Aromatherapy as a form of alternative or holistic medicine has been used for hundreds of years. Practioners of aromatherapy make use of essential oils derived from certain plants. A combination of aromatherapy with other types of holistic treatment like massages and acupuncture are promoted as an alternative to standard medications and surgeries. Here we will see the many benefits of aromatherapy for the body, mind and spirit.
Benefits of aromatherapy
Essential oils relieve people of various illnesses. Aromatherapy benefits to the body are used to cure people of headaches, insomnia, depression, pain, infections, digestive disorders etc.
Aromatherapy Benefits to the Body
The main aromatherapy benefits to the body is that although these oils do not cure diseases, they can provide relief for symptoms such as nausea or vomiting associated with cancer according to the Mayo clinic. Another advantage is that essential oils have few side effects. Proper directions for use must be followed for it can cause skin sensitivity. In the US, the Food and Drug Administration does not provide regulations for the use of aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is offered as a treatment by medical doctors, chiropractors, oncologists, acupuncturists, massage therapists etc.
An extremely busy life means that millions of people are stressed. Controlling stress is important for otherwise, you can experience many health problems for it lowers the body’s resistance to infections and diseases. Aromatherapy benefits the body for it can improve your mood, energize you and relieve other stress-related symptoms. Here are some stress symptoms and a few essential oils that relieves these problems.
- To relieve anxiety use lavender, geranium, basic, bergamot, cypress, chamomile etc
- For depression or guilt feelings use grapefruit, clary sage, rose, vetiver, ylang ylang, neroli
- For feelings of helplessness, grapefruit, lavender, neroli, rosemary and pettigraine provide relief
- For symptoms of nervous tension or irritability choose among oils such as cedarwood, cinnamon, frankinscence, lavender, bergamot etc.
- If you suffer from tiredness or exhaustion try basil, cinnamon, peppermint, nutmeg, sandalwood, lemon etc.
Aromatherapy Benefits to Circulatory System
Essential oils used in massages help the efficient functioning of the circulator system. Specific oils can target specific symptoms. Palpitations are reduced and blood pressure lowered by lavender that has sedative properties. Lemon helps to liquefy blood and neroli has a blood cleaning effect and improves poor circulation.
Aromatherapy Benefits to Lymphatic System
Lymphatic System provides three critical functions to the body – it fights infections, drains excess fluids from tissues and cells and helps with the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients and their distribution. The advantages of aromatherapy to the lymphatic system are many:
- Prevents edema, stimulates immunity
- Reduces blood viscosity
- Essential oils like fennel, geranium and juniper Improve lymph flow into the circulatory system from tissues
- Reduces tissue swelling and stimulates waste absorption from tissues
- Bergamot, rosemary, thyme, lemon, chamomile and lavender improve production of white blood cells
- Essential oils like lavender, teatree, sandalwood, lemon and clove have anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties
Aromatherapy Benefits to Endocrine System
The endocrine system is the system of glands, each of which secretes a type of hormone directly into the bloodstream to regulate the body. Essential oils like fennel, clary sage and aniseed have effects similar to estrogen and they help with menopausal and PMS symptoms. Rose and jasmine help during labor by stimulating contraction, reducing fear and anxiety and other reproductive problems. Hormone secretion is improved by essential oils and a proper balance is maintained. Geranium stimulates adrenal cortex.
Aromatherapy Benefits to Nervous System
Nervous system enjoys many benefits of essential oils for they help reduce tension and alleviate stress-related conditions, they help people relax and stimulate nerves to function better by clearing clogging. Bergamot, peppermint, chamomile, lavender, neroli, rosemary and juniper are some essential oils that benefit the nervous system.
Aromatherapy Benefits to Muscles and Bones
Musculo-skeletal system enjoys many advantages of aromatherapy. Tense muscles, ligaments and tendons can relax with analgesic oils like chamomile, marjoram and rosemary. Blood supply to joints, bones and soft tissues are improved by rufebacient essential oils black pepper and rosemary. This then reduces risk of injury and improves flexibility. Inflammatory symptoms can be reduced by essential oils with anti-inflammatory properties like lavender and chamomile. Elimination of waste products like uric acid and lactic acid is critical and this can be assisted by lemon and juniper oils that have detoxifying properties.
Other aromatherapy benefits to the body include:
- Peppermint relieves vomiting and nausea during labor
- Blood pressure and pre-surgery anxiety can be alleviated by Neroli.
- Digestion improves with peppermint
- Immune system is strengthened by citrus oils
- Rheumatoid arthritis
While, all these theories lack human studies, aromatherapy can be used in several settings to help various health problems.
All aromatherapy massages must be done by qualified practitioners. The advantage of essential oils is that the residue left after therapeutic work is over is always excreted. This can be through the faeces or urine, via the skin as sweat or they return to the lungs and get exhaled along with our breath.
Aromatherapy for the mind and emotions
Advantage of aromatherapy for the mind is centered on its effects on emotions. When essential oils are inhaled, the receptors in the olfactory nerve send signals to the limbic system in the brain where memories of pleasure are stored. These are stimulated and feelings of happiness, improved sexual response etc are felt. Diffuser lamps with oils like chamomile, sandalwood or rose also help. Used in a doctor’s waiting room they can create a calming effect on waiting patients. Sleepiness and lethargy can be countered by energizing oils like basil, lemon or peppermint – ideal for an office to chase away the blues after a heavy lunch!
From this we see that there are many advantages of aromatherapy for body, mind and spirit. While it is not a cure for any major illness, it can alleviate some of the side-effects associated with their treatment. Used in a scientific way, aromatherapy can give us a better quality of life, alleviate pain, improve moods and give a general sense of well-being.