Aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians noticed that they could improve their mood if they burned scented candles.
Today, modern science is catching up and we now have a much clearer picture of why the practice is so good for us. Here are some of the benefits you can expect when you start doing aromatherapy:
Improvements In Sleep
If you sometimes struggle to fall asleep, then aromatherapy can help. That’s because certain essential oils have a relaxing effect on the mind, allowing you to drift off into a deep slumber more easily.
Try putting lavender or chamomile essential oils in your diffuser or mix them with your candle making supplies. You’ll notice that you feel calmer around bedtime and better able to drift off.
There is some evidence that aromatherapy may also be able to curb pain for some people. For instance, reports suggest that burning scented candles may help patients reduce kidney stone and arthritis pain.
Researchers believe that pain reduction comes from improvements in mood. Simply smelling beautiful essential oils changes how you feel which, in turn, reduces perceived pain.
Reduction Of The Effects Of Cancer Treatment
Aromatherapy is also popular among patients going through chemotherapy. There’s evidence that it may reduce feelings of pain and nausea.
Getting your body into a relaxed state can sometimes feel like an impossible task. You know that you need to unwind in the evenings, but constant thoughts of work and stress prevent you from switching off.
Here again, aromatherapy can help. If you struggle to feel relaxed in the evenings, try smelling eucalyptus or lavender. Both of these herbs have proven anti-anxiety effects, just by smelling them.
How Does Aromatherapy Work?
Aromatherapy has some fabulous benefits, but how does it actually work?
Experts believe that it interacts with the whole nervous system via nasal smell receptors. When smell compounds from essential oils bind with these receptors, then send signals to the brain. The brain then changes the chemistry of the nervous system, taking it from a state of alertness to one of calm.
Essential oils also have a role in activating various parts of the limbic system – a part of the nervous system that dictates emotions. Smells may even interact with one of the master regulators of the body – the hypothalamus – responsible for releasing feel-good hormones, such as serotonin.
Interestingly, you can get many of the same benefits of aromatherapy by putting essential oils on your skin. Nerve receptors in the dermis respond in a similar way to those in your nasal passages.
Most professionals generally consider essential oils safe, whether you use a diffuser or a candle. However, you should be careful to dilute them when you put them on your skin. Many essential oils cause irritation, especially to mucus membranes.
You should never drink essential oils. They can cause damage to your stomach and liver.
In summary, relaxing in today’s world is a challenge. But aromatherapy could be your secret weapon.