Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils and other aromatic plant compounds to provide an alternative therapy for relieving stress, improving sleep, and promoting relaxation. While studies are inconclusive about whether aromatherapy really works, essential oils reveal levels of antimicrobial activity, including specific properties such as antiviral, antifungal, and antioxidant. To benefit from aromatherapy, the best applications are topical and inhalation.
In a study highlighted by ScienceDirect, a randomized controlled trial analyzed aromatherapy’s effect on stress and sleep quality. The results showed that the aromatherapy group had lower stress and better sleep quality than the control group. Meanwhile, other studies have been conducted on the benefits of an aromatherapy massage versus a regular massage, and results revealed that aromatherapy massages seem to have a higher rate of providing relief.
Essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil, such as almond or olive before applying to the skin. Before inhaling or applying essential oils, be sure to test for an allergic reaction by using a skin patch test.
To breathe in the scent of the essential oils, the aroma can be evaporated by using a diffuser or spray bottle. Some choose to use a couple of drops of essential oil in a bath. Another option is creating a steam bath by boiling 4 cups of water, adding a few drops of essential oil, moving the water to a table, and placing your face over the steam and under a tented towel for a few minutes.
After diluting with a carrier oil, the essential oils can be applied to the skin via massage, bath, or a skin care regiment. Massage is particularly beneficial due to its ability to increase circulation and absorption.
Reasons for Aromatherapy
People seek aromatherapy for various reasons. While the most common include stress and insomnia, aromatherapy can simply be a mood booster. The following are a collection of reasons that people choose to use aromatherapy:
- Memory boost
- Healing speed
- Back Pain
- Sleep regulation
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Immune system boost
- Pain reliever
Essential Oil Powers
While most essential oils may smell nice, specific essential oils are going to be better for different ailments. The benefits of aroma can be hard to pin down, but Medical News Today reveals which scents have been known to help with certain issues. Depending on your need, you’ll want to select the right combination of scents to begin aromatherapy.
Basil – Promotes better concentration while alleviating some depression symptoms and relieving headaches
Bergamot – Offers relief for stress and skin problems when combined with eucalyptus oil
Black Pepper – Stimulates blood circulation while relieving muscle aches and bruises. When combined with ginger, it can reduce arthritis pain and improve flexibility
Chamomile – Assists with eczema breakouts and also promotes sleep
Cinnamon – Soothes muscle aches and pains, clears up chest colds, and reduces inflammation
Clove – Relieves pain, prevents nausea, and breaks down gut gas
Eucalyptus – Promotes open airways for breathing during the cold season, but be aware, many people are allergic to this essential oil
Frankincense – Promotes wellbeing and can help with colds and coughs
Lavender – Enhances relaxation, reduces headache pain, and improves sleep quality, and can be used as an antiseptic for minor cuts and burns
Lemon – Improves mood, possibly relieving stress and depression symptoms
Peppermint – Increases alertness and relieves headaches
Rosemary – Prevents muscle spasms, promotes hair growth, boosts memory, and supports the nervous system
Sweet Orange – Promotes relaxation and boosts mood
Tea Tree – Purifies burns and bites with its antimicrobial, antiseptic, and disinfectant qualities
Thyme – Reduces tiredness, nerves, and stress
Yarrow – Treats cold symptoms and reduces inflammation in the joints
While this list is in no way exhaustive, it’s a helpful start by knowing what types of scents may be therapeutic for you. At Cloud 9 we offer you a choice of Essential Oil from our complimentary Aromatherapy Blend Bar...you may even choose for us to combine 1 or more oils to custom create your relaxation experience. If you’d like to experience some of the benefits of aromatherapy, call us today at (352) 335-9920.