Aromatherapy is a systematic alternative approach used for treating physical and mental health disorders with essential oils. Aromatherapy is designed to be a complementary treatment rather than a primary treatment for illness, disease and mental health disorders. Primary benefits include increasing the body’s natural ability to regulate, heal and maintain itself before illness and during treatment.
Physical Health Benefits
As a complement to traditional medical treatments, aromatherapy has shown benefits for minor and major health conditions. The Mayo Clinic lists aromatherapy as one of the alternative medicines effective in relieving nausea, pain and stress associated with symptoms in cancer patients. Using the essential oil from clove bud is a recommended pain management method from aromatherapy practice. Tea tree oil applied to skin wounds promotes faster healing with less scarring. Eucalyptus is also a popular pain reliever, widely used for treating the common cold; inhalation helps open the nasal passages for better breathing. Aromatherapy can be used via inhalation or through the skin by massage. Many essential oils are available to treat different physical ailments, but it’s imperative to understand the mixtures and how to dilute the oils to maintain the safest and most effective forms of treatment.
Mental Health Benefits
Aromatherapy has proven effective in treating daily stress, symptoms of depression, calming tension and sexual responsiveness. Stress and depression are commonly treated with basil oil, sandalwood, ylang-ylang and lavender. Each oil has calming properties. When used on a daily basis through inhalation, oil burning or massage can offer relief for common mental health ailments. Aromatherapy for mental health can also be used in the moment rather than daily to ease irritability through use of a body spray or rubbing oil.
Aromatherapy can enhance memory and concentration. Use of the essential oil rosemary has proven to stimulate the memory receptors in dementia patients when used regularly. Citronella is a common oil used as a pesticide to deter mosquitoes as well as being a household asset for laundry and cleaning. The oils in the practice of aromatherapy have many uses and the benefits to most are positive, inexpensive and considered a natural means for resolving daily dilemmas when utilized correctly.
About this Author
Aureau Walding is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Missouri. Walding has worked in the field for a decade and she utilizes a holistic and strengths-based approach. She has published articles on topics such as anxiety, addiction, and social change for LIVESTRONG and Examiner.com.