There are a number of different biological mechanisms underlying why individuals may feel fatigued, exhausted, and burned out. For mothers, in the early post-partum period, tiredness and increased fatigue come from sleep-related issues, pain and sex-related difficulties, hemorrhoids, and constipation. For clients undergoing cancer treatment, the adjuvant use of aromatherapy can help with symptoms related to depression.
Aromatherapy has been noted to decrease an individual’s anxiety levels and offer relief for emotional stress, pain, muscular tension, and exhaustion. Clearly, aromatherapy has some pretty significant benefits no matter what the problem may be. Yet, it is really hard to get behind something and utilize it properly when we don’t understand why aromatherapy actually works.
For treatment in mental health, aromatherapy can offer an additive benefit with increased relaxation, improved sleep, and psychological well-being. So with that being said.. how does aromatherapy work?
Does Aromatherapy Work?
Even in the literature, there are suggestions that the topical use of aromatherapy products may exert antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Yet, what are the underlying mechanisms which seek to present this body of work? The most often cited information is the proposed connection between the olfaction and the limbic system in the brain as a basis for the effects of aromatherapy on mood and emotions (Smith, 1999). In a meta-analysis covering the effects of essentials oils relationship with pain in a cancer patient, 18 clinical trials on the relationship between cancer patients and smell were examined and found a positive correlation between the therapeutic use of aromatherapy oils and the reduction of chronic pain, inflammation and reducing the stress hormone cortisol (Boehm, 2012). With that, Yim et al (2009), carried out a systematic review specifically including trials for aromatherapy and depression. They included six studies applying aromatherapy massage in clients with depression. Results showed significant short-term improvement with anxiety and depression for short-term care. Research in psychoneuroimmunology may be behind this phenomenon which posits the integration between the brain, the immune system and the endocrine system resulting in increased benefits associated with mood and behavior.
How Do I Use Aromatherapy ?
It has been cited that specific fragrances like lavender, tea tree oil, eucalyptus, bergamot, and frankincense offer naturopathic properties that reduce stress and protect the body. When using sauna therapy oils, many of the oils have been blended together to create a specific textural node that helps to alleviate episodes of chronic pain and depression. Incorporating mindfulness activities like journaling and yoga allows for increased episodes of relaxation and energy revitalization.
So! How do you use aromatherapy? Simple:
Start off by distributing the essential oils (blended mixes) in 30-minute sessions, lightly bringing the smell to the tips of your nose, and taking deep breaths in and out. After that, think of a positive affirmation or intention you’d like to set for the day. It can be anything from getting a promotion to taking the dog out for a walk. Setting a positive intention while activating your immune system and decentralizing the autonomic nervous system will help with neural activation which will help to increase positive thoughts and supplement for motivation. And it is that simple! Think of using aromatherapy like a toothbrush, it is a simple step you take every single day to prevent long-term damage to your immune system.
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Founded in 2019, Sauna Therapy is wellness and mental health resource that offers information to those seeking to find relaxation, intentional living, and relief from chronic stress. Subscribe for updates.