Beyondblue reports that in any one year 2 million Australians have anxiety. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues in Australia, and Black Dog Institute reports that up to one third one women and one fifth of men will experience anxiety at some point in their lives. While there are psychological and physical therapies to help with anxiety, there are also other alternative methods that can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, such as aromatherapy and essential oils.
Pat Princi-Jones is an aromatherapy specialist and educator at Oil Garden, Heritage Brands, and she has suggested several essential oils that can help reduce anxiety, and how you can use them.
What essential oils can reduce anxiety?
Pay says that pure essential oils are made up of hundreds of natural compounds that are extracted from specific plant parts. "Once these aromatic molecules are inhaled they travel directly to the limbic system in the brain where pleasure, memory and emotion and recorded," says Pat. Just inhaling a few drops of certain essential oils can influence neurotransmitters in the brain and the way you feel.
"Many essential oils are both calming and soothing, however heart notes such as Lavender, including Helichrysum and Chamomile, for instance, have high levels of the compound linalool which is renowned for its sedative and calming effect on the central nervous system."
"Florals such as Neroli and Ylang Ylang are indicated for modulating brain activity and reducing anxiety."
"Citrus oils such as Grapefruit, Lemon and especially Bergamot, Sweet Orange and Mandarin have high limonene content and are also excellent nerve tonics. Perhaps the most notable of all the oils in managing anxiety however are rich, deep woods such as Cedarwood, Frankincense and even Sandalwood."
How to use essential oils
Pat explains that the surge in interest in aromatherapy has led to many new delivery systems such as roll-ons, balms and mists, but one of the most versatile methods of delivery for essential oils is diffusion. "A few drops released into the air will not only rid the space of germs but also help you unwind at the end of a hectic day," says pat. try an oil burner or diffuser.
"Massage is also a very effective method of use to target specific areas of the body. Add a few drops to 5ml (1tsp) coconut oil and massage onto skin or even add to bath water as directed to promote a sense of calm and relax the body."
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