Aromatherapy is fantastic for anyone experiencing stress and tension. A full-body massage wih essential oils is a real stress buster and a course of treatments or regular treatments will really make a difference to your health and well-being and the way you deal with the stress and tension that we all experience in modern life.
Because essential oils work on the mind and the body they can really help counter the psychological and physiological effects of both acute and chronic stress and bring us back to balance.
I have chosen ten oils that I use regularly, generally combined in a blend, to help soothe stress and tension and common symptoms experienced by many people under stress. The oils mentioned are good for stress and tension generally and also for specific problems associated with stress that you may relate to.
Have a look at my previous blog post about how to use essential oils safely and effectively at home for advise or consult a qualified Aromatherapist in your area. The International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists
Lavender (Lavandula angustofolia)
Lavender is very soothing and balancing during times of stress and tension. It is cooling and calming to the mind and body. It helps calm us when we feel anxious or panicky and is reassuring if we feel emotionally overwhelmed. Lavender also helps reduce headaches, palpitations, eases muscular stiffness and pain and is anti-spasmodic so helps ease cramps, including menstrual pains and digestive discomfort.
Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
Roman Chamomile is the one for you if you feel irritable and frustrated under pressure and tend to lose your temper or control easily. Like Lavender it is an anti-spasmodic and helps digestive and menstrual pain and discomfort, and helps soothe the emotions to allow a calmer disposition. Aids sleep.
Bergamot (Citrus aurantium bergamia)
Bergamot is soothing yet refreshing. It is uplifting without being too stimulating. It is a classic oil for stress and tension, particularly for people who are may experience depression as a result of chronic stress. It helps us release pent up feelings and allows us to feel more positive. It can be blended very easily and I use it very often in relaxing blends as so many people benefit from it.
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
Frankincense is a beautiful oil that helps calm and still the mind. If you are mentally overwhelmed and under stress from studying or similar Frankincense will help you focus in a calm way and gently clear the head. It has been used as an ingredient in incense for thousands of years and is a great oil to burn with other woody oils such as Sandalwood and Cedarwood if you like to meditate to help manage stress. Frankincense is rejuvenating to the spirit and to the skin. A gentle immune tonic.
Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
Clary Sage should not be used during pregnancy but it is the oil to turn to if you are tense and tired yet can’t seem to switch off. It is a very effective warming and comforting oil that allows muscular relaxation and thus helps the whole person to relax, rest and sleep. It is also quite a strengthening oil and can help restore a sense of purpose during times of stress related indecision and confusion.
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
Geranium is a balancing and regulating oil. It is a very useful adrenal and hormonal regulator and especially useful for women who feel their menstrual cycle has become irregular due to the effects of stress and tension. It also helps ease PMT which can easily become much worse for stress. Geranium is good for anxiety, particularly where it arises as a result of exhaustion and over-work. If you feel driven by your work but emotionally out of touch with other areas of your life Geranium can help you to re-balance you priorities.
Vetiver (Vetivera zizanoides)
Vetiver is a very nourishing, restorative oil that is a very effective sedative. If you are feeling scattered or a bit hysterical or indeed manic due to stress Vetiver will help ground you and allow you to calm down. It really helps during times of insomnia as its deep earthy smell allows the mind to rest and the body to sink into sleep.
Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)
Cedarwood is a very strengthening oil, particularly good for chronic illness and debility. It is soothing to the spirit but fortifying to the person. It helps to keep you strong, particularly during times of crisis or when your circumstances really seem too much for you to cope with, which is a common sign of chronic stress and tension.
Black Spruce (Picea marinara)
I have included Black Spruce mainly because I love it smell so much but other conifers such as Scots Pine would also be relevant here. Black Spruce helps restore depleted and overworked adrenal glands and gives us a gentle, refreshing lift when we are lethargic and fatigued. It brings a breath of fresh air as it reminds us of the forest, very welcome when we are feeling stifled from being in an office or in front of a computer a lot of the time. A gentle immune tonic.
Neroli (Citrus aurantium var amara)
I have chosen Neroli to represent the floral essential oils. Floral essential oils generally have a profoundly calming, nurturing and sensualising quality and are very useful during times of stress and tension. Neroli is especially effective in tackling anxiety and nervous tension, particularly when it involves digestive upset. It is a useful anti-depressant and is gently uplifting.