Amanda Lattin, BA, MAT, DIP. AROMA., MH, RA, department chair of Aromatherapy and Professor at the American College of Healthcare Sciences, was recently quoted in Health.com https://www.health.com/anxiety/essential-oils-for-anxiety interview. Lattin’s experience as a registered aromatherapist suggests that most people seek out aromatherapy because they want to reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia and pain. She recommends working with a registered aromatherapist to better understand how certain scents affect you personally, and how to use them.
The simplest way to incorporate essential oils into one’s daily life is by inhaling them, she says—either via a diffuser that disperses fragrance into the air, or by sprinkling a few drops on objects like your pillow at night. (Essential oils can also be applied to the skin, used in bathing, or mixed into creams and lotions. But some people may find them irritating when applied topically, especially if they’re not diluted.)
While lavender is probably the scent with the most research behind it, it’s not the only essential oil aromatherapists recommend for anxiety. Lattin says her clients have had good luck with bergamot, sandalwood, and sweet orange oils, as well.
Ultimately, she says, how a person reacts to aromatherapy is very individualized. “Part of what makes aromatherapy effective is how our brains and our central nervous systems respond to this olfaction stimulus,” she says. “It’s absolutely true that what works for one person may not work for another, or could even have the opposite effect.”
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