For many of us, stress, anxiety, and discomfort are normal parts of our day. These feelings can surround us for a variety of reasons from school and work responsibilities to eating habits and physical health. And although stress and anxiety may seem “normal” it does not have to be! The key to overcoming negative feelings lies in how to cope with them.
One way to combat negative feelings is through aromatherapy. Aromatherapy (sometimes call Essential Oil therapy) is the “science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize, and promote the health of body, mind, and spirit” (NAHA). Essential oils are basically oils that have a very aromatic scent, matching that of its name. For example, you can find lavender oil that when you smell it will take you straight to the middle of a field of growing lavender.
You can find an essential oil in just about any scent that you could imagine and they each promote a different target benefit. Here are some of my favorite essential oils and some of the things that they are said to target:
- Lavender: anxiety, calming, stress
- Lemon: cleaning, sore throat, oily hair
- Ginger: motion sickness, nausea
Essential oils can be used in a variety of different ways, but recently at Rebecca Bitzer and Associates, we have been using essential oils for their calming affects. The essential oils can be used as a point of focus when practicing meditation. While meditating with essential oils as an aid, you begin to associate that smell with the calming feeling brought on by meditation. This method of relaxation can be particularly helpful for clients who find anxiety in eating meals and can be preformed before a meal to calm ones self. The practice of aromatherapy and meditation are exciting and interesting fields that can help to provide a method of relaxation from daily stress and anxiety. Talk to your dietitian today about meditation, essential oils, and how these can be a fundamental piece to your current treatment plan or personal goals.
Have you tried aromatherapy or meditation? Tell us about it! Visit our contact us page to set up an appointment with on of our dietitians.
Contributions by Sarah Frazier, Nutrition Intern
Blog updated December 2019.
Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients. Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.