Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Aromatherapy is the use of essential plant oils to improve well being. The oils are often placed in diffusers and allowed to permeate the air. It’s a practice that’s been used for centuries to address psychological and other issues. Ancient Egyptians employed the use of essential oils and other plant substances for massages, bathing, and healing. One of the major uses of aromatherapy in the US is for stress management.
How Aromatherapy Works
Some of the methods of aromatherapy include aerial diffusion (typically with an oil burner), topical application, and inhalation. It’s even occasionally administered vaginally, rectally, and orally for things like infection and congestion. Many practitioners use only natural essential oils since synthetics don’t provide the same benefit as the natural compounds. Synthetic fragrance oils may also contain chemical additives that can irritate the skin if applied topically.
Aromatherapy and Massage
Massage is another stress-relieving technique that commonly employs essential oils, incorporating touch and the physical manipulation of joints and muscles to relieve tension and stress. When you go for a massage, ask your masseuse if they can use essential oils geared toward soothing, relaxing, and de-stressing. You may be able to bring your own oil to the session.
Aromatherapy for Stress Relief
Aromatherapy is very popular today for stress relief.  It offers a natural, organic alternative to pharmaceutical substances and works to enhance lifestyle modifications that further reduce stress. These natural lifestyle modifications are of course exercise, diet, meditation, and proper sunlight exposure. One primary application method for essential oils is indirect and direct inhalation. Through inhaling the oils (from a safe distance, of course), the brain reacts by slowing down. This elicits a deep level of relaxation.
Stress can hinder digestion, immune function, and increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.    While you may not be able to always eliminate a negative situation, aromatherapy is one effective way to combat the emotional upheaval that accompanies stressful events. Simply by reducing your negative emotions that surround a certain situation, you begin to change the way you think and act, thereby minimizing the situation.
The Dangers of Unmanaged Stress
- Stress can affect your blood sugar levels, leading to hunger and, eventually, insulin insensitivity. 
- Many people who do not properly manage their stress experience weight gain.
- Premature aging is another possible danger of not properly managing your stress levels.
- General pain throughout the body can be a side effect of unmanaged stress.
The Best Essential Oils to Try First
Some of the most popular essential oils with stress-relieving properties include geranium, peppermint, lavender, jasmine, chamomile, and lemongrass. Add aromatherapy to your arsenal as you fight against stress. The benefits can be quite effective, and the ease of use makes it a great choice.
How to Use Essential Oils
Be sure to read your labels to make certain that your oil contains organic, all-natural essential oils. Because oils are concentrated, they can irritate the skin without a natural and benign carrier oil. Never apply essential oils to the skin without properly diluting it in a carrier oil like jojoba, olive, and coconut oil. You can apply the oils to clothes, handkerchiefs, pillows, and just about anything. One method of using aromatherapy is simply applying oils to your hands and breathing in the oil deeply.
How do you use essential oils? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
- Tang SK, Tse MY. Aromatherapy: does it help to relieve pain, depression, anxiety, and stress in community-dwelling older persons? Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:430195. doi: 10.1155/2014/430195.
- Bhatia V, Tandon RK. Stress and the gastrointestinal tract. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Mar;20(3):332-9.
- Suzanne C. Segerstrom and Gregory E. Miller. Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry. Psychol Bull. 2004 Jul; 130(4): 601-630. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.130.4.601.
- Steptoe A, Kivimaki M. Stress and cardiovascular disease. Nat Rev Cardiol. 2012 Apr 3;9(6):360-70. doi: 10.1038/nrcardio.2012.45.
- Shiloah E, Witz S, Abramovitch Y, et al. Effect of acute psychotic stress in nondiabetic subjects on beta-cell function and insulin sensitivity. Diabetes Care. 2003 May;26(5): 1462-7.
Previous articles by Dr. Group:
- The 10 Best Herbs for Kidney Cleansing
- Top 5 Foods for the Pineal Gland
- 6 Things You Must Know About Colloidal Silver
- The Importance of a Kidney Cleansing Diet
- The 9 Best Herbs for Lung Cleansing and Respiratory Support
- 7 Best Foods to Support Kidney Function
- Lung Cleansing With Peppermint Oil
- Nine Dangers of Fluoride Exposure
- Seven Facts You May Not Know About Coconut Oil
- 10 Best Herbs for Boosting Female Sex Drive
About the author:
Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.
Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.
For more information, please visit Global Healing Center.