aromatherapy essential oils
Essential Oils Are a Resource for Easing Work Related Stress

(Aromatherapy and Essential Oil articles are listed at the bottom of this page,
and on the Essential Oil Index)

Stress Created on the Job

It was not too long ago in American history that a majority of citizens made their living as farmers. All that has changed now. For most Americans, including much of the world, jobs require long hours in front of a computer and far removed from soil. Our workplace environment can be a source of continual and often intense times of stress, especially when deadlines mount or coworker relations become strained.

The Body's Reaction to Stress

Stress is a beneficial. Well, sometimes. When stress due to injury or short-term illness is perceived by the nervous system, a cascade of events occurs, namely the production of hormones that in turn trigger the production of immune fighting agents. These stress-triggered hormones alert the immune system to quickly respond.

It is now understood that body functions are largely controlled by two components of the autonomic nervous system- the parasympathetic and the sympathetic. Side-stepping complex details, the parasympathetic system slows the heart rate and increases intestinal activity, while the sympathetic accelerates the heart rate and raises blood pressure - each serve to help us adapt to changes in our environment.

Chronic (continual) stress can lead to high blood pressure, muscle tension (including migraines), digestive disorders, higher susceptibility to colds and flu and just a general feeling of yuckiness. Makes you just want to snap your fingers and be in Tahiti. Such may be true for Samatha (Bewitched), but we mere mortals have to figure out a means to reduce our stress levels.

Reducing Stress with Essential Oils

It might not be possible to escape an often overstimulating work environment, but it is possible to use essential oils as a mean to reduce your stress level. In 2009 the University of Tokyo found that linalool, a primary component in many plants and essential oils, was able to return the stress-elevated immune systems of rats to almost normal levels. The researchers suggest that their findings may initiate a new blood test for identifying stress reducing essential oils used in aromatherapy practices.

An increasing amount of science literature is dedicated to finding sources to relieve levels of stress. Recent studies indicate that essential oils, such as cedarwood, grapefruit, lemon and of course lavender are a safe and effective means to relieve work-related stress. Below is a review of research focused on lemon and cedarwood essential oils.

Finding Relief with Specific Essential Oils

In the work place stress can create feelings of frustration, nervousness, anxiousness, as well as a depressed spirit. A 2008 clinical study from Ohio University found that inhalation of lemon essential oil by both men and women significantly affected their mood in a positive fashion despite a stressor being applied. Thus, lemon essential oil can be seen as uplifting to the spirit and assist with those times when feelings of discouragement could easily ruin your day.

Stress can also exhaust the adrenals and overstimulate the sympathetic nervous system. A 2003 clinical study looked at the effects of cedrol – an active compound of cedarwood essential oil- on the autonomic nervous system. Researcher found that inhalation of cedrol increased parasympathetic activity and reduced sympathetic activity and thus acted as a relaxant.

Wrapping it All Up

Work related stress is gaining much attention these days in medical circles. Modern culture no longer spends long hours outside as farmers but inside as office professionals. Sunshine is one of the best sources of stress-relieving medicine, yet essential oils are a safe and viable source as well. Science literature clearly points to the stress reducing benefits of using essential oils, whether to uplift or to calm.

Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Articles:

*The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of this oil. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

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