Aromatherapy and Stress Relief

Aromatherapy and Stress Relief

 Table of Contents 

  1. Essential Oils for Stress Relief and Well Being
  2. How to Use Essential Oils
  3. What are Essential Oils?

Have you ever smelled a scent and it brought up memories or stirred your emotions? Do you notice that certain scents make you feel happier, more relaxed, or more focused? Our sense of smell has a powerful connection to our emotional and physical health. And that is what aromatherapy is all about.

Aromatherapy and the use of essential oils goes back for centuries. Asian cultures like India and China have long used essential oils to heal body, mind, and spirit. Today we have oils and oil blends for nearly every medication condition including depression, anxiety, and stress.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are compounds that are derived from plant extracts. Each oil carries the essence and scent of the plant it comes from. They are extracted from the plant via either mechanical means like cold pressing or through distillation using water or steam. You can use a single oil or create special essential oil blends to target specific conditions.

When you inhale essential oils, the aroma stimulates key areas of the limbic system of your brain. This is the area that regulates involuntary physiological functions like your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. However, it also is involved in long term memory, behaviors, your sense of smell, emotions, and forming memories.

There have been a number of studies that prove aromatherapy is effective. For instance, Lemonbalm was found to reduce agitation in dementia patients. Tea tree oil and lavender was found to kill head lice in children.

 

 

All The Keys to Essential Oils Reducing Stress, Anxiety, and host of other things...

 

How to Use Essential Oils

For the most part, essential oils are not intended to be consumed. They may be applied topically and absorbed through the skin or inhaled, which can be done by using a humidifier or diffuser. You can also inhale the oil directly out of the bottle.

To apply essential oils to the skin they must first be diluted with a carrier oil such as almond, fractionated coconut, and jojoba. This helps prevent irritation; some oils are potent and can cause inflammation if applied directly to the skin.

When diluting essential oil for an adult, you should use 15 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier oil.

When diluting essential oil for a child you should increase the dilution by using 3 to 6 drops of essential oil per 1 ounce of carrier oil. However, you should not use essential oils on children without the supervision of their doctor or health care provider.

Some people add their essential oil to body wash, bath oil, shampoo, or lotion.

Essential Oils for Stress Relief and Well Being

There are several essential oils that are known for promoting relaxation, relieving stress, and improving general wellbeing.

Lavender

This lovely smelling essential oil has long been associated with relaxation, stress relief, and improved sleep. However, at least one study has found that it can also improve performance.

In the study, one group was given lavender to inhale and another group had rosemary for three minutes. They were given simple math problems to work both before and after inhaling the essential oil. While both groups felt more relaxed and completed the math problems faster than they had prior to using the oils, the lavender group also experienced increased accuracy. The rosemary group did not. EEGs on the subject showed that in the lavender group experienced an upsurge in beta power which indicates an increase in drowsiness, while the rosemary group experienced decreased frontal alpha and beta power which indicates an increase in alertness.

Spearmint

The mild aroma of this essential oil makes it much easier to tolerate than stronger mint oils such as peppermint. Spearmint has a broad spectrum of benefits including sedative and relaxant properties. However, it is also anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal anti-viral, antioxidant and more. This is a great all-around essential oil to have on hand and a great oil for relieving stress.

Chamomile

The relaxing aroma of this essential oil works very well when combined with a carrier oil and massaged into the skin. You can also put a few drops in a warm bath for a calming way to destress at the end of the day.

Clary Sage

Many people think that this oil comes from the garden herb used for cooking. However, it is actually a close relative to the plant. Clary sage essential oil has been used to ease dental anxiety and may ease depression.

Bergamot

The oil of this citrus fruit has long been used in Italian folk medicine, but now we are learning that it can help relieve anxiety and tension as well as ease stress, lower heart rate, and reduce blood pressure. It is even used on chronic pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Eucalyptus

This oil is well known as an effective decongestant, but it is also very effective in decreasing stress and promoting relaxation. It has a number of benefits for both mental and physical health. Eucalyptus is very soothing and is effective in reducing tension headaches.

Frankincense

This wonderful oil has a clean, slightly evergreen, sweet aroma. It has a number of incredible uses such as cleaning the air and boosting your mood. One study used an essential oil blend of frankincense, bergamot, and lavender in a carrier oil and massaged the hands of terminal cancer patients. As a result, their reported a decrease in their pain, depression, and anxiety.

Lemonbalm

When it comes to essential oil, this is definitely one of the heavy hitters. Also known as Melissa oil, lemonbalm is a powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. It also promotes relaxation making it a good, all around oil with multiple applications.

Jasmine

The flowery, sweet aroma of this essential oil can have a calming effect. One interesting tidbit about jasmine is that many people find the aroma of jasmine tea to be relaxing as well.

Valerian

Sometimes referred to as “nature’s valium,” this oil acts as a mild sedative, calming nerves and promoting sleep. It can be rather pungent, so use sparingly.

Ylang Ylang

This is another calming essential oil that lowers blood pressure and increases relaxation. It is derived from a tropical flower, so the aroma is floral and sweet.

Yuzu

This citrus scent has been scientifically proven to lower heart rate in 10 minutes. The effect last for nearly 30 minutes making it very effective in soothing anxiety and alleviating the effects of stress and tension.

Holy Basil

Holy basil is from the same family as the basil you use for cooking, but they are distinctly different. It has a strong aroma, so you don’t need much, but it is very effective in relieving mental and physical stress. Interestingly enough, sweet basil (the type of basil used for cooking) also promotes calm and eases stress without causing drowsiness like anxiety medications.

Essential oils can help relieve stress, ease anxiety, boost your mood, relieve your pain, and a whole lot more. When looking for oils, choose those that are organic and pure with no fillers. They should come in dark blue or brown glass bottles to maintain quality. Fragrance oils include chemicals combined with the oil or they are 100 percent chemical, so you want to avoid them. Read labels to ensure your product is pure and research the company.

Incorporate some essential oils into your self-care routine and enjoy a little pampering. You deserve it!

All The Keys to Essential Oils Reducing Stress, Anxiety, and host of other things...

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