Origin: a Latin derivative
meaning "Gift of the Earth."
This episode, Dr. Brannick Riggs and Dr. Heather Pickett will be talking about emotional health and how you can use essential oils to help yourself and your family support your emotional health. They will share what oils they have seen work in their patients, how to find the right oils for you, as well as lifestyle changes you can make to improve your emotional health.
Russel Buttars: Hello everybody and welcome to this month's Empowered Life Series. So we are going to be talking about emotional health and how essential oils really play into that. So before we start I want to introduce myself. My name is Russel Buttars. I'm the vice president of sales for the United States. And today we have two very special guests that I'm happy that you get to listen to. So first of all we have Dr. Heather Pickett and then Dr. Brannick Riggs. So you guys will get to know these people if you don't already. They're very influential in what we're doing with our medical programs for the future. So, before we start, do you guys just want to take a second and introduce yourselves a little to everyone?
Dr. Pickett: Sure. My name is Heather Pickett, and a year ago, I did not anticipate being right here where I’m at. And it’s pretty amazing, it’s because of this gentleman here who I saw on stage at a few conventions and I said, “I got to meet him.” I’m a family medicine physician, I’m retired Air Force, and I have a passion for essential oils. I’m an osteopathic physician, so I tend to look at the whole person, and I’ve also done a lot a lot of training in medical acupuncture, and essential oils in my practice have just transformed that particular aspect. And now, I’m fortunate to be the physician for the doTERRA employees as we start up our new clinic here in Pleasant Grove, and I’m really honored to be here.
Dr. Riggs: Great, Heather. So I'm Dr. Riggs. I’m also a family practice physician. I’m the vice president of healthcare initiatives here at doTERRA and just excited to be a part of this amazing renewing of healthcare is what we're about. We’re excited to transform healthcare and make it where it’s better for patients much more patient centric and much better for physicians that are practicing medicine. So we're excited to be here and be discussing today, emotional health.
Buttars: Yeah and I just wanna say it’s such an honor to have these guys with us. They're some of the best and brightest in the industry. And actually, Dr. Pickett, my wife and daughter visit you regularly and they have nothing but the best to say. So it's a great addition to not only our team but the teachings and the wisdom that you'll be able to share with everybody will undoubtedly help all Wellness Advocates for years to come. So this month's topic is a big topic. Emotional health. That could go a hundred different directions, right?
Dr. Riggs: Very broad.
Buttars: But when you think about emotional health and behavior and essential oils can you maybe just share some of those experiences that you've had with yourself or your patients in regards to emotional behavior, emotional health and how essential oils have helped them?
Dr. Pickett: So I have to say that this is one of the reasons that I started looking into essential oils—seeing the remarkable change that they can bring about as a result of their utilization and in the mood and specifically how rapidly it can make a difference. So what I have noticed is things in medicine or things that I've seen with my patients that may not always have an "answer" I have seen rapid and sustained improvement with uses of the essential oils.
For example, I had a good friend whose four-year-old son had extreme anxious thoughts and extreme nervousness when they were around dogs. And they didn't have any particular trauma, no past history of problems, but they really couldn't almost function and go out into just anywhere around, and that's when the new emotional aromatherapy blends had come out and I thought you know what let's just try this Peace blend on the big toe because we know that the body contains numerous micro systems and these micro systems are present on the ear on the hand on the sole of the feet and you can utilize these oils in different areas to affect different parts of the body. Let's just try this I’ve heard this can be beneficial. I use similar theories like that with acupuncture and so I put a couple drops of Peace on him. Within five minutes he was a transformed child. And his mom broke down in tears; I broke down in tears. It was phenomenal. And since then he has had no problem, no fear of dogs. He can manage it. And that same child again had some anxious feelings going to the dentist. All they needed to do was utilize a little bit of Peace have him inhale it put it on a few of his pulse points. And even the dentist asked, “What happened to this kid? How did—what happened?" Those kinds of things you just you don't have an answer for. And I've seen that with the oils so that's just a little bit.
Dr. Riggs: Isn't it amazing how that aroma can hit those receptors in the nose and then immediately go into the brain and change our thought process even? Right. And I find that fascinating. A few years ago I went to continuing medical education conference in Phoenix Arizona and it was January here in Utah and January is typically, we don’t get as much daylight, it's typically clouds overhead like it is today and people have some challenges with that in the wintertime in the northern states.
But I went down to this conference to Phoenix Arizona and the resort where the conference was at they put me on a second floor room and I opened up the windows or the doors to the balcony there and I was right over an orange grove that was in full bloom. Like it was amazing. And the smell that came I don’t think for the four days I closed those doors because just felt immediately there’s just kind of this uplift of your mood. You feel so much better. Number one, there was sunlight down there and then number two the smell that came in off that orange grove every time the wind changed it was just beautiful. And so now I really love the Neroli oil because it reminds me of that event.
And sometimes when we tag a certain emotion like that feeling good with a smell when we're feeling that and we reach for that smell again it brings us right back to that feeling better because we've kind of associated that very quickly and it just enters the brain so fast that it changes our mood so quickly. Within five minutes as you said. It's amazing.
Dr. Pickett: And I think some skeptics have asked “Well you have to believe in it." Well that's not necessarily the case with children right?
Dr. Riggs: How do you get a four-year-old to believe?
Dr. Pickett: Exactly. They didn't really know what we were doing.
Dr. Riggs: Right right.
Dr. Pickett: Yeah, I've tried that trick with my twins who are teenagers now and used the emotional aromatherapy blends for some of their changes in mood that occur pretty rapidly at times.
Dr. Riggs: Particularly teenagers.
Dr. Pickett: Exactly.
Buttars: Yeah, they need a little extra.
Dr. Pickett: (Laughing) Exactly. And covertly kind of diffused the oils in certain areas, especially some of the ones we’ll talk about later that have some good data behind them in terms of changing mood, and diffuse them, and they didn't really know what was going on and you see a big change in their mood.
Dr. Riggs: One of the things that you mentioned with families and you asked the question about ourselves or patients or family members. At our house we have massage table in our home and so our kids, they're six and four, depending upon what they ‘reacting like during the day we do a massage with certain oils at nighttime. So they get it along their spine we get it on the bottom of their feet and we massage them after they get in pajamas and it just helps them kind of deal with the emotions of the day and helps them the next day kind of be reset to wake up and have a much better day. So it's pretty great to use on kids for sure.
Buttars: What I love what both you guys highlighted in that question was you talked about kids, younger kids you talked about your experience as an adult and when we talk about emotional behavior it's really for everybody.
Dr. Pickett: Yeah. Yes it is.
Buttars: Right? Young kids, older adults we all have emotions. So when you think, kind of digging in to this topic a little bit, specifically with essential oils, what's your experience with what oils can people use when it comes to emotional health?
Dr. Riggs: For me, I, again probably from that experience that I personally had down in Phoenix, I reach for citrus oils. I love them I think that the chemistry within the citrus oils really helps uplift us. So, anything like the Cheer blend—
Dr. Pickett: Elevation.
Dr. Riggs: Elevation, for sure.
Dr. Pickett: Motivate.
Dr. Riggs: I love Citrus Bliss; I’m a huge fan of Wild Orange and it almost doesn’t matter which citrus it is. Even Slim & Sassy that has Lemon and Grapefruit in it tends to help us feel better. We tend to have a little bit of uplift with that probably which helps us with our cravings and you know staying on a good consistent diet, etc. But any time that we're feeling good about ourselves emotionally we just tend to have a better lifestyle.
Dr. Pickett: And then scientifically speaking, right? It's the monoterpene backbone that you've taught me and the limonene that you get in the citrus. And also, talking about another oil is Melissa.
Dr. Riggs: Right.
Dr. Pickett: That is phenomenal for emotional calming. And they're uplifting they're restoring and there's good data behind this in terms of looking at the brain chemistry and what these particular chemical constituents in the citrus oils are doing.
Dr. Riggs: One of the studies I just read on Melissa is the study that they did with feelings of anxiousness in elderly population with memory challenges memory issues. And speaking of the children not being able to understand why you're using the oil not buying into the idea that this will work for them this is that same population. And they found that it significantly altered those feelings of anxiousness for those folks that they were researching.
And so it's amazing to see from our standpoint the chemistry as we look at that and then real world application with a population and see that there's significant change in them.
Dr. Pickett: And I think on those lines you have had a lot of experience and myself as well with elderly patient’s right?
Dr. Riggs: Right.
Dr. Pickett: Seeing the result that can come about by just a massage with a drop or two of lavender in a nursing home. I've seen that, and I'm sure you've had experience with that. You can see a change in their face. Their face softens, their wrinkles soften, and you don't see this withal lot of other modalities.
Dr. Riggs: Right, and particularly when other treatments that we have been trained in in that population puts them at higher risk for falls for further memory loss causes some instability in them and that's a significant issue for a or an year-old person and in this case youkan get the same benefit without putting those risks out there for those people to have some challenges that way.
Dr. Pickett: The act of someone who is caring for an elderly parent which is going to be true for all of us, right? It's really big in this generation now that the children now are taking care of the parents. And utilizing the oils in that way during the health challenges that the parents are going through can be extremely effective for both of them, right? Because of the stressors that may go along with the health challenges in trying to take them to appointments and going back and forth and all of the different things that go along. Slowing down, just like you do with your kids, slowing down and allowing them to reconnect helps downregulate the brain and helps to calm them down as well again with citrus.
Buttars: I love what you guys are highlighting there. And when I think of people that will be watching this webinar, we're going to have people that are very experienced with essential oils, but we’re going to have people that are brand new, as well, so do you have some tips or when they have, and most everybody's surrounded by some kind of emotional situation, how would you suggest that they kind of narrow down “Well I know citrus oils and there's these oils” What kind of research can they do to figure out what can best work for them or that person that's around them?
Dr. Pickett: For me, when the emotional aromatherapy blends came out that was such a great tool. So you have the six blends that work with numerous emotions, right? That the oils in those blends are responsible for affecting the emotions in that area of the brain. And we know from psychology literature that when you identify your emotion that that in and of itself is a form of therapy.
So by taking that wheel—the emotional aromatherapy wheel—I have used that so many times since you guys came out within three or four years ago, let's identify where you’re at that's the first step. Am I anxious or distressed? Discouraged? Am I grieving? Am I angry? All of those are allowing your brain to connect with where you are because sometimes you can’t even get past that. And then you go right to the there's usually two blends there whether it's Forgive, whether it's Console, whether it's Peace, and try those out on yourself. And then it tells you on the outside of the wheel whether it's a citrus predominant right? Or it's a mint or its grass or it's a wood. But I feel like that's just that’s been a really great tool that I've used with myself with my family and with my patients.
Dr. Riggs: You know my dad asked me one day he says "So son you have this issue and there's five different oils listed here that you can use. So what do I choose?" And my response to him is the great thing about having numerous oils to use for any one challenge is that you can choose the one that speaks to you. While, for instance, for myself, I don't really enjoy the smell of Lavender. It's wonderful and many, many people love it. But for me I choose Petitgrain because Petitgrain has the same chemistry in it, and I enjoy that smell a whole lot better.
So, if you're recommending something to anyone that they don't like your utilization goes way down. So, when you can reach for something that “I really love this smell. This connects with me it makes me feel really good when I use this oil, but I don't like these others." Fantastic! Then that's the one you should be choosing. So, I think that enters into it as well because we're all we learn more and more in medicine that everyone is so unique.
Dr. Pickett: Every body is different.
Dr. Riggs: Yes! Correct. Every single body. And so while you may be recommending one recommendation for one person it absolutely will not work for the next person. And so it's nice to have lots of tools in the tool belt or lots of options in this case to be able to say “This is the one I like. This is the one I connect with." And therefore, they'll use it much more frequently.
Buttars: And that's a great point because you're right sometimes that first one won’t work; don't quit there. There's so many options and I loved your point because in those blends you get to try a bunch of them together at once. So great thoughts there.
Dr. Riggs: And the blends, to me, as I look, again, I'm a biochemistry guy, so as I look at the chemistry of the blends, it is incredible the way that they've come up with what goes in what blend. Because the chemistry that they’ve chosen for these blends are amazing.
Buttars: A lot of research a lot of research and science goes into that.
Dr. Pickett: Well, and what I've found is when you really talk to people who are dealing with the emotional challenges, which we all do it's, "Well, I know it's out there, but I just haven't really tried it." Or "I kind of put a little bit on and it didn't really work." Goes back to what we hear a lot: consistency and small applications, small amount frequently. Right? But to really realize that you can use this and see a difference but try it more than just once as well. Right?
And if this is a place to talk about application, I’ve also started utilizing certain acupuncture points because on the inside of the elbow is a really powerful point that we use in acupuncture a lot for anxious thoughts. And I found that applying an oil over that point kind of with an acupressure can augment the intensity of the point, as well as over your heart, and in the back of your head right at the base of your skull. Like if you feel those little divots in there those to me are like VFR direct that’s Air Force talk to the brain stem. So, you can get it topically applied and it goes right to the brain stem just like inhaling goes right through the olfactory nerves right to the brain stem. And sometimes people just hearing “Okay if I just know these few locations” then that makes it feel little bit more doable. In addition to diffusing.