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HEALTH & BEAUTY: Aromatherapy for Stress and Tension
By Louise Green of Vitality Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy can provide great support for anyone experiencing stress and tension. Because essential oils work on the mind and the body they can really help counter the psychological and physiological effects of both acute and chronic stress and bring us back to balance.
A full-body massage wih essential oils is a real stress buster and regular treatments will make a big difference to your health and well-being, and the way you deal with stress. Essential Oils are also very effective used at home, at work and can be carried around with you to help create a little oasis of calm in the stressful modern world that we live in.
Lavender is an example of a well known essential oil used to help relax and calm us. There are many essential oils that can be used safely and effectively, alone or in blends, in a variety of different ways by both adults and children to help counter stress and tension and related problems such as anxiety, frustration, fatigue, depression and insomnia.Stress affects people in different ways and it is a big topic but I've highlighted five useful oils below and given three examples of how essential oils can be used.
Five useful Essential Oils for Stress & Tension
Bergamot (Citrus aurantium ssp bergamia)
Bergamot is a brilliant essential oil to use at times of stress. It is a very balancing oil and is easy to use as its pleasant citrus aroma is easy on the nose and blends really well with most other essential oils. It is soothing and relaxing but not sedative. It helps ease irrritability and a general feeling of tension in the mind and body. Especially useful for anyone who suffers with S.A.D or who tends to over or under eat when they feel under pressure.
Neroli (Citrus aurantium var amara)
Beautiful Orange Blossom, Neroli promotes emotional harmony. It is especially effective for sensitive people who suffer from anxiety or who find it difficult to relax and sleep when stressed. Neroli is a very gentle tonic to the nervous system and a real help when chronic stress has led to depression.
Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) or use Sweet Marjoram (Origanum marjorana)
Clary should NOT be used during pregnancy or if you have consumed alcohol. It is a powerful oil that should always be used in moderation but I include it as it is so effective. Its common to feel tired and tense with a busy mind and stiff muscles. Clary Sage is deeply relaxing and strengthening and helps us switch off when we most need to.
Chamomile (Chamamaelum nobile)
Roman Chamomile is soothing and comforting. Especially good for grumpy and irritable children, and adults too!! Chamomile helps us accept help and support from others and helps regulate the digestive system when it reacts at time of stress and nervousness. It is the oil to turn to when you feel angry and frustrated or that you have lost control.
Sandalwood (Santalum austrocaledonicum)
Sandalwood is a lovely oil that provides tranquility and a sense of unity. It is a great oil to use if you feel restless, worried and distracted when stressed as it helps to calm the mind and focus inwards. If you can meditate or sit quietly with some Sandalwood and Frankincense in a diffuser you will feel much lighter at the end of a heavy day.
Three ways to apply essential oils
If you can, book in a monthly massage with a qualified therapist. Otherwise persuade a friend or family member to give you a simple rub over tense areas such as the neck and shoulders. You can easily massage your own hands and wrists, feet and ankles, face, scalp and neck where there are many important acupressure points that aid relaxation and balance the person. Taking some time out to sit quietly and massage yourself whilst inhaling the essential oils you use will be of great benefit when you feel stressed and tense.
Use 5 drops of essential oil mixed into 10ml of base vegetable oil such as Sweet Almond or Apricot Kernal Oil.
Like massage, aromatic baths have been used thoughout history for their therapeutic benefits. A soak in a warm bath is one of the most straightforward aids to relaxation.You can use natural salts such as Epsom Salt and Dead Sea Salt with essential oils in your bath to help you release the pain and tension in tight muscles and unwind the mind!
Use 6 drops of essential oil mixed into a cup of natural salts or a teaspoon of light vegetable oil such as Coconut or Sunflower oil in a full bath.
Such a simple device the aroma-stick or aroma-inhaler can be filled with up to 20 drops of a single essential oil or a blend and inhaled in or under the nostrils whenever you feel the need. These are briliant kept in your handbag or desk draw and is an easy, instant way to get some essential oils into your system wherever you are without anyone else being exposed to them.
Carefully apply 20 drops of neat essential oil to the cotton wad and then insert into the aroma stick and seal with the stopper.
Some blends to try at home. The number of (drops) will need to be adapted for how you will use the blend. You can play with the oils suggested and the proportions of the blend according to your aroma preference and therapeutic requirements. You can substitute any relaxing oils such as Mandarin, Lavender, Geranium, Rose, Frankincense.
Sandalwood (2) Neroli (2), Bergamot (2)
Bergamot (3), Chamomile (1), Neroli (2)
Clary Sage (1), Bergamot (3), Sandalwood (2)
Chamomile (1), Sandalwood (3), Bergamot (2)
Natural remedies and aroma- inhalers can be custom made for you by Louise via her email/phone apothecary service: www.vitalityaromatherapy.co.uk