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Aromatherapy For Wellbeing: Should I try it?

Aromatherapy, otherwise known as essential oil therapy, is a practice that uses essential oils and other natural plant substances to help reduce anxiety, stress and other medical conditions. These natural plant substances produce aromas that are known to improve the ‘health of the mind, body and spirit.’ (Cronkleton, 2019)

In recent years, it has gathered more recognition within the scientific industry for promoting wellbeing and decreasing feelings of anxiety.

It is the chemicals in these essential oils that trigger receptors in your nose that will then communicate with the part of your brain that affects your mood, according to Mayo Clinic. (Brent A. Bauer, 2020)

So, why would you try it?

Benefits: 

Aromatherapy is used as a complementary practice. This means that it's used along side medical treatments, as research suggests that it can boost wellbeing, with its relaxing and stimulating effects. (Mayfield-Blake, 2019)

There are various positive effects that come from being treated using aromatherapy.

These include the reduction of:

· Pain

· Anxiety

· Depression

· Tiredness and

· Stress

Aromatherapy has been used in a variety of different fields to help patients. Research was conducted which presented some evidence that those with cancer used aromatherapy to lift their mood and increase their wellbeing. (Cancer Research UK, 2018)

It has also been used to help treat nausea and vomiting, especially in postoperative patients. In addition to this, aromatherapy had meant the reduction in vomiting medication, according to some patients. (Hines, 2018)

However, the effects of aromatherapy aren’t detailed by the type of patient, whether it be with cancer, pregnancy, post-operation or even people with high levels of stress and anxiety. In all aspects, the effect has been very similar in reducing pain, stress, depression and tiredness.

Aromatherapy Methods

There is a common misconception that aromatherapy is only used with essential oils. However, there are in fact a few different methods for an aromatherapy treatment, whether at home or in a clinic.

1. Essential oils

Essential oils are made from natural extracts that are high in concentration, from flowers, stems and leaves of plants.

Typically, they are inhaled by the individual. However, more recently they have been used in diffusers and humidifiers to spread the scent around an entire room or home.

 2. Reed Diffusers

Reed diffusers also work great for aromatherapy techniques.

The solution in a glass bottle will be made from a base liquid as well as essential oils. The reeds inside the bottle absorb the liquid on one end, before diffusing it around the room in the other. (Best Kept Secrets, 2017)

The best thing about a reed diffuser is that you don’t need to monitor it, unlike with candles and they don’t require much action compared to the inhalation of the essential oils.

They work like clockwork. The more reeds you have in a diffuser the stronger the aroma, but the quicker the liquid will run out.

It is also super simple to make your own reed diffuser and start your aromatherapy cost-effectively.

3. Wax Melts

Wax melts are small pieces of wax that are placed into a warmer. Consequently, the wax is melted, and a lovely smell is produced from the area.

Warmers can be use with a tealight or you can choose an electronic option, which has no need for any flames – you can leave the device to do its thing as you sit back, relax and enjoy the stress-free atmosphere.

Wax melters tend to last up to 6 years and are known to be way better for the environment. Glass diffusers can be troublesome as they take up to 1 million years to decompose. (Why Are Melts So Popular?, n.d.)

So, if you’re environmentally friendly, wax melts would make a great option.

4. Candles

Aromatherapy candles contain essential oils that have therapeutic uses such as stress reduction.

These types of candles can contain an indefinite number of essential oils and help spread the scent throughout your home. (Zambon, 2020)

Simply light the wick at the end of the candle and experience the fragrance drift into your nose to trigger those receptors that allow for your mood to lift.

Types of Fragrances

There are four overhanging types of fragrances that all the different smells can fall into: (Perfume Direct, n.d.)

· Fresh: citrus or water-based fragrance.

· Woody: fragrances such as amber give a great woody scent

· Floral: most common amongst families. They have a sweet flowery scent such as jasmine.

· Oriental: Warm, sweet and at times, spicy

Smell is your strongest sense and best able to affect brain activity. Therefore, it is really important that you choose the best type of fragrance.

If you want to know exactly what type of smell supposedly helps each condition, these are the best fragrances for your mood, according to Entrepreneur. (Evans, 6 Scents That Can Transform Your Mood and Productivity, 2012)

· Lemon: improved concentration

· Lavender: calming properties

· Jasmine: anti-depressant

· Rosemary: fights physical fatigue

· Cinnamon: fights mental fatigue

· Peppermint: energy booster

We hope this guide was helpful in understanding the benefits of aromatherapy, especially for those that suffer from stress, depression and mental fatigue. It is designed to work in tandem with medicine to aid your mind, body and soul into a complete recovery.

Works Cited Best Kept Secrets. (2017, August 16). How does a diffuser work? Retrieved from Best Kept Secrets: https://bestkeptsecrets.co.uk/how-does-a-diffuser-work/ Brent A. Bauer, M. (2020, June 6). What are the benefits of aromatherapy? Retrieved from Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/aromatherapy/faq-20058566 Cancer Research UK. (2018, November 28). Aromatherapy. Retrieved from Cancer Research UK: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/aromatherapy Cronkleton, E. (2019, March 8). Aromatherapy Uses and Benefits. Retrieved from Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-aromatherapy Evans, L. (2012, October 8). 6 Scents That Can Transform Your Mood and Productivity. Retrieved from Entrepreneur: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224575 Evans, L. (2012, October 8). 6 Scents That Can Transform Your Mood and Productivity. Retrieved from Entrepreneur: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224575 Hines, S. (2018, March 10). Aromatherapy for treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting. Retrieved from National Library of Medicine: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29523018/ Mayfield-Blake, R. (2019, July). Aromatherapy. Retrieved from Bupa: https://www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/complementary-therapies/aromatherapy Perfume Direct. (n.d.). A Guide to Fragrance Strengths and Types. Retrieved from Perfume Direct: https://www.perfumedirect.com/pages/a-guide-to-perfume-strengths-and-types Why Are Melts So Popular? (n.d.). Retrieved from Simply Fragrant Home: https://www.simplyfragranthome.com/new-blog/2019/1/4/why-are-melts-so-popular-fffx5 Zambon, V. (2020, September 23). Aromatherapy candles: 3 options for stress relief. Retrieved from Medical News Today: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/aromatherapy-candles#_noHeaderPrefixedContent