A+ A A-

Aromatherapy Can Help Reduce Anxiety

essential-oils

By Dr. Mercola

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to support physical health and well-being. Essential oils carry biologically active volatile compounds of flowers and plants in a highly concentrated form. They are, in many ways, the essence of the plant and can provide therapeutic benefits in very small amounts.

The particles in essential oils, which come from flowers, twigs, leaves, or bark, can be inhaled, prompting various beneficial effects. As noted by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA):1

“It [Aromatherapy] seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.”

There are about as many uses for aromatherapy as there are essential oils, but one of the most exciting areas of research is for anxiety, with research showing essential oils may help relieve symptoms without the side effects of anxiety drugs.

Aromatherapy May Help Lessen Anxiety Naturally

For an estimated 40 million US adults, feelings of anxiety may occur even when there’s no real threat, causing unnecessary stress and emotional pain.

Unfortunately, most people who suffer with anxiety either do nothing or resort to pharmaceutical drugs – many of which are ineffective and capable of destroying your health and sanity further. Commonly prescribed drugs include benzodiazepine drugs like Ativan, Xanax, and Valium.

Many of these anti-anxiety drugs exert a calming effect by boosting the action of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the same way as opioids (heroin) and cannabinoids (cannabis) do.

This in turn activates the gratification hormone, dopamine, in your brain. Since the identical brain "reward pathways" are used by both types of drugs, they can be equally addictive and also may cause side effects like memory loss, hip fractures, impaired thinking, and dizziness.

Ironically, the symptoms of withdrawal from many of these anxiety medications include extreme states of anxiety – some of which are far worse than the original symptoms that justified treatment in the first place. Clearly a safe, natural alternative for treating anxiety is needed, and aromatherapy may be one such option worth trying. Research shows:

  • A systematic review of 16 randomized controlled trials examining the anxiolytic (anxiety-inhibiting) effects of aromatherapy among people with anxiety symptoms showed that most of the studies indicated positive effects to quell anxiety (and no adverse events were reported).2
  • People exposed to bergamot essential oil aromatherapy prior to surgery had a greater reduction in pre-operative anxiety than those in control groups.3
  • Sweet orange oil has been found to have anxiety-inhibiting effects in humans, supporting its common use as a tranquilizer by aromatherapists.4
  • Ambient odors of orange and lavender reduced anxiety and improved mood in patients waiting for dental treatment.5
  • Compared to the controls, women who were exposed to orange odor in a dental office had a lower level of anxiety, a more positive mood, and a higher level of calmness. Researchers concluded, “exposure to ambient odor of orange has a relaxant effect.”6

Which Essential Oils Work Best for Anxiety? (And How to Use Them)

If you’re interested in trying out this natural form of anxiety relief, any of the following essential oils would be a good starting point. These are all popular anxiety-inhibiting oils:7

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)8 Rose (Rosa damascena) Orange (Citrus sinensis)
Bergamot (Citrus aurantium) Lemon (Citrus limon)9 Sandalwood (Santalum album)
Clary sage (Salvia sclarea) Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) Rose-scented geranium (Pelargonium spp.)

There are a number of ways to use aromatherapy. If you have a serious condition, you may want to contact an experienced aromatherapist who can help guide you. Certain essential oils can cause photosensitization (making your skin more sensitive to the sun) or allergic reaction and others should not be used on pregnant women, so it’s important to be familiar with an essential oil before using it. That said, you can try to use essential oils at home via the following methods:10

  • Indirect inhalation of essential oils using a room diffuser or placing drops nearby
  • Direct inhalation of essential oils using an individual inhaler with drops floated on top of hot water (this is popular for treating sinus headaches)
  • Aromatherapy massage, in which essential oils are diluted in a carrier oil and massaged into your skin
  • Applying essential oils to your skin by combining them with lotion, bath salts, or dressings

Anxiety, of course, is only one use for aromatherapy. Other potential uses include:

  • Green apple scent for migraines: One study found that the scent significantly relieved migraine pain. This may also work with other scents that you enjoy, so consulting with an aromatherapist might be beneficial.
  • Peppermint for memory: The aroma of peppermint has been shown to enhance memory and increase alertness.
  • Nausea and vomiting: A blend of peppermint, ginger, spearmint, and lavender essential oils has been found to help relieve post-operative nausea.11
  • Lavender for pain relief: Lavender aromatherapy has been shown to lessen pain following needle insertion.12

Additional Natural Treatments for Anxiety

Energy psychology techniques, such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), can be very effective by helping you to actually reprogram your body’s reactions to the unavoidable stressors of everyday life. This includes both real and imagined stressors, which can be significant sources of anxiety. EFT is akin to acupuncture, which is based on the concept that a vital energy flows through your body along invisible pathways known as meridians. EFT stimulates different energy meridian points in your body by tapping them with your fingertips, while simultaneously using custom-made verbal affirmations. Although not necessary, you can even use EFT along with aromatherapy if you like.

This can be done by yourself or under the supervision of a qualified therapist, either in person or via online video services, like Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts. In the following video, EFT therapist Julie Schiffman discusses EFT for stress and anxiety relief. Please keep in mind that while anyone can learn to do EFT at home, self-treatment for serious issues like persistent anxiety is dangerous and NOT recommended.

It is dangerous because it will allow you to falsely conclude that EFT does not work when nothing could be further from the truth. For serious or complex issues, you need someone to guide you through the process, as it typically takes years of training to develop the skill to tap on and relieve deep-seated, significant issues.

Your Diet

If you suffer from anxiety, it would be wise to look into nourishing your gut flora, and the best way to do this is to regularly consume traditionally fermented foods, which are naturally rich in beneficial bacteria. Pasteurized versions will NOT have the same benefits, as the pasteurization process destroys many, if not all, of the naturally occurring probiotics. So you will need to seek out traditionally fermented, unpasteurized foods like fermented vegetables, or make them yourself. Additionally, your diet should include a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fats, like krill oil. The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA play an important role in your emotional well-being, and research has shown a dramatic 20 percent reduction in anxiety among med students taking omega-3s.13

Exercise

In addition to the creation of new neurons, including those that release the calming neurotransmitter GABA, exercise boosts levels of potent brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress. Many avid exercisers also feel a sense of euphoria after a workout, sometimes known as the “runner’s high.” It can be quite addictive, in a good way, once you experience just how good it feels to get your heart rate up and your body moving.

If you struggle with anxiety, you really can’t go wrong with starting a comprehensive exercise program – virtually any physical activity is likely to have positive effects, especially if it’s challenging enough. That said, Duke University researchers recently published a review of more than 100 studies that found yoga appears to be particularly beneficial for mental health,14 although I also recommend high-intensity interval training like Peak Fitness and resistance training, in addition to flexibility and core-building exercises like yoga or Foundation Training.


mercola_logo

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.

Source Here

 

CrystalWind.ca is free to access and use.
Please support us with a small gift of $11.11 or $22.22 or $33.33. 
Thank you! 
ॐ Namasté - Blessings!
"Life is an echo, what you send out comes back."

© 2008-2021 crystalwind.ca. All rights reserved.

  Please buy us a coffee!
 
 
Pin It

Featured Writers

Disclaimer

All post and information provided within this blog is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action should be taken solely on the contents of this website.  Please consult with your healthcare professional before making any dietary or lifestyle changes or taking supplements that may interfere with medications. Any products or information discussed are not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any illness, disease or lifestyle. Please consult your physician or a qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health and wellbeing or on any opinions expressed within this website.

Free Reading Here!!

crystal-wind-oracle-mobile-app
 
Cut Through The Illusions!
Available On The
Apple  / Android / Amazon
NEW Expanded Version - 53 cards!

Articles: Aromatherapy

Who is Online Now

We have 2111 guests and no members online

Featured This Month

Page:

Ostara

Ostara

Easter gets its name from the Teutonic goddess of spring and the dawn, whose... Read more

The Folklore and Mythology Surrounding Crick…

The Folklore and Mythology Surrounding Crickets

Crickets "A Loud Cricket means Money is Coming" When it comes to Chine... Read more

Birth Totem - Wolf

Birth Totem - Wolf

Birth Totem Wolf Birth dates: February 19 - March 20 Birth Totem: Wolf Cl... Read more

Cartomancy - Fortune Telling Using Playing C…

Cartomancy - Fortune Telling Using Playing Cards

Cartomancy is the act of divining using cards. Divining means to find out by... Read more

Spring Equinox - Ostara

Spring Equinox - Ostara

Celebrated on the Spring Equinox, around March 20-21 each year. Ostara is a... Read more

Pisces Mythology

Pisces Mythology

The Mythology of Pisces By most accounts, the mythology of Pisces follows a... Read more

Crystal Gem: Grids and Gridding

Crystal Gem: Grids and Gridding

What are Crystal Gem Grids? They are tools for empowerment, for blessings, ... Read more

Spring/Ostara 10 Minute Guided Meditation Fo…

Spring/Ostara 10 Minute Guided Meditation For Growth, Grounding & Positive Thinking

Welcome to this 10 minute guided meditation to help welcome the Spring Equin... Read more

Sun in Pisces

Sun in Pisces

Sun in Pisces February 22 through March 20 An Overview of Sun Sign Characte... Read more

Big Winds Moon

Big Winds Moon

Cougar -  Turquoise -  Plantain -  Blue and Green February ... Read more

Plantain

Plantain

Plantain Helps you feel grounded Gender: Feminine Planet: Venus Element: Ea... Read more

Aquamarine

Aquamarine

The Stone of Truth Aquamarine can provide a significant boost to the immune... Read more

The Ash Tree - February 18 - March 17

The Ash Tree - February 18 - March 17

Celtic Symbol : The Trident Or Sea - Horse Zodiac Degrees : 28º00` Aquarius... Read more

Fluorite

Fluorite

The Focus And Study Stone Fluorite helps to assimilate ideas and informatio... Read more

Spirit of White Tiger

Spirit of White Tiger

Spirit of White Tiger Role: Seeker of Personal Truth Lesson: Power of Conv... Read more

© 2008-2020 CrystalWind.ca. Site Creation by CreativeInceptions.com.
X

Right Click

No right click