Recently I had a long conversation with a friend who went back to smoking. He was thoroughly unhappy about starting again. Due to health reasons in the past, he had quit smoking but now his recent stress level was so bad, he fell back on an old habit looking for relief. He said to me not only is the habit expensive, but he was also frustrated with the constant need to clean his hands of smoke and make his breath smell better.
We talked about how hard it is to quit smoking. The desire to smoke being so strong. There was a report in 1988 from the Surgeon General that declared tobacco, as hard to stop using as heroin and cocaine. You can see that video report here
. Or within this link to an article
posted by the American Heart Association referencing the report. My friend went on to say, the feelings of being so stressed out about his life, was what had driven him back to smoking, and the stress of stopping smoking again, seemed insurmountable. Financial relief would come if he quit again... yes, but the demands on the body are really tough and he was concerned about the withdrawal issues.
Let us take a step back for a moment, and just talk about addiction. Anyone can develop an addiction. Often it is thought that only the dregs of society are addicts. In the past is was thought that addiction was a weakness of character. Research is proving that it is a matter of brain chemistry. To the brain, all addictions, regardless of the type have a similar damaging effect. The only difference is to the degree to which they occur. Addictions are a powerful force that can take control of the users' life. The reason addictions are so powerful is that dopamine "a neurotransmitter", is increased, and the high level above normal is what conditions us to do the things we "need" to do. The body starts to expect and incorporate the extra chemical release as part of the normal body function. That is why it is so hard to stop the addictive behaviour and the body suffers from withdrawal .
My friend and I talked about the essential oils and natural supplements that would help with letting go of addiction and reduce the physical and emotional stresses. If you are a non-smoker or not dealing with addiction, you may be thinking about not reading the rest of this blog, you will likely still find value in what we talk about, especially if you are dealing with stress, regardless of the cause.
Ok straight talk about ways to cope with stress when choosing a smoke-free-life.
Oral satisfaction stress. When people smoke they have something to do with their mouths and hands. This is a lot of the strength of habit, the action. The feeling of oral satisfaction is really important and there are two things that can help with that. Creating a new action, gives the mouth something to do and creates distraction. Having a strong flavour that is pleasant and uplifting, is imperative to keep the mouth amused and satisfied, and your mind engaged and relaxed.
Chewing gum is a common solution to help change and create a new habit. The chewing helps to keep the mouth active. The flavour of the gum can also be a huge asset toward a strong flavour distraction. The new MetaPWR gum covers both of those needs. Something to do for the mouth and a strong pleasant flavour. MetaPWR tastes bright and citrusy with a minty boost and is part of the new metabolic system. The intent of MetaPWR gum is to use as a distraction for those wishing to lose weight and alleviate stress for those changing their eating habits as well as boost the metabolic system. You can see how it can translate into stress reduction for those that are dealing with addiction as well. Also when our metabolic system is in good order it helps the mind and the body systems, such as clarity of mind, breathing and neurological.
Before we move onto the next items, let us talk a bit about why essential oils work. Essential oils are chemical in nature so they are able to assist people dealing with high stress situations with support for emotional issues, the brain, and body. Essential oils support the limbic system (The limbic system is the part of the brain involved in our behavioural and emotional responses, especially when it comes to behaviours we need for survival: feeding, reproduction and caring for our young, and fight or flight responses.) which means essential oils can help reprogram the bodies' cravings for specific substances which can also strengthen the resolution to abstain.
One of the most studied aspects of essential oils is their ability to support people emotionally.
The emotional areas of pain that caused the person to find temporary relief in the addictive behaviour in the first place can be helped by using essential oils to bring calm. Essential oils can be a pivotal tool for emotional support for the person with the addiction, and the people surrounding them, as they all move forward.
doTERRA has addressed the situation of proper dosage. When you see a softgel or tablet option of an essential oil or blend, you will have an optimal dosage of the essential oil. doTERRA has done the work to get those doses right. All doTERRA oils are CPTG (Certified Pure Tested Grade essential oils) and as we move forward more and more will also be Pharmaceutical Grade essential oils. There is a very small window of variation in pharmaceutical grade which means you will always get the result you are looking for. This small variation is consistent within all doTERRA oils and blends, however it takes time to get them all approved so not all have the new designation as yet.
On Guard essential oil blend can also be a huge asset in the flavour department. With Wild Orange, Cinnamon and Clove it is a strong flavour that will uplift and boost. On Guard can be used aromatically, topically and internally.
Wild Orange which is part of the On Guard Blend is calming, soothing and uplifting. When combined with the spices the antioxidant support of On Guard is amazing.
There have been studies on the effects of Wild Orange on anxiety. There is one in dental offices , you can check out that study HERE. Conclusion: In this study, we report that exposure to ambient odor of orange has a relaxant effect. Specifically, compared to the controls, women who were exposed to orange odor had a lower level of state anxiety, a more positive mood, and a higher level of calmness. Our data support the previous notion of sedative properties of the natural essential oil of orange (Citrus sinensis). All citrus essential oils are uplifting.
Here is another opportunity to check out some science. Citrus Bliss is a completely citrus essential oil blend that has had studies to aid with anxiety. This study was done in a high stress situation in a hospital with nurses. You can check out that study Here. Citrus Bliss is used topically and aromatically.
Conclusion: Diffusion of citrus EOs in the clinical setting positively affected nurses' mood. Future studies could also explore effect for patients and visitors.
Uplifting the mood is important in being able to let go of old habits and lowering stress and anxiety is just as important. Citruses are great, but there are other amazing choices that reduce stressful feelings. When you combine all the options you set yourself up for a big win.
b-Caryophyllene is a constituent that you may be familiar with. It has a calming effect and works on the e-cannabinoid system which has CB2 receptors all over the body. Because CB2 receptors are all over the body there is support for the lungs, immune system
Clove which is also part of On Guard has a substantial amount of b-Caryophyllene. Clove can be used aromatically, topically, and internally.
Clove is used in aromatherapy for colds and coughs.*
Black Pepper essential oil, two of the main constituents are B-caryophyllene and Limonene which is also calming. One of the emotional aspects of Black Pepper is boosting courage. Can you see how that can help you keep up with your decision?
Here is a study
that was published on PubMed.com about how Black Pepper reduces cravings of nicotine and symptoms of anxiety when not/quitting smoking. Conclusion:
Reported craving for cigarettes was significantly reduced in the pepper condition relative to each of the two control conditions. In addition, negative affect and somatic symptoms of anxiety were alleviated in the pepper condition relative to the unflavored placebo. The intensity of sensations in the chest was also significantly higher for the pepper condition. These results support the view that respiratory tract sensations are important in alleviating smoking withdrawal symptoms. Cigarette substitutes delivering pepper constituents may prove useful in smoking cessation treatment.
Here is a study
that was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2013 also talking about Black Pepper. Results:
Both black pepper and angelica reduced the level of nicotine craving and allowed a longer delay before next use of tobacco. However, black pepper reduced the level of craving more than did angelica, and angelica allowed for a longer delay than did black pepper.
Another amazing blend that has stress calming benefits is Adaptiv. I can personally say that although I do not smoke, I do have PTS, Adaptiv makes a huge difference in my stress level.
Adaptiv blend of essential oil was purposefully designed to provide an aroma of calm and confidence, acting as the perfect companion for your busiest days. Adaptiv does help create a comfortable environment when you find yourself confronted with new surroundings, or other stressful situations like, public speaking, or quitting smoking. The sweet, citrusy, floral notes create a peaceful atmosphere. It comes in a 15 ml essential oil to use in a diffuser, a roller bottle and the capsules in the picture above.
There is a lot more to talk about so check out Part Two next week. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me or comment below. I am here to help you on Your Road to ReNew You.
*These statements have been approved by Health Canada.