Terri Koelsch shared her experiences with essential oils and meditation to relieve stress with St. John area residents.

From the top of the corporate ladder to the clerk in the mail room, from the head coach to the water boy, from the chief executive to the custodian, everybody has stress in their lives.

It is a constant companion as people make their way through life.

The same was true for Terri Koelsch who decided to find a way to relieve the stress in her life and it led her on a journey that has led to a solution that works for her.

Koelsch uses a combination of meditation and essential oils to get relief from mental and physical stress.

Koelsch, who is retiring from the banking business this Friday, shared her meditation and essential oils discoveries with a group at the Ida Long Goodman Memorial Library in St. John.

Koelsch said she had health issues for years but when a specialist in Wichita suggested meditation, it was the start to letting go of the stress, a journey she continues today. She recently went to Maui for a retreat and experienced a guided meditation that increased the positive impact of meditation for her.

Guided meditation helps a person feel calm. While the person may hear things going on around them or have random thoughts, they tend to be more focused and more relaxed.

The human body is kind of like a computer, both need time to reboot. Humans need time to shut down to get away from all the worries, concerns and the to-do list, said Koelsch who has heard from others how meditation has benefited them.

For the meditation portion of her presentation, Koelsch, who is a meditation practitioner and not a professional, will have the participants lay on a towel or matt as she directs where they need to focus. In sessions she has taken, she was guided to think about a specific body part, like a foot or hand, and think about them in a calming situation like a babbling brook or resting on cool stones.

Koelsch said the meditation portion would last about 16 minutes and it would help the participants find out if they enjoyed the experience and if they might be able to enjoy it and incorporate it into their life style.

Koelsch also got into essential oils back in October 2017. The oils are plant based, some have been used for centuries and are safer than prescriptions. She has samples of several types of oils.

She uses a difusser to put the essence of the oil into the air. She adds a few drops into the diffusser along with plain tap water. The oil in the air helps people relax and it smells good.

Koelsch has a diffusser she takes with here everywhere she travels and uses it in hotel rooms to kill germs. She sometimes experiences a dry cough in hotel and motel rooms and the diffusser helps clean the air.

Oils are kind of "intelligent" they seem to go there they are needed to help support wellness, hormonal balance, relaxation and sleep.

"I wouldn't be without them, just like meditation," Koelsch said.

The oils were available at the demonstration for those wanting to try. Koelsch uses a hand scanner to determine which oil would be most beneficial. The scanner has two metal balls that are placed in the palm of the hand. The information is fed into an app through a cell phone or iPad and will help determine which oils will help support their wellness journey.

Koelsch recently woke up in the night with a stomach ache that would not let her go back to sleep. She couldn't find a comfortable position. She took a few drops of oil for stomach issues and rubbed it on her stomach. Within five minutes, the stomach ache was gone and she went back to sleep.

She uses a combination of oils each day. It takes just a couple of drops of each to be effective. She just puts a drop on the tongue or in water and it works for her.

Her husband was skeptical when Koelsch started using oil but when he saw the benefits, he now likes using the diffuser and she likes the smell. Koelsch sometimes puts the oil behind her ear. There are oils that can give a cool hot sensation. In the summertime, she uses a cool oil to help her cool down.

She sometimes put a drop or two of lemon or peppermint into restaurant water to help purify it.

The oils she uses are therapeutic grade and that means they can be used topically on the skin, aromatically through a diffuser into the air or taken internally. It's important to use therapeutic grade oils because they are designed to do all three. There are two well known brands in the U.S., Young Living and doTERRA.

Koelsch said the oils help people in many ways. For her, the combination of oils and meditation help her stay grounded. She couldn't get away from stress in the work environment but the oils and meditation, Koelsch finds she is looking up and enjoying the sky and clouds and the sunrise.

"I'm finding joy and what life should be," Koelsch said.