Research suggests specific essential oils can play a role in lessening stress and health indicators of stress. According to American College of Healthcare Sciences Stress Management module for Aromatherapy 502 lecture (2015), stress has a pronounced impact on the body and its function. The body’s natural reaction to stress results in forced contraction of the heart, an increased rate of breathing, an increase in sweat production, lessened digestive secretions and a host of other alterations in the system. These alterations help the body function with greater efficiency thus better enabling it to counteract the attack of a stressor. The implementation of treatment with volatile essential oils is associated with equalizing or balancing some of these stress indicators so that less energy is lost and damage to the body is lowered.
A stress reduction blend is an important one for any aspiring aromatherapist to always have on hand. The stress reduction blend I created began with the base or mid note ylang ylang, a favorite oil of mine. I used 5 drops of ylang ylang, or Cananga odorata, 10 drops of citrusy bergamot oil, 5 drops of lavender (Lavandula augustafolia) and 5 drops of lemon, which helps smooth out the blend. Ylang ylang, according to researchers lowers BP, alleviates palpitations and nervous system excitation, and promotes emotional relaxation (Kim et al.) Bergamot essential oil is associated with assisting people in letting go and relaxing to an experience without a need to control it. According to one study, bergamot significantly reduces anxiety in patients pre-operation. This was accessed in a random controlled study setting and gave credence to the efficacy of bergamot in stress reduction. Lavender essential oil is known for alleviating cardiac excitation, lowering blood pressure, and is considered effective in treating hypertension and palpitations. Finally, lemon was utilized because of its anxiolytic properties and its capacity as a smoothing and harmonizing. Lemon is a lighter oil known for dissipating in time but it provided this stress reduction blend with a well rounded and smooth, citrusy essence. Blending was done with the consideration of the strength of oils. Upon inhalation of this blend there was a palpable sense of release and relaxation that came over me. Everyone in my house was drawn to and enticed by this aroma. This blend seems to help lessen mental anxiety and contributes to more serenity in the psyche, an important aspect of stress reduction.