You may have heard of or benefited from massage or music therapy, but what about the therapy of smell? Aromatherapy, or the use of essential oils to promote well-being, has been around for centuries but has especially gained popularity in recent years. Many people use essential oils as a part of a self-care routine. Perhaps you’ve heard of this new health trend and thought, what’s the hype? Or maybe even, what’s the catch?
Patients should always consult their healthcare provider before beginning use of essential oils to measure their effectiveness and determine any potential medication interactions. It is good to keep in mind that while essential oils are “natural”, they are not always safe to use. Even casual application can cause side effects, and serious reactions can occur. However, if the safe implementation of aromatherapy in a patient’s health plan has been approved by a provider, they might look forward to a variety of benefits, including:
– Sharpened focus
– Increased productivity
– Promotion of rest and sleep
– Calmed mood
– Reduced stress
– Quelled nausea and reduced pain
– Reducing inflammation
… and more.
Each essential oil has its own properties and benefits that may help those struggling with achieving any of the above points of health. There are many types of essential oils, popular ones including lavender, tea tree, peppermint, chamomile, bergamot, and more. Oils may be blended or come pre-blended with additional oils to produce the desired effect for the user. Always consult your provider before adding a blend to your approved oil(s) to avoid potential negative interactions with your health.
Essential oils and oil diffusers can be purchased at a variety of places and you may find good ones at a reasonable price. Ensure the brand of oil you choose possesses the three marks: purity, quality, and reputation. You may also consider roller-balls which are beneficial for travelling with your essential oils. Even applying a few drops to a damp cloth and inhaling can have therapeutic effects. Essential oils are not meant to be added to food or swallowed for any reason.
If you and your healthcare provider have concluded that aromatherapy will compliment your health journey, enjoy the many benefits they can bring! We should always consider safe self-care as an essential role player in our mental health and physical healing.