If you need improvement in health problems from anxiety to poor sleep, you may want to consider aromatherapy. In this kind of treatment, you use extracts from plants called essential oils, by either breathing them through your nose or putting them on your skin. Some people put the oils on their skin when they get a massage or take a bath.
How Aromatherapy Works
Experts think aromatherapy activates areas in your nose called smell receptors, which send messages through your nervous system to your brain.
The oils may activate certain areas of your brain, like your limbic system, which plays a role in your emotions. They could also have an impact on your hypothalamus, which may respond to the oil by creating feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin.
Some experts think that when you put essential oils on your skin, they cause a response in your skin and other parts of your body, like your joints.
What Is Aromatherapy Used For?
You shouldn’t use aromatherapy instead of your regular medical treatment. But for some conditions, research shows that aromatherapy can have health benefits. It may:
- Ease stress, anxiety, and depression
- Boost feelings of relaxation
- Improve sleep
- Help improve the quality of life for people with long-term health problems like dementia
- Ease certain types of pain, including pain from kidney stones and osteoarthritis of the knee
- Fight bacteria when you put them on your skin
- Ease some of the side effects of cancer treatment, like nausea and pain
Article courtesy of WebMD