Dr. Emily Chan, ND

The holidays can sometimes act as a magnifying glass to amplify the stress you already have. In this article you’ll learn about a few essential oils you can use to give you some relief, or a bit more mojo. We will start with a real life scenario you can relate to that represents each essential oil. Then you’ll learn what that oil is good for.

Essential oils work well to give a noticeable temporary relief to stress because the smells interact with your sense of smell, cranial nerve 1, which sends signals to the olfactory bulb in your brain. The scent molecules can have an effect to affect different neurotransmitters like serotonin and modify your survival responses in your hypothalamus and amygdala. Therefore they can bring your emotions more into balance.

Cedarwood: (All About Supporting a Community Spirit)

Martha is hosting a group of 17 for a family gathering and is not exactly looking forward to it. She is not very comfortable with large groups of people, and has often felt like an outsider to groups. She is a successful in her work and tends to like to do things by herself. So when family comes to help her in the kitchen, she rather everyone leave her alone in the kitchen, because she does it best. While she is working so hard to get food for everyone, she also feels very alone seeing everyone in the living room laughing.

Cedarwood or any woody type essential oil is very good for grounding. It helps someone feel more centered and less frazzled. Cedarwood helps a person connect to a community and form social bonds. It helps someone who may feel uncomfortable in their own skin feel like it is no big deal when in a social situation. It also helps a person be able to bond and connect with people, so they start to feel included instead of like an outsider. Cedar helps an individual balance the flow of giving and being able to also receive from others. Cedar increases circulation and calms the nervous system. It balances the kidney meridian.

Cypress: (Let go of Control)

Bill is frustrated with his wife who doesn’t make plans and always wants to go with the flow. He needs everything on the book and on time. He makes a list of things to be done to prepare for their Christmas vacation, but none of the kids or his wife seems to pay much attention to it. He wants to know exactly where his kids are at and what time they will come home from their friends homes, and with increasing activities, he is getting stressed because everything is out of control and chaos. He wants to have fun but does not seen to be able to enjoy the moment, because his brain is always going.

Cypress is helpful for those who have issues with control, and needing to be in the driver seat all the time. It helps them relax a bit and trust that things will be OK. Allows them to flow with life, creating with the positive magnetic flow. Cypress helps an individual let go of stopping or suffocating life in a mistaken effort to make it better. Rather it helps them trust, and let go of perfectionism that often keeps life stuck.

Cypress supports the 2nd chakra, which is related to sexuality and creativity. It fosters the flow of creativity. Cypress also supports the spleen meridian which if out of balance is related to low self-esteem (therefore the need to control), and worry. Cypress helps one to let go of control.


Susan always gets sick around the holidays. She is exhausted in life and feels behind. She believes that she has poor health and has just accepted it. She is quite overwhelmed and the holidays just increase the stress. Subconsciously, the only way to not feel bad doing less, is to be sick. She feels like it would be so nice to escape her life for a bit and get a break. She just doesn’t feel well.

Eucalyptus supports wellness in the body and helps those who have frequent infections or chronic illness. It helps a person believe that they can be well again and helps them feel whole. It gives them strength to take responsibility for their life and health and feel empowered in their own ability to be healthy.

Eucalyptus alleviates exhaustion, has an affinity for the respiratory system and is anti-microbial. According to oriental medicine, it supports the yin energy. Yin energy is about grounding, nurturing and restoration.

How to Use:

Do not use these essential oils orally. Apply them to the soles of the feet, chest, temples, wrists or wherever feels appropriate. Some people dilute them with coconut oil when using topically to decrease skin irritation; some patients tolerate them applied directly. Another great way to use them is to put a few drops into a diffuser. They are wonderful to gently shift your mental state.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-12-57-04-pmDr. Emily Chan ND received her doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University. She is a board licensed naturopathic doctor and founder of Modern Integrative Medicine. She currently practices in San Diego, CA and consults around the world.

Dr. Chan specializes in chronic medical conditions that have an impaired body memory component to them. She integrates the immune/nervous system and physiological relationships in treating her patients. She is published in medical journals, and magazines. She is a speaker, and has presented at medical conferences training doctors, and has appeared on television. She also authors and teaches health, and body memory reprogramming courses. You can contact her at: http://www.modernintegrativemedicine.com


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