You may or may not have heard of or seen the word “aromatherapy” around in your favorite place to shop or from a close friend or family member. But you may not be 100% sure what aromatherapy is or how it can benefit you. So in this post, we are going to talk about aromatherapy and stress.
How Does Aromatherapy Work?
Aromatherapy by definition is the use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils in massage or baths. The oils are often placed into diffusers which allow the scents to fill the air. Through direct or indirect (safe) inhalation of the oil, your body can relax.
One of the most common professional methods of aromatherapy is massage. Who doesn’t love a great massage? But for us, mothers can’t always find the time to go out and get one, right!
However, aromatherapy can be practiced at home safely and effectively. Some of the methods of home aromatherapy include:
- Massage – one of the best techniques of aromatherapy, it combines the benefits of touch and the therapeutic benefits of the essential oils
- Baths – essential oils added to the bath water can be used for both therapy and pleasure because the oils can be honey or milk adding the benefit of soft skin. Note: Best oils for this purpose are lavender or chamomile.
- Steam inhalation – A few drops can be added to a bowl of steaming water and you can place your head over the bowl with a towel and inhale as required.
- Oil diffusers – This is handy for dispensing the aroma into the air and cleansing and purifying your room.
- Pillowcase – You can put a few drops of the essential oils onto a tissue and place it in your pillowcase.
Does Aromatherapy Reduce Stress?
Ancient Egyptians employed the use of essential oils and other plant substances for massages, bathing, and healing.
Some of the health benefits of aromatherapy include the:
- ability to reduce stress
- ability to ease depression
- ability to boost energy levels
- ability to speed up the healing process
- ability to relieve headaches
- ability to boost cognitive performance
- ability to induce sleep
- ability to strengthen the immune system
- ability to reduce pain
- ability to improve digestion and
- ability to increase circulation
Aromatherapy is very popular today for stress relief. The number one way aromatherapy is used to relieve stress is through massage. Massage relaxes our bodies muscles and improves circulation which soothes physical tension and relieves mental stress. The oils need to be diluted in water and mixed with a carrier oil such as jojoba, olive, and coconut oil, before being applied to the skin because they can cause irritation. You also want to make sure that the oils are natural and organic.
Some of the best types of aromatherapy oils for stress are:
- geranium – This oil was used by the Egyptians for promoting beautiful radiant skin. It can also be used to treat acne, reduce inflammation, alleviate anxiety and balance hormones. Its sweet aroma is great for relieving stress.
- peppermint – This oil has a refreshing aroma that is great for not only reducing stress but helping with mental exhaustion.
- lavender – A very popular oil that is used in many bath products and is known for its relaxing benefits. Add some to your bath water for a nice calming bath that will help relieve stress and put you to sleep.
- jasmine – This oil was pioneered by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. Its aroma is known to be very relaxing and it is a great oil to mix with lavender.
- chamomile – If you are familiar with chamomile tea then you are already aware of chamomile ability to help you relax. Which is why this oil is great to diffuse in your room before bed. It is also known for its ability to aid in the digestive system.
- lemongrass – Breathing in this scent has been known to help promote relaxation as well as relief from anxiety, agitation, and insomnia.
Essential oils can be easily added onto or into many of our favorite items such as our body lotions, pillowcases, clothes, so will be getting stress relief throughout the day. If you have a diffuser you can diffuse an oil of your choice in your favorite room to get the benefits of these oil as you sleep.
If you are interested in more about aromatherapy you can buy an aromatherapy starter kit and see which oils work best or you.
Essential oils can provide many benefits to your health from reducing stress and anxiety to improving your sleep and skin.
You can use essential oils in many of your favorite products or simply diffuse them in your favorite essential oil diffuser.
They can help you sleep, or be used for a wonderful massage. I love the natural smell they provide and I am not big on using toxic air fresheners around my children and pets.
When I need to relax just a few drops in my bath and I can relax all while improving my skin. The possibilities are endless.
Because of possible allergic reactions, please test a small amount of the product on the inside of the wrist or elbow before taking a bath with the oils. Also, always follow the exact instructions and use only the amounts specified.
Are you a fan of aromatherapy? Do you have a favorite essential oil you use when you are stressed?
If you are using aromatherapy for stress I would love to hear about it below and as always any feedback is welcome!