Essential Oils and Their Benefits for Runners
Essential oils can have amazing benefits in daily life, so let’s get to the bottom of how these oils can be used as an alternative to products that may contain toxins. We spoke with dōTERRA Wellness Advocate Stacie Boiros and picked her brain on how athletes and runners can benefit from the use of essential oils.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself: who you are, where you’re from, what you do?
My name is Stacie Boiros & I have been a physical therapist for over 10 years with a specialty in orthopedics. I graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, MA and still live in Massachusetts with my husband, 2 dogs, & a baby boy on the way. I recently became a Wellness Advocate for dōTERRA International so I could help people incorporate essential oils & natural solutions into their lives in order to reach their health and wellness goals.
Essential oils are all the rage right now! Even though they have a pretty extensive history. So what are they really?
Technically speaking, essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds, which are found in the seeds, bark, flowers, and other parts of a plant. Think of the smell you get on your hands after you peel an orange. That is an essential oil! Plants use these oils to adapt to their environment and to help protect them from insects or other harsh conditions.
Why do you think they are making a big comeback? What are their benefits?
I think people are looking for natural solutions and want to be able to support themselves, rather than always relying on medications. Essential oils provide a wide range of emotional and physical benefits. They can be used for immune or digestive support, to promote restful sleep, to soothe muscles, to uplift your mood, to calm anxious feelings. The benefits are truly endless.
Is there research to back their effectiveness?
Yes, and more research is constantly coming out! Visit Pub Med and search for essential oil. Over 13,000 research articles come up! In regards to athletes, there have been some interesting studies on Peppermint to improve athletic performance due to its ability to open up the airways. The neat thing about essential oils is each oil is made up of hundreds of chemical constituents found in nature & the biological response to them in the body cannot be replicated by chemicals created in a lab. Recent research shows that ultimately the body knows the difference between a synthetically constructed oil and high quality, pure, therapeutic grade essential oil from a plant.
How did you come to utilize essential oils in your life?
After years of personal health struggles, I needed a way to decrease my toxic load. Unfortunately, we are exposed to so many toxins every day in our food, cleaning products, and beauty products. My body was basically shutting down & I was only in my 30s. I needed to make more drastic changes to what I put in, on, or even around my body, & adding essential oils to my wellness lifestyle has been life-changing. Through all the improvements I saw in my own life & health, I developed a passion for natural solutions & empowering others to take control of their health.
What are the different methods of use? Are there benefits to one way over the other?
There are 3 main methods of use, but first a little background. I personally did a lot of research prior to getting started with essential oils & due to quality, sourcing, and their extensive testing, I chose dōTERRA. Quality is so important when using essential oils because unfortunately there are so many companies out there that sell essential oils that are synthetic or adulterated with toxic fillers.
So that being said, there are 3 methods of use for high quality, pure, therapeutic grade essential oils: Aromatic, Topical, & Internal.
Aromatic is the smell and probably the most common use. Aromatherapy provides powerful emotional and behavioral effects.
Topical use is applying to the skin. Essential oils are lipid soluble, which means they are easily absorbed into the skin. Using a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, helps the absorption by “carrying” the essential oil into the skin. Topical use is great for things like head or muscle tension and can be combined with massage.
Internal use is ingesting them. Certain essential oils have a long culinary history for flavoring foods. Peppermint oil in chocolate, for instance. Internal use of essential oils should be done under professional guidance & only with oils that are considered safe for internal consumption.
How would you incorporate or recommend using essential oils for an athlete or runner? Is there a “cocktail” or recipes you recommend?
There are so many uses for essential oils with athletes, where do I begin? It really depends on what you are looking to support, so let me give a few different examples.
Essential oils can be used to energize or provide motivation before and during a workout. Peppermint & Wild Orange is my favorite combination for an energy boost. Peppermint also promotes clear aways, which research has shown to boost performance.
You can use essential oils for soothing purposes or to promote “cooling” sensations to the muscles. Lavender is great to soothe skin irritations from those long runs! Deep Blue is a proprietary blend of oils by dōTERRA, which includes Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Ylang Ylang, Helichrysum, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile, and Osmanthus. Deep Blue is very popular for soothing muscles after an intense workout.
You can make a foot soak with hot water, Epsom salts, baking soda, and essential oils for after a long run. Lavender would help with relaxing. Peppermint could help with relieving tired feet.
dōTERRA has actually put together an “Athlete’s Kit” of their most popular products for athletic performance (see attached picture), which is a nice way to take the guesswork out of what to use.
If someone has additional questions, is there someplace you would recommend seeking information or a way to contact you as a Doterra rep?
Yes! Please visit my website at https://www.doterra.com/US/en/