You’re already splurging for a massage, when the therapist asks if you’d like to throw aromatherapy into the mix. Should you spring for it?
Science says it’s worth it—aromatherapy isn’t just New Age hype. These potent oils derived from plants and herbs can move your mood, or even quell pain in a matter of minutes.
For example, lavender and orange oils contain linalool, a compound that may lower stress by altering gene expression and blood chemistry. If your priority is reducing pain, thyme oil’s been shown to hinder an inflammatory enzyme in the body by up to 65 percent.
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Why so powerful? Just a whiff of the oils can impact your limbic system, which connects to parts of your brain controlling breath, heart rate, blood pressure, hormone balance and yes, stress.
The limbic system is a brain structure deep-seated in emotion and memory. “Because of the proximity of the nose to the limbic system, you can immediately shift your mood,” says Adora Winquist, aromatherapist and Opus Gaia formulator.
And here’s the great news: you can summon aromatherapy at anytime, thanks to creative new products that suit your every need.