the stress with aromatherapy
By Kishani Gunawardena
Stress is defined as any influence which disturbs
the normal balance of mental or physical health. Symptoms of stress
include anxiety, depression, palpitations, headaches/ migraines,
fear, insomnia, nervous exhaustion, physical exhaustion, muscular
is one of the best treatments for helping stress-related health
disorders, and although the benefits of essential oils have been
known for centuries, it is only recently that their full potential
is beginning to be realized.
is the controlled use of natural aromatic oils from plants to achieve
harmony and balance in the human body and mind. The intention is
to investigate and prove a connection.
a stress situation it is important to study the person's lifestyle.
A routine health check should be undertaken, and time should be
devoted to exercise, relaxation, socialization and diet.
Essential oils are claimed to have a variety of different
effects on the body. Euphoric odours such as jasmine, rose and clary
sage stimulate the thalamus to secrete neurochemicals. These act
as natural pain killers together with inducing feelings of euphoria.
odours like ylang ylang and patchouli stimulate the pituitary gland
which then secretes endorphins, another type of natural pain killer.
odours such as lavender, chamomile and sweet marjoram stimulate
the release of serotonin, a sedative neurochemical.
The three best methods of using aromatherapy to help stress-related
health disorders are inhalation, baths and massage. Inhalation is
a fast and effective way of obtaining benefits from essential oils.
A few drops breathed deeply from a tissue are sufficient. In a high
stress situation essential oils of neroli and lavender will quickly
relieve tension. Relaxing in a warm aromatherapy bath is particularly
beneficial in cases of anxiety, insomnia, menstrual problems and
headaches. The bath should be filled with sufficient hot water and
then six to eight drops of essential oils added and swirled around.
At least ten minutes should be allowed in the bath so that the oils
can penetrate the skin.
most beneficial treatment for stress is to have regular aromatherapy
massages by a professional therapist. For stress, aromatherapy massage
is far superior to other massage systems as it involves smell as
well as touch. The essential oils relieve mental tensions whilst
the massage helps physical tensions. Once mental tension is relieved,
sleep improves and physical tension is alleviated; energy increases
and the person becomes more relaxed and alert. These improvements
are often noticeable after just one treatment.
of the most common problems of stress are headaches for which a
few drops of lavender can be rubbed on the temples, forehead or
back of the neck. This oil can be mixed with peppermint, a stimulant
for an uplifting as well as a calming effect. Rosemary is also ideal
for clearing the head, particularly after a period of mental effort.
sleep or not to sleep
Insomnia seems to be a very common problem. There are
numerous underlying causes for insomnia, such as illness, bereavement,
financial and emotional problems. All these are stressful which
in turn can bring about insomnia. Essential oils which have a profound
effect on the mind and emotions are lavender, Roman chamomile and
ylang ylang. They all soothe, balance and relieve anxiety. Benzoin
helps remove external worries while bergamot uplifts and helps depression.
Clary sage is an extremely effective muscle relaxant although it
should not be used with alcohol as it may induce nightmares. Juniper
berry and cedarwood are very comforting and combinations of the
above oils can be used in the bath prior to going to bed.
ideal cure for insomnia is aromatherapy massage. Often one session
is sufficient, but as the benefits of massage are accumulative,
regular treatments are recommended.
some people cannot go to sleep, others find it difficult to stay
awake. Fatigue can also be a sign of stress or over-activity and
there are several stimulating oils which will help. A massage using
a blend of basil, geranium, rosemary and pine will ease fatigue.
the body and essential oils consists of complex molecular structures.
When these interact either by inhalation or application, the mood
can be affected, thus allowing rational thought. Attitude, exercise,
good nutrition and breathing techniques combined with the beautiful
smells and gentle application of aromatherapy can help in all stress
related health disorders.