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Stress Relief with Aromatherapy

Smell is one of our five basic senses and is strongly associated with mood. Often a brief whiff of a particular fragrance can carry us away to other times and other places. The smell of canvas may remind us of camping holidays in our childhood, the smell of moth balls can bring back memories of Grandma and Grandpa and long-ago visits to their home when we were small. The smell of a young baby can remind us of our own children when they were little.

Because smell is governed by the limbic system of the brain, it bypasses the “thinking” system, and therefore aromatherapy oils can play a small but significant role in governing our moods. Here are a few essential oils that you may find useful in coping with the day-to-day stresses of life:

Basil
Produces an uplifting and refreshing effect on mood. Enhances memory and mental clarity. Useful for periods of mild depression, insomnia, and stress. Helps to provide stamina and endurance. Not to be used during pregnancy.

Cedarwood
Calming and relaxing, useful for anxiety states. Releives stress and nervous tension. Not to be used during pregnancy.

Clary Sage
Warming and relaxing, used to lift mild depression and relieve anxiety. May cause drowsiness. Do not use if suffering from epilepsy.

Frankincense
Relaxing and rejuvenating. Helps slow down the breath, particularly useful for meditative purposes. Excellent for the relief of mild anxiety, nervous tensiuon, and stress.

Geranium
Useful for tension, anxiety, and depression. Calming and uplifting.

Juniper
Assists in reducing anxiety. Not to be used during pregnancy.

Lavender
Perhaps the best-known essential oil. Promote relaxation, reduces irritability, and assists with sleeplessness. Lowers anxiety and blood pressure. Useful for mild anxiety, stress, and insomnia.

Mandarin
Useful in the treatment of stress and stress-related insomnia.

Neroli
Relaxing, calming, useful for anxiety states. Helps relieve insomnia, stress, and nervous tension.

Rose
For the temporary relief of headaches, insomnia, nervous tension, and stress.

Rosewood
Relieves stress and tension, particularly stress-induced headaches.

Rosemary
Uplifting, aids mental clarity, reduces headaches associated with stress.

Sandalwood
Relieves nervous tension and anxiety.

Ylang Ylang
Slows and deepens the breath, lowering blood pressure. Helps relieve nervous tension, stress, mild anxiety, and insomnia.

Oils can be used in an oil burner or diluted with a carrier oil and rubbed into pulse points, back of neck, and temples. Simply follow the directions on the back of the bottle for each individual oil or consult a traditional medical practitioner. If symptoms persist, consult a health care professional.


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