Aromatherapy is classed under complementary medicine. It works to balance the mind, spirit and body, by tapping into the healing power of oils which have been extracted from flowers, plants and trees. There is no better way to say goodbye to stress than with the help of well known aromatherapy oils. Wonderful scents such as lavender oil, have been used for thousands of years and they are proven to directly affect our mind and bodies via our nervous system.
Our sense of smell begins in the nose and permeates the skull via minute holes connecting them directly to our brain. The olfactory nerve quickly transmits signals to various regions of the brain. These include the amygdala and the limbic system, which are responsible for memory, mood and emotions.
The autonomic nervous system is also manipulated by these systems, and they are able to either initiate a fight-or-flight reaction, speeding up our heart rate and blood pressure, or a calming reaction by switching on our parasympathetic nervous system. When this happens, we feel at peace and relaxed.
It is because of these processes that aromatherapy oils can rapidly set off physiological reactions, and the positive benefits can continue even after the aroma has vanished. Biologically speaking, lavender, along with other essential oils, appear to react in the same way as medication for anxiety, as they can affect particular nerve cell receptors. Aromatherapy oils can be used in a variety of ways. For example, if you are having trouble sleeping, then you could put one or two drops of neat lavender on your pillow case.
Another popular option, is to buy an aromatherapy diffuser. This fills your home with the fabulous natural aromas of your choice. Alternatively, when you are really on edge, just run a bath and add several drops of lavender oil. If you do this just before bedtime, you are sure to have a lovely night’s sleep.