Aromatherapy Stress Relief
Aromatherapy stress relief can help both people in need of care and their caregivers
Providing care to a loved one can be so rewarding, however it is also a tough job that can come with a lot of stress. It can be equally stressful to be the person receiving care.
This stress doesn’t only reduce the quality of life for both the caregiver and person receiving care, it also increases the chances of developing serious physical and mental health issues.
Aromatherapy is a simple, drug-free stress management technique that uses the power of scent. It can reduce stress and improve the health and wellbeing of people giving and receiving care.
How scents relieve stress
Scents are powerful. A certain smell can trigger a significant memory, or affect the body’s nervous system.
When you smell something, your olfactory nerve is triggered. It signals the parts of the brain that control emotions, mood, and memory. These parts of the brain also control the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for your fight-or-flight and relaxation responses.
This explains why scents can cause physical reactions. A research study even showed that lavender essential oil can have a calming effect similar to that of anti-anxiety medications.
Benefits of aromatherapy for people needing care and their caregivers
People needing care and their caregivers can benefit from aromatherapy in many ways, including:
- Reduced stress
- Improved sleep
- Improved digestion
- Reduced pain levels
- Reduced anxiety and depression
For people living with dementia, aromatherapy can help reduce challenging behaviours that are caused by anxiety or mild discomfort.
How to use aromatherapy stress relief at home
Aromatherapy is easy to put into practice. Everyone likes different smells, so start by finding some scents that you enjoy. Then, experiment with different ways of scenting the environment until you find what works best.
Popular scents to relieve stress include:
Aromatherapy with EveryDay Care & Support
Wendy at our Rowan Croft Wellbeing Centre has been using aromatherapy with our customers to great success. Wendy said,
“Our customers at Rowan Croft Wellbeing Centre benefit greatly from our aromatherapy sessions. We have found it is a great sensory tool for reminiscent chats and engaging conversations with our customers. For example, smelling ‘Blackpool rock’ takes them back to their childhood memories of seaside holidays in the UK. Oils such as ‘grass cuttings’ reminds them of Spring approaching and engages them in conversations about Springtime such as spring flowers and seedlings and we can use this topic of conversation to introduce new activities, like our sunflower growing competition and planting our fruit and veg seeds at the beginning of Spring to care for throughout Summer. Some customers can familiarise themselves with a particular smell but may not be able to remember what it is and other customers assist with this which starts a great conversation.
“We have found aroma-therapy oils are inclusive of all our customers and especially those with progressed cognitive impairments such as dementia and those whose conditions are progressing quite quickly. Snuffed tobacco smells can take them back to their childhoods where their fathers or grandfathers may have used this. It can be a sentimental activity and bring out emotion in our customers. Oils that represent ‘Germolene’ we have been told take them back to their childhoods where their mother would apply Germolene to their cuts and bruises after playing out with their friends. Should our customers become anxious or agitated we have found it to be a great calming tool.”
To find out more about our Wellbeing Centres, call us on 0191 287 7028 or click here.