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Health

5 benefits of essential oils and aromatherapy

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Essential oils have been used for nearly 6,000 years but have grown in popularity due to their natural medicinal benefits.

Aromatherapy, or essential oil therapy, refers to a range of traditional, alternative or complementary therapies that use essential oils and other aromatic plant compounds. Aromatherapy is most commonly used through inhalation or as a topical application.

Essential oils can have a subtle, yet holistic effect on the body and are frequently used by massage therapists. Here are 5 benefits of essential oils and aromatherapy:

1. Improved mood

Inhaling essential oils stimulates the olfactory system. Molecules that enter the nose or mouth pass to the lungs and to other parts of the body. As the molecules reach the brain, they affect the limbic system, which is linked to emotions.

2. Better sleep

By using oils in a diffuser or a hot bath, you can stimulate positive signals in your brain and reduce stress, depression anxiety. Lavender, bergamot and clary sage are all shown to be highly effective to promote relaxation and sleep.

3. Inflammation relief

Topical application, such as massage oils, allow the products to be absorbed through the skin. Massaging the area where the oil is applied can boost circulation and increase absorption. Essential oils like tee tree oil, peppermint, rosemary and eucalyptus can reduce irritation and inflammation when applied directly to the skin.

4. Immunity boost

Many essential oils have anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help right off illness. Aromatherapy can also improve the immune system because essential oils enter the lungs when inhaled and are then absorbed into the blood stream. Cinnamon, oregano and frankincense have been shown to boost immune system function when inhaled.

5. Pain relief

Essential oils can be absorbed through the skin and can significantly reduce pain. Ginger, frankincense and myrrh can help ease pain in muscles, joints and tendons for arthritis relief. Lavender and rosemary have been shown to reduce tension headaches and migraines by applying these essential oils to the temples and on either side of the nose.

Be Fit Physical Therapy & Pilates: 4934 Main St. Downers Grove, IL 60515, 630.964.4008, www.befitpt.com