The Whole View, Season 3 Ep 39: Self-Care Rituals and Aromatherapy w/ Ky Washington

Welcome Ky Washington back to the Whole View! This week, Stacy and Ky dive deep into self-care rituals, why self-care matters, and how you can implement self-care rituals in your life. Ky shares an inside look into her health journey, how it led her to becoming a clean beauty makeup artist and gives listeners a crash course in aromatherapy.

Find Ky: 

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Key Takeaways

Introductions

  • Ky is a woman, an artist, a healer, and here for you on your beauty and wellness journey. As a professional makeup artist, she’s traveled the country to service her exclusive clients. As an aromatherapist, she gives the gift of healing that was given to her through a clean lifestyle. She believes you can be a modern woman and still be health conscious.
  • Furthermore, Ky and her team provides hair and makeup services to world leaders, politicians, on-air talent, recording artists, and more. But they give everyone the celebrity treatment.  She works regularly with celebrity and high profile clientele. Her clients include ABC, Disney, Starbucks, and more.
  • After Ky’s own health struggles and switching to cleaner brands, she started only using healthy products on her clients as well. She strives to create an anxiety-free atmosphere using calming techniques and aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy & Self Care

  • Ky shares two definition of self-care:
    • Self-care is the practice of taking an active role in protecting ones own well-being and happiness.
    • Self-care is the practice of individuals activiely looking after their own health using the knowledge and information and resources available to them.
  • Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils, or plant extracts, for therapeutic benefit. Essential oils, if high quality, made by steaming or pressing various parts of a plant (flowers, bark, leaves or fruit) to capture the compounds that produce fragrance – but those oils often perform other functions for the plant, too – which can benefit us as well. 
  • Aromatherapy has been used for centuries. When inhaled, the scent molecules in essential oils travel from the olfactory nerves directly to the brain and especially impact the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain.
  • According to John Hopkins, some studies indicate that there’s a benefit to using essential oils while others show no improvement in symptoms. Anecdotally, we know that many people find essential oils can help with conditions such as: Anxiety, depression, headaches, nausea, etc
  • We know that many people have their own lived experience of essential oils being natural remedies for a number of ailments. However, research to determine their effectiveness in human health is woefully lacking, especially considering the vast options when used individually, combined, etc.  DoTerra’s On Guard blend has been shown to reduce viral particles of the flu [source] and a 2018 study at Johns Hopkins found that certain essential oils could kill a type of Lyme bacteria better than antibiotics [source] — but in general results of essential oils in human clinical trials are mixed.

Safety First

  • Since there’s no U.S. government agency that regulates the essential oils, the quality can vary greatly. Unfortunately, the label may not even list everything that’s in the bottle.
  • Johns Hopkins also advises against injesting essential oils because of the lack of regulation of disclosing ingredient, as well as not using essential oil diffusers, as inhalation increases absorption by upwards of 100x topical or other applications. And, diffusion can affect people differently. For example, peppermint can have adverse affects on a child less than 30 months old or someone with a fast hearbeat. 
  • A couple of the safest ways to use essential oils:
    • Aromatherapy accessories: Necklaces, bracelets and keychains made with absorbent materials you apply essential oils to and sniff throughout the day.
    • Oils: A mixture of essential oils with a carrier oil such as olive, jojoba or coconut oil that can be massaged into skin. Diluting essential oils in a carrier oil is the best way to avoid a bad reaction when applying directly to the skin. Since it can be absorbed by the skin, you’ll find that it is often used in massage therapy oils or added to bath salts. 
  • Please note, a small number of people may experience irritation or allergic reactions to certain essential oils. Individuals with atopic dermatitis or a history of reactions to topical products are more more at-risk. Although indivudals can experience a reaction to any essential oil, some are more likely to be problematic, including: Oregano, cinnamon bark, jasmine, lemongrass, ylang-ylang, chamoile, and bergamont
  • Watch out – Companies may claim their essential oils are “therapeutic grade,” but because there is no regulation, it’s more of a marketing term.

Finding the Best Products

Therefore, when shopping for pure essential oils:

  • Read the Label: It should include the Latin name of the plant, information on purity or other ingredients added to it, and the country in which the plant was grown. Different types of the same plants in the same family, like lavender, have different properties that provide different 
  • Research Companies: Purchase products from a well-known and reputable aromatherapy company that’s been around for several years. Stacy and Ky don’t personally shop YoungLiving, as they’re in a lot of hot water with law suits ranging from pyramid schemes (forcing consultants to buy product) to inaccurately labeling products.
  • Containers Matter:  Pure essential oils are highly concentrated and, like any oil, can oxidize if not in a dark-colored container. Also, glass is best, as they can dissolve plastic bottles over time, tainting the oil. If i the oil has gone cloudy, changed colors or smells funky, it’s probably time to throw it out. 
  • Avoid Fragrance Oils: Fragrance or perfume oils are made from essential oils combined with chemicals or entirely from chemicals and not suitable for aromatherapy. Shop for bottles that contain a single essential oil in its purest form (no fillers).
  • Shop Around: Essential oils range in price, depending on how involved harvesting and production are.  If you find a rock-bottom price for an expensive essential oil based on the range of prices for that oil, it probably isn’t pure.

Beginner’s Guide to Self-Care

  • Top 3 Tips for someone looking to start integrating aromatherapy and self-care rituals as habits! Pick one a day, week and month. Don’t take on too much:
    • One a day: brew tea and enjoy drinking it in solitude
    • One a week: Mask Monday; fitness classes
    • Once a month: take a class to learn something, take a day trip, museum, etc.
  • Ky recommends finding a self-care ritual you actually like and make it your priority. 
  • Ky has some mantras to begin some self-care rituals, but encourages you to come up with your own. “I deserve” mantras are her favorite.
  • Remember self-care is about pleasure, freedom and loving of yourself.
  • It’s important to note, that although essential oils are natural if sourced high-quality, they can actually have the opposite of the intended result (problematic for health) if not used properly. That’s why Ky is here to guide us.

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Note: Stacy and her guests are not medical professionals. This podcast is for general educational purposes and NOT intended to diagnose, advise, or treat any physical or mental illness. We always recommend you consult a licensed service provider.

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