The Elms Blog

Aromatherapy for Wellness

Jan 10, 2019

An Age-Old Therapy

The use of essential oils is resurging as a non-pharmaceutical treatment for a whole host of conditions, including symptoms suffered in cancer patients and Alzheimer’s patients.

Benefits are enjoyed across age groups, however specific studies of seniors have shown remarkable results in improving quality of life, including:

  • Easing anxiety
  • Relieving symptoms of depression
  • Reducing pain in certain chronic health conditions

What is Aromatherapy and How Does it Work?

It is the use of botanical essential oils as an aid in balancing emotional and physical health.

Sometimes referred to Essential Oil therapy, the idea is that the oils stimulate the olfactory system – the part of the brain connected to smell, which is closely tied to emotion – thereby promoting a positive emotional response.

There are generally two techniques used in Aromatherapy:

  • Aromatically – combined with water and breathed in through the air with a diffuser or spritzer, or inhaled through steam
  • Topically – a drop placed on pulse points, a drop or two rubbed together in the hands and inhaled, or mixed with a carrier oil and used in massage
  • NOTE: Essential oils should not be ingested through food or drink

Managing Memory Loss

Proper use of Aromatherapy can be a pleasant and natural way to help manage Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Recent studies have shown that many of the non-cognitive symptoms of dementia respond positively to the fragrance of certain essential oils, including: 

  • Agitation
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia

There is also a limited body of research where subjects with dementia showed “significant improvement in personal orientation related to cognitive function.”

Effective Use of Essential Oils

Trusted health and medical sources agree that used properly, essential oils are safe. They are potent, however, and cannot all be used in the same way. Certain oils work well in a diffuser, but may cause side effects if improperly used on the skin. It is also not advised to ingest essential oils. 

It is important use the proper amount of drops for direct skin contact, and to dilute oils correctly for use in a diffuser, spritzer, or with a neutral carrier oil for massage.

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