• 5 Little Known Benefits of Aromatherapy
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    5 Little Known Benefits of Aromatherapy

    Withdrawal symptoms may be hard to handle. They may hit you relentlessly at first, and although less frequent later on, their intensity may still overwhelm you. One way to ease this discomfort is through aromatherapy. It’s not a cure for addiction but has been found useful in combination with other traditional treatments.

    The essential oils used in aromatherapy come from roots, herbs, trees and other such sources, and may be massaged into the body, inhaled or added to the bath water. Because of their potency, they are usually diluted with water or a carrier oil such as jojoba. If used neat, they may result in problems such as liver damage. Most are not ingested, and they are best avoided in a host of cases including pregnancy cancer and convulsions. Aromatherapy is, however, safe if used under the supervision of your physician and a licensed professional. Here are five little-known ways it can help your recovery.

    1. Cleans up the Nervous System

    A clean nervous system makes for internal balance and a body better able to withstand withdrawal symptoms. Once the aroma from the inhaled oils like eucalyptus, lemon and frankincense hits the bloodstream, it spreads far into the circulatory system, purifying and repairing it, and restoring the health of muscles, cells and tissue. The best way to achieve this benefit is through massage or adding the essential oil to your bath water.

    2. Boosts Your Brain Power

    Once your nervous system is healthy, the aromas from oils such as jasmine, sandalwood, lemon and peppermint, can use it to reach and stimulate the limbic system – the part of the brain that controls memories. The brain was previously programmed to retain memories applicable mainly to acquiring and using drugs or alcohol, but it’s now receptive to healthy and uplifting memories. The brain is also more alert. Early in recovery, many complain of wooly brain syndrome. Peppermint, when inhaled, may increase mental sharpness by 28 percent. Lemon oil mixed half and half with a carrier may also increase awareness. Frankincense may help detach people from the past and elevate them to a higher state of consciousness.

    3. Induces Calm

    The limbic system also controls emotions. So when stimulated by the aromas from essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, lemon and bergamot, the limbic system emits chemicals like serotonin which relieves anxiety, mild depression, and compulsions. Dill oil is said to help people feel less overwhelmed when new to recovery and diffused lemon oil, to help them decrease their anger eruptions. Aromatic baths and massages are particularly effective.

    4. Relieves Insomnia

    Sleep can be difficult without drugs or alcohol. But an essential oil such as lavender, chamomile, jasmine or sandalwood, can put you in a sleep mood in the evening. It penetrates deep into the facial area, stimulating slow and normal breathing. Your Circadian rhythms can be rearranged so your body goes to sleep exactly when you want.

    5. Increases Energy

    Prolonged alcohol and drug abuse damages the body’s energy domain. Massage and bathing in water enhanced with peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon or jasmine helps to unblock clogged pores and ease tiredness and muscle strain, thereby balancing the body’s energies and promoting coping mechanisms.

    When all’s been said, claims that aromatherapy has curative effects have not been supported by scientific studies. The evidence to hand is that it can enhance traditional treatment on an emotional level (Herz). But studies are still on-going on its effectiveness and safety in this regard, so the oils should be used under professional guidance.

    References

    Alcohol Rehab. Aromatherapy for people in recovery. Retrieved March 14, 2016, from http://alcoholrehab.com/drug-addiction-treatment/aromatherapy-for-people-in-recovery/

    Cohen, J. (2007). Secrets of aromatherapy. Retrieved March 14, 2016, from http://www.articlesfactory.com/articles/health/secrets-of-aromatherapy.html

    Coles, T. (2014). Benefits of essential oils: 10 natural ways to heal yourself. Retrieved March 14, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/07/02/benefits-of-essential-oils_n_5536808.html. Terri Coles

    Marshall, J. (2013). Aromatherapy may ease addiction cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Retrieved March 14, 2016, from http://www.myaddiction.com/lifestyle/recovery/aromatherapy-may-ease-addiction-cravings-and-withdrawal-symptoms

    Organic Facts. Benefits of aromatherapy. Retrieved March 14, 2016, from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/benefits-of-aromatherapy.html

    University of Maryland. Aromatherapy. Retrieved March 14, 2016, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/treatment/aromatherapy


    Benhilda Chanetsa has a BA Honors degree in History and Sociology and a teaching diploma, both from the University of London. She was a high school teacher for 11 years, and chief subeditor at a weekly newspaper for four years. She’s been a freelance lifestyle writer for the past 10 years and has two nonfiction e-books published on Amazon. The books are on overcoming negative thinking and surviving abusive relationships.


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