Winter is that time of the year when we’re all our tired best. In fact, it’s quite common to want to sleep in till a bit later every morning, however, mental illness or body fatigue can be more than just general tiredness.
When you feel like you’ve overdone, it is important to take time out to de-stress and rejuvenate yourself, but what can you do when you really need a break?
That's the time when aromatherapy comes into the picture, the first thing that probably springs to mind is relaxation, essential oils such as lavender or chamomile.
It refers to a range of traditional, alternative or complementary therapies and has been getting a lot of buzz recently for helping with everything from headaches to sleep to sore throats and body fatigue. Aromatherapy isn’t just about pleasant smells of essential oils, it is about the use of extracts from plants called essential oils, by either breathing them through your nose or putting them on your body and massage.
What are the benefits of aromatherapy?
Helps relieve stress and anxiety
Aromatherapy can be used in any of its forms to help in relieving stress or anxiety. Mindfulness and Meditation is becoming a way of life and aromatherapy gives you the opportunity to sit peacefully, breathe deeply and rest. It's perfect to use for tired minds and stressful conditions, because it calms the nervous system, mind relaxation and lowers blood pressure.
Improves quality of sleep
Quality sleep is essential to brain function and memory, and it is profound that the essential oils have relaxing properties which can help us get a more restful night’s sleep. Lavender, one of the more popular essential oils that is used for relaxation and sleep. Or you can also try your favourite essential oil to a warm bath or dilute with water and spritz around your pillow for deep relaxation.
Exhaustion and Fatigue
Essential oils have unique chemical properties that provide a range of health benefits. Some can affect the mind to help users feel more relaxed, whereas a few essential oils can fight fatigue too. Helping the feeling of being ‘run-down,’ Aromatherapy is good in fatigue blends as it revitalises the body and provides muscle relaxation. So the essential oils that work on balancing the nervous system will be helpful in calming the body in order for it to re-energise.
Relieves muscle pain
With the variety of essential oils and the benefits they can bring into your life, consider practising aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is becoming a popular way to manage and relieve mild to moderate pain including stomach cramps, headaches, neck, knee pain and lower back pain. For muscular pain, you could try creating an oil blend to gently self-massage.
Have you ever wondered, what are the best essential oils?
There are dozens of essential oils, all with different fragrances and chemical makeups that have a variety of properties and benefits.
Here are a few of the most commonly used essential oils and what they are specifically used for:
Lavender oil: It is one of the most common scents used in aromatherapy and helps relieve stress and anxiety and promote good sleep.
Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is probably best known for its antibacterial activity. The anti-inflammatory effect of tea tree oil helps to soothe and relieve painful and irritated skin. It’s also used in wound care, to eliminate head lice, and to control dandruff.
Lemon oil: Many people find the citrusy scent of lemon oil a mood booster that may be needed on difficult Monday mornings. The fresh, citrusy, and joyful scent of lemon sends your brain good vibes.
Peppermint oil: The peppermint essential oil is sourced from the peppermint plant, its isn’t just for freshening your breath. According to researchers, peppermint is great for waking up your brain, boosting concentration and increasing alertness.
If you're interested in exploring the use of aromatherapy to relieve stress, visit a spa and request for aromatherapy options that they offer. From simply enjoying a peaceful room to body massage therapy or even steam aromatherapy, according to your choice and requirement you can find which option is best for you.
How to try aromatherapy at home
If you’re unable to visit a certified aromatherapist or spa, that doesn’t have to stop you from getting the benefits of its practice in the comfort of your own home.
A simple way of using essential oils is through a diffuser burner. “Just have to add three to five drops of essential oil with some water, and enjoy the diffusion for 30–60 minutes,” but you have to keep in mind that “Essential oils are powerful, and are directly absorbed into your body and those around you – don’t diffuse them all day long.” Alternatively, you can use essential oils as an aromatherapy bath blend.
Whether you enjoy relaxing by listening to music, reading a book, doing yoga or meditating, incorporating aromatherapy with all these activities will enhance your experience and may improve your overall wellbeing and quality of life.