Impacting Student Performance with Essential Oils

It has been two years since I started implementing a more holistic lifestyle for myself and my family.  Last year I began toying with the idea of using essential oils in my classroom.  I was on the fence about the idea, mainly because they can get rather costly.  However, I distinctly remember one hot afternoon in April last year when my TA (bless her heart) was literally running around the room after my students spraying air-freshener.  I stood there thinking...

1) "what a chaotic scene...and this is really messing with the flow of my classroom,"
2) "it STILL smells in here...possibly worse than it did before the spray," and
3) "look at all those CHEMICALS!"

That was it.  I ordered my diffuser after school that very same day...and let me tell you...I. am. in. LOVE!!  I have staff members and students popping their heads in my room several times a day just to breathe in the aromatherapy goodness...SCORE!
Not only are essential oils perfect to combat smells, they are excellent for purifying the air and eliminating yucky germs (goodbye, flu season!).  Also, of all our senses, smell has the most powerful physiological and psychological impact on our bodies, because our sense of smell is directly connected to our limbic system, which controls our emotions, memory, hormone balance, heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels.

Here's a look at my favorites for the classroom:

In my classroom I currently use Greenair Spa Vapor which I purchased directly through Amazon.

Pros: Affordable and the soothing LED lights change colors, making it a relaxing focal point.
Cons: I need to add a few drops about every 2-3 hours because I find they lose their potency.

At home I use the Young Living Home Diffuser, which can be purchased directly through the Young Living site.

Pros: You have the option to choose between the continuous run setting or the alternating 30 seconds on/off setting.  The alternating setting prolongs the life of the cycle, which I have had running as long as six hours without needing to refill the unit.

Cons:  This popular item is often out of stock, and definitely costs a pretty penny.  You will receive a discount if you sign up as a whole-sale consumer...but still, at this price, apprx. $80, I choose to keep this little gem at home.

There are lots of other options out there on the market to fit your needs and budget and I encourage you to seek out other alternatives as well!

Some quick tips before you leave:

  • Be sure to use distilled water in your oil diffuser to prolong the life of the machine and get the most out of your essential oils.
  • Be sure to use 100% pure, therapeutic grade oils.
  • Look up other uses for each oil, many of these oils can be used for numerous aromatherapy purposes, not just the ones listed above.
  • Oils can be costly, to start out, pick one or two universal oils that you like the best.
  • Use only 4-6 drops of your favorite oil to last you longer. 

**Disclaimer: Please understand I am by no means claiming myself an expert on this topic.  I am simply here to offer information on what has positively impacted my classroom and students.  Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts and may cause allergic reactions.  Please do your part in researching a particular oil's properties before use.

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