The topic of aromatherapy usually spurs debate between those who swear by it and those who think it's "hocus pocus." If it's not for you, you know who you are. Still, there are plenty of people who make essential oils a part of their daily lives and regularly see the benefits of aromatherapy, even in children.
Sure, many essential oils smell good, but aromatherapy goes beyond the heavy scent of candles or room fragrance. Roz Zollinger is a certified Aromatherapist and owner of the Heal Center in Atlanta, Georgia. According to Zollinger, "Essential oils affect both the physical and psychological functions in the body, because when the aroma of the essential oil is introduced into nasal passages, it travels to the brain's limbic center to affect neurological and physiological functions." Essential oils are used to address a myriad of issues including fussiness, lack of focus, digestive issues, skin ailments and muscle pain.
People of all ages can benefit from using essential oils, but aromatherapy is often ideal for children because they usually enjoy the experience and connect certain scents with positive feelings.
Aromatherapy can help kids relax, support their digestive health and the immune system and generally promote a sense of balance. "These essential oils are certainly not medicines, nor do they take the place of any medication, they simply help the body and mind to find homeostasis and balance," says Zollinger.
The ability of essential oils to trigger the senses often makes them ideal for kids with autism. Margaret Hyde is an aromatherapy expert and author of the Mo's Nose book series for children. "In the case of autistic children, aromatherapy enables them to remain calm and keep their body coordinated when feelings of anxiety begin to win them over," she says. "Making essential oils a part of the daily routine help keep everything balanced, calm and happy."
There are a wide range of essential oils and many uses for each. Zollinger suggests the following practical uses, but suggests that parents seek out a certified Aromatherapist for advice specific to their circumstances:
FYI: Don't use essential oils on children younger than six months old. Aromatherapy is not meant to be substitute medical treatment. For best results, check with the manufacturer regarding to be sure that the oils you chose are of the best quality.
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