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Can Aromatherapy Help With Mental Health

There has been a growing focus over the last 12 months on mental health issues. We have been encouraged, and rightly so, to break any stigmas attached to someone confessing to having a mental health issue. There are many things that can become a mental health challenge, it is not age or gender specific, and it can strike out of nowhere. Those suffering will tell you that they can feel isolated and excluded, and the worst part alone. So, we wholeheartedly support these new open channels of communication and urge anyone feeling that they might be having mental health issues to seek help and advice from medical professionals. It may surprise you to learn that aromatherapy can actually have a positive effect on those suffering, and can be used as part of a self-help program, but please remember this should never be used in place of your doctor's advice and treatment.

How Does it Work?

Simply put the things we smell can affect our hormone system, which is where feelings of sadness, anxiety and negative thoughts stem from. Basically, mental health issues make subtle changes to the chemistry of the brain. Things we smell can change our feelings, by acting on these chemicals. A primary example is smelling fresh food cooking and immediately feeling quite hungry. But, it also works on mood and feelings. The most important thing is to choose a smell you like, as we are all different and what works for one person doesn't work for another. So experiment with these oils until you find one that works for you.

Some Oils That Might Help

Rose Oil

Rose is a very gentle and pretty fragrance. If you enjoy this smell, you might find that it acts as an antidepressant, and is a particularly useful balancing oil for ladies as it is linked to the female reproductive system.

Grapefruit Oil

Citrus oils have a stimulating effect on the brain and for that reason offer an excellent base for lifting the mood. They are great for stressful situations and help soothe compulsive thoughts. Grapefruit is great for both genders and has a link to the stomach so eating grapefruit is also calming on the digestion if you suffer from stress IBS.

Ylang Ylang Oil

One of my all-time favourite oils, Ylang Ylang, is an excellent oil for those suffering from anxiety or depression. It helps the body to process and release anger and can really help in situations where you are feeling fearful or have experienced a significant shock.

These are just a few of the oils that can help with mental health balancing. To get the best from these oils, you could try using a diffuser in the room you spend much of your time. If you are at work or on the move, infuse a tissue with some oil, or carry the bottle with you for a quick inhale or aroma when you need support. Remember that oils should not be used internally or apply neat to the skin so be careful working with the bottle.
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