The ability of fragrances to affect our mood has long been recognised, and interest in Aromatherapy has increased alongside the rise in anxiety and stress associated with modern day living.
Essential oils are made from essences found in the flowers, leaves, roots, peel, resin, seeds and bark of some plants. They are distilled and absorbed into the body through our skin, or by inhalation through the nose. I blend my essential oils with a Coconut Fractioned carrier oil, to allow them to be applied directly to your skin, however you can also add them to your bath, or steam diffuser.
Aromatherapy helps restore balance in our bodies, mind and spirit, while promoting healing and a profound sense of wellbeing. Aromatherapy is recommended for people with long-lasting pain, anxiety, depression and poor sleep.
How Does Aromatherapy Work?
Scent initially travels through the nasal passage where molecules bind with receptors in the nose, and travel to the olfactory bulb at the bottom of our forebrain. These scents are then interpreted as smells, and have an immediate effect on the brain’s activity. The reason why scent evokes such strong emotions is because your olfactory bulb has direct connections to two brain areas that are strongly implicated in emotion and memory: the amygdala and hippocampus. So when we recognise a familiar scent, we are instantly transported to a time or a sensation. Visual, auditory, and tactile information does not pass through these brain areas. This may explain why scent, more than any other sense, is so successful at triggering emotions.
We can create new emotional pathways using scent, which can have a positive impact on how we process daily challenges. Many essential oils can either relax or stimulate the body as needed and are called “adaptogens”. These adaptogens balance body systems in a process called homeostasis, and help the body to process stress by recharging the adrenalin glands, which can become over stimulated or exhausted as a result of stress.
My Favourite Essential Oils Include:
Lavender Essential Oil
One of the most common essential oils for calm and relaxation is Lavender. Lavender essential oil is a great relief when we regularly experience stress and anxiety. It has been proven to restore the nervous system by lowering blood pressure and heart rate, while regulating levels of adrenaline and dopamine. It can help to calm the nerves, ease restlessness and improve sleep quality. It is both rejuvenating and soothing.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil can clear the mind, and is great for enhancing focus. Inhaling Rosemary essential oil has been shown to improve memory by up to 75%. The oil contains the compound eucalyptol, which acts in a similar way to dementia drugs by increasing the neurotransmitters that help regulate brain activity. Furthermore, Rosemary has be shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It has a potent antibacterial and antifungal substance that can fight infection, and has a warming anti-inflammatory action that helps prevent pain, premenstrual cramping.
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Ylang Ylang essential oil promotes feelings of comfort and joy. It is both uplifting and arousing. It simultaneously reduces heart rate, improves your mood and promotes relaxation. Inhaling Ylang Ylang can help release negative emotions, reduce stress and act as a natural anxiety and depression remedy. Its calming properties help to lower blood pressure and breathing rates.
Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot essential oil is produced from the peel of the aromatic citrus fruit. It is often used elevating low moods, fighting bacterial infections and supporting digestive health. It eases anxiety and lifts depression due to its mood enhancing qualities, promoting feelings of joy, freshness and energy. Bergamot essential oil improves blood circulation, stimulates hormonal secretions and aids digestive health. It brings balance to both the body and mind, and is popular in colognes.
German Chamomile Essential Oil
If you love chamomile tea, you will appreciate the calming and balancing effects of chamomile essential oil. Chamomile promotes inner calm, reduces anxiety and calms the nervous system. It can also be used to reduce inflammation of the digestive tract, regulating mood and stress levels, and enhancing wellbeing.
Geranium Essential Oil
Geranium Oil is great for balancing emotions. It is a cheerful and uplifting oil, and makes a good antidepressant. It can reduce restlessness and help to treat anxiety in both children and adults.
Lemon Balm Essential Oil
Lemon Balm, also commonly known as Melissa Oil, is known for its medicinal and uplifting qualities; it has also been given the name “elixir of life”. Lemon Balm oil calms the mind, reduces stress and anxiety, boosts immunity and strengthens the nervous system. It can act as an antidepressant and ease feelings of sadness and worry.
Jasmine Essential Oil
Jasmine essential oil is widely used in parts of Asia as a natural remedy for anxiety, stress, insomnia and depression. In China, Jasmine has been traditionally used to detox and clear the respiratory system. It acts as a natural sedative as well as having stimulating effects on the brain improving mood and energy levels.
Clary Sage Essential Oil
With a beautiful earthy smell, Clary Sage is effective in calming stress and anxiety. The oil acts as an antidepressant by promoting feelings of wellbeing and inner peace. Clary Sage is also known to act as a great hormone balancer and help reduce symptoms of PMS.
Neroli Essential Oil
Neroli can be used for a range of ailments, including anxiety relief. It acts as a sedative, which regulates the metabolic system and releases feelings of anger, irritability and worry. It relaxes both body and soul.
It should be noted that essential oils are a highly concentrated substance, so some safety precautions need to be observed. For a healthy adult, most essential oils are safe to use within an appropriate dosage. However, when using essential oils for babies, children, during pregnancy, for the elderly or for those with a serious illness it is prudent to do some research to ensure that you use oils that are suitable and that you use the correct dose.
Essential oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil before being applied to the skin. I use 100% Organic Coconut Franctionated Oil.
The gentlest essential oils include Lavender, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Neroli and citrus essential oils such as Orange, Lemon, Lime, Bergamot and Mandarin.
Citrus essential oils can produce an effect on the skin called phototoxicity. Citrus oils applied to the skin and then exposed to direct sunlight causes the skin to be more prone to sunburn. To avoid this either use citrus essential oils at night or if you plan to stay inside for most of the day or use them in a diffuser/ inhalation.
I currently offer 5 blended oils that will work alongside, or independently, of your Coaching. However, please contact me if you would like me to make a bespoke blend unique to you and your requirements.
- Pillow Mist