What exactly is aromatherapy?
In short, aromatherapy is a simple, but effective way to help relieve stress by way of using scent. It’s grown more popular and more accessible within the past few years. That has made it an ideal solution to assist not only seniors, but everyone! It can be a more affordable way to help manage stress and anxiety.
Essentially, aromatherapy uses essential oils (like oils from lavender, lemon, peppermint, and others) mixed with some kind of base (like lotion, another oil, water in a mist, etc) to diffuse the scent into the air and soothe you. It may sound crazy, but it’s the truth!
Smells can instantly trigger memories as well as affect the body’s nervous system through the olfactory nerve. The olfactory nerve triggers the parts of the brain that control emotions, mood, and memory, and these parts control the part of your nervous system which is responsible for fight-or-flight and relaxation responses.
This is a big reason as to why scents can cause physical reactions – it’s literally wired into our DNA. Isn’t that awesome
If your senior is having trouble transitioning into our senior apartments in Madison Heights, MI, or adjusting to their time in any other facility, aromatherapy may be able to help. So how exactly can you get started using aromatherapy? Here are a few ways:
1.) Buy a diffuser.
The most common way to use aromatherapy is by using a bit of essential oil in a diffuser in your rooms. Diffusers are typically inexpensive and easy to find, which makes them a great starting point if you’re just beginning on your aromatherapy journey.
Diffusers can be found at most stores – like Walmart or Target – and come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. There is guaranteed to be a diffuser in your particular style with all of the varieties to choose from! Plus, many diffusers also contain other functions, like timers, lights, and other nifty features to make your usage just a little bit easier.
Plus, using a diffuser is easy! It makes for a great first introduction to using essential oils and aromatherapy, even for seniors. All you need to do is put a little water into the diffuser, add a couple of drops of the essential oil of your choice, and the senior apartments in Madison Heights, MI will be smelling like lavender in no time!
2.) Choose the right oils.
Choosing the right oils is also incredibly important for seniors. Different essential oils have different benefits! Because of that, you should make sure to choose the essential oil that you believe is right for you
Oils like lavender, rosemary, and peppermint are great for stress relief. So if your senior is needing a bit of an extra hand taking a break, then those might be the best choices! Lavender and rosemary are also great scents for trying to get to sleep. Brighter scents like peppermint, orange, and lemon are often used in aromatherapy to help wake you up.
It’s also important to choose oils from a good source. If you’re planning to just diffuse the oils, purchasing them from big box stores is just fine! However, if you’re planning to use them on your skin, you might want to consider looking for them in a health food store or another local market.
No matter what it is that you’re looking for in your essential oils and what you want out of your aromatherapy, there’s an oil for that. But make sure that you’re choosing exactly the one that you want!
3.) Make sure you’re aware of potential risks.
Just like anything else, trying something new like aromatherapy can come with potential risks. While the benefits by far outweigh the risks, it’s still important to go into trying any kind of new holistic method being completely informed.
Depending on how you want to practice your aromatherapy, it’s important that you do a “patch test” on your skin to see how you react. This is doubly important for seniors, who often have much more sensitive skin! Make sure that, once you mix the essential oil with some kind of carrier (lotion, balm, mist, etc.), you’re not allergic to the essential oil. That could produce some nasty side effects from something that’s designed to help you!
You should also be on the lookout for headaches caused by aromatherapy. It takes a little getting used to having so many different scents competing for your attention. But once you do get used to it, it will become part of your daily routine.
4.) Find the way that aromatherapy is right for you.
The best part about aromatherapy is that is can take so many forms. From diffusers, to oils, to body and pillow mists, to lotion, using aromatherapy in your day to day life is easier than ever.
If you aren’t a big diffuser person, then you can always try a lotion or an oil! Or, if you aren’t someone who enjoys trying out new products for your skin, maybe a nighttime pillow spray may be what works best for you. The possibilities really are endless! Plus, with the availability of affordable oils, carrier oils, lotions, and other vehicles, you have the freedom to really explore and see what it is that you most like.
Reserve at Redrun
Here at our senior apartments in Madison Heights, MI, we want to make sure that you are able to experience your wellness journey to the fullest, no matter what that looks like. Aromatherapy is an easy and inexpensive way to help boost your mood. However, that’s not the only easy way to do it!
At the Reserve at Redrun, we offer many different classes, like Mindfulness Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi, and other wellness classes to get you up and moving. If aromatherapy isn’t your cup of tea, then maybe one of these classes might be! With so many things to offer, we have plenty for you to try and find out what is most beneficial to you.
If you’re looking to join our community here at Reserve at Redrun, contact us today!