Aromatherapy can help reduce stress, create a feeling of relaxation and provide many other health benefits. Aromatherapy has found its way into the hearts and lives of people all around the world who wish to experience the variety of benefits that it can provide.
What exactly is aromatherapy? How can it help you? Below, we dive into these questions and then provide tips on how you can incorporate therapy into your everyday life.
What Is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is an alternative medicine that uses essential oils and other aromatic plant compounds to improve a person’s mood or health. Essential oils are the basis of aromatherapy. An essential oil is the purest essence of a plant. Different methods are used to extract and distil essential oils, but the term ‘essential oil’ is used to encompass all natural, aromatic plant oils.
How Can Aromatherapy Help You?
The aroma of the essential oils is believed to provide physical and psychological benefits when inhaled. It is believed that the olfactory system is stimulated when essential oils are inhaled, which can have an effect on the limbic system; or the emotional center of the brain. It can cause the brain to release chemicals that are relaxing or stimulating, depending on the essential oil combination being used.
Aromatherapy is often used in conjunction with massage or yoga to aid in relaxation and stress relief. Practitioners believe that massage, yoga and aromatherapy are complementary practices that provide numerous benefits to the patient or client.
Some of the common health benefits associated with aromatherapy are:
- Soothing anxiety
- Reducing stress
- Treating insomnia
- Helping with circulation problems
- Aiding with depression
- Treating muscular and body aches
- Helping with digestive problems
- Reducing pain caused by menstruation
Healing Benefits of Common Scents
Different scents are believed to produce different effects. Below are some of the healing benefits of using common scents:
- Black Pepper. Black Pepper is commonly used to soothe muscular aches and pains as well as stimulating circulation. When applied directly to the skin, it can also help minimize bruising.
- Basil. This essential oil is believed to sharpen concentration and alleviate symptoms of depression. It can also treat migraines and headaches. However, it should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Clove Oil. In its topical form, it’s used to soothe physical pain. In its aromatic form, it can help prevent nausea and gas.
- Eucalyptus. This essential oil can provide relief for those who have a cold or flu. This is because it’s believed to help open up the patient’s airways.
- Geranium Oil. Geranium helps your body rid itself of water. It can also draw together body tissues and help stop blood flow or other secretions.
- Lavender Oil. Lavender oil is one of the prime essential oils used to aid in relaxation. It is believed to help treat headaches, migraines and even treat insomnia.
- Thyme Oil. This essential oil is believed to help reduce fatigue, stress and nervousness.
- Lemon Oil. Lemon oil is believed to provide relief from the symptoms of depression and stress.
Ways to Incorporate Aromatherapy into Your Daily Life
Incorporating aromatherapy into your daily life can help provide the health benefits throughout your day. Here are three ways to start enjoying aromatherapy throughout your day:
- Epsom salt baths. Epsom salts come in a variety of scents which are made using essential oils. Adding Epsom salts that have been infused with your chosen scent will provide those benefits during your bath. You can even buy unscented Epsom salt alts and add your own essential oils to them. When running a warm bath, take one cup of unscented salts and add 4-6 drops of your chosen essential oil. Sprinkle the salts into the warm water and your hand through it to help them dissolve. Enjoy!
- Self-Massage. Add aromatherapy to your own self massage sessions. Look for massage oils created with essential oils and use them to rub your own problematic areas. The scent that these massage oils give off will aid in relaxation and soothing muscle pain.
- Essential Oil Diffusers. An essential oil diffuser is a device that is essential for aromatherapy. It is created to diffuse your chosen essential oils into the air. You can put an essential oil diffuser in your bedroom, living room or yoga room to reap the benefits of aromatherapy all day long. Doing yoga with an essential oil diffuser in the room can help increase the relaxation derived from your practice.
Aromatherapy can provide numerous health benefits for your mind and body. Get started today by grabbing a few essential oils, some Epsom salts and an oil diffuser.