Aromatherapy a New Option

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Increase our Emotional Wellbeing with Aromatherapy
By Elizabeth Sukys-Rice, MSW

Anxiety and Depression

It seems that these two diagnoses go hand and hand in the older adult population not to mention in the US as a whole. Anxiety and Depression affect almost 15% of the population in the US and commonly found in most developed countries. The percentage increases to 20% for those over the age of 55. Medication as a treatment can be effective, yet it comes with potential side effects. There is always the possibility that there could be a conflict with your current medication regimen, causing more difficulties.

Mental Health challenges are nothing new, evidence can be found as early as Greek mythology- the god Pan. He was responsible for anxiety and provided the origin of the word “panic”. It was common to treat anxiety with aromatherapy and essential oils during the times of the Greek and Roman Empire. It is estimated that oils have been extracted from plants for medical use in India for at least the past 5000 years. Many archaeological digs provide evidence of large oil jars full of such medicinal remedies.

Recently, the validity for using Aromatherapy for medicinal purposes has moved into a place of credibility in the United States. Essential oils have had longtime use in Asia and parts of Europe, yet the attention of the US has brought about some very telling evidence in the positive affects it is having on treating symptoms of Anxiety and Depression.

Just to share a little insightful information, starting out with the why. According the the National Institute of Health, inhalation or odor exposure can induce changes in mood, impact human performances, stimulate memory, vigilance, pain perception, and alertness when an aroma enters the bloodstream following inhalation and impacts neural activity.

Applications in Emotional Wellness

Essential oils can affect a person’s psychological outlook and help regulate emotions. The molecules of essential oils. when inhaled, initial a response in the brain through the olfactory valve, causing the release of neurochemical substances. These substances can cause the user to feel relaxation, vigor or even euphoria. Particles that enter the nervous system provide relaxation and tranquility and relieve nervousness. A couple of common scents easily available to improve emotional wellbeing are Lavender or Chamomile. Both provide a calming effect, lowering blood pressure, treating increased heart rate and high blood pressure, also positively treat insomnia.

The link below offers insight and further information on specific options for many related options to improve emotional wellbeing.

http://info.achs.edu/blog/depression-and-anxiety-can-essential-oils-help

The Internal or External Use of Essential Oils

Inhalation: The essential oil enters tho body through breathing. This is recommended for improving mood and mental wellness and problems with respiratory system.
Pads: Compresses can be used to soothe pain, sprain or swelling and reduce inflammation.
Mouthwashes: Gargling a mixture can have the ability relieve problems in the mouth.
Baths or Massage: Using essential oils in the bath can provide relaxation, restless reduction and hydrate the skin.
(Consult a Certified Aromatherapy Prior to Personal Use of Essential Oils)

Take an opportunity to explore this topic with a variety of options available on the web or in your local book store it is worth the time. Changing the way we view aging.

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2 comments on “Aromatherapy a New Option”

  1. Reply
    Mary Martinez-Drovie

    Great information. I have added an oil infuser in my home and yoga room. I have found the benefits of using essential oils.

    • Reply
      Elizabeth Sukys-Rice

      Thats fantastic! We have found ourselves studying the research on the benefits of aroma therapy when used in the area of mood stabilization with the older adult population, and as a result, have had the opportunity to roll out a program. We will provide updates as they become available.

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