Benefits of Aromatherapy
The term aromatherapy refers to the use of essential oils extracted from flowers, fruits, or plants to improve one’s mental and physical health. These oils can be inhaled directly or used in baths or lotions, among other uses, and they have been shown to reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality, boost your immune system and more. Here are a few benefits of aromatherapy you may not have known about before.
Despite what many people might think, aromatherapy is not an alternative medicine. The word aromatherapy comes from two Greek words—aroma meaning scent and therapeia meaning cure or treatment. In fact, it has been around for hundreds of years, with its roots in ancient Egypt.
Introducing your senses to relaxing scents
It’s a commonly-held belief that scents can have a calming effect on those who smell them. This is true—and it’s because smell receptors are located in an area of your brain responsible for emotions and memory. We make decisions based on how we feel, which makes smell quite influential in our day-to-day lives.
The healing power of essential oils
If you’re unfamiliar with aromatherapy, it’s a form of alternative medicine that uses natural essential oils from plants and flowers to promote health. While there isn’t much evidence for aromatherapy’s effectiveness as a medical treatment, many people find that diffusing essential oils or applying them topically can help relieve stress and improve mood. If you suffer from insomnia, headaches, muscle pain, or other chronic conditions, consider experimenting with aromatherapy.
Calming your mind through aromatherapy
As we age, our senses of smell and taste start to dull. This makes it harder for us to enjoy foods and drinks that used to bring us pleasure. But with aromatherapy, you can regain some of those lost smells and tastes—giving your meals a new burst of flavor that gets you excited about eating again. Keep in mind that if you have diabetes or other health conditions, consult your doctor before using essential oils.
Helps with sleep
Many people know that aromatherapy is helpful for sleep, but studies show that it’s also helpful when you’re trying to wake up. The reason? It slows down your breathing and heartbeat, which signals your body that it’s time to go from sleep mode to awake mode. Breathing deeply has a calming effect—it relaxes you and reduces stress levels.
Finding the right oil for you
With hundreds of essential oils to choose from, it can be difficult to figure out which aromatherapy oil is right for you. When choosing a scent, consider what emotions it invokes. For example, orange and lavender are uplifting while eucalyptus can be refreshing after a long day. If your mood is low, try peppermint or rosemary—these scents boost energy and concentration. And remember that everyone’s bodies are different so test out a few oils before settling on one.
Using essential oils in your home
The best place to start with aromatherapy is your own home because what better way to make your mind and body relax than a little self-care. There are many ways you can incorporate essential oils into your home, like diffusing them, lighting an aromatherapy candle, or adding them to natural beauty products, but there’s nothing wrong with just taking a few deep breaths as well. (Oh, and also: You can use essential oils on pets!)
Essential oils are a great way to promote relaxation, boost your immune system, and achieve good health. It’s also been shown that essential oils can affect emotions and even reduce pain in surgical patients.
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