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releasing neck tension with HOPE

Why Peppermint is the New Lavender (Plus a DIY Recipe You Can Make To Reduce Stress Now)

5 min read

When Steve Jobs launched the iPhone in 2007, he spawned generations of people so attached to texting, checking social media and mobile surfing that they unwittingly sacrifice their health and wellness every day. Now that our already busy days are overloaded with these unrelenting stimuli, spending countless hours hunched over our devices, we desperately need extra help sustaining our energy, comfort and focus.

Reducing stress while sharpening our minds is exactly where essential oils excel. Aromatherapy newbies seeking stress relief usually reach for all-purpose lavender and stop there. But those in the know are now choosing peppermint, a powerful essential oil perfectly suited to handle our modern-day challenges by infusing our bodies with a blast of calm energy, positivity, creativity and focus. 

The Mind and Body-Altering Power of Essential Oils

Essential oils help alleviate both physical and psychological ills without the side effects or the prohibitive cost of pharmaceuticals. With a few inhales, you can adjust your state of mind; using essential oils on tense muscles releases the grip. Expertly combined essential oils, known as synergistic blends, have become today’s on-the-spot remedies and spiritual healers. A popular H. Gillerman Organics® blend I created called Clear Mind Tension Remedy uses peppermint, in a blend with other essential oils, that studies show reduces stress, eases tension and relieves pain. You simply dab a couple of drops on the back of your neck, and within 15 minutes, most people experience tension patterns finally unwind. 

Peppermint: Sleep Aid and Anti-Depressant?

Many peppermint enthusiasts are using it as a sustainable alternative to sleep meds, anti-depressants, OTC cold medicine, pain relief and topical muscle relaxants. Peppermint even cools you off on a hot day and helps with digestion. When you are looking for a way to be freed from that draining feeling of sitting in front of a blue screen for hours, or you have lost your focus and feel burned out, seek out peppermint oil—it’s uniquely up to the challenge.

Peppermint’s Health Benefits

What makes peppermint so distinctly useful is that it’s an incredibly powerful stimulant that also simultaneously relaxes us in a way that lavender and many other essential oils just don’t match. Highly adaptogenic, this oil might even feel cold for some or hot for others when applied topically. The action of the oil works similarly to a common relaxation technique where you wake up underused muscles by strongly tightening and then releasing to increase circulation and flush toxins for a deeper rest.

With peppermint, people tend to feel instantly revived by a fresh intake of air, as sinuses unclog and breathing passages feel clearer, followed by a tingling feeling as newly oxygenated blood flows more freely into tense areas. Not knowing when or how it happened, people feel surprisingly relaxed but without a heavy or sluggish feeling. As your tension headache dissolves, your mind reboots with more clarity and focus, kind of like caffeine, but without feeling tension or jitters.

Peppermint provides an energized calm that creates space for new ideas, and even fosters optimism. How perfect it is for today’s multi-tasked brain that has been drained of the creativity energy that makes our work so satisfying.

Peppermint’s appeal is familiar to us in many forms: mouthwash, toothpaste, shampoo, tea, candy —the list goes on and on. But many of these products adulterate (sometimes with toxic ingredients) or source poor quality peppermint oil. When we introduce ourselves to an organically grown, high quality, peppermint oil (menta x piperita from France, Italy or the Reunion Islands), it’s easy to feel the difference. If you get a chance to smell this in a store, breathe in the wonderfully complex, earthy yet light, herbaceous scent of this versatile essential oil.  

DIY Peppermint Blend Recipe for Stress Relief

If you want try a DIY, fast acting, decongesting, tension melting, pain relieving, anti-inflammatory, functional blend try combining the following in a wine goblet:

  • 5 drops of organic peppermint
  • 10 drops of organic lavender
  • 5 drops organic eucalyptus (polybractea or radiata)
  • 5 drops of organic helichrysum
  • 2 tablespoons of organic jojoba oil.

Swirl to completely emulsify the different oils together. Store in a two-ounce dark glass bottle.

I suggest smoothing this strong-scented, wake-yourself-up-but relax-your-muscles blend on the back of your neck, from the base of your skull down to the tops of your shoulders. Then take a moment to consciously breathe it in from your palms to clear your mind (be sure to wash your hands after applying to prevent getting these oils in your eyes and keep this blend away from newborns and young children). 

Other Ways to Use Peppermint Oil

Peppermint is a great way to get our minds and bodies out of a slump, or simply to connect with our physical selves more intuitively. Peppermint oil can be added to almost any blend—just add a few drops to the mix. Remember, not all essential oils are created equal. Check the label to make sure what you’re buying is an essential oil and not a flavoring or fragrance oil. Organic is much preferred to ensure purity and therapeutic results. 

I encourage you to try peppermint and other essential oils the next time you have a headache, neck tension or simply feel not quite right. One quick caveat: Stay away from dropping peppermint oil directly on your tongue, or in your water, as this can irritate the delicate tissues of your gut. Instead, breathe the oil in or apply a blend to your neck and shoulders and feel the renewal instantly!

Interested in trying a professional blend? WELL Insiders get 25% off the H. Gillerman Organics® Clear Mind Remedy line from August 15 through 18, 2019 with code “clearmind.”

About The Author

Hope Gillerman

Hope Gillerman

Hope Gillerman is the author of Essential Oils Everyday, Rituals and Remedies for Healing, Happiness and Beauty (HarperCollins/Harper Elixir, 2016). Drawing on her background in dance and her professional work as an Alexander Technique Teacher, aromatic healer and a spa educator, she created The Hope Gillerman Method and H. Gillerman Organics, a line of essential oil remedies, skin and spa products. Her products are available in wellness and green/clean beauty boutiques including Anthroplogie & Co, The Detox Market, Credo Beauty and top spas in the U.S. and the Caribbean. Hope offers her method as means for greater awareness, self-knowledge and self-healing in one-on-one sessions with private clients and in all of the work she does to help people discover the full healing potential of essential oils.

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