Aromatherapy is the essential oil portion of the plant that is separated and may be used to stimulate healing in a variety of ways, including stress relief and stress management, anxiety, depression, insomnia, pregnancy, child birth, migraine headaches, muscle soreness, nausea and a number of other health issues. It is best to use Aromatherapy sparingly with a vegetable oil such as olive oil, or sweet almond oil (my favorite). Try to avoid using the essential oil directly on the skin.
Aromatherapy can get pretty involved, and you can get quite bogged down with learning a variety of essential oils, so we are going to keep this simple and to the point by focusing on one of the best and safest essential oil - lavender and how you can use it to manage stress.
Why lavender? Women love the smell of lavender! It's perhaps the most popular essential plant oil that is a big favorite of many women for stress management, balance and healing. Its properties are safe, calming and very pleasant. Just what you need to de-stress so you feel serene and think clearly.
The purer the quality of lavender you use the better results you will get. You can mix it with lotions, vegetable oils or water. Lavender is great for a number of health benefits, especially, insomnia, depression, stress and anxiety.
Here are seven little known ways to use lavender for stress relief
Tip one – lavender with your bath.
Use three to five drops of lavender in your bath when you have a few minutes to take a bath. The essential oil actually seeps into your body and stimulate a feeling of calm and relaxation. If you don’t have time for a bath, just mix a few drops of the lavender in your favorite lotions, creams or carrier oil and use it as a moisturizer. Be mindful of what you have to get done after use because it can make you feel sleepy. You can actually make your own lavender moisturizer so you can have it on tap and ready to use whenever you want. Simply buy the lavender plant at your local health food store, blend it with your favorite carrier oil and keep it in a cute little bottle in your bathroom or bedroom.
Tip two – ‘take five’ with your lavender eye pillow.
Get a basic eye pillow that comes ready made with the lavender scent in the pillow. When you have a few spare minutes, just sit back on the couch and put the pillow over your eyes as you inhale the scent of the lavender and ‘take five.’ When you are relaxing, remember to take some nice deep breaths and think of five things you are absolutely grateful for in your life. This is a great time to meditate; you will feel calm and re-energized. Think of adding some music therapy as you enjoy your lavender scented eye pillow and enjoying your deep breathing. Get music that will actually slow down your heart rate, classical music is great for this.
Tip three – lavender at bedtime.
Put a few drops of pure lavender oil with distilled water in a spray bottle and shake well. Simply spray the mist on your pillow before you go to sleep. You will be in dreamland very quickly. You can sip a cup of lavender herbal tea prior to going to bed. This will also help you sleep peacefully and get you ready for the day ahead.
Tip four- lavender for healing and pain relief.
Lavender's anti- inflammatory properties has great healing power and may quickly assist in the healing process for minor scratches and bruises such as insect bites. I use lavender to wipe my hands during the flu season. Lavender in any form can be great during childbirth to ease the mother’s tension, or during pregnancy to alleviate some of the mother's discomfort.
Tip five – lavender with your favorite massage.
When you have about ten minutes to give yourself self-massage, use lavender in your massage oil and simply work you way from head to toe. This is a great way to say I love you….to you! Of course the other option is to have a willing partner who is kind enough to give you a full head and body massage. Then there is the professional option, where you can either have a massage therapist come to your home or you go to a day spa, or even a stay spa. You can either request the use of lavender with the massage oil or you can bring your own.
Tip six – lavender neck and shoulder pillow.
There are some great aromatherapy neck and shoulder pillow that come with the lavender scent mixed into the ingredients inside the pillow. For tight shoulders and a stiff neck, simply put the pillow in the microwave for two minutes or LESS, please watch this so the pillow does not burn, and make sure it is NOT too warm for you, then simply wrap it around your should and let the heat relax the muscles as the lavender stimulates your nervous system. I do this while I am on the computer or watching TV. Heck, if I get the opportunity I use this around my shoulders while I'm in traffic! It sure stops me from swearing when someone cuts me off.
Tip seven - lavender scented candles/diffuser.
If you don’t have the time to do much of anything to get some lavender into your life, then you can simply get a lavender scented candle and just burn it. My personal favorite is soy candles. Soy is awesome because it burns clean; there is no flakey wax to deal with. It is a lot safer around pets and children because it is plant-based and non-toxic. You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a diffuser and enjoy the calming effects as you inhale. Think of it as mental yoga.
Monique is a speaker, author, lifestyle expert, nationally certified massage therapist & reiki practitioner. She has worked with hundreds of busy women using an eclectic blend of techniques to help her clients achieve relaxation and the energy required to be successful in ALL areas of life. Monique's passion is helping busy women to have success without the stress. Monique is the publisher of the 'Home Spa Tips ezine. Check her out at http://www.homespatips.com
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