Do Aromatherapy Diffusers Work?
Have you ever had a professional massage? If so, do you remember walking into the massage room and being greeted by an incredible scent that immediately made you feel relaxed?
These amazingly relaxing scents were most likely essential oils!
Although essential oils are commonly used during professional massages to enhance the client experience, they aren’t just used in massage. They have several different uses and applications, all of which have been shown to boost physical, mental, and emotional health.
Let’s dive into what exactly aromatherapy is, how it works, and which essential oils are commonly used during aromatherapy treatment first.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy forms part of holistic medical treatment. It has been used for thousands of years in Chinese, Indian, and Egyptian medicine to treat various illnesses, and it is still used in the present day alongside modern-day treatments and therapies.
It was first noted back in 1937 by Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who was a French chemist and perfumist. He noted that lavender essential oil could be used to treat burns. Since then, the use of essential oils have expanded more and more. There are now hundreds of different plant extracts being used in a variety of methods, from massage to diffusers to essential oil pens.
How Does Aromatherapy Work?
Aromatherapy uses essential oils that provide several incredible health benefits. These oils can either be inhaled through the nose to stimulate the olfactory nerves, or applied directly to the skin, through which they get absorbed.
Once in the body, they influence the limbic system, in particular the amygdala, which is the area of the brain that is responsible for your emotions and stress levels. They can also help to balance the levels of various hormones in the body, improve memory, and regulate breathing. When inhaled, they can soothe the nasal passages and help with decongestion if you’re all blocked up!
This is how essential oils can affect the whole body to boost your overall health and wellbeing. It has the potential to affect multiple areas of your body at once, giving you full-body relief.
What Are the Main Essential Oils Used in Aromatherapy?
As mentioned in our blog, the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy states that the most popular essential oils used in aromatherapy are the following. Most of the time, these essential oils will be used in combination to enhance their effects.
- Tea tree
Often, these essential oils are used in combination with each other to maximize the incredible benefits that they offer. To name just a few of these benefits
- Reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Reduced nausea
- Enhanced sleep quality and decreased insomnia
- Enhanced mood and energy levels
- Decreased dry mouth
- Better digestive health
- Reduced incidence and severity of headaches and migraines
- Alleviation of pain during labor
- Enhanced immune function
- Reduced side effects of chemotherapy treatment
How Do Essential Oil Diffusers Work?
Aromatherapy diffusers are one of the most popular ways that people obtain the benefits of essential oils in the modern day. It’s likely that you use them yourself or you know somebody who swears by them.
Essential oil diffusers may look simple, but they are very smart devices. They enable you to experience the benefits of essential oils while you work or relax in the comfort of your own home.
There are two main types of diffusers, the ultrasonic and the nebulizing diffusers. The former tends to be cheaper but they are usually not as effective as the latter.
Ultrasonic diffusers work by heating up water until it vaporizes using ultrasonic waves that are produced by a vibrating disc. The essential oil particles get entrapped within the vapor droplets and are dispersed into the air. Eventually, they reach your nose where they can enter your body and enhance your health!
Nebulizing diffusers usually have enhanced therapeutic effects because the essential oils are not diluted through water vapor like they are with ultrasonic options. Instead, the essential oils are diffused according the Bernoulli’s Principle.
The nebulizing diffuser has a tiny tube at its center, through which air is pumped at a high speed. This creates a pressure gradient that produces a suction-like effect. The essential oils are sucked up through the tube, causing them to vaporize under high pressure. They are then dispersed into the air in a similar fashion to ultrasonic diffusers.
There are also heat and evaporative diffusers. Heat diffusers can be effective, but they aren’t commonly found in homes due to the safety hazard of using an open flame. Evaporative diffusers use a fan-like mechanism to disperse the essential oil droplets, but they are much less effective than ultrasonic or nebulizing diffusers.
How to Find the Best Essential Oils
When looking for essential oils to use in your diffuser, it’s important to ensure that they are high-quality and free of potentially harmful chemicals. Unfortunately, there are many oils on the market that aren’t properly labeled. To help you find the perfect essential oils for your diffusers or vape pens, here’s what to look out for.
- Check the label to ensure there are no harmful chemicals. Avoid any formulations that contain propylene glycol, methyl cyclopentanone, diacetyl, acetyl pyrazine, ethyl vanillin, as these are all known to cause negative side effects or cause respiratory irritation.
- Check the company you’re buying from. Most legitimate companies will have the necessary credentials to back them up! Do some prior research on the company and check their reviews and ratings online. Find a credible brand that has a great reputation.
- Choose those with dark-colored containers. This is important as pure essential oils can dissolve in lighter plastic bottles and this reduces the purity. Reputable companies will package their oils in dark brown or blue glass bottles to maintain the essential oils.
It’s clear that aromatherapy and the use of essential oils have many beneficial effects on physical, mental, and spiritual health. Aromatherapy and essential oils have been used for thousands of years, and they continue to be popular components of the holistic treatment of countless health conditions and illnesses.