Aromatherapy for Stress relief

Aromatherapy can assist in treating a wide range of physical and emotional problems.

Aromatherapy is a treatment which uses the considered and systematic application of essential oils to improve physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. Essential oils are natural substances derived from plant sources – flowers, herbs, spices and resins. They are the most potent form of a plant’s aromatic and fragrant materials.

How to use aromatherapy at home

Aromatherapy can easily be used as a self help tool for stress relief. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate it into your self-care routines.

Baths

One of the easiest ways to use essential oils at home is in the bath. Run the bath first and then add the oils just before you get in – otherwise they will evaporate too quickly and you will get a diluted version. Add 5 -1 0 drops of essential oil to the water (depending on the volume of your bathwater and the desired strength of fragrance). Swish the water with your hand to mix in the oils before getting in.

Stay in the bath for 15 – 20 minutes to get maximum benefit.

[If you don’t want to, or are unable to get into a bath then you could just use a footbath. Use about 4 drops of oil in a foot-spa or bowl of warm water]

Massage

Although massage is always better when administered by someone else you can do self massage.

Essential oils must always be diluted in a carrier oil. For every 10 millilitres of carrier oil add 3-5 drops of essential oil. The more common carrier oils are Grapeseed, Almond oil, and Jojoba.

Vapourisation

Essential oils can be diffused into the air through dry heat, steam, mist or by fan assisted evaporation.

Use an oil burner or aromatic diffuser to fragrance a room and spread the essential oil molecules throughout. There are many versions of oil burners and usually they come in two parts. A tea light candle is placed in the lower half to warm the water. The top portion contains a small amount of water to which you add a few drops of your chosen oil.

Variations include aroma stones –  a ceramic dish onto which the oils are placed directly and which is heated electrically,  electrically operated diffusers or battery operated fan diffusers.

Scent sticks or bottles

You can create your own scent stick (like a Vick inhaler) by obtaining an empty stick and case, and then adding your chosen oils to the ‘stick’ before sealing it in to the case. Then sniff and inhale as required. Alternatively a small bottle (5 -1 0 ml) containing a mix of oils can also be used to sniff and inhale. (make sure there is a stopper top on the bottle). These are handy for carrying with you when you are out and about.

Other options

You can also purchase ready- made sniff bottles, sprays, balms and potions, or candles infused with essential oils

Just make sure they are pure oils and not synthetically constructed.

Below are some suggestions for (easily available oils) you could use.

Sedative oils:

Bergamot, Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Petigrain, Ylang Ylang, Mandarin, Neroli, Sandalwood

Anti-depressant oils:

Bergamot, Clary sage, Jasmine, Grapefruit, Frankincense, Mandarin, Sweet marjoram, Neroli, Lemongrass

Stimulants:

Rosemary, Peppermint, Black Pepper

Balancing oils:

Geranium, Lemon eucalyptus