Stress can manifest as physical and emotional symptoms. It can cause headaches, digestive problems and body aches and pains. Stress can lead to mood swings, anxiety or depression, and it can cause insomnia or lack of energy and motivation.
Aromatherapy offers natural stress relief and help for preventing stress. Aromatherapy massages and aromatherapy home remedies are used to reduce both physical and emotional symptoms of stress, to aid relaxation and to prevent further stress.
How to Use Essential Oils to Relieve Stress Naturally
Essential oils are natural stress relievers and are used in massages, baths and essential oil diffusers, and in body oils and other skin products. When essential oils are applied on skin, their small aromatic molecules are absorbed through skin into the bloodstream and then carried in the blood to different parts of the body. When essential oils are inhaled, the small molecules are transmitted via the olfactory system to the limbic area in the brain: the area that is connected to the hormonal and nervous systems and to the emotions.
The most relaxing aromatherapy treatment is an aromatherapy massage by a professionally qualified aromatherapist. Home remedies for stress reduction include adding essential oils to baths and using them in essential oil diffusers.
Essential Oil Blends for Stress Relieving Baths
Stress sufferers who find it difficult to sleep at night can try the essential oils of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and sweet marjoram (Origanum majorana) in a bath. Even just a few drops of lavender essential oil in an evening bath may lead to better sleep. Chamomile essential oil is used in aromatherapy to ease nervous tension, and sweet marjoram helps with the muscle aches and pains that often accompany stress.
To make a bath blend, add a total of up to six drops of essential oil(s) into two teaspoonfuls of cold-pressed vegetable oil, such as sunflower, sweet almond or jojoba. Add the blend into warm bath water just before stepping in to the bathtub.
Using Essential Oils in Aromatherapy Diffusers
Essential oils can also be used in aromatherapy diffusers during times of stress. Citrus oils are generally believed to have uplifting, antidepressant properties, and most people like their refreshing scent.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), sweet or bitter orange (Citrus sinensis or Citrus aurantium) or mandarin (Citrus reticulata) are all good choices. Another much-loved and generally safe oil for stress is Frankincense (Boswellia carterii), a resinous oil that has been traditionally used during meditation and is believed to regulate breathing and to calm down a busy mind. Frankincense blends very well with orange and other citrus oils in diffusers and oil burners.
If you are pregnant or suffering from any medical conditions, there might be contraindications to using essential oils or getting a massage. If in doubt, speak to your doctor before experimenting with aromatherapy.