anti fungal treatment for skin conditions, particularly good for spots and acne. You can make a skin toner by mixing a few drops of tea tree and lavender with some vodka and distilled water.
I very rarely get a cold these days, since using essential oils on a regular basis: I don't know whether it's the fact that I'm a much calmer person, or it's the direct effect of the oils that I use with my clients, on strengthening my immune system. Steam inhalations are a good way of relieving congestions in the respiratory passages caused by coughs, cold and catarrh.
There are quite a few essential oils which can be helpful with a cold: they may help to reduce the discomfort of a blocked or runny nose, and also help to reduce the risk of secondary infections, because of their antibacterial properties and also stimulate the body’s own immune response: you can try eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree, peppermint, rosemary, pine or thyme. Remember that rosemary and peppermint are stimulants, so better to use at the beginning of the day, whereas lavender is sedative, so will enhance sleep at night time. I often put some frankincense in a night time blend as well, as it is also very good for helping sleep. Thyme is good inhalant for sore throats, and bathing with marjoram can help to reduce shivers and aching.
Aromatherapist/Instructor, Massage Therapist and Reflexologist - joyessence.on.ca
Joy Watson is a CFA Certified Aromatherapist/Instructor, Massage Therapist and Reflexologist and has over 25 years experience in practicing and teaching holistic healing. She is a member and Past President of the Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists and has been actively involved with their Education Committee since its inception. She is also a member of NAHA (The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy).
The Joyessence Aromatherapy Centre was established in 1996 and has become an international training centre with students in Canada, the United States, and in many countries throughout the world.
My top use for essential oils is definitely skin care. I use them every day blended in a natural lotion for application to my skin. I often combine a little rose with geranium, carrot seed, frankincense or sandalwood and lately I have been adding just a hint of patchouli. First aid - whenever anything is wrong I immediately consider “What essential oils will help this?” Of course lavender and tea tree play a big part in first aid and also sandalwood for throat problems, niaouli for sinus infections and rosemary for specific pain relief. Migraine - I have found that a combination of rosemary/eucalyptus globulus/lavender/peppermint is extremely effective in treating migraine and have demonstrated it many, many times.
Joy Watson, CAHP, RA, RRPr
Joyessence Aromatherapy Centre Inc.
Holistic therapist - your-aromatherapy-guide.com
My name is Jan Randall and I am a qualified holistic therapist. I am a huge believer in natural health, natural skincare and natural living. My aim is to be as informative as possible with my website www.your-aromatherapy-guide.com to give my readers the opportunity to make healthy lifestyle choices, for themselves and for our wonderful planet.
My top use for essential oils is in aromatherapy massage. All the benefits and properties of the different oils help improve so many health issues....body, mind and soul. This means that me, together with my customer, are able to really tailor the aromatherapy treatment.
Gorgeous smelling and therapeutic essential oils are used to fragrance the natural body care, facial skincare and hand made soap that I create. So, not only do all my products smell great but I know that all the ingredients are totally natural and beneficial too.
I wouldn't be without my 'medicine cabinet' of essential oils....used for all types of ailments from coughs and colds, cuts and scrapes, insect bites, headaches and sore feet.....just to name a few!
Aromatherapist - tranquillarosa.co.uk
Jessica Sjoholm is a professional aromatherapist based in Cornwall. Her therapy business, Tranquilla Rosa, specialises in helping people to restore their inner tranquillity through aromatherapy, reflexology, facials and unique holistic spa treatments.
Stress, anxiety and depression
Aromatherapy is excellent for helping to relieve stress, anxiety and depression, and there are numerous studies to support this. There are so many essential oils that help to induce feelings of relaxation, but some of my favourites are lavender, chamomile, marjoram, ylang ylang, rose and mandarin. Our sense of smell plays an important factor in the effect of essential oils, and the aroma of essential oils can recreate memories and associations. I create bespoke oil blends for my clients to use at home, and when they inhale the blend that has previously helped them to feel relaxed (such as during their aromatherapy massage), they will instantly be taken back to that calmer time.
Muscle and joint aches and pains
The majority of my clients visit me for relief from muscle and joint aches and pains. I also see many clients with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, who find aromatherapy helpful for helping to ease their aches and pains and fight fatigue. Some of my favourite essential oils for muscle and joint pain include ginger, black pepper, marjoram, lavender, peppermint and basil. These oils can be used in a massage or in a bath to help to relax the muscles, reduce pain and boost the circulation.
Besides aromatherapy massage, I incorporate the power of essential oils into most of my other treatments, including facials. Essential oils are a great way to help to enhance the condition of the skin and I use them to customise my facials to suit each client’s skincare concerns by adding them to cleansers, masks and moisturisers. I also blend them with carrier oils to massage the face, neck and décolletage, which is excellent for helping to improve muscle tone! My top essential oils for skincare are rose, chamomile and neroli for calming sensitive skin; frankincense, elemi and carrot seed for rejuvenating mature skin (and helping to prevent ageing!); lavender, geranium and palmarosa for balancing oily/combination skin; and jasmine and sandalwood for moisturising dry skin.
Holistic and Shamanic Practitioner - fire-within.com
Kaia has been practising aromatherapy for over 10 years. She is a holistic and shamanic practitioner with a clinic based in Paisley, near Glasgow. Kaia recognises the uniqueness in every body and as such, uses a combination of massage techniques and incorporates her Reiki practice to create bespoke treatments for each client.
You can find more information on Kaia and the treatments she offers at www.fire-within.com Online booking is also available.
I have an “aromatherapy first aid kit” in my house that consists of a few vital oils. Here are some of the common uses below.
Lavender is a great all-rounder: There’s pretty much nothing it cannot do! It’s a potent antiseptic and aids healing of skin. I keep it next to the cooker in case of any accidental burns. If you are unfortunate enough to burn your skin, rinse well with cold water and apply a few drops of lavender to the area. This should prevent any nasty scars developing. Mix 2 drops of lavender and 2 drops of German chamomile with 30ml of vitamin E cream and apply to the skin to treat headaches, dermatitis or eczema.
This oil is an effective natural remedy for heartburn or indigestion. Peppermint oil has also been demonstrated to have similar efficacy to conventional treatments for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). One drop of oil in a small glass of water should provide relief from heartburn. A cup of peppermint tea after meals can support digestion.
Thyme oil is a potent anti-bacterial which can aid recovery from gum disease and tonsillitis. 1 drop of this invigorating oil in a small glass of warm water gargled twice a day should ease symptoms and will freshen the breath too!
Reflexologist and member of the IFR - reflexologytherapy.co.uk
I began to take an interest in complementary therapies in 1991. My husband died suddenly and a friend persuaded me to have a massage which I reluctantly booked. All I can say is that I got off the couch feeling totally different and realised that if it can help me, it can help others. Two weeks later I was on the course.
I studied at Renbardou, one of the first colleges teaching complementary therapies in the UK, under Renee Tanner, now the Chairperson for the International Federation of Reflexology. All courses were set by the International Examinations Board and once completed I was registered with the I.F.R. and the top governing bodies for complementary therapies under the BCMA. I then went on to do a City and Guilds teaching certificate at Croydon College and taught Reflexology at Morley College in London and at Renbardou.
I made the decision to give up my full time job as a p.a. at Citibank in 1994 and began to practice from home. Since then, through word of mouth, talks in the community and magazine articles, I have built up a successful practice and have never looked back.
My top three uses are:
I use essential oils at the end of my reflexology treatment for the massage of the feet and up to the knee. The selection of essential oils I use would depend on what areas I have found during the reflexology that are congested or would benefit the person as a whole. Although reflexology does not need the extra help from the oils I find the clients appreciate the added touch.
Secondly I use the oils for aromatherapy massage. This would include body, facial massage and Indian head massage. Again the oils are blended for personal preference. The main oils I use for my facials are always rose and frankincense as long as appropriate.
Thirdly I blend oils in 30ml bottles for clients to take away for areas of pain to rub on or to put a cap in the bath for mainly sleep purposes. Again depending on contra-indications and need of clients.
Aromatherapist - healthspace.co.uk
Owner HealthSpace, Bishops Waltham, Hampshire SO32 1AF. HealthSpace is a multidisciplinary clinic offering an expert and integrated approach to healing and health.
First and foremost, I use aromatherapy to relax the mind and spirit. It is well documented that one of the major affects that Aromatherapy has on the body is through the Olfactory and Limbic system. Perhaps for this reason, my number one essential oil is Frankincense, known to promote a state of relaxation.
As a practising Aromatherapist, I use essential oils not only to induce a state of relaxation but I am also concerned with dermal issues. In massage and facial's I use specific oils to treat specific ailments eg aching muscles, dry skin, acne. I have also used oils to treat coughs,colds and headaches.
Finally, I use my essential oil diffuser to create the right atmosphere in my clinic. We have a ritual as we open in the morning to put the diffuser on and leave The Spa room door open. By the time clients come into the building, the fragrance has drifted through to reception and it smells wonderful.
One of the busiest services that we offer at HealthSpace, is counselling and psychotherapy. A visitor recently commented ' It smells like therapy here'. The greatest compliment I could receive!
Founder/Director of the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy - atlanticinstitute.com
BIO: Sylla is the Founder/Director of the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy in Tampa, Florida. She brings twenty years of experience and personal research into the practice of Aromatherapy and the power of essential oils. Her fascination with this subject has led her to study with the most knowledgeable people in the field of aromatic and medicinal plants, essential oil research, herbology.
My top three uses of EO:
- Diffusion for environment
- Topical in daily skin products
- As inhalation in sniffy stick for seasonal allergies
Founder of Oilsesense - oilsesense.com
BIO: Andreas is a husband, father of four children and blogs regularly at oilsesense.com. His simple goal is to help people find the right essential oils that will improve their health and quality of life thru aromatherapy.
First off I want to say that I use essential oils almost every day. My number one essential oil use is in a diffuser. I use my diffuser almost every day, my top blend is a few drops of peppermint, tea tree and eucalyptus. This blend is good if you or your kids have a cold and is effective if you let the diffuser run over night because that’s when your nose tends to get clogged. I also like a blend called cheer up buttercup from now essential oils, the blend brings a nice clean and fresh smell into the home.
Another great way that I use essential oils is by adding a drop of lemon oil to my glass of water. This not only gives the water a great taste but lemon oil has a lot of other great benefits. Some benefits of lemon oil include; calms stomach, relieves nausea, improves digestion, cleanses and purifies. Note that always use a glass bottle if you add lemon oil to your water, never use a plastic bottle or cup.
My third favorite way to use essential oils is rubbing one to two drops of peppermint on my forehead to relieve headaches. This is a good alternative to a pain relieve drugs, since there are virtually no side effects of peppermint oil. Make sure to keep the oil away from the eyes. If you do use any oils on children make sure to dilute them with a carrier oil.
Founder of SurgingLife - surginglife.com
Stephen Frost is the founder of SurgingLife, a meditation teacher, NLP coach, brainwave entrainment specialist, aroma practitioner and exponent of integrative therapy in order to generate a truly holistic experience healing and wellbeing. His development of the “Homeostasis” music is one of the major movements he has taken on the integrative therapy route, with the music being developed to enhance therapy sessions performed using the AromaTouch technique. The music creates a flow which brings far greater balance and healing to the listener whilst the therapy is in process by helping to carry them into the Theta brainwave range amongst other things.
Living in Japan with his family he is fortunate to enjoy the deep spiritual energy and amazing natural scenery of the country which fills him with the inspiration that he uses for filming, photography and furthering the work he does through SurgingLife to aid others in gaining the greatest degree of joyful living possible for them.
When asked what my top 3 uses for essential oils were I had to really think. Why? Because I use them so much through everything that I do. On a daily basis I use them for maintaining good health, aiding concentration, altering the feel of my meditations, plus I use them with groups when running workshops and seminars across a range of holistic techniques and themes. So picking out my top three uses will likely bring up some that are slightly uncommon.
One of my top oils is Frankincense, I use it for a great variety of things, though one of my main uses is within meditation. It has a wonderful feel to it and the aroma brings a natural sense of relaxation and release. Something which is incredibly beneficial for participants during the meditation and development workshops run through SurgingLife.
Rosemary is another oil which I love to use for its neurological properties, it has a wonderful lift that helps to sharpen focus and concentration, whilst at the same time to so in a manner that is relaxed and easy going. So at times when I am working through intense projects it can provide an extra edge which is very beneficial, and yet does so without creating a push which is too intense.
Likely the third would be Tea Tree oil, the reason for this being that it is used so much and for so many things. Any time there are cuts or wounds of any kind, when skin conditions or irritations come up, bug bites and all manner of other things occur it is great to use. The healing properties bring a naturally soothing feeling and it speeds up the healing process as well. It is also one of the oils I use when shaving. It is so incredibly versatile and useful it really has to be mentioned here.
There are of course a great many oils I work with regularly, narrowing it down to just these was incredibly challenging and leaving out certain other oils that are special to me such as Myrrh, Sandalwood and Jasmine seems strange, yet the three mentioned above constitute the ones I use most and thus gain the most from on a regular basis.
As we said above, we’d like to give all contributors a special thank you, allowing us to make this roundup possible. We have found the answers to “What Are Your Top Three Uses Of Essential Oils?” from our experts to be quite diverse and more comprehensive than we ever hoped for.
We wanted to find out how people in the industry use oils to give our readers more ideas of what is possible in the world of aromatherapy. Hopefully the roundup gives you some inspiration and insight into how creative you can get with essential oils and their many uses.
We hope you enjoyed the roundup and give it a thorough read to gain experience and knowledge from it. Please feel free to leave us a comment below or share it using the social buttons or infographic, we know the contributors would love to hear your thoughts as much as we would!