Essential Oils and the Heart

By Nyssa Hanger , MA, LMT, RYT

Essential Oils and the Heart

By Nyssa Hanger , MA, LMT, RYT

Your schedule might be booked with couples massages and significant others using gift certificates this time of year, but what about those clients struggling with heartache? Though we do not treat "heartache" directly with massage, loving touch can help those who are hurting from loss or loneliness. Along with massage, essential oils also have the ability to engage emotions and provide a space through which healing can take place.

Emotional Healing

Many oils can be used to help with our clients' emotional healing needs, as I wrote about previously. Today, I want to write about three oils in particular that have a special affinity for being comforting during times when hearts are aching.

These are by no means the only oils that can be used, and everyone will have an individual response to any oil. The art of aromatherapy is not in finding the "right" oil for any particular condition but instead in finding an oil that works for each person at each particular moment in time. This skill comes from both knowledge and experience, so explore using these and other essential oils in your own healing as well.

The essential oils I cover here are all affordable and are not talked about as often as say, Lavender, Rose, Bergamot, or Geranium (all of which could be good heart-healers as well).

On the Sweet Side

Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana) is perhaps the most well-known and used among the three (at least it is in my practice). I wrote about Marjoram's strength as a sedative in a previous article, but Marjoram is also antispasmodic, making it excellent for massage therapy. Emotionally, Marjoram is one of the most comforting essential oils, perfect for those feeling lonely and unsupported. I do recommend using Marjoram with other oils that are not as sedative in your massage practice because it works so well; it might even make you tired while you are working.

Clean & Fresh

Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinii) is quickly becoming one of my new favorite oils. Not only is it a great antiviral (which means, used in the air, it can help germs from spreading), but it is also a vasodialator and a tonic for the cardiovascular system. Even though this oil supports the physical heart, it translates to the emotional heart as well. The scent of Palmarosa is uplifting like Lemongrass (it is part of the same family), but it has a hint of rose in its scent without being overly floral. Palmarosa helps create adaptability and security in individuals who are nervous in nature and attached to loved ones, while also opening a space for greater compassion.

A Bit of Spice

Cardamom (Elettaria cardomomon) is a great alternative to Ginger that is still spicy without begin as potentially irritant. Cardamom would be particularly beneficial to someone who is having a hard time letting go of a relationship or being open to starting a new one. The oil's properties as a digestive tonic as well as an aphrodisiac are mirrored in its ability to restore an "appetite for life," according to aromatherapist/acupuncturist, Gabriel Mojay. I would use caution when applying to this essential oil to sensitive skin, but in low dilution — (2.5 percent) as recommended in a blend, it can be gently warming while increasing circulation.

Putting The Oils to Use

These oils can be used singly, with other favorites, or blended together. A recipe for a massage blend in a one ounce bottle of the carrier of your choice is four drops Marjoram, 8 drops Palmarosa, and three drops Cardamon. First, try it on yourself at home by making a blend as directed and applying at nighttime, perhaps after a bath.

You can also use the essential oils on their own and/or by placing a drop on a tissue to inhale, re-center, and refocus. This practice is one of the best ways to get to know the oils, and I will expand on this in my next article. For more information on the emotional effects of essential oils, I highly recommend The Aromatic Mind Book by Sylla-Sheppard-Hanger, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit by Gabriel Mojay, and The Blossoming Heart by Robbi Zeck.