How Aromatherapy Can Boost Your Running Performance

Do you ever wish you could bottle up the smell of a pine forest from an epic mountain adventure?  Well, Jenni Hulburt, the founder of WILD Wellness, is here to show us how to do just that through aromatherapy. We’re delighted to share Jenni’s expertise on W4A.

What’s it all about?

Essential oils are the natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, flowers, stems, leaves, bark, and roots of plants. They’re extracted from the plant, and bottled up, to help you become the strong and healthy runner you really are – one drop at a time.  What we notice as fragrance when smelling a freshly-cut orange is actually the essential oil in the peel.  Our sense of smell has a powerful physiologic, mental, and emotional response with a direct path to the limbic system, which supports our sense of smell, as well as emotions, behavior, and memory. Yes, all that from just breathing in nature’s aromas!

Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential oils can also easily penetrate the skin. Once absorbed, they can benefit the localized area and help with things like muscle soreness and skin irritations. Using light massage, you can increase the blood flow to the area and help the essential oil be distributed throughout the body.  Applying essential oils with a carrier oil (e.g. fractionated coconut oil) can also increase absorption, especially in skin that is dry because it helps moisturize the skin and slow evaporation of the oil.

One could also use high-quality essential oils as a dietary supplement for more targeted health benefits like digestion and immunity.  The essential oils are directly absorbed into the blood stream via the gastrointestinal tract where its transported throughout the body.

Essential oils are complex, and the body responds best when given appropriate doses to handle. Always follow professional guidelines and be mindful of quality. Remember, just like you could get food from your garden versus a fast food restaurant, essential oil quality and grades vary too.  Proper methods of growing, harvesting, and distilling are really important when it comes to purity, and poor production practices and synthetic essential oil variations make it nearly impossible to accurately identify if an essential oil is pure without scientific analysis. The bottom line is this: choose high-quality essential oils for optimal benefits and safety.

Magic Recipes

Isn’t it interesting that essential oils have therapeutic benefits that help the plant survive and thrive in nature, and they do the same for us? If thriving in your training, and surviving your next race are at the top of your list of goals, try these essential oils…

Burnt Out and Unmotivated Runner

  • Inhale 1 drop Wild Orange essential oil + 1 drop Peppermint essential oil from hands, for an energy boost.
  • Apply 1 drop each of Basil and Rosemary essential oils with ½ teaspoon of fractionated coconut oil, to lower back a couple times each day to support healthy adrenal glands.
  • Apply 1-3 drops of Vetiver or Lavender essential oil to the bottoms of your feet before bed to help you relax.
  • Use 1-2 drops of Sandalwood essential oil to improve focus and enhance meditation.

Post-Race Immunity Boost

  • Apply 2-3 drops of Oregano essential oil, diluted in 1 teaspoon fractionated coconut oil to bottoms of feet a couple times each day to boost immune function.
  • Inhale 1 drop each of Eucalyptus and White Fir for promoting a healthy respiratory system.
  • Make a cup of tea with 1 drop Clove essential oil added to 8 oz. warm water for antioxidant benefits and immune support.

Injured Athlete

  • Make a hot or cold compress by soaking a towel or cloth in water, adding an essential oil for muscles + joints, like Majoram, and then applying to the area of concern.
  • Soak in a bath of epsom salts (1 cup) with 2-3 drops of Cypress and Lavender to promote circulation and ease tension.
  • Apply 2-3 drops of Lemongrass with fractionated coconut oil, to the area of concern (e.g. sprained ankle) several times each day to balance inflammation, ease discomfort, and promote tissue regeneration.

Pre-Race Jitters

  • Inhale 1-2 drops of Peppermint or Ginger to ease digestive discomfort and nausea.
  • Inhale 1-2 drops of Eucalyptus before an event or workout to open the airways, promote easier breathing, and relax.
  • Inhale 1-2 drops of citrus oils, like Lemon or Grapefruit, for a boost of energy and motivation!

Join me at WILD Wellness [] to learn about and explore the wonderful world of essential oils.  Choose a free essential oil sample kit to get started on the adventure of living a healthier life inspired by nature!

Author Bio: Jenni Hulburt is the founder of WILD Wellness. She inspires runners and outdoor adventurers to discover a holistic approach to health and training.  Jenni has a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science, a Master’s degree in Sport Psychology, and as a doTERRA Wellness Advocate, she is educating and leading thousands of people in a lifestyle of natural health using essential oils.

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