What Is Aromatherapy? And How It Can Help Manage Emotions

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The ancient practice of aromatherapy is a holistic healing approach using the power of pure plant essential oils to manage emotional imbalances. 

It’s non-invasive, non-toxic and can be used in conjunction with other conventional treatments to better support your body's balance.

And it really works. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who has experienced aromatherapy tell you it’s a waste of time.

So let’s explore why aromatherapy is an effective tool for managing your emotions.

What is Aromatherapy?

Also known as essential oil treatment, aromatherapy is the use of plant-extracts to manage health concerns, such as anxiety. 

Pure essential oils are the extracted oils or essence of plants—bark, leaves, petals, herbs. It takes many pounds to create one small vile. Knock-off brands may cut corners and add chemicals or fragrance to natural oils to cut costs; rendering them less effective than genuine essential oils. So take care and double check you’re buying 100% natural oils, like doTERRA to ensure you get what you’re paying for, for maximum effectiveness.

Aromatherapy is, therefore, the use of essential oils to improve physical and emotional health. There are a couple of ways you can welcome aromatherapy into your day-to-day life:

  • Oil diffusers such as the doTERRA Petal Diffuser are the most common form of aromatherapy. Diffusers are electronic devices that disperse oil via water vapour throughout the room;
  • Wearing scent diffusing jewellery is a wonderful travel option or an excellent way to minimise everyday stressors outside of the house. Diffusing jewellery is also quite fashionable, with plenty of trendy necklaces to choose from and once you have the necklace that suits you, all that’s left is to buy scented beads, for a little on-the-go healing;
  • Another popular way to heal with aromatherapy is the more discrete travel option; bringing your vial of plant extract with you, and as you would with perfume or cologne put it on your palms and wrist, rub and inhale. doTERRA also makes essential oil vials that have rollerball heads like doTERRA Hope Touch, meant for this kind of usage.

Is it any wonder aromatherapy with its practical applications is such a popular healing option?

It builds upon our desire for pleasant smelling things; in-house, we burn candles to relax and unwind while we spray our signature perfume or cologne on ourselves to boost your self-esteem. That’s why many holistic healing businesses diffuse oil in addition to the treatment being given, like massage, to soothe the mind and body into even further relaxation.

If you’re skeptical of aromatherapy, don’t be. It’s rooted in medicine, science and alternative healing.

How Aromatherapy Works

Inhaling essential oils stimulates scent receptors within your nose, which then passes through the side of your brain that governs your emotions - the limbic system.

The limbic system responds to the transmitted information by releasing hormones or neuro-chemicals, thus changing your mood.

The basic idea is our sense of smell is the most acute sense we have, that’s why that relaxing soak in the tub infused with lavender oil seems to whisk away your bad day.

Topical application of oils get absorbed into your bloodstream to boost circulation and provide other body-mind benefits, but in order to exploit their effectiveness, topical oils require a carrier oil.

Never apply raw essential oil directly on your skin, use a carrier like doTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil, at a ratio of a few drops of essential oil to an ounce of carrier oil before application.

The beauty of essential oil therapy is that you don’t need an alphabet at the end of your name to manage your emotional or physical concerns using essential oils.

All you need is some quality research or a copy of this beginners guide to using aromatherapy by doTERRA. Another helpful aid is this emotional wheel by doTERRA or this hardcover reference guide to emotions and oils also by doTERRA that does the leg work for you; which oil do you need for every emotion, negative and positive.

A word of warning when using topical oils: Remember they are potent plant compounds, and although 100% natural, they require sensible application.  Always dilute with a small amount of carrier oil like Fractionated Coconut Oil when applying topically, and discontinue use of an oil if your skin reacts adversely.

Learn more in: Health Benefits & Healing Properties Of Essential Oils.

How Aromatherapy Helps Manage Your Emotions

The human body is amazing.

Our sense of smell is so powerful that it can affect our emotions, moods, behaviours and thoughts. Why? Because the act of inhalation, unlike the other four senses, transmits through a different neural pathway - via the ‘emotional brain’ or limbic system.

Our limbic system or olfactory system is connected to our memories, emotions and motivation centre. From a physiological standpoint, the limbic system also governs blood pressure, breathing, heart rate, hormone and stress levels. What makes aromatherapy particularly effective in stabilising emotions is when the olfactory system registers a smell (essential oil), the brain responds by releasing hormones and neuro-chemicals to change the behaviour. Proof that scent can overturn your emotions.

Perhaps the biggest challenge is understanding which essential oil to use to manage which emotional imbalances. Moreover, which oil combinations work synergistically to dull your stress or anxiety. To help get you started, here’s a cheat sheet or check out doTERRA’s H.E.L.P. Essential Oils Pack for a synergistic blend of oils.

Learn more in: How To Balance Mood & Reset Your Nervous System.

Essential Guide to Managing Emotions with Essential Oils

Stress

Oils: doTERRA LavenderdoTERRA Aromatouch, doTERRA Frankincense, doTERRA Roman Chamomile, doTERRA Hope Touch, or doTERRA Vetiver.

If you live with chronic stress, help tame it by using aromatherapy exclusively or in conjunction with other treatments like meditation or yoga. Stress wreaks havoc on the mind-body so don’t let your emotions get the better of you, take care with the use of aromatherapy and other such mind-calming activities.

Learn more in: Stress Management Without Harmful Addictions.

Concentration

Oils: doTERRA InTune Focus Blend, doTERRA Lavender, doTERRA Balance or doTERRA Rosemary.

Today’s society is fast-paced and distracting; that it’s understandable why it may be challenging to settle down and focus on class, work or other concentration-based activities. Quiet your mind using aromatherapy so you can focus on the task at hand without distraction.

Depression

Oils: doTERRA LavenderdoTERRA Myrrh, doTERRA Bergamot, doTERRA Citrus Bliss, doTERRA Bergamot or doTERRA Cheer.

Depression is nothing to joke about; it affects your entire being (mind, body, spirit). If you’re looking for something to ease your mind and to accompany whatever treatment you’re using, aromatherapy is something to consider.

Learn more in: Natural Treatment For Depression & Tips To Prevent It.

Anxiety

Oils: doTERRA Lavender, doTERRA Frankincense, doTERRA Bergamot, doTERRA Roman Chamomile Pure, doTERRA Ylang-Ylang, or doTERRA Balance.   

Anxiety in small doses is a normal bodily response to a stressful experience, like an interview, new job or trying a new activity. If your symptoms of unease and restlessness (among other things) persist, it’s vital to soothe the mind before it becomes too overloaded with stress. Too much stress is not good for your health, so introduce the non-invasive essential oil treatment to target your anxiety.

Learn more in: 7 Ways To Deal With Anxiety & Find Inner Peace.

Grief

Oil: doTERRA Myrrh, doTERRA Sandalwood, doTERRA Citrus Bliss, doTERRA Elevation, doTERRA Cheer or doTERRA Neroli.

Everybody deals with loss differently—there is no right way to grieve—and sometimes we struggle to find a way out of our grief. If you need a little gentle encouragement overcoming the traumatic loss, aromatherapy is a simple yet effective way to manage your emotions.

Fatigue

Oil: doTERRA Citrus Bliss, doTERRA Peppermint, doTERRA Wild Orange, doTERRA Frankincense, or doTERRA Grapefruit.

Learn more in: 5 Daily ‘Musts’ To Boost Your Energy Naturally.

If you’re suffering from lack of energy, burnout or sleep deprivation and the only thing keeping you on your feet is coffee, it’s time to try something new. You can’t consume enough caffeine to counteract fatigue, but you can try some naturally stimulating alternatives, like essential oil treatment, to give you that boost of energy to see you through the day.

Learn more in: Knock Out Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. 

Aromatherapy And How It Helps Manage Your Emotions

Life today is fast-paced, hectic, overstimulating and a drain on your emotions. Stress, anxiety, burnout and depression are sadly, regular features of many of our lives. However, there is good news.

If you’re looking for a non-invasive and non-toxic alternative to manage your emotions, aromatherapy may be for you. With roots in the medical and holistic healing arts, the resurgence of essential oil treatment may be your secret weapon to counteract the disruptive energy of technological saturation and and modern day stress.

With so many diffusing options for at home and on-the-go use, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a calmer, more mindful and fulfilling life, wherever you are, and wherever you go.    

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