Since inhaling an essential oil is the fastest way to experience essential oil therapeutics, this is where to begin. The following simple exercise shows you how to properly inhale an essential oil, for the deepest intake of the microparticles, and it’s the foundation for using essential oils every day. Once you’ve mastered this
step, all the other benefits will follow.
SLOW BREATHING INHALATIONS
1. Select any 100% essential oil or oil blend.
2. Hold the bottle up to your nose and take a quick sniff.
3. Take note of any immediate association with this smell.
The connection you make doesn’t even have to be positive. “It smells like medicine” or “It smells like peanut butter” are equally valid. Remember the story of peppermint smelling like a candy that your grandmother gave you — any association you make is just your mind scrambling to identify the odor by connecting it with something you’ve smelled before.
4. For a deeper inhalation, sit comfortably in a chair, leaning back and relaxing your shoulders, and put 2 or 3 drops of the oil on a tissue or cotton ball. Exhale your next breath quietly and completely. Always completely exhale first before breathing in.
After all, you don’t go to a gas station with a full tank; you go when your tank is almost empty and ready to fill up. The same is true with breathing. If you start with an exhale, emptying out your lungs, your next breath will be a full tank of air — minimum effort for maximum oxygen. This will make you feel energized and at ease all at once.
5. As you finish your exhale, hold the tissue up to your nose, and this time very slowly and silently breathe the oil in. If you hear yourself making a sniffing sound, try to relax your nostrils (the sniffing sound is an indication you may be tightening and narrowing your breathing passages, making it harder to take in the full body of the aroma). It can be helpful to imagine that you are sipping in the oil through your nose, as if it were a straw, in one long inhale.
6. Exhale and inhale slowly again, waving the tissue back and forth below each of your nostrils, one side at a time. Smelling is three-dimensional, so each nostril “sees” the aroma a little differently. Feel free to experiment with how different the oil smells when you block one nostril.
7. Exhale and inhale slowly once more without blocking off your nostrils, and note how different the aroma is from when you first sniffed it. Try to feel the oil entering your body through your breathing passages. You may even feel the oil going to specific parts of your body. (For example, you may feel pine moving into your chest or eucalyptus traveling up into your sinus passages or sandalwood going way down to the bottom of your ribs where your primary breathing muscle, the diaphragm, is located.)
8. Continue to slowly exhale and inhale. Now try to relax your abdominals a bit so that your breathing gets even deeper. You can even put a hand on your belly to feel when you are letting your muscles ease up. Pay attention to your belly, which should be moving while you breathe: flattening when you exhale and relaxing when you inhale. Don’t worry about keeping your core muscles taut when doing this breathing exercise.
A powerful alternative to breathing in your oils from a tissue or cotton ball is to breathe them in from your palms. Here’s how: Put a drop or two of any single oil or oil blend in the center of one palm. Heat up the oil by rubbing your palms together quickly.
Exhale completely and then cup your hands over your face for your inhalations. If the oil feels too strong, move your hands farther away.
If you are tensing your shoulders, put your elbows on a desk or table for support while breathing in the oil. After this exercise, you should be feeling the oils working on your psyche and relaxing your body.
This simple technique is a go-to method for adjusting your mood, clearing your sinuses, alleviating tension, and sleeping better. Mastering the fine art of exhaling to slowly breathe in an essential oil is an extremely useful skill, not only in the moment, to help you breathe more deeply, but also for your whole life!