The International Federation of Aromatherapists sets aside a week every year in June to focus on the benefits of Aromatherapy for health and well-being.
The theme for 2017 was Aromatherapy & Mental Health. They chose this theme out of concern for the growing numbers of those plagued by mental illness every year which affects all races, genders and age groups.
This campaign was an opportunity to bring awareness to the health benefits of aromatherapy with the use of essential oils to aid in achieving emotional balance. Since 1985, IFA has also been involved in research in the UK that has provided a substantial amount of evidence for the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy with mental health issues. (source)
How Aromatherapy Has Helped with Mental Health: Past & Present
The use of essential oils has been well documented since ancient times for the use of not only physical ailments but for psychological issues as well. “Ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians and Greeks knew that some odors elevate mood, others have calming properties and help where anxiety states are a problem, while others encourage soporific states and improve mental functioning.” (source)
Positive outcomes have been plentiful when it comes to aromatherapy as an effective treatment for a variety of psychiatric disorders. Even more encouraging is the fact that this form of treatment appears to be without the adverse side effects of many conventional psychiatric medications.
“Frequently, it is reported that aromatherapy leaves one feeling uplifted, stimulated, invigorated, or rejuvenated, depending on the oil used. When inhaled, the various aromas penetrate the bloodstream via the lungs causing physiologic changes. In turn, the limbic system, which controls our emotions and memories, is affected.” (source)
There is a growing field of therapy called Psycho-aromatherapy. Therapists use aromatherapy to manipulate mood, with the goal of bringing about an enhanced sense of well-being. (source)
My Personal Experience with Aromatherapy for Mental Health
I don’t have any training or certifications in Aromatherapy & Mental Health, but I have started experimenting on my own with using essential oils to help improve mood and mental health for myself and my family. Our experience with them has proven to have all the benefits without the risks. The conventional approach to treating mental illness with psychiatric medications is entirely experimental itself. However, it has been the accepted method even though there is a myriad of side effects and consequences: the worst by far is death due to suicide. The use of aromatherapy doesn’t have these risks, so it is certainly worth a try.
I found the easiest way to learn more and try them was with a starter kit from Young Living
a trusted source for producing their own quality therapeutic essential oils.
The Premium Starter Kit with Young Living
has 10 of the most popular essential oils for everyday use. Five of the ten included oils happen to be very useful for mood enhancement and mental health issues. It also includes an incredible diffuser, which we use all the time and take with us even when we travel.
Some of the oils included that can be used for aromatherapy & mental health:
Lavender: ADD/ADHD, Anxiety, Insomnia, Postpartum Depression, Stress
Peppermint: Alertness, Concentration, Energy, Memory
Lemon: Anxiety, Concentration, Depression, Grief/Sorrow, Postpartum Depression, Stress
Copaiba: Moodiness, Depression, Nervous Tension, Stress, Anxiety
Frankincense: Depression, Mental Fatigue, Brain Fog, Sleep, Emotional Balance
How Lavender & Frankincense Helped
We have been on a lengthy journey of weaning off of psychiatric medications for my daughter because the health consequences and side-effects became unacceptable. Finally, we are on the last bit of weaning off a medication that she has been dependent on for a long time in order to sleep. Even though we are reducing it gradually, it has been so difficult because every tiny reduction will disrupt her ability to sleep. Other natural supplements like melatonin don’t work for her and have the opposite desired effect. In addition, she also complained about brain fog during the day. Lavender and Frankincense diffused at night has made a big difference with the sleep and eliminated the brain fog. Yay!
My All-Time Favorite Mood Enhancing Essential Oil
My absolute favorite for improving mood is the essential oil blend from Young Living called Joy™. It is a blend of Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Rosewood, Lemon, Mandarin, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa, and Rose. I love blends. It’s an economical way to get the benefits of a multitude of different oils without buying them individually. Also, some oils, like Rose are extremely expensive. However, it’s in Joy™ for a fraction of the price. The oils in this blend offer a combination of therapeutic benefits. It can lift and calm emotions, relieve anxiety and stress as well as promote balance and harmony.
As a result, Joy™ is my go-to oil when I am having one of “those days” I just don’t know how I am going to get through it. My daughter loves and uses it as well. It is what led me to design aromatherapy bracelets so we can enjoy the therapeutic benefits every day, everywhere we go.
What about you?
If you haven’t tried aromatherapy for mental health and wellbeing, I encourage you to give it a try.
If you have, what is your favorite oil for aromatherapy? Leave your comments below.
Wishing you much JOY in your journey!
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is based on my research and personal experience. It isn’t meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, medical or psychological condition. It should not be a substitute for your research and consultation with a qualified healthcare professional. The suggestions offered are without guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of use.
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