Aromatherapy uses natural oils extracted from flowers and other plants to enhance wellness, ease pain, relieve stress, and increase mental awareness and cognitive function.
Stress can affect immunity and cause the digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems to stop working normally. Even worse, chronic stress puts our bodies into survival mode, causing a run-down of our overall body systems.
Demetria Clark, author of Aromatherapy and Herbal Remedies for Pregnancy, Birth, and Breastfeeding, recommends aromatherapy for stress relief. “Aromatherapy is known to encourage deep breathing and we know that deep breathing is a tool widely used to reduce stress”, she explained. Because there are so many topical applications for aromatherapy, such as body sprays, compresses, creams, liniments and massage oils, it is easy to use at home and practical to use daily.
How does Aromatherapy work?
The aroma from essential oils is believed to stimulate brain function by immediately penetrating cell membranes and crossing the brain-blood barriers to reach the emotional center of the brain at a rapid speed. “Essential oils have many constituents that promote relaxation, calm and feelings of well-being,” Clark said.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to benefit from essential oils is to first sample smelling them. “Just because an essential oil is listed as good for de-stressing, doesn’t mean it will work for you”, she said. Everyone is different so if you feel agitated or don’t like a particular aroma, listen to your own instincts.
Once you find the right essential oils for you, you can use them anytime. Just put a few drops on a handkerchief so you can carry it with you. It is also important to know that not all essential oils are alike. Make sure you purchase the therapeutic grade oils as some oils may contain harmful chemicals.
5 Essential Oils for Stress Relief:
- Citrus Oils (Sweet Orange/Mandarin/ Grapefruit/Lemon/Lime)
- Clary Sage