How to Use Aromatherapy for Stress Relief

Aromatherapy is widely practiced all over the world. Aromatherapy products, such as candles, bath products, essential oils are now widely available and have been touted as effective in soothing the body, relieving stress and promoting healthy living.

While aromatherapy isn’t the magic ‘cure-all’ that it’s sometimes made out to be, it does have proven effects as a stress reliever. We put together this article to provide an overview on aromatherapy's healing power in reducing stress and increasing wellness.

What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a practice in which the use of natural plant extracts is made in order to improve the well-being and the health of an individual. All in all, it is a holistic treatment. Aromatherapy may also be referred to as essential oil therapy.

The premise of Aromatherapy is that essential oils carry medicinal properties that can cleanse the spirit, mind, and the body of a person hence improving both emotional and physical health.

How Aromatherapy Might Work

When an essential oil is inhaled, the scent molecules enter the nasal cavity and stimulate the limbic system, a region in the brain that plays a role in emotion and behavior. The molecules also stimulate the nervous system, which helps to regulate heart rate, blood pressure, stress, and breathing.

When used topically, the scent molecules are absorbed through the skin and inhaled.

The key benefits of aromatherapy

While the research on aromatherapy is fairly limited, studies have explored the benefits of essential oils for certain conditions. Here's a look at some findings from the available evidence.

Reduction in menstrual pain

A message on the abdomen using essential oil therapy is known to reduce the menstrual pain. This finding has been published in the Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice journal.

Reduction in anxiety

An aromatherapy massage is relaxing enough to ward off the effects of anxiety, especially in women who are or have undergone a breast biopsy. This is based on a study in the Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing journal.

Reduction in nausea

A lot of medicinal patients suffer from nausea after an operation. This includes vomiting and an upset stomach. Referred to as postoperative nausea, this condition can be fairly annoying for many people. Quite surprisingly, aromatherapy massages are known to provide relaxation and significantly reduce nausea.

Aromatherapy as a stress relief tool

One of the biggest uses of aromatherapy is to provide relief from stress. Aromatherapy is quite a convenient tool in this regard, as it can be as simple as filling the room with a particular scent. This will allow an individual to proceed to daily household chores while reducing the stress in the meantime.

Hence, it can be used passively. Its effectiveness can also be increased by using it in conjunction with meditation or a relaxing massage.

How to use aromatherapy for stress relief

Scented candles

Scented candles are a great way to create a warm cozy environment, with the great aroma in the air. Moreover, these candles do not give off a lot of smoke. So simply light one and let the aroma fill the room in order to relieve stress.


Diffusers are primarily used for evaporating essential aromatherapy oils into the air. This can be with the help of a candle or with batteries if you want to avoid the fire. Diffusers are great because they spread the scent quite effectively. 
A good quality diffuser will spread the scent out very evenly resulting in a very comfortable and cozy atmosphere.

Body care products

The body care products for aromatherapy carry one big advantage that others around you cannot necessarily smell the aroma unless they are very close to you. These products come in the form of body lotions that can easily be rubbed off and washed away if needed.


A message is one of the most efficient methods to reduce stress. Getting a massage with an aromatherapy essential oil could increase relieve 2x more stress.


Aromatherapy can enhance the relaxation benefits of meditation, providing a focal point (as with incense meditation), and offering the passive stress relief benefits of aromatherapy. Try the aromatherapy incense mediation or the aromatherapy bath mediation.

The Takeaway

From lavender to lemongrass, there is a wide range of scents that are used in aromatherapy. Some scents are considered relaxing and calming, while others invigorate and refresh.

Whether you're interested in using essential oils at home or getting an aromatherapy massage, doing some research online or consulting the salesperson can help match you with the appropriate oils and blends.