Aromatherapy—Essential Oils Can Reduce Your Stress

You may fondly remember the smell of a favorite meal being prepared, or the scents of your favorite place. The sense of smell has a powerful affect on us.

Aromatherapy is the art and science of using scents to positively affect our emotions. The right scent can bring us into our body and help us remember powerful positive feelings. The scents of essential oils produced from natural plants, flowers, shrubs, roots or fruit peels can balance our moods while lifting our spirits.

We can take advantage of the benefits of aromatherapy to help us reduce stress. Commonly available essential oils with stress reduction and relaxation properties include:

  • Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) photosensitive (use with care in sunlight)
  • Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)

How You Can Use Essential Oils.

Inhalation (inhaling or breathing in) is a common way to start using an essential oil.

  • Indirect inhalation is achieved by scenting a room in which you and or others spend time. You’ll need a diffuser to scent an entire room. A diffuser is a device that gently warms or blows air across an oil and into room air.
  • Direct inhalation is a very effective method for one person to receive the benefits of an essential oil. An easy, low-cost method uses your favorite oil, a cotton ball and a zip-locking plastic bag. Simply place the cotton ball in the bag and add 3 drops of your preferred essential oil to the cotton ball and then inhale.

Massage is another effective way of soothing the body through the sense of smell and touch.

  • To create your own massage body oil, mix 3 to 5 drops of lavendula angustifolia essential oil into 2 to 4 teaspoons of carrier oil (grapeseed, sesame, jojoba or olive oil).
  • Lavender nites™ is a pre-mixed lavender infused cream and an easy-to-use (non-greasy) option to self–apply for deep relaxation.

Learn how essential oils can enhance your health, happiness and comfort!

Meet the Author

Nancy Conway is the Director of Integrative Medicine at Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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