Long commutes to work, piles of work to do on such short notice, and looming deadlines have you wanting to tear your hair out? Maybe you’re a little stressed out.
Stress is the bane of every working girl’s life. While there is no surefire way to get rid of it completely, you can minimize its harmful effects on your body with a few strategic lifestyle changes. Before you reach for that bottle of booze, why not consider the natural stress reliever that titas and millennials alike are currently obsessed? Yes, we’re talking about aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is an alternative form of holistic therapy—a natural method of healing that activates certain areas in your body using essential oils. Although aromatherapy isn’t a substitute for regular medical treatment, it is designed to improve and balance your state of well-being through smell, inhalation, or absorption through your skin.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Essential oils are natural oils extracted from plants, either through distillation or mechanical methods like cold pressing. (Do note, though, that oils extracted through the chemical means are not considered true essential oils.)
Essential oils contain the scent and flavor of the plant, or its “essence,” so to speak. They’re very potent, which is why you need to blend it with a carrier oil before using it. All essential oils come with their set of properties and benefits, which is important to consider too, on top of scent.
HOW DO ESSENTIAL OILS WORK?
Do not underestimate the power of your nose! Your sense of smell can allow you to recall memories associated with a certain scent, which can trigger emotional or physical responses. For example, the scent of your favorite soap can evoke childhood memories. This is called the Proust Effect.
It works the same way for aromatherapy. Certain scents can cause a change in mood when the chemistry in your brain is altered. This happens when a scent triggers nerve impulses to the limbic system of your brain, which is in charge of your instincts, sense of survival, and emotions.
TRY: Pure Bliss Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser, P1,350, Escents Water Soluble Diffuser Drops, P250
Unlike just smelling the oils, inhalation refers to when the scent is absorbed and the effects are felt by the respiratory system. This applies to essential oils with antibacterial and antiviral properties and can be used to relieve infections or allergies. Target areas here are usually your sinuses, chest, and throat.
Commonly used essential oils here include those from the mint family, which help unclog sinuses, especially when you’re sick with colds and cough. Diffuser pendants and roll-on bottles make for great oil vessels, and they’re super convenient when you need an on-the-go remedy.
TRY: Feet and Right Essential Oil Diffuser Pendant, P499, Escents Well Being Synergy Blends Roll-On, P250
When applied topically, your body absorbs essential oils and circulates them to all bodily areas. As you may already know, essential oils can be antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory, but they may also contain antioxidants, which help reduce signs of aging.
When applied on problem areas on your skin or added to skincare products, essential oils can even address dermatological issues such as acne, eczema, and aging skin. The right blends can also be used to treat insect bites, or even issues like muscle pain.
TRY: Escents PH Itch No More Synergy Blends Roll-On, P300
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM AROMATHERAPY?
Basically, anyone who needs healing.
But before anything else, we’d highly recommend that you consult a trained medical professional, like your doctor, therapist, or aromatherapist, if you’re in search of essential oils to start with. This is to avoid any potential health risks or adverse reactions.
You also need to consider your skin type, possible allergies, or even medical conditions you may have, and how receptive your body is to certain essential oils.
For example: someone with high blood pressure should stay away from stimulating essential oils like rosemary. Someone with a nut allergy should be careful about what carrier oils to use because they’re mostly derived from nuts and seeds. Proceed with caution!
HOW TO RELIEVE STRESS WITH AROMATHERAPY
The effects of stress on your body can take on a lot of forms. Not only physically, but even mentally and emotionally. Here are just 4 manifestations of stress that can be treated through aromatherapy:
1. MUSCLE TENSION
When sitting in the office all day, it’s no wonder your body becomes sore, especially your shoulders. An aromatherapy massage will work wonders, especially when paired with cooling mint oils, which help reduce inflammation. Sandalwood is another great option for alleviating muscle spasms and tension.
WE RECOMMEND: Milea 100% Pure Essential Oil (30ml) (Eucalyptus), P435, doTERRA Peppermint Touch, P1,190, Pure Bliss Sandalwood Essential Oil (18ml), P230
2. HEADACHES & MIGRAINES
Being stuck in traffic can be aggravating. Bosses from hell can be a headache. With all the tension getting into your head, applying peppermint oil to your temples can provide welcome relief. Lavender can help you relax whenever you catch a whiff of it. Clary sage helps especially for hormonal headaches and can even be used to decrease PMS pains.
WE RECOMMEND: V&M Naturals Lavender Essential Oil, P420, doTERRA Clary Calm (10ml), P1,900
Overthinking and worrying too much can also be a major cause of stress, even triggering bouts of insomnia in some people. In these cases, chamomile oil can effectively help calm your mind like its tea counterpart. Ylang ylang is another floral oil that works similarly.
WE RECOMMEND: Beryl Essentials Chamomile Essential Oil (5ml), P199, V&M Naturals Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, P413
Where pure exhaustion is concerned, rosemary and bergamot oil can provide relief. The pair are highly energizing mood-lifters that can rescue tired spirits in an instant.
WE RECOMMEND: Bathgems Rosemary Essential Oil (10ml), P210, Pure Bliss Bergamot Essential Oil (18mL), P204
ESSENTIAL OIL STARTER KITS TO TRY
Okay, but what about an all-in-one kit to start with before building your collection? If you don’t feel like going through the trouble of picking and choosing, here’s a selection of collections!
1. Escents Synergy Blends Roll-on (Set), P1,400
This basic kit has it all: from a sleep-inducing blend and a pick-me-up when your energy levels are down, to a blend for your overall well-being. It’s even got something for pesky bug bites!
2. Zellaroma Basic Essential Oils Care Kit (15ml x 6 Bottles), P2,785
These concentrated Essential Oils cover the essentials to combat stress. Just remember to blend with carrier oils before applying topically!
Got everything you need? Now, de-stress!
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