Parents of Special Needs children often find themselves trying to burn the candle at both ends. It seems the stresses and strains we endure on a daily basis go far and beyond what we would believe ourselves able to cope with. But cope we do. Year in, year out - often with no support injected from any outside agencies.
At one of our recent visits to our son's clinical psychologist, I was informed that if I were in a paid profession I would probably be able to sue for 'burnout'. It was at the end of the summer holiday which ran for 7 weeks (bar two days) this year and by this time it was easily apparent that I was at 'the end of my rope'. As we have battled for years with our Social Services department to get respite care during the holidays and got nowhere, it is not difficult to see why I often feel like an elastic band which has been stretched beyond breaking point!
So can Aromatherapy really help us to avoid 'burnout'? Well, yes and no. The effects of the treatment either given by a therapist or by ourselves (which is often a more realistic option considering the circumstances) are definitely uplifting both mentally and spirtually. However bringing up difficult children will always mean that we are more stressed than the average parent. Here though are some of the ways aromatherapy can be used to alleviate everyday tension & stress;
Massage enables essential oils to pass through the skin and into the bloodstream. If you have a specific ailment (for example stress headache) the oils can be massaged around the area in question to alleviate symptoms. Alternatively the limbs can be massaged (including the soles of the feet) for more general benefit. Get your partner to massage your shoulders and the back of your neck, where tension gathers. Use no more than 1-2% of essential oils used to 90 % of a base (or carrier) carrier oil though. Never massage neat oil into the skin.
We all enjoy a relaxing hot bath at the end of a busy day and this is a great way to reap the benefits of essential oil's healing properties. By adding 3 - 6 drops of oil to your bath water you will feel refreshed, revived and rejuvenated.
Diffusers are useful for spraying a fine mist into the air, leaving the essential oils suspended there. A simple mister can be made by using the small hand held plant sprayers available from garden centres.
Not used to actually burn oil, but a device where drops of essential oils are floated on warm water and the aroma floats into the air to scent the room. Used to enhance moods and emotions depending on the oil or blend used. This is a simple way to use essential oils either in the home or at work.