How to Use Aromatherapy for Stress Relief
No one likes being stressed, and now more than ever, more people are becoming more stressed; and the statistics are alarming. A recent study by the American Institute of Stress shows that about 33% of Americans report extreme stress levels. 73% of people experience stress that impacts their physical wellbeing, while 77% have stress that affects their mental health.
While everyone has different stress triggers, some causes are common among many people. Work stress is the leading culprit. Most workers handle heavy workloads due to the low labor force, which can be stressful sometimes. On the other hand, the Covid-19 outbreak has also had significant effects on our lives. Most people feel isolated, lonely, and restricted, which can be overwhelming to many, increasing stress levels.
However, the good news is that experts are working around the clock to discover more remedies for stress. And Aromatherapy for stress relief is one the best stress relievers available. Learn more about Aromatherapy, how it works, and its benefits below.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy (essential oil therapy) is a practice of using natural plant (herbal) extracts for therapeutic benefit. It involves the use of essential oils to support your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Brief History of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy has been around for centuries dating back to prehistoric times when ancient cultures in Egypt, India, and China incorporated aromatic plant substances into fragrant oils, resins, and balms. During the prehistoric period, natural substances were used for medicinal, cosmetic, and culinary purposes.
In the 19th century, a few people, including the French and German doctors, recognized essential oils' potential use and application in medical treatments. During this time, many physicians were focused on using chemical medicines as an effective technique for treating diseases.
But in the modern-day, aromatherapy for stress relief has become a common practice across different cultures. Although modern medicine is constantly evolving, many are turning to aromatherapy to enjoy its many mental and physical benefits. Depending on the type of essential oil used, aromatherapy can promote relaxation, enhance mood, and ease muscle tension.
When to Use Aromatherapy
Professionals often use aromatherapy in helping with various physical and mental conditions, including stress, digestive issues, anxiety, and headaches. Essentially, the practice stimulates your limbic system and triggers messages to be sent to your brain. Aromatherapy is commonly used to address;
Stress: Persistent stress can trigger many health issues if overlooked. Some essential oils such as Lavender can reduce stress levels when used correctly. Lavender oil is believed to have calming effects and can help your body relax.
Chronic pain: Aromatherapy can be used along with massage to provide relief to people experiencing chronic pain, particularly muscle-related pain.
Dementia: Dementia patients can often experience occasional bouts of frustration and irritability. Aromatherapy can help relieve most of these symptoms.
Insomnia: Inadequate sleep can affect memory and brain function. Some studies show that essential oils can help people fall asleep quicker and even lower the risk of chronic diseases.
What Are the Benefits of Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy may have several benefits to your body when used correctly. It's believed to:
- Relieve stress, anxiety, and depression
- Support the immune system
- Improve the quality of life, especially for patients with chronic health problems
- Improve sleep quality
- Enhance hospice and palliative care
- Sooth sore joints
- Combat bacteria, viruses, and fungi
- Enhance body relaxation
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