Heal with aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has become quite popular as an alternative form of medicine for quite some time now. Not only because it smells really nice, but because it is believed to soothe and revitalise the spirit, encourage positive thinking and boosts the immune system to enhance its healing abilities.

Research conducted on patients with cancer showed that the patients who received aromatherapy massages experienced significant improvements in anxiety and depression. It made the patient feel a lot more relaxed. Additional research on the effects of aromatherapy on people with dementia, showed that there was a reported improvement in agitation amongst certain patients.

It is thought that inhalation of essential oils stimulates a particular part of the brain that is connected to smell and then a signal is sent to another part of the brain – the one responsible for emotions and memories. This process makes the brain release chemicals that make us feel relaxed and calm. In addition, a massage (which is part of aromatherapy) relaxes the body and that puts us in a state of a complete and absolute harmony.

Even though clinical benefits of aromatherapy such as pain relief or improvement to the immune system are still difficult to prove, undoubtedly it has a positive effect on the psyche as it makes us feel relaxed and at ease. And we know that being emotionally well has an enormous impact on being physically well. So at the end of the working week or when you are feeling stressed, try aromatherapy. It’s definitely worth a go!

Written by Dr. Noel Duncan

1. Journal of Clinical Oncology, Effectiveness of Aromatherapy Massage in the Management of Anxiety and Depression Patients with Cancer: A Multicentre Randomized Controlled Trial

2. Physicians Postgraduate Press, Aromatherapy as a Safe and Effective Treatment for the Management of Agitation in Severe Dementia: The Results of a Double-Blind Placebo-controlled Trial