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The Hype Over Aromatherapy: Is it Worth It?

Anxiety, difficulty focusing, and lack of sleep can be considered a deathly trio, especially for college students. Medicine can be helpful, but sometimes, you might need a little extra help to get your mind and body back on track. Over the years, Aromatherapy has grown in popularity as an alternative to standard medicine.

But, what exactly is Aromatherapy, and why does it have so much hype?

Aromatherapy is the usage of essential oils to help improve someone’s psychological or even physical well-being. Now, I know aromatherapy may sound like a hoax, but there is so much more to it than one may think. Medicine can be helpful for mental and psychical issues; however, sometimes you may need some additional help. Essential oils are able to provide a natural and soothing therapy that can assist in your mental and physical help.

There are several types of oils designed to target specific areas of your life.

Lavender is a popular essential oil that can improve stress levels to help promote calmness and wellness. My personal experience using lavender oil has been great. It has helped calm me down after a long day of work and school along with improving the amount of sleep I get. Typically I like putting the oil in my diffusor at night by creating a mixture of water (approximately a 1/2 cup) and around 6 drops of my desired oil.

Eucalyptus can be mixed with lavender to create the perfect blend of scents. Eucalyptus oil can be added to cough and cold medicine to help reduce decongestion and help you breathe better. Many oils can be mixed together to increase the overall effects on your body; before buying a bunch of oils do your research on which ones would suit your needs best.

There are typically three ways you can incorporate aromatherapy into your life.

  1. Buy a diffuser
  2. Body massage
  3. Smelling the oils

The first one I mentioned above was buying an oil diffusor. Amazon is my personal favorite place to shop for diffusers because they have great prices for high-quality products. The prices may vary depending on what type of diffusor you want but the important thing to remember is to always wipe out your diffusor after your water runs out. I made the mistake of never cleaning out my old diffusor and it affected how my oil and water mixture smelled. You can also find specific oils meant for body massages and just apply them directly to your skin. I have acne-prone skin and wouldn’t recommend anyone who breaks out easily doing this. However many massage therapists incorporate essential oils into their services, bumping the experience up to a whole new level. The last way you can incorporate essential oils into your life is by simply smelling your oils right from the bottle. If you are worried about putting them on your skin and/or don’t feel like spending the money on a diffuser you can carry your oil bottle around with you and smell it when you’re feeling stressed or upset.

Massage therapists are not the only profession that incorporates essential oils into their practice. Many mental hospitals and counselors have recommended essential oils to patients when having a panic attack. Oftentimes, when someone is experiencing a panic attack it can be hard to snap yourself out of that mental state. Essential oils are able to bring some patients back to reality depending on which scent they prefer. As mentioned above, there are different effects to every oil so finding the right one for you may be able to help your future mental state.

There are many positives to using essential oils. There are a wide variety of oils you can choose from along with ones specifically labeled to target happiness, productivity, concentration, etc. Finding the right oil for you may be a trial and error process, but once you find the right one, you can start mixing your favorite oils for different results.

Emily Squance is a sophomore at Ohio University studying communications in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She is an active member of Variant Magazine and Gamma Phi Beta along with her honors fraternity. She likes to spend her time outside hiking with friends and listening to a broad range of music. Her words to live by are "treat people with kindness and compassion." : )
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