Aromatherapy – What are the benefits?

Aromatherapy – What does it mean to use aromatherapy as part of self-care? On a basic level there are smells that remind you of things. Your brain registers the memory with a scent. I have a distinct “home” smell. There is a specific smell when I have gone to a spa. When I smell it, I am reminded of relaxation and comfort. Our mind registers the smell information into our brain and helps connect it to certain sensations.
Research has shown that certain essential oils will help certain portions of our brain and body.

Dr Brent Bauer from the Mayo Clinc says,

Research on the effectiveness of aromatherapy — the therapeutic use of essential oils extracted from plants — is limited.

However, some studies have shown that aromatherapy might have health benefits, including:

  • Relief from anxiety and depression
  • Improved quality of life, particularly for people with chronic health conditions
  • Improved sleep

Smaller studies suggest that aromatherapy with lavender oil may help:

  • Reduce pain for people with osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Improve quality of life for people with dementia
  • Reduce pain for people with kidney stones

Essential oils used in aromatherapy are typically extracted from various parts of plants and then distilled.

The highly concentrated oils may be inhaled directly or indirectly or applied to the skin through massage, lotions or bath salts. Some essential oil manufacturers have oils that can be taken internally, but research on the safety and efficacy of this method is extremely limited.

Aromatherapy is thought to work by stimulating smell receptors in the nose, which then send messages through the nervous system to the limbic system — the part of the brain that controls emotions.

Many essential oils have been shown to be safe when used as directed. However, essential oils used in aromatherapy aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Risk of allergies – When oils are applied to the skin, side effects may include allergic reactions, skin irritation and sun sensitivity. In addition, further research is needed to determine how essential oils might affect children and how the oils might affect women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, as well as how the oils might interact with medications and other treatments.

What Exactly is Meditation

Meditate – What exactly does it mean to meditate?

First, let’s explore what it means to meditate. The basic definition – Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.

To meditate is to think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.

Let’s explore the benefits of meditation. A meditation study done by the National Institute of Health shows to improve the following conditions –
1. Stress
2. Anxiety
3. Cardiovascular Health
4. Depression
5. Insomnia
6. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
7. Addiction

American Psychological Association concluded that Transcendental Meditation had relatively strong effects in reducing anxiety, negative emotions, trait anxiety and neuroticism while aiding learning, memory and self-realization.

The bottom line is that exploring meditation has many well-being benefits. Where do you actually start? We have how-to meditate cards going around for self-care week 2. Here are the simple tips now.

One article reads, put simply, meditation is a tool for stress relief, Fletcher says, adding that by relieving stress, you’re setting yourself up to be able to perform at the top of your game. “I believe we meditate to get good at life, not to get good at meditation,” she says. Many people have the misconception that meditation is about focusing on the present, but Fletcher actually considers that to be mindfulness (which we’ll get into later). Meditation, on the other hand, is about getting rid of all of the stress the body has stored from the past.

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8-Weeks of Self-Care

Commit to self-care and find your own inner awesome. Self-care is one of the best ways to prevent compassion fatigue. However, most people do not even truly understand what self-care really is. We know when we are tired, worn out or simply done but do we know when we are sustained? Let’s explore self-care together. What is the first 6 tips to review.

  1. Listen to yourself – We instinctively know what is best
    for us, but often do not listen. We will even ignore our
    body telling us. Feeling tired, having pain, having a
    nagging feeling in your gut. That is your body trying to
    tell you something. Honor your intuition.
  2. Prioritize – No one can do it all and trying is just going
    to land you in a world of distress and disappointment.
    Take time to prioritize your day and be ready to let
    go to as much of your list as possible. Focus on what
    is important to you and accept that you can not do
  3. Ask for Help – If you are feeling dissatisfied with the amount
    you are able to do on your own then use your resources. Do not
    be afraid to ask others for help. Allowing another to help you
    not only takes off some of the burden off of you, it can also give
    them an opportunity to express their goodwill towards you and
    allow them to feel valued in the process.
  4. Take Care of Your Body – You only get one. Exercising,
    eating well and sleep are essential for self-care. In addition to
    the basics, go the extra mile and create pleasant experiences for
    your body that you will enjoy – a relaxing bath, a leisurely walk
    through nature breathing fresh, clean air, a comfortable nap in a
    sunny spot, a nourishing meal, a massage, whatever strikes your
    fancy. treat yourself.
  5. Be with those you love – Surround yourself with the ones
    who make you smile. Smiling is good for you, so is laughing – so
    keep those loved ones close! Whether it’s your family, lover, pet
    or favorite movie star on your TV, keeping company that makes
    you happy and supports & loves you (the real you) is a wonderful
    form of self care.
  6. Speak Up – Would you want someone to squash their true feelings,
    dreams and desires because they were afraid to express themselves,
    even though it is hurting them to do so? Don’t do this to yourself either. Be honest with yourself and others. Don’t say “yes” to someone even if it means saying “no” to yourself. Take care of your needs and don’t be afraid to say them out loud. When you share your needs to others, it often allows them to feel comfortable enough to allow them to share theirs.

Do the Self-Care Dance!

Let’s face it. Dancing is something we talk about doing, but leave for others. Did you know that little release isn’t just good to help you relax but it is good for your muscles after having sat a while? In fact, we would even suggest it is good for a little giggle that will occur from a short jig.

It doesn’t have to be ballroom level. We are talking a quick move to a song in your head or actually coming from the radio. The benefit if you share your jig with others can be contagious. *But that is entirely up to you.

Some songs that may help your jig come out more effectively can include (but trust me any old tune will do)

  • @dance.tut on Instagram has some fun tutorials for all ages.
  • Macarena
  • KyleYouMadeThat (Yung Baby Tate) (This content may have profanities)
  • Beggin’
  • Bring Me to Life (by Evanescence)
  • Dance Monkey (Tones and I)
  • Hot N Cold (Katy Perry)
  • Immortals (Fall Out Boy)
  • Just Like Heaven (The Cure)

Let’s see those dance moves. Post your short videos on our Facebook and/or Instagram. We want to see you movin’. All ages welcome!