Essential oils have been used through out history, they are mentioned many times in the bible and could be the oldest form of medicine on Earth. They are distilled from plants that each have a unique healing composition. Therapeutic grade is an essential element in choosing oils, as the distilling process is very delicate and can compromise the benefits of the oils if not done properly. Therapeutic grade means you can ingest the oils, they are pure and clear of any added chemicals or pesticides. Young Living is my favorite brand of oils, as they have a record of high integrity with their products. A lot of people use Do-terra and these are also therapeutic grade and very similar in their composition.
Essential oils are very useful in treating anxiety, stress, and sleep disturbances. They provide an instantaneous relief and have no side effects unlike over the counter prescription meds. Some of my favorites for treating stress and anxiety include Young Living's Peace & calming, Lavender, Cedar wood, Stress away, Vetiver and Valerian. Some say Vetiver is similar to taking valium, in that it produces deep relaxation in the body.
How to use the oils: You need to use a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil, even olive oil will work okay. You want to take the carrier oil and put it on your body, typically you can put the oils anywhere on your body and it will be absorbed, the most common places are on the temples, on the chest, on the wrists, on the back of the neck, or on the bottoms of your feet. The bottoms of your feet have many acupressure points that lead to all parts of your body, so when putting them on your feet, you can be sure your whole body system will get some of the benefits of the oils. You put the carrier oil on first and then a couple of drops of the essential oil. If you are feeling really overwhelmed you can apply the oils as much as every 15 minutes in the first hour and every hour there after. You always want to use caution not to touch your eyes with the oils on your fingertips. If you do happen to get some oils in your eyes, flush them with the carrier oil, not with water, as water will only spread it further but the oil will absorb it. Some oils, mostly the ones that have citrus in them, make you more sensitive to sunlight, so use caution and read labels so you know which ones include citrus oils (orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, grapefruit). You can also diffuse the oils with a high quality oil diffuser. These do not use heat, you don't want to heat your essential oils as that can temper the composition of the healing benefits. There are a variety of diffusers available, ones for your home, office, car, and travel. When selecting a diffuser, it is best to find one that has a warranty of some sort, I recommend at lease one year. Diffusers can also be used in replacement of humidifiers, as they are cleaner and often more beneficial.
There is a great book that I recommend it's called the Quick Reference Guide for Using Essential Oils:
It is essential if you are going to begin to use oils, as it has a list of every ailment you can think of and what oils are effective for treating them. It's a lifesaver in our home. We use oils for everything from colds to sunscreen to food poisoning. Check out my store page to order some for yourself to try out. You can also purchase them straight from Young Living's website: www.youngliving.com