Aromatherapy at Tax Time

The old quip by Benjamin Franklin: “Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes” definitely applies at this time of year. Yes, it’s the run up to April and that means taxes are coming due. We all deal with taxes differently, but for a vast majority of people, taxes equate to stress. From trying to find all the paperwork, to filling out the confusing forms, to wondering where the money will come from, all these cause the ol’ blood pressure to rise. And although taxes are as certain as death, it doesn’t mean we need to go through mini-deaths every time taxes are due. With the help of essential oils we can sail through this season smoothly.

We need a strong mental acuity for taxes. Our brains can get so befuddled crunching numbers and organizing which receipt goes where. It can feel like chaos for our poor over-worked brains. So at this time when logic and reason are needed, the essential oils that can help keep the mind alert and the attention focused are basil, lemon, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, verbena and cardamom. A combination of these oils, burned in an aroma lamp while working, will stimulate the brain receptors to increase memory and concentration. Even placing a few drops of an essential oil on a tissues and sniffing it periodically can realign the mind and refresh the senses.

Often nerves get jangled and tempers fray because of taxes. Even though they are a yearly event, we still manage to feel the pressure of having to get it all done before the 15th. Essential oils that calm nerves and bring about an atmosphere of peace are angelica, bergamot, celery seed, chamomile, geranium, jasmine, lavender, marjoram, melissa, vetiver and ylang ylang. Deep tissue massage with a combination of these oils (in a carrier oil) can soothe tired tense nerves and allow balance and ease back into our lives. Also bathing in a mixture of bath salts and essential oils can return us to a place of peace and tranquility, especially when the lights are dimmed and soft theta wave music is playing in the background. Ah, bliss.

Many times we get so worked up around tax time that our digestive systems reflect the tension. A feeling of nausea or having a knot in one’s stomach can prevail to the point of actually getting sick. When eating becomes a problem, either over-eating comfort (junk) foods to feel better about the tax situation, or being so upset that you can’t eat a thing, we need to take a step back and detach from the source of stress. Taking a walk outside, feeling the spring energies rising, seeing new buds and shoots on trees and in the ground, all these help us to reconnect to a sense of renewal and revitalization. Deep breathing, opening the diaphragm to bring the breath into our bellies, can alleviate a tight tummy and ease digestion. Essential oils that also assist in de-stressing the digestive tract are anise, basil, black pepper, fennel, frankincense, hyssop, marjoram, peppermint, lemon, and chamomile. Massaging these oils (in a carrier oil) in a clockwise direction over the belly can stimulate digestion and reorganize the organs into a state of ease and proper functioning. Also, inhaling the oils can trigger chemicals that will soothe the nerves that enervate the digestive system.

Headaches, migraines, tension around the eyes, throbbing and pounding pain can be more prevalent at tax time. It all goes along with the higher levels of stress because of the mental work that is demanded right now. Essential oils that relieve headaches and ease migraines are eucalyptus, tea tree, basil, lemon, jasmine, lavender, marjoram, peppermint, chamomile, rose, rosemary, and sage. Adding essential oils to a cold compress solution and lying in a dark room with the compress over your forehead can relieve that tightly bound feeling around the head. Massaging a mixture of a few drops of lavender in a spoonful of olive oil around the temples near your eyes can be very soothing. Using a “Still Point Inducer” can greatly assist in releasing headaches and head pain. Still Point Inducers can be found on line at (under products) or you can make your own. This can be done by tying 2 tennis balls tightly in a sock and placing them at the back of your head, above the occipital ridge (so that the balls are in direct alignment with your ears). Lying on these balls for 10 minutes can create a lovely tonic effect of cerebral spinal fluid, which bathes the brain and detoxifies the stress chemicals out.

Insomnia can be triggered because of worry. We lie awake, tossing and turning, fretting about the IRS and its strangle hold on our psyches. “Did I make a mistake on the tax returns?” or “How much will I have to pay and where will the money come from?” or Did I get all my deductions right?” or “I’m sure I’m missing something, but what…?” – all these thoughts run through the mind like a proverbial hamster in his cage, over and over as the night ticks by. Quieting the mind and tuning out the thoughts can be difficult, but essential oils that will relax the brain and the body are basil, chamomile, lavender, marjoram, neroli, rose, sandalwood and ylang ylang. Burning them in an aroma lamp or adding a few drops into a humidifier can begin to settle the incessant nagging thoughts. Another good technique to switch off the monkey mind (as the Buddhists call it) is counting your breath. Inhale deeply to a count of six or eight and hold the breath for half the amount of the inhale. Then exhale for the same count as the inhale. You can either hold the exhalation for half the count or go back immediately into an inhale for six to eight counts. By focusing on the breath and slowing it down, while deeply inhaling essential oils, the body returns to a state of relaxation and peace and a good night’s sleep is at hand.

So don’t lose sleep and don’t stress at tax time. After all, it’s only money!