Recent research shows that aromatherapy can be used to alter behavior and certain brain waves. The scents of certain essential oils have been shown to increase contentment and decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Aromatherapy enthusiasts like Peter Machinis explain that aromatherapy is a harmless way to relieve stress without any known side effects. According to Elizabeth Scott, MS, one recent study showed that an aromatherapy massage can have positive effects on depression and anxiety. Scott states that a massage using essential oils offers more lasting relief from mental and physical fatigue than a typical massage (without essential oils).
However, Peter Machinis describes that aromatherapy doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as a massage or meditation. Aromatherapy simply means that the essential oils taken from plants are transferred to the body, either as a scent inhaled through the nose or a liquid rubbed into the skin’s pores.
“There are several ways to enjoy stress-reducing aromatherapy without taking time out of your day,” Peter Machinis says. “Aromatherapy diffusers, body products, candles, incense, and more can offer the healing effects of essential oils while you’re working, watching TV, or going about your everyday tasks.”
Peter Machinis suggests lavender as an ideal essential oil for decreasing anxiety and improving mood. He references research published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, which describes how aromatherapy instantly helped reduce anxiety for intensive care patients and gave them have a more positive outlook.
“It’s so simple and risk-free,” Peter Machinis adds. “I wish more people would simply try essential oils before resorting to more damaging methods of stress reduction, like pharmaceutical drugs, recreational drugs, and more.”
Different essential orders offer different effects, Peter Machinis describes. Citrus fragrances, like orange, grapefruit, and lemon, are energizing. Rosemary tends to be more invigorating, while lavender is known for its calming effects.
Scents released by each individual type of oil affect the part of the brain that triggers your hormonal system, known as the hypothalamus. Personal responses to scents tend to vary greatly, but it has been proven that scents can affect your libido, stress levels, and metabolism.
Peter Machinis continuously emphasizes the importance of stress relief, and how other methods of relieving stress can do the exact opposite.
“We’re always so busy, we think we don’t have time for stress relief. The thought of making time for a massage or meditation can even cause more unwanted stress.” Peter Machinis finishes. “But lighting a candle, switching on your diffuser, or applying a lotion takes just seconds, and it can transform your mood for the entire day.”