How Aromatherapy can Benefit Your Life
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a holistic practice that involves the use of natural plant extracts found in essential oils to promote healing and wellness for the body, mind, and spirit. Many of the popular scents that you have likely heard before, such as lavender, mint or eucalyptus are all a part of aromatherapy. Although this approach has been around for thousands of years and practiced in many ancient cultures, it has recently increased in popularity, with many companies and people turning toward this approach and increasing their use of essential oils.
How Does Aromatherapy Work?
When essential oils and aromatherapy scents are inhaled through the nose or absorbed through your skin, certain positive changes occur to your brain and body. When we inhale essential oils, the aroma hits special cells in our nose which creates impulses. These impulses then travel to the part of our brain called the limbic system, which is concerned with our emotions and instincts. On the other hand, when essential oils are applied to our skin and absorbed, the molecules are able to reach our bloodstream below our skin and travel throughout our body.
What are the Benefits of Aromatherapy?
The benefits of aromatherapy are quite complex, as there are close to 100 different aromas and each have a certain use. For example, lavender has been shown to promote relaxation, improve sleep quality, and heal burns; while mint has been shown to increase alertness, improve mood, and reduce inflammation. While many oils have specialized benefits, generalized benefits that aromatherapy can cause include:
- Pain management
- Regulation of appetite
- Improving digestion
- Boosting mood
- Lowering anxiety and depression
- Enhancing blood circulation
- Clearing skin blemishes
- Boosting immunity
- Being antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory
Aromatherapy can be utilized in so many different ways, and each scent comes with its own vast benefits depending on what you are looking for. With that being said, each scent also comes with its own precautions and potential side effects and it is important to research and consult a healthcare professional when deciding which essential oils you should use for their benefits.
Aromatherapy Associates. (n.d.). How Does Aromatherapy Work? https://www.aromatherapyassociates.com/blogs/our-journal/how-does-aromatherapy-work
Cronkleton, E. (2019, March 08). Aromatherapy Uses and Benefits. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-aromatherapy
John Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Aromatherapy: Do Essential Oils Really Work? https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/aromatherapy-do-essential-oils-really-work#:~:text=Aromatherapy%20is%20the%20practice%20of,emotional%20center%20of%20the%20brain.
Mount Sinai. (n.d.). Aromatherapy. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/treatment/aromatherapy