Does smelling something good calm you down? According to Aromatherapy, the answer is yes! Aromatherapy uses the sense of smell to affect the mind and mood, and to cause physiological changes such as reducing blood pressure and lowering heart rate.
Research using aromatherapy has demonstrated that the power of scent can be useful for stress, with studies showing:
- Stress was significantly lower when adolescent students received an aroma treatment compared to when they received a placebo treatment.
- Pre-operative patients who were exposed to bergamot essential oil aromatherapy showed a greater reduction in preoperative anxiety than those in control groups.
- College students who utilized aromatherapy inhalation reported lower levels of anxiety and stress, and increased levels of sleep quality and energy. The control group reported higher levels of anxiety and stress, and decreased levels of sleep quality and energy.
- Aromatherapy was shown to be effective in the reduction of the number of stress symptoms in nurses utilizing lavender aromatherapy, whereas those in the control group reported increases in stress symptoms.
Essential Oil Benefits
The benefits of essential oils can be gained through inhalation by using a diffuser or putting essential oils into a bath. Essential oils also work topically if they are diluted, such as added to lotion, massage oil or balms applied to the body. Some essential oils used for tension and stress include:
- Peppermint – calming, relaxing, cooling, anti-spasmodic. A common use is rubbing peppermint oil on temples or neck to ease tension headache.
- Lavender – calming, soothing, eases anxiety
- Bergamot – eases anxiety, uplifting
- Sandalwood – relaxing
- Frankincense – relaxing
- Orange, Lemon and other citrus scents – uplifting
- Chamomile – calming
Soothing Tea Time Bath – Recipe courtesy Now Foods
Ease away tension and stress with this relaxing bath soak.
- 6 empty, fillable tea bags
- 3/4 cup Magnesium Flakes
- 1/4 cup sea salt
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup dried lavender, chamomile, or calendula flowers
- 10-15 drops Lavender Oil
- 5 drops Chamomile Oil or 5 drops Peppermint Oil
- 1 tablespoon liquid coconut oil or carrier oil of choice
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl together and mix well.
Add in essential oil drops and carrier oil of your choice (carrier oil can also be added at time of use). Mix well with a spoon. Avoid direct contact with skin while mixing.
Use a teaspoon to fill each tea bag with combined ingredients and draw string tight.
Run a warm bath and drop a couple tea bags into the water while running. Keep them in the tub for the duration of the bath. When you are finished, discard or compost the tea bags.
Add to an essential oil diffuser at home or office.
Uplifting Blend – Recipe courtesy Wyndmere Naturals
- 4 drops Bergamot
- 3 drops Grapefruit
- 2 drops Rosemary
Wind Down Blend – Recipe courtesy Freshmommyblog.com
- 4 drops Lavender
- 2 drops Cedarwood
- 2 drops Wild Orange
- 1 drop Ylang Ylang
* Due to the concentration and the unknown safety of ingestion, do not consume non-food essential oils unless advised by a licensed aromatherapist. Keep essential oils out of reach of children. Essential oils are very concentrated, so only a few drops are needed, and oils should be diluted in a carrier oil, a bath, or used in a diffuser. Discontinue use if you experience any sensitivity.