Aromatherapy and anxiety , alternatively referred to as Essential Oil Therapy, refers to the art and science that utilizes naturally extracted essences from many plants in order to balance, harmonize as well as promote the health of the body, mind and spirit.
The importance of aromatherapy to human health cannot be underestimated. Some of the benefits you stand to get from using these essential oils include but not limited to management of stress and depression, curbing insomnia and treatment of anxiety.
In this article, we shall discuss the role of aromatherapy for treating anxiety and anxiety-related conditions. Join me therefore as I take you through all the information you need to know about the role of these oils for those who suffer from anxiety disorders.
Common essential oils for management of aromatherapy with anxiety
When it comes to aromatherapy and anxiety, there are certain essential oils that have been identified as being the most effective in anxiety management. These oils work in their own unique ways to alleviate anxiety and eradicate all related conditions. The following are some of these aromatherapy and anxiety oils;
1. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender is the most common essential oil used for anxiety management. This oil works by producing a calming and relaxing effect to the nervous system which in turn leads to the reduction of restlessness, panic attacks, irritability, nervous stomach and general nervous tension.
2. Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides)
If you are looking to reduce your anxiety levels and still maintain some level of energy in your system, then this essential oil is the perfect fit for you. The oil works by providing a tranquil and revitalizing effect to the body and mind, thereby reducing trauma and anxiety by helping you become more aware of yourself. In addition, the oil also helps manage anxiety conditions by reducing restlessness, panic attacks and hypersensitivity.
3. Rose (Rosa damascena)
Being the second most popular essential oil for anxiety management, rose essential oil reduces anxiety by preventing panic attacks and hypersensitivity. It has been specially isolated for managing anxiety in expectant mothers.
4. Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)
The Ylang Ylang is used for management of anxiety by providing a calming and soothing effect to the patient. The oil uplifts the spirit and makes you more cheerful, courageous and optimistic. Its ability to calm cardiac agitations and nervous palpitations means it can also help manage insomnia for patients with anxiety conditions.
5. Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
Chamomile is one of the essential oils that have been used for a long time in aromatherapy treatments for anxiety. The oil draws its preference from the fact that it reduces irritability and nervous tension. Other than acting as an antidepressant, Chamomile also has anxiolytic properties.
6. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
This extract of Earl Grey tea has a distinctive floral taste and aroma that goes a long way in reducing irritability in patients with anxiety. In addition to pacifying the spirit and minds of patients with anxiety conditions, the oil also provides the much-needed extra energy to help boost their spirits too.
7. Frankincense (Boswellia carteri or boswella sacra)
This essential oil is useful in the management of anxiety as well as providing a tranquil feeling and spiritual grounding, which is why it is well used throughout the world.
How essential oils are applied for anxiety management
The good thing with aromatherapy is that it offers various methods through which the oil can be used to manage anxiety. This makes it ideal for use for people with different levels of anxiety conditions. The following are some of the methods;
In diffusion, the essential oil is added in a few drops to the diffuser and then diffused throughout the day. For those anxiety patients who experience insomnia, you may also diffuse at night in the bedroom in order to promote better sleep and ease the racing thoughts that prevent you from falling asleep You could also add a few drops to your pillow in order to inhale while you sleep.
Another way of administering essential oils for anxiety treatment is by inhalation. This involves adding a few drops of the oil in the palm of your hands, rubbing them together and then inhaling the aroma from the oil. In order to get the most of the aroma, you should inhale the oil slowly and deeply.
Massage is one of the most popular ways of applying essential oils. A good massage therapy using aromatherapy anxiety essential oils involve adding a few drops of the oil to 2 oz. carrier oil and gently massaging throughout your body.
aromatherapy and anxiety
4. Lotion application
Essential oils may also be applied by adding a few drops of the oil to a carrier oil or natural lotion and rubbing the mixture onto your body. The lotion used should not be a scented one as it may reduce the aromatherapy effects of the oil.
5. Relaxing bath
There is no limit to the extent to which essential oils may be used to manage anxiety, and one of these ways is adding a few drops of the oil to your bath tub and then proceeding to have one of the longest baths of your life. While you choose to use the oil in a bath tub, always avoid running water as it will drain away the aroma of the oils faster and will not guarantee maximum results.
6. Oral applications
Well, contrary to popular belief, most essential oils can be used to manage anxiety by applying them orally. While most of these oils are natural, it is always important to determine their purity before administering them orally, as some may be laced with harmful chemicals and contaminants. Oral application may include ingesting the oil as a capsule, drinking the liquid form of the oil or adding it to your beverage.
When applying essential oils for anxiety management, the general rule is to use as little as possible in a single application course. This is because the aroma may have adverse effects to the respiratory system if applied in excess. Instead of using too much of the oil in one dose, you could instead use a little of the oil repeatedly.
It is also important to always consult a specialist before continuing to use the oils in the event you notice any side effects. Children and expectant mothers are particularly encouraged to seek expert advice before using these oils. All in all, aromatherapy is one of the most practical ways of managing anxiety; it all depends upon the approach the patient takes in using these oils.