Aromatherapy is both a science and an art as it uses essential oils and natural herb extracts to balance your mind, body, and spirit. In aromatherapy, you may either add essential oils to the lotion or inhale them. When essential oils are mixed with lotion, your skin will absorb them, while through inhalation, your nasal passages and lungs will do the same thing. Whatever the case is, essential oils will surely enhance your mental and physical health.
When breathing in essential oils, their aroma will pass through the olfactory hairs of your nose going to your brain’s limbic system, which houses your emotions and memory. Likewise, your brain’s limbic system has a direct connection with your pituitary glands and your hypothalamus. These two are your brain’s master glands that regulate most functions of your body, including your hormones and your immune system.
Studies show that aromatherapy is ideal for a patient with depression and anxiety problems. Essential oils promote a better quality of life. Aromatherapy will be truly helpful if you have Alzheimer’s disease as it relieves agitation and enhances sleep. In one study, researchers used different essential oils in more than 20 patients with Alzheimer’s disease. They found a major improvement in the patients’ cognitive function and personal orientation after 30 days of using those essential oils.
Essential Oils to Support the Aging Mind
People have been using essential oils for more than 5,000 years. Ancient Egyptians used different essential oils as perfumes, and the Bible mentions their use in physical and mental healing. Essential oils are not a permanent cure for dementia, but they can make you feel better. You can use them for various problems such as:
- Behavioral issues
- Mood changes
- Colds and flu
- Weight management
Some essential oils are effective in relieving the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, like anxiety, depression, inability to concentrate, insomnia, and restlessness. You can also use them to get rid of other health problems that are complications of dementia. These oils are:
- Rosemary – It is a fresh, aromatic oil that can uplift your body and mind and improve your cognitive performance.
- Lavender – It helps one deal with anxiety, depression, and mood swings.
- Peppermint – This oil has energizing properties. Hence, it can calm your nerves and improve your brain function and your ability to concentrate.
- Lemon Balm – It is good for the restless mind. It can improve digestion and memory.
- Bergamot – It is a good choice for relieving nervousness, anxiety, mood swings, and depression.
- Ginger – Ginger oil can stimulate the mind and enhance mental clarity and the ability to focus.
- Ylang-Ylang – It calms your mind, and fights anxiety, stress, and insomnia. It will also improve your concentration.
How to Use Essential Oils Safely for the Aging Mind
Using these and other essential oils is a good way to improve your body and mind. However, there are some things you should keep in mind when using essential oils. For aging patients, it is safer to add a lower dilution percentage of essential oils in carrier oils. Extra care when using essential oils is necessary especially if you are sick and have been taking medicines.
As you age, you become more susceptible to different health problems. Therefore, you must check the essential oil before using to make sure that it is not harmful to a specific disease or medicine. A mild aromatherapy massage is beneficial if you have mobility issues. Here, a therapist will use several essential oils that can relieve pain and improve blood circulation.
Take note that aromatherapy is a type of complementary therapy. Therefore, it cannot replace any medical treatments. Also, essential oils must not be taken orally except when a registered medical practitioner has told you to do so.
Most essential oils suitable for the aging mind leave a sedating or relaxing effect on the body. They are best to use after waking up. That way, essential oils will stimulate appetite, enhance one’s mood, and make one more energetic throughout the day.