When you’re in a bad mood, what do people typically advise you to do? Take a deep breath in, and breathe out – but some take that one step further and light up some aromatic scents. Aromatherapy has all kinds of soothing and healing properties. You can learn more about the power of aromatherapy in this article.
Inhale like you are breathing in a flower, and exhale like you are blowing out a candle.
What is aromatherapy?
According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, it is both an art and science as it uses natural essential oils and extracts from plants that chemically balance the body, mind, and spirit. Though it had been used for centuries for medicinal purposes, it was formalized by the French perfumer and chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse in 1937 when he published his book on how to effectively use essential oils for physiological ailments, therefore making it a scientifically backed medical use for aromatic substances.
Aromatherapy, which is not intended as a replacement for physician-ordered treatment, is considered integrative, or complementary, to traditional medical treatment. When patients are experiencing fatigue, pain, or stress, they can use aromatherapy to help reduce their symptoms when medicine isn’t doing the trick. Many patients like aromatherapy because it is something they can control in the safety of their own homes.
Many essential oils are analgesic, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, or anti-infectious, which have calming properties and help relieve pain. You can almost state there is “something for everyone.”
Aromatherapy is very popular today for stress relief. Stress can hinder digestion, immune function, and increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. While you may not be able to always eliminate a negative situation, aromatherapy is one effective way to combat the emotional upheaval that accompanies stressful events. Simply by reducing your negative emotions that surround a certain situation, you begin to change the way you think and act, thereby minimizing the situation.
Some of the most popular essential oils with stress-relieving properties include geranium, peppermint, lavender, jasmine, chamomile, and lemongrass. Add aromatherapy to your arsenal as you fight against stress. The benefits can be quite effective, and the ease of use makes it a great choice.
Used in pain relief lotions and creams, bath oils or salts or massage oils, essential oils may help with easing pain from various causes (listed below). The best essential oils for relieving pain are: lavender, Clary sage, juniper, eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint.
- Arthritis: Massage 1-2 drops of juniper oil for pain into the area of concern daily or as desired.
- Back Pain: Massage several drops into the area, and apply a hot or cold compress.
- Bone Pain: Massage 1-2 drops into the area several times a day or as desired.
- Bruises: Lightly apply 1 drop over the bruise, careful not to put any significant pressure on it.
- Fever: Apply 1 drop over the forehead or back of the neck every one hour or as desired.
- Inflammation: Massage 1-2 drops (eucalyptus, chamomile) over the area, moving with the lymphatic system (toward the heart).
- Joint Pain: Massage 1-2 drops (rosemary, juniper, lavender) into the area of concern followed with a hot or cold compress, heating pad or ice pack.
- Menstrual Cramping: Inhale drops of Clary sage oil to alleviate cramping.
- Migraines/Headaches: Apply 1-2 drops of peppermint or rosemary oil to the temple and gently massage.
- Muscle Aches/Pains: Massage 1-2 drops (rosemary, juniper, lavender Clary sage) over the area of concern as needed or several times a day.
- Pain (Acute): Massage 1-2 drops of essential oils for pain over the area of concern and follow with ice for 24 hours. Seek medical treatment.
- Pain (Chronic): Apply several drops over the area and apply a hot compress or heating pad for 30 minutes. Do this as desired, up to several times a day.
- Sprains: Gently massage several drops (eucalyptus) into the area up to every 2-3 hours.
Aromatherapy cannot cure insomnia or its root cause, but using calming and relaxing essential oils before your intended bedtime can potentially help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep until your intended wake-up time. You can use an aromatic cotton ball by your bedside, bed linen spray, or a diffuser to release oils, and you will get that night’s sleep you’ve been needing. The most popular essential oils for sleep deprivation are lavender and chamomile.
Aromatherapy specifically helps those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease relieve agitation and improve sleep. Less unrest means better control over daily processes for the senior, as well as better memory care when they can get a good night sleep. Professionals draw out the oil extracts of plants and can serve them to patients a variety of ways. They are either inhaled, ingested or soaked in through the skin.