In an overworked, undernourished, stressed-out society, we are seeing more and more stress related diseases. So how does stress harm you? First, stress releases adrenaline, which is considered a Fight or Flight hormone response - a protective survival response. But what happens when we are stressed over time - without periods of serious stress - free rest like our ancestors enjoyed? In that case stress results in serious mental and physical disorders. As we stated, when the body is under stress it releases adrenaline, which increases the heart rate, increases blood pressure, and causes quicker breathing. Cortisol (an adrenal hormone) is also released. This suppresses your immune system. Other hormones influence your health by increasing your blood sugar to sustain energy. The long term release of these hormones are known to cause weight gain fatigue, irritability, high blood pressure, head aches, anxiety, depression, and ultimately result in a stage of physical and mental exhaustion.
There are many stress reducing tips on-line, so being an aromatherapist I am going to focus on essential oils. Essential oils can calm you down, strengthen your immune system, and balance your cortisol levels. They have the ability to penetrate cell membranes, travel throughout the body and enhance immunity. Lavender is a wonderful example of this as it works to support healthy adrenal function and reduce stressful responses by the body. It also helps the cells eliminate toxins.
Essential oils are also extremely effective because when inhaled they have an immediate effect on the Limbic System – which is related to the part of the brain that controls heart rate, breathing, stress levels and hormone balance. Examples include, Clary Sage, Sweet Orange, Ylang Ylang and Bergamot.
Finally, oils high in sesquiterpenes – like Frankincense - increase levels of oxygen in the brain and have a dramatic effect on emotions.
One of the best ways to use essential oils to relax is to diffuse them, or inhale them throughout the day right from the bottle. A diluted roll-on can be made into a therapeutic "perfume" you can apply when under stress as well.
To learn more about oils that will help you battle stress contact us at Josiah’s Oils. 717.824.3222; firstname.lastname@example.org. We customize blends to suit your unique issues.
Ninette Jackson, Certified Aromatherapist, Josiah's Oils
Sharon Cross, R.N., Consultant to Josiah's Oils
*May not be reproduced without credit and link