Aromatherapy for Stress Relief
Dealing with stress when it arises is important to avoid further problems, such as insomnia, fatigue, self doubt, headaches, and in more serious cases, gastric ulcers, depression and heart attacks.
In the absence of being able to book in with me for a massage to help you deal with stress at this time, I thought I’d offer an alternative solution in the form of aromatherapy. Essential oils, through their calming, relaxing and uplifting properties, can help to rebalance the nervous system.
Anxiety can be a debilitating response to stress, preventing you from dealing with a problem effectively. Inhalation of essential oils stimulates the limbic system in the brain, which controls emotional responses and also regulation of hormones, which are involved in the stress response of the body. Anxiety can be eased with a combination of calming and uplifting oils. The following oils can be used individually in oil burners or diffusers, or you can use 2 relaxing oils to 1 uplifting oil, eg. basil with neroli and lavender. Mix 5 drops of each oil to 1 tablespoon of base oil for the bath or 2 tablespoons base oil for the body.
UPLIFTING – basil, bergamot
RELAXING – geranium, lavender, neroli, sandalwood
Another way of easing anxiety, which can be done using oil for the body (as above), is to stroke the solar plexus, which lies between the breastbone and the navel, in anti-clockwise circles. This will have a calming effect on the main nerves running through this area, especially when using geranium or lavender oil.
Headaches are one of the first signs of stress, but cold compresses with lavender or geranium on the forehead are particularly good for providing relief. Add 5 drops of one oil to a small bowl of cool or warm water and use to soak a flannel. If tension extends into the neck, sandalwood can be used.
If depression is unresolved, it can be detrimental to the immune system, worsening physical and mental health.
UPLIFTING – bergamot, cypress, lemongrass, rosemary, sage
RELAXING – chamomile, geranium, jasmine, lavender, marjoram, neroli, patchouli, rose, sandalwood, ylang ylang Using the same combination as with anxiety ie. 5 drops of each oil in 1 tbsp base oil for the bath or 2 tbsp base oil for the body, start with 3 of the relaxing oils, then change one of these to an uplifting oil, to stimulate. Then swap another relaxing oil for an uplifting one, so there are 2 uplifting oil and 1 relaxing.
When problems become overbearing to the point that you can’t concentrate, you can use any of the relaxing oils for depression in a bath, followed by eucalyptus or peppermint in an oil burner to revive the mind, or rosemary which rejuvenates the mind and the body.
Using up to 3 of the following oils with sedative properties, in a bath or massage before bed will help to calm the mind and body.
Alternatively frankincense can be used in a diffuser or a couple of drops of lavender or neroli on the pillow.