Essential oils have been in use for centuries by natural healers, to relieve the symptoms of a wide variety of ailments. It wasn’t until the first part of the twentieth century that the science of aromatherapy was developed and essential oils proven to have an effect on symptoms. Since then, the popularity of aromatherapy has spread, and today it is in use in a wide range of alternative therapies.
Aromatherapy has been used successfully for stress-relief for years, and now it has a proven application for anxiety and depression sufferers. The essential oils used in aromatherapy work through the sense of smell to affect the mood. This gives a temporary relief of the symptoms of anxiety, although it cannot completely cure the disorder. People who are undergoing periods of severe stress can be provided with similar relief.
The essential oils that are used to treat anxiety are ones that relax and uplift, and they include the following oils:
* Lavender – our great-grandmothers knew how effective this essential oil could be and they used it often. It has a calming and mildly sedative effect, and is wonderful on the pillow when you can’t sleep.
* Chamomile – chamomile can be used as a tea or as an aromatherapy oil. It is frequently used in herbal medicine because it is calming to the stomach and the nerves.
* Sandalwood – this is an ancient Middle Eastern essential oil that is renowned for its seductive scent and its calming and relaxing properties.
* Patchouli – is often used in conjunction with sandalwood to enhance the mood and relax.
* Vanilla – is a clean homely fragrance that has a calming effect.
How the essential oils are used.
You can smell the oil from the bottle or sprinkle a few drops onto a handkerchief. These methods are good to have on hand in case you have a sudden panic attack. There are other ways to use the oils:
Oil diffusers – these are small pottery lamps that burn a tea light candle under a dish which holds some water and a few drops of essential oil. As the water warms, the oil is diffused into the air, releasing its therapeutic properties.
Baths – add a few drops of essential oil to a warm bath, and soak in it to relieve tension, headache and anxiety.
Massage – massage is used to relax tight muscles and an aromatherapy massage has the added benefit of the therapeutic essential oils. The combination of the two therapies is very effective at providing relief from stress, anxiety, headaches and to lift the mood. A carrier oil is used as the massage oil and several drops of essential oil are added. Carrier oils may be almond, avocado or apricot oil.
Essential oils should not be ingested and must always be diluted before being applied to the skin. Oils can be used in conjunction with 2 or 3 other oils to increase the effectiveness of each one.