What are essential oils? They are highly concentrated natural oils found in plants! They are accessible to everyone, including infants, children, teens, parents, and so on. Essential oils can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications, and are a natural tool to help maximize training and performance. The benefits for using essential oils are endless, but there are some benefits that caught my eye for athletes specifically.
Some ways to use essential oils include a diffuser, placing a couple drops in the palm of your hand and breathing in deeply, or diluting the oil with some water and misting it over yourself! In addition, depending on the oil that you have, you can apply the oil directly onto your neck, forehead and temples, chest and abdomen, arms, legs, and the bottom of your feet. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to a warm bath, or add it to a lotion/moisturizer before applying it onto your skin.
Essential oils help promote healthy respiratory function and overall wellness. If you have problems breathing while exercising or playing your sport, putting some essential oil on before going onto the field or court will definitely help! Essential oils also provide immune support. Extensive training can take a toll on your immune system, so prevent your body from becoming sick by taking care of it! Essential oils also aid in boosting energy and focus, which will help an athlete before and during a game! Whenever I need a little pick-me-up, I just dilute some orange, lemon, grapefruit or lime essential oil with water and mist it over my head while I take a big inhale! I always feel much more motivated and energized after.
Does your athlete ever get muscle pain after a long day of training? Well, essential oils can help with that too! Whenever you’re feeling sore after a game or after practice, rub some peppermint oil on to help soothe the muscles.
Essential oils can also help with calming down your nervous system when you’re feeling anxious. Lavender is a perfect essential oil, which is also great for the night before a game! It is great for calming and relaxing, which will allow you to have a restful sleep.
Overall, essential oils can be really useful if you wish to add it to your athlete’s wellness toolbox! They are beneficial for parents, coaches and athletes. Nutrition and exercise should always come first, but essential oils are a good tool to have as well.
Nikki de Ocampo is the Domestic Development Intern at Canada Basketball. She is currently pursuing her Health Sciences Degree in Kinesiology and Health Promotion at Sheridan College, and has a passion for holistic health and wellness.