Using aromatherapy for relaxation can be a great way to reduce your anxiety and stress levels and improve your overall health.
If you’re like me, you probably have a few candles or air fresheners lying around the house and you probably enjoy using relaxing bath products.
While these products can do wonderful things for you (like set the mood for a romantic evening or cover up pet odors), they also have the power to alter your health and your mood.
How so? Keep reading and you’ll learn how aromatherapy and relaxation are related.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy that may be used as an alternative to drugs and other pharmaceuticals. Basically, aromatherapy is the use of scented oils (essential oils) and other aromatic compounds originating from plants for the purpose of affecting your mood or health. These essential oils can be dispersed using aromatherapy diffusers or other diffusion methods.
Through the sense of smell, essential oils stimulate olfactory receptor cells, which then transmit an impulse to a specific part of the brain known as the limbic system. This may sound a little complicated… but it’s not so bad.
The limbic system is connected to memory, so specific emotions can be triggered by smells. For example, freshly baked apple pie or vanilla pipe tobacco might bring back happy childhood memories.
Most importantly, the limbic system is connected to your blood circulation and endocrine glands (responsible for regulating hormone levels), which is why aromatherapy can be beneficial to your health.
Note: You should always check with your doctor prior to beginning an aromatherapy program if you have existing medical conditions.
Aromatherapy is not limited to inhaling odors. Essential oils, when diluted in a carrier oil, can also be absorbed through the skin. The oils can then make their way into your bloodstream, and affect your organs and your entire body.
Remember your favorite scented massage oil?
Didn’t it add to the romantic mood and give you that relaxed feeling all over?
Sure… magical hands might have helped a little, but aromatherapy also played an important part in achieving your relaxed state.
A List of the Most Common Essential Oils
While the list of aromatherapy essential oils can be quite lengthy, I will limit mine to the most commonly used oils for aromatherapy and relaxation, but plenty of other essential oils are available. Click on the name to visit a page with more information about each oil.
- Basil. You’re probably familiar with this one, at least as a kitchen spice or fresh herb. In aromatherapy, it is known for stimulating brain functions, helping to ease depression and relieving muscle aches.
Note: Avoid basil oil if pregnant.
- Bergamot. If you are an Earl Grey fan like me, then you are familiar with this scent. Bergamot is a very versatile essential oil that can alleviate the symptoms of several skin conditions as well as reduce depression and anxiety.
Note: If used on skin, stay away from the sun and make sure your bergamot oil is distilled or bergaptene-free.
- Black pepper. Just like too much pepper activates your sweat glands, black pepper can stimulate blood circulation. It is especially useful for easing muscular aches and improving the quick disappearance of bruises. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not saying that pouring ground pepper in your eye will make your black eye disappear faster… All you’d get from that is a lot of pain… Essential black pepper oil diluted in a carrier oil will help a bruise heal faster (but don’t get it in your eyes!)
- Chamomile. You have probably come across soothing chamomile tea in the aisles of your grocery store. Use chamomile if you suffer from insomnia, nausea and/or rheumatism. It relaxes your entire body and reduces stress and pain associated with sprains, strains and wounds.
- Ginger Root is commonly used in cooking but it is also a powerful aromatherapy product. You can use ginger essential oil diluted in a carrier oil for a warming massage that will relax tense muscles. Ginger is well-known for its digestive and warming properties.
- Jasmine can be used to improve your mood, boost your sense of well-being, create a romantic atmosphere, reduce symptoms of depression and inspire your creative spirit.
- Lavender is known worldwide for its properties to create calm and relaxation. It can also soothe headaches and migraines. Luckily for us, some well-known companies now sell lavender-scented laundry detergents and fabric softeners. Who said that doing laundry had to be a chore?
- Marjoram can help relax aching muscles and muscle cramps. It also alleviates some symptoms of bronchitis such as coughing. It can reduce hypertension, your stress levels and pain associated with sprains and strains.
- Neroli can help treat depression, insomnia, and other nervous problems such as shock and stress. As an added bonus, when neroli is used on skin, it can reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
- Sandalwood. You can tell by its name that sandalwood has a strong wood aroma. It is often used as a fixative to enhance the head space of other fragrances. When used by itself, it is known to help treat anxiety and can also be an aphrodisiac.
- Ylang Ylang can help reduce anxiety, depression, hypertension, palpitations and stress.
At Home Therapy
There are many ailments that can affect your everyday life. Here are some aromatherapy therapies or techniques you can try in the comfort of your home.
- If you suffer from insomnia, you can use an herbal insomnia remedy.
- If you have 30 minutes of peace and quiet and access to a clean tub, check out these aromatherapy and relaxation bath recipes.
- Learn more about aromatherapy fragrance oils.
- Check out a list of other common problems with their respective essential oil and aromatherapy benefits.
- Learn how aromatherapy works.
- Feeling stressed out? Why not use an aromatherapy lavender relaxation kit.
- Have a headache? Try using an aromatherapy spray.
- Perhaps your feet could use more tender loving? Find out how to create your own home relaxation foot spa.
For More Information About Aromatherapy for Relaxation
A list of aromatherapy for relaxation articles appears in the sidebar of this page. If you do not find what you are looking for on this site, feel free to visit this external resource:
Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Information
Revealed: the quick and easy way to use aromatherapy at home by simply following step-by-step instructions! This site gives free aromatherapy and essential oils information for you to enjoy.
Note: The information contained on this aromatherapy for relaxation page is for educational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a physician and/or other health specialist. Precautions must be taken to ensure aromatherapy does not conflict with existing medical conditions.