The holidays are now in the rearview mirror, and the excitement is over, even if you dealt with much stress and grief from last year’s losses. However, now that the hustle and bustle from the holidays are gone while coping with the post-holiday blues, it affects your mood. You may be down and sluggish, and if you live in a colder climate, you will be affected much more. You will feel it the most around Blue Monday, January 15th. However, there is an easy way to help pick up your mood, and that is by utilizing aromatherapy.
What Is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment using essential oils from plants to promote your well-being, and it can be good to help lift you out of low moods. The fragrances from essential oils can help nurture your mind, body, and spirit, which can also help improve your emotional health. Doctors are beginning to recognize aromatherapy as a supplement treatment for many ailments such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and so on. However, it is believed to be both an art and a science.
Aromatherapy has existed since ancient cultures in India, Egypt, and China as practitioners would create mixtures of plant components containing fragrances in oils, balms, and resins for religious and medicinal purposes. During ancient times, practitioners believed that they had psychological and physical benefits.
The Persians in the 10th century were known to distill essential oils, though that practice was around before then. However, it was known to the general public in the 16th century as German practitioners would publish information about it. The recognition for treating many ailments happened in the 19th century when French physicians published work about it.
It was not until 1937 that the term aromatherapy was coined by French chemist and perfumer Rene-Maurice Gattefosse as he wrote a book about how lavender was used to treat burns. Even though Western modern medicine was on the rise, plenty of holistic practitioners utilized aromatherapy for treatments.
Aromatherapy works through smelling fragrances from essential oils and skin absorption if you apply them to your skin. There are many methods to utilize this holistic treatment, whether a diffuser, inhaler, facial steamer, hot and cold compress, bathing salts, clay masks, body oils or creams, or lotions for massage or applying them topically.
You want to remember that these essential oils are potent and use only a tiny amount, whether diffuse or topically. For example, if you use a diffuser, fill it with water and only add a small amount of essential oil. If you want to use essential oils as a topical lotion or cream, you will want to take a carrier oil, shea butter, or coconut oil and mix a few drops of essential oils into it. Putting essential oils alone on your skin will burn it.
Hundreds of essential oils are around, and they have many healing properties. You will want the correct essential oil for whatever ailment you wish to treat with a holistic practitioner specializing in aromatherapy.
For example, if you are looking for an essential oil to help you sleep because you struggle with anxiety, you will want to utilize one like chamomile or lavender, which has properties known to relax you. You do not want to use an essential oil known to invigorate you, such as peppermint, which would defeat the purpose. Now, let’s discuss many of the benefits of aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy Can Help Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Unfortunately, when it comes to life, there are only a few guarantees, which are death, taxes, heartbreak, and stress. Therefore, you cannot avoid stress. Stress can be good for you in moderate amounts because it keeps you motivated. However, when there is too much stress, it can be problematic if you cannot manage it properly. Too much stress can kick up your anxiety and cause you to have poor sleep.
However, using aromatherapy can help you manage stress and reduce anxiety by calming the nervous system, which can also help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Aromatherapy can rewire brain waves to relax you. The ideal anxiety and stress-reduction essential oils are lavender, chamomile, jasmine, geranium, and lemongrass. Stress and anxiety can also reduce your energy, making you sluggish. Therefore, when you need to calm down later in the day by utilizing these essential oils, there are other essential oils for aromatherapy you will want to utilize for energy-boosting in the morning or if you are struggling with the afternoon slump.
Are you struggling with finding your mojo each morning, or do you have it from a cup of coffee only to deal with a slump in the afternoon? You know that having coffee later in the afternoon will put you at risk of keeping you up at night, even if you utilize calming aromatherapy for the evening because the caffeine in the system will keep you up. The good news is aromatherapy can help you boost your energy too. If you are looking for an essential oil that can give you that pick-me-up energy, peppermint oil is great, as it will help boost your performance, reduce tiredness, and improve concentration.
Another essential oil that can help boost your energy levels is limonene, as it has naturally energizing properties as well, so if you don’t like peppermint, you can go for limonene. However, what if your energy levels are not an issue, but you are finding that your attention and focus are? Aromatherapy can help with that, too!
Aromatherapy Can Help Improve Your Attention Span and Focus
Do you struggle with paying attention to a task you must do? Do you daydream or want to go after your gadgets when you are supposed to be working? Aromatherapy can help improve cognitive performance, concentration, and memory, and the ideal essential oils are sage, basil, and rosemary. These essential oils contain antioxidants, which can also explain why brain function can improve with aromatherapy utilizing those oils.
Studies have shown that aromatherapy utilizing these essential oils can be helpful for patients with dementia, mental illness, and Alzheimer’s. However, it will not replace their medical regimen; aromatherapy is an excellent addition. What about aromatherapy for sleep?
You already know that aromatherapy can help reduce stress and anxiety, but what if you can manage your stress and anxiety, but you still find yourself tossing and turning at night? Some essential oils have sedative properties that can help you sleep; the ideal ones are lavender, bergamot, and ylang-ylang. These oils can help you relax so your brain can move out of beta.
There has been scientific proof as well that lavender can help you not only fall asleep but can help improve sleep quality through studies conducted. To help you sleep, you can create a lotion with a carrier oil and a few drops of lavender (or the other two oils). After you take a warm shower, you can apply the lotion on your body, which will help calm you! What if the pain keeps you up? Aromatherapy can help reduce pain as well.
Aromatherapy Can Help Reduce Pain
The first thing you do when you are in pain is an attempt to grab Advil or Tylenol, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if that is not enough to help banish your discomfort, aromatherapy can also help reduce pain. The ideal oil for pain reduction is ginger, turmeric, thyme, chamomile, and eucalyptus. These oils are effective in lowering postoperative, gynecological, or obstetrical pain.
Therefore, if you are having surgery or are close to giving birth, then you will want to have any of those essential oils on hand for pain reduction. If you have any concerns, talk to a naturopathic doctor before you do anything. Aromatherapy can also help with other types of discomfort, such as indigestion or stomach upset.
Aromatherapy For Indigestion or Stomach Upset
If you are having indigestion, feeling queasy, or feeling as if you will have the runs, the good news is that you can utilize aromatherapy for helping to soothe any stomach upset. Some essential oils can help with your digestive health because they have properties that can promote your digestive enzymes to keep breaking down nutrients. If you are struggling with gas, nausea, or abdominal pain, then ginger oil is very helpful. If you have IBS, you will want to have peppermint oil on hand. Other essential oils that can help are juniper berry or fennel. There is another health benefit that aromatherapy can bring.
Aromatherapy Can Help Boost Immune and Endocrine Function
You are hearing a lot about antibiotics that no longer help because the bacteria or fungi that cause infections are resistant. Aromatherapy can also help with oregano, ginger, frankincense, myrrh, tea tree, lemongrass, or eucalyptus oil and has been known to have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Many teas with flower extracts can help boost your immune system and supplements.
Like there are essential oils that can help to boost the immune system, there are also oils that can help women with hormonal regulation who have PCOS or are dealing with menopause, as these oils can affect estrogen levels. The oils that can help are thyme, geranium, and sage. Aromatherapy can help with so many other ailments, but there is one more ailment that can help, and it is one that everyone is feeling around Blue Monday.
Aromatherapy Can Boost Your Mood
Because of the post-holiday blues, you may be experiencing other stress, pain, insomnia, digestive upsets, and other imbalances. You already know what essential oils help you reduce anything bothering you from those things. However, why not try using aromatherapy to boost your mood?
In addition to utilizing the help from a lightbox, you will want to utilize the best mood-boosting essential oils when using aromatherapy to help you get out of that emotional slump. The ideal oils for boosting your mood are bergamot, rosemary, frankincense, peppermint, and lemon. You may not feel perfect, but aromatherapy with these oils can help you feel a lot lighter.
Aromatherapy is one of the best holistic treatments for many ailments, and I covered only a few of the many ailments that aromatherapy can help. The best thing to do when you want to utilize aromatherapy for a holistic treatment for something is to talk to a naturopath. Even though I listed many essential oils that can help with specific ailments, some may not be best for you, so you will want to talk to a holistic doctor.
You can utilize these oils in any way you choose, whether you use them in a diffuser that you leave running in a room, make lotion or creams with them by mixing a few drops with a carrier oil, or use an inhaler with them, they can be therapeutic. If you have not tried aromatherapy to treat an ailment, you will want to look into it!
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