The alternative medicine industry is growing at a rapid pace. The alternative medicine industry brings in revenues of over $196 billion a year. One of the most popular practices in alternative medicine is aromatherapy. Today, aromatherapy is being applied almost everywhere, including hospitals and clinics to relieve pain, alleviate stress, and relax muscles.
What is aromatherapy?
It involves the use of oils harnessed from plant extracts for aromatic, relaxation, and medicinal purposes. Ideally, it’s meant to boost the physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing of individuals. The oils used for this practice are known as essential oils. These oils are commonly fused with other ingredients to manufacture lotions, perfumes, as well as other skin care, hair care, and beauty products. In fact, if you have ever used products with scents, such as chamomile, rose and lavender, then you should know they emanate from the process and practice of aromatherapy.
Researchers say that aromatherapy can boost one’s mood and relieve stress. It’s no wonder that the technique is applied in spas and therapeutic massage to relax bodies and souls.
What are the key benefits of aromatherapy?
1. It promotes better night’s sleep
If you’re struggling with insomnia or other sleep-related problems, aromatherapy can be a good remedy. Although scientists haven’t corroborated the effects of aromatherapy on sleep, preliminary reports indicate that it may actually help alienate sleep difficulties. How? When you inhale the molecules in essential oil or absorb them via the skin, they activate the brain chemicals that are responsible for inducing sleep. Also, scientists argue that essential oils aid relaxation, which is needed to fall asleep. The most common sleep-inducing essential oils include lavender, bergamot, and cedarwood.
2. Aromatherapy minimizes stress and anxiety
Essential oils like sandalwood, cedarwood, and ylang ylang can calm you down by soothing specific parts of the brain. The brain then brings down the heart rate, which calms your system. The entire process minimizes your stress and anxiety levels.
3. Aromatherapy can enhance your mood
You might not have an idea of how essential oil scents impact your mood, but it’s a possibility that your nose has. Here’s how. When you inhale scents from essential oils, the molecules travel through the nose and come into contact with the olfactory receptor neurons. The contact triggers the nerve impulses, which travel to the olfactory bulb, as well as the limbic system in your brain. The limbic system reacts by discharging neurochemicals, which are distributed throughout your body by the nervous system. This enhances your mood and overall well-being. Examples of essential oils responsible for boosting mood include the citrus family of oils, such as lemon, grapefruit, and orange. Also, lavender, rosemary, peppermint, chamomile, and jasmine are great for boosting mood.
4. Can be used as an antidepressant
Aromatherapy has been used over time to eliminate depression. And because people are trying to move away from pharmaceutical solutions that come with many side effects, aromatherapy could be the best alternative. It’s important to note that aromatherapy cannot cure depression. It acts as a complementary therapy for conventional depression treatment options. One of the significant symptoms of depression is insomnia. Essential oils can help get rid of that. Essential oils can also eliminate anxiety disorder symptoms, which come about due to depression.
5. Aromatherapy increases your energy levels
Essential oils from the citrus family, such as orange and lemon can help boost your energy levels. When you inhale the orange scent, it tickles your nose, lowering your cortisol levels, thereby raising your mood and enhancing your energy levels in the process. Also, some essential oils can penetrate the skin and increase blood circulation. Proper circulation of blood can tremendously boost your energy levels.
6. Aromatherapy reduces headaches
Headaches are regular occurrences, but some are so severe and drawn out that they can prevent you from doing your daily activities. Instead of taking the conventional pharmaceutical medicines that may cause side effects in the future, it’s a good idea to try aromatherapy. The good thing about aromatherapy is that it cures the leading causes of headache, such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia and prevents them from reoccurring. Typical examples of essential oils to cure headache include rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, and sandalwood.
Aromatherapy can be an excellent solution for most of your social, psychological and physical issues. And the good thing is that it uses all natural essential oils, so you’ll not have to worry about any side effects which are common with pharmaceutical solutions.