Essential oils for relaxation
Modern life can be stressful, hectic, hurried. We rush from work to home to sport to school, accompanied by the constant input of information on screens and signs.
No wonder it’s sometimes hard to switch off and relax.
This is when essential oils can help in a fundamental physiological way, to improve your physical and mental health through the alleviation of stress and helping you to relax.
How essential oils help you to relax
When you inhale the aroma of essential oils, the scent passes through your olfactory senses directly to the limbic system. This is the part of your brain that controls emotions, behaviours and long-term memories. (That’s why particular smells can trigger strong memories.)
Every message your brain receives from your other senses is filtered first – only smell travels direct and non-stop!
You can inhale the aromas of essential oils from a few drops in a bowl, on a tissue, in an essential oil diffuser or, when diluted in a carrier oil, from oil applied to your skin. (Always check for any reaction first with a skin test.)
If you choose an essential oil renowned for its relaxing and calming properties, you are in effect bypassing your conscious mind, and helping your limbic system to calm you down.
Six essential oils renowned for their relaxing qualities
Citrus oils for relaxation
The jury is out on lemon essential oil as a relaxant. Some find it soothes them and promotes sleep, others find its zesty tang wakes them up. The same applies to grapefruit, which can be used as both a pick me up and stress-buster.
Essential oils and emotional wellbeing
Essential oils are not just for general relaxation. They can also help promote your general wellbeing through addressing issues including:
Poor sleep and insomnia have a major impact on our quality of life. By using essential oils and blends that promote sleep, you can give your body the chance to relax and recharge without the use of strong medications or sedatives.
Stress and anxiety
Our modern world can make us anxious and unable to switch off. Essential oils can help us relax and let go of unwanted, negative emotions we unintentionally store up and which cause us both stress and distress. Essential oils can help release those emotions, especially when used as part of meridian balancing. (link here)
According to Statistics Canada, in 2017 8.6% of those aged 12 and over had been diagnosed with a mood disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, mania or dysthymia. That’s over 2.6million people. Several studies have shown how aromatherapy can help improve depressive symptoms.
Meridian balancing and relaxation
According to traditional Chinese medicine, there are twelve meridians in our bodies. These meridians channel your life energy (Chi/Qi) throughout the body. If they are blocked, it becomes unbalanced, and can affect your physical and mental wellbeing.
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