What is Aromatherapy? Aromatherapy is an alternative medicine that involves the use of volatile plant materials. These are the basis for essential oils which can be aromatically inhaled, applied topically or diffused to help with a wide variety of health conditions. It is often used to improve mood or to change cognitive states.
Most aromatherapy treatments with essential oils are diluted in a carrier oil of some kind, to make the effects slightly less potent. If you use too strong of a concentration of essential oils in aromatherapy, it can result in a wide range of negative side effects. You should pay close attention to your body and its reaction whenever you use aromatherapy as a therapeutic solution for a medical condition.*
Health Benefits of Aromatherapy
People have been enjoying the health benefits of aromatherapy since the 11th century. This alternative medicine uses essential oils to speed up the healing process, boost energy levels, reduce anxiety and is a viable solution to cure common daily ailments.
Whether you need to reduce your stress levels or increase your digestive capacities, here are some common health conditions that can be treated with the help of essential oils.
Stress Relief: Perhaps the most widespread and popular use of aromatherapy is for stress relief. The aromatic compounds from many different essential oils are known as relaxants and can help soothe your mind and eliminate anxiety. Some of the best essential oils for stress relief are lemon oil, lavender, bergamot, peppermint, vetiver, and ylang-ylang essential oils. Certain studies have also shown that lemon oil can improve mood and reduce outbursts of anger.
Acts as Antidepressant: Aromatherapy is very commonly used to eliminate feelings of depression, and due to the very complicated side effects of pharmaceutical antidepressants, this is a very important function of aromatherapy. While this is useful as a complementary treatment, psychological help or counseling should be sought out if depression continues or worsens. The commonly used essential oils for reducing depression are peppermint, chamomile, lavender, and jasmine.
Increase Memory: One of the most frightening and widespread diseases is memory loss and the inability to form short-term memories. Aromatherapy has often been turned to as an alternative or supplemental treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have also shown the efficacy of aromatherapy, in terms of boosting their memory capacity for a certain amount of time after the treatment. Sage oil is the most commonly recommended oil for this sort of memory-enhancing effect.
Boost Energy Levels: We can all use more energy to get through the hectic daily tasks of modern life. However, stimulants like coffee, cigarettes, energy pills, or even illegal substances can have very damaging effects on the body. While diet and exercise can also help, many people turn to aromatherapy to put a bit more pep in their step. Many essential oils are known to increase circulation, raise energy levels, and generally stimulate the body and mind, without the dangerous side effects of other stimulating substances. The best essential oils for giving yourself an energy boost include black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, angelica, jasmine, tea tree, rosemary, and sage.
Speeds up Healing: As stimulants, many essential oils can help increase the rate of healing throughout the body. This can be due to increased oxygen and blood flow to wounds as well as more internal healing processes like those following surgeries or illness. The anti-microbial properties of certain essential oils also keep the body protected during these delicate healing stages of the body. Some of the most popular essential oils for speeding up the healing process of the body include lavender, calendula, rosehip, everlasting (helichrysum), and buckthorn essential oils. A number of these oils do more than just healing wounds; they can also reduce the severity and discomfort of skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
Reduces Headaches: Everyone gets headaches from time to time, and the bad ones can stop us dead in our tracks. Aromatherapy can be a wonderful solution that can not only cure your current headache, but can also possibly reduce the stress, anxiety, or medical origin of your headaches to prevent them in the future. Some essential oils that have been connected to reducing headaches and migraines are peppermint, eucalyptus, sandalwood, and rosemary essential oils.
Regulates Sleep: Not getting enough sleep can exacerbate or cause a huge range of medical conditions and can leave us feeling unproductive and devoid of energy. Aromatherapy can provide us with a more balanced sleep schedule and can even realign our circadian rhythms so our body naturally gets tired at an appropriate time, sleeps restfully through the night, and is energized in the morning to face the day. The best essential oils for managing sleeping habits and having a healthy, sedative effect on the body include lavender, chamomile, jasmine, benzoin, neroli, rose, sandalwood, sweet marjoram, and ylang-ylang essential oils.
Strengthens Immune System: It is far better to prevent than treat, and aromatherapy can give a serious boost to your immune system if used properly. The anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and antibacterial effects of various essential oils can protect you from any number of illnesses and infections that could damage your system. The most effective essential oils that boost your immune system, include oregano, frankincense, lemon, peppermint, cinnamon, and eucalyptus essential oils.
Relieves Pain: Aromatherapy can relieve dozens of different types of pain without any harm. Pain relief is one of the most useful applications of aromatherapy. The top essential oils, both for professional and personal use, include lavender, chamomile, clary sage, juniper, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint essential oils.
Improves Digestion: Although this isn’t the most widely researched area of aromatherapy, digestive issues can certainly be treated with aromatherapy. It can ease constipation, indigestion, bloating, and can speed up metabolism so that the food is digested quicker. Citrus essential oils are normally the best for treating digestive conditions, including lemon and orange, but there have also been some studies that have cited ginger, dill, fennel, chamomile, clary sage, and lavender as being effective as well.
*Whatever your condition, and whatever essential oils you choose to use, always consult your doctor before embarking on a new treatment plan.
If you are interested in learning more about Living Healthy with Essential Oils join our 2019 Wellness Workshop on Tuesday January 22nd at 7pm. To register call Body & Soul Massage at 978-825-0040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.