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Episode 46: Say Goodbye to Head Tension

In this episode Eliza Bacot talks about how to overcome head tension. She'll let you know what could be causing your head tension, what essential oils can help, as well as her favorite diffuser blends or roll on blends to use.


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doTERRA: Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA, the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful, and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field. If you like what you hear today rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. We always appreciate hearing from you. Today we're excited to have Eliza Bacot talk to us about using essential oils to relieve head tension.

Eliza: Hi everyone I'm so excited to be with you here today to talk about a very common problem that lots of people have—head tension. My name is Eliza Bacot. I'm a nurse practitioner and I have worked for the last 16 years in intensive care units around the city of Atlanta, watching people really struggle with lots of diseases and problems. And I knew that there was a better way. I'm also a doTERRA Diamond leader. And what that basically means is that I quit my job in health care two years ago and dedicated my life to helping other people discover these natural tools and how they can help keep them well.

So, with all that being said, I'm excited to be here with you today to talk about head tension because this was a common problem for me in my household. I started using oils just right around the time that my daughter was born. And as everyone knows, having a baby can cause some stress and tension in the household. And I experienced lots of head tension. It was actually one of my first personal wins with these natural tools was being able to use some of them to ameliorate some of those feelings of tension that cropped up for me on a daily basis.

What we're going to walk through today as we discuss how tension is certain causes, why it actually occurs for most people, and some very simple solutions that you can use for yourself and for your family throughout the ages to actually help you relieve some of that tension. It's a very important topic. Most people in their lifetime will experience head tension from time to time. It's very, what we call, “episodic” in nature. What that means is basically it arises typically from some sort of episode that we have that causes stress in our life.

It's very important that if you are experiencing head tension that's prolonged, it's habitual, it feels the same, that you seek medical advice. That is very, very important because we wouldn't want you to ignore a larger problem that you may have. 

Head tension in general typically involves most of the facial muscles and the neck muscles, because all these muscles actually, if we were to look underneath our skin, are actually all interconnected to our neck muscles. 

Some of the things that really can cause that type of tension is if you're very still when you're working throughout the day, say working at a computer, or if you remain in the same position and you're not getting a lot of movement throughout the day. Stress is a big one. Life events, anything that sort of produces a stress response in your body—a very scary accident, grief in your life, just stress from any of the every day to day life things that we have to deal with is something that can certainly cause head tension, and repetitive movements. If you're a person that loves to do a certain sport say like tennis or basketball, you're always moving your head in this same motion. Some of those muscles can get overworked and very tired and it can cause tension in them. And then of course our sleep positioning. We've all had this where we slept in a funny position during the nighttime. Sometimes for me it's caused by children coming into bed and sleeping a certain way. We get stuck in that one position and we wake up with tension which is not a great way to start that start or day.

And so those are some of the causes that can actually make the muscles very tight in the head and neck. And what can happen when those muscles are very tight is, we don't get great blood flow to them. And when we don't get great blood flow to them that creates that tension in the muscle which creates tension in the nerves too.

So those are some of the problems that arise and the causes. So now let's talk about the solution. We're going to work through three ways that you can use essential oils to help with your head tension. We're going to talk about you as adults and we're also going to talk about your kids. 

Let's first talk about topical. Now, we're so lucky because doTERRA is so smart and they know that we need certain blends and they know that we don't always want to be mixologists at home. So, we have our wonderful PastTense® blend. This is a beautiful blend of Peppermint, Wintergreen, Basil, Rosemary, and Marjoram. It’s diluted in coconut oil. It's wonderful because it comes in a really easy-to-apply roller bottle just like this. What I do with this, is take a little bit on my finger and I love to put it on pressure points along my head. Some pressure points that we can discuss are right here along the temples. A lot of times when I get head tension, I actually can feel this muscle that runs like a band across my forehead kind of tightening. I'll run a strip right along here and then right here on my temples and actually do it kind of in a circular motion. And then what I like to do is take the roller bottle and rub it all the way down and around the backs of my ears because I really want to get it into this long muscle here called our SCM muscle. It runs all the way from the back of the head all the way down to the neck and that's a big cause right there for tension. So, you want to make sure and apply that oil there too. And really what I like to do is rub it in very well. 

One little safety tip, because this has Peppermint in it, which is one of our top oils for head tension, you just don't want to get it near the eyes. It may be an essential oil rite of passage let's say to get Peppermint in your eyes, but it doesn't feel good. You definitely don't want to have that happen. So really kind of keep it in the back portion of the temples. That's just a really easy go-to. I keep one of these in my purse, I keep one of these in my home. It's wonderful. 

One other place that I love to put it—sometimes people get tension back here along what we call the occiput of the neck and the head. That's a wonderful place, just along the spine back there, to take the roller bottle and just apply directly and then rub it in. So that's our first blend we're going to talk about topically. 

Now some people need to, let's say, take it up a notch, right? While the PastTense blend has Frankincense in it, I love to add these two to the mixture: Frankincense and Copaiba. These are both very chemically diverse oils and they work in very different ways within the tissues in the muscles. They're fantastic to add just directly into that PastTense blend. 

Now let's say that the Peppermint in PastTense is a little too intense for you. Some people love that tingling feeling that you get from Peppermint, that cooling effect. But for some people it's just a little too strong for them. These are going to be your go-tos. A third one. Add some Rosemary in there. We don't often think about Rosemary so much as one for tension but it's wonderful for that tension within the muscles. So those are a great trio to really go to if that Peppermint and PastTense is a little too strong. And don't forget you can layer these. You can take the PastTense, and a drop of each of these and do those same pressure points along the front of the forehead, the temples, the back of the ears, and the back of the neck.

Now lastly, we cannot leave the topical discussion about head tension without mentioning this: Deep Blue® Rub. A lot of us think about this as our muscle and joint rub to help relieve tension. It's a perfect addition, if you know that, say, you've slept funny and you know it's musculoskeletal like we described, then definitely take some of the Deep Blue Rub, or if you have some of the Deep Blue oil you can add it into that combination. And what I love to tell people to do is just take a pea-sized amount of Deep Blue Rub and add that Rosemary, Copaiba, and Frankincense blend in there, and rub it all along the back of the neck and right behind the ears. Really get it deep into those neck muscles because that's again where most of the tension arises that cause head tension.

So those are going to be your go-tos for topical use—the PastTense blend, Frankincense, Rosemary, Copaiba, and Deep Blue Rub.  I always tell people, if you're going to go and get a massage or visit a chiropractor for the problem that you're having, do not forget to take this with you. It's a wonderful addition to your treatment. Most of those providers understand the value of these products and they'll be happy to apply it for you in whatever therapy they're doing. This always comes with me when I go to the spa because they can really work out those muscles in the upper shoulder and the neck that can relieve your head tension.

While topical is a wonderful, wonderful way to treat our head tension, a lot of people actually forget about using oils aromatically when they feel tension or stress. Remember how we talked about one of those causes is actually life stressors? I can feel it when I have a lot of things happening in my life, I can just feel it like a vice coming up my head and my neck and causing tension all over my scalp. This is a wonderful time to use your oils aromatically to help relieve those stressors in the body and really get to the root cause of why you're having tension.

Three oils that I love to use aromatically are actually Rosemary—and I just love to use it alone and I diffuse that. It has a very clean, herbaceous scent. It's known to reduce tension in the body and it's wonderful for just kind of taking that stress level down a notch. Another two that I love are Lavender and Wild Orange. You can actually diffuse these individually or you can combine them together. It's really hard to find someone who doesn't feel like Wild Orange lessens their stress. It's very well known for reducing feelings of stress, for lifting the mood, for lightening the mood, and helping kind of release those tension feelings that we have that come along with life stressors. So, don't forget, when you're going through your regimen for head tension, about using those oils aromatically. 

Now lastly—and I will tell you this—whenever I use oils internally for head tension, I'm always using topically first. We have kind of a stepwise approach. When we're dealing with a problem, I love to deal with a first topically. Because if I can get away with relieving the problem topically, then that's great for my body. But sometimes that's not enough. So typically, when I'm turning to internal for stress relief and tension relief, I've already applied my topical oils and I've already done that step for my body. 

But I really want to talk to you about this because it's a very valuable tool for you internally. Lavender is such a wonderful oil in the body for relieving stress and tension. It has some wonderful chemical properties that we know relax the body, that help just kind of chill you out a little bit and reduce those feelings of stress. I love to take one of my veggie caps that doTERRA sells, open it right up, I put two drops of Lavender in that veggie cap, and drink with some water. Usually it only takes about 10 to 15 minutes and I can actually feel the feelings of relaxation kind of creep up around my face and head and neck, and my shoulders kind of drop.

Another option, and you can use these in combination too, is  doTERRA’s Copaiba softgels. We've already talked about Copaiba topically, but it is an oil that you can take internally, and don't we love doTERRA, they make it so easy for us with these softgels. One softgel has two drops in it, so you can take one softgel of the Copaiba with two drops of Lavender in a veggie cap. That is a wonderful addition for those of you who need a little extra support when you're suffering from this.

I hope that helps you with your head tension. This is something long-term for you that is so valuable for your health. Tension unrelieved, stress unrelieved, we know, leads to so many other problems in life that culminate in us not being well. This is just a wonderful tool to use day to day throughout your life, as life happens, to help relieve our stress and tension in the head area. Thank you so much and have a great day!

doTERRA: Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you liked what you heard today, check back next Tuesday when Julie Davey joins us to talk about beating your brain fog. Also, if you want to try any of the products you learned about go to, or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today.

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