Using Essential Oils for the Best Injectables Experience
Getting injections is a bit like bringing a puppy home: it’s fun and exciting, but there’s also some challenges to go through, and sometimes you end up wondering what the heck you were thinking, doing this in the first place.
Whether it’s crate training or getting a needle poked into your lips, we sometimes have to deal with obstacles that get in the way of what we want. In this case, one of the biggest issues stopping people from getting the injectables they want is their physiological reaction. Some of the most common reactions include: anxiety, feeling faint or actually fainting, and even nausea.
I would say about 95% of these problems are caused because the client (that’s you!) forgets to breathe. It’s difficult to remember to take steady breaths when something is being injected into your face, since usually the focus is on staying still. Most of the time, you’re so focused on remaining still (which is hugely appreciated) that your entire body locks up and freezes. The downside to this is the lack of proper breathing, which usually causes a feeling of faintness or nausea, and can increase anxiety. This is where essential oils come in.
Essential oils are a great way to make your injectables experiences go smoothly. When you focus on smelling an essential oil, it helps you remember to breathe because you’re focusing on inhaling and smelling the oil. Even applying the oil to certain points on your body can make a difference. Essential oils have numerous benefits, depending on the type of oil. There are many clinical studies that have examined the effects of using essential oils for pain management, anxiety, etc, and the science is in--they work! I’m going to list a few of the most common and proven-to-work oils that can help ease you injectables experience. Keep in mind that we have many of these in-office, so even if you don’t want to buy essential oils, you can always request them during your appointment.
Also, take note: if you do want to buy essential oils, make sure you buy the highest quality you can, especially if you plan on ingesting them. Essential oils can be added to drinking water, but only very, very small amounts should be used. It’s safest to apply topically or use them in a diffuser, and you absolutely want to test these methods first to make sure you don’t have an adverse reaction to the oil before you consider ingesting any. In addition, remember that not all essential oils can be applied “neat”, i.e. not all of them can be applied to the skin without a carrier oil. Make sure you know if your skin can tolerate an oil neat by doing a small patch test, and as always, try to research the oil beforehand and check with your physician to make sure the oil won’t interact with any health conditions or medications you have.
This one is tried and true, and you definitely know it...Lavender oil! Lavender oil is the most popular oil out there, and for good reason. It’s one of the most widely used and studied essential oils, and it’s been proven over and over again that it works on everything from anxiety to insomnia to even potentially helping with hair loss. These studies (Kasper, 2013 and Kritsidima et al., 2010) found a noticeable reduction in anxiety and even in pain management when lavender oil was used as aromatherapy, and when ingested using a specific, safe form. For the average client getting injectables, you don’t need to be quite as high-tech with your application. I personally have applied lavender oil straight to my skin and have never had a problem, but if you’re particularly sensitive or worried about your skin’s reaction, mix it with a bit of another oil, like jojoba or coconut. Commonly, lavender is applied to the pulse points on your wrists. You can also apply it to your hair/scalp, which I think works best.
Another go-to for anxiety is chamomile oil. It helps soothe anxiety, as well as headaches. As a side note, this is also a great tea to drink, and since it’s so common, it’s easy to buy. Chamomile oil is usually mixed with a carrier oil when applied to the skin, so take care to dilute it before using it topically.
One of my favorites for anxiety, and probably the oil I use the most is jasmine oil. I purchase this pre-mixed with jojoba, and whenever I feel stressed or anxious, I take a few drops and apply it directly to the center of my chest where I tend to hold a lot of tension. Studies have shown that jasmine stabilizes your mood by soothing your nervous system but simultaneously stimulating your energy levels to keep you alert.
The two oils that work best for feeling faint are peppermint and rosemary. In fact, making a mixture of these two by using half rosemary and half peppermint is the gold standard for fainting! You can either mix them in a glass bottle, or you can simply add a few drops of each to a tissue and inhale. Faintness can come on suddenly, so if you know you have this tendency, it’s best to have this prepared beforehand and use it during your treatment as a preventative measure. The only downside to these oils is that neither of them is appropriate for use during pregnancy, and rosemary shouldn’t be used if you have epilepsy.
As an alternative, use neroli oil if you can’t use peppermint or rosemary. Like the jasmine oil I mentioned above, I buy neroli oil mixed with jojoba, and apply it topically. Apply it directly under your nose, to your pulse points on your wrists or neck, and to the center of your chest. All of these spots will help you stay relaxed and alert.
Interestingly, peppermint is another must-have for not just fainting, but nausea as well. However, ginger oil (and ginger in general) is also considered just as effective. In my personal experience, I tend to respond to peppermint better; it just seems to be what resonates with my body. I know people who love ginger, and find that it works best for them, so it’s a good idea to try both and see what works for you. Multiple studies have shown that ginger reduces the severity or nausea or even eases it entirely (Lua, 2012 and Shin & Lee, 2017).
Another option is lemon oil. I have a strong preference for oils with a citrus scent, so I always keep lemon oil in stock. A study showed that pregnant women experiencing nausea who used lemon oil had a reduction in nausea compared to those receiving a placebo (Nazemiyah et al., 2014). So yes, this oil is safe for use during pregnancy! I recommend using this oil by diffusing it or inhaling the scent directly from the bottle or a tissue. Lemon oil is incredibly potent and can burn your skin, so even if you choose to apply it topically, you absolutely need to dilute it with a carrier oil.
These are a few of the most common and well-studied oils, but there are many more out there! Often, the oils that you’re most strongly attracted to are the ones that will work best with your body and be the most useful in easing your symptoms, to try to find some time to go shopping for essential oils and smell them. You can usually find them in places like a local co-op, or Whole Foods. Just remember to be safe when using essential oils, as they tend to be stronger than people think, and certain medications can have negative interactions (for example, grapefruit is a common no-no with many medications). When in doubt, as your doctor and do your research!
As I mentioned earlier, even if you don’t have any essential oils, feel free to ask for one during your appointment, particularly if you know you’re prone to anxiety, fainting, or nausea. We’d love to hear if you try one and how it worked for you, so let us know if you use essential oils during your next treatment!
Reach out if you have questions using the contact form located on the home page. Questions & suggestions are always welcome. While you're at it, check out my Instagram for more fun tips & tricks, and to say hi!