Aromatherapy for Drug Addiction Treatment
Aromatherapy is the practice of using volatile plant oils, known as essential oils, to improve physical and psychological well-being. With roots in traditional Chinese medicine, aromatherapy has been extensively used in Europe, most recently as an adjunct to medical care to treat symptoms associated with disease. More studies are needed, however, to prove that aromatherapy has therapeutic potential, but many practitioners of holistic medicine swear by its value.
In aromatherapy, the practitioner usually applies the essential oils to the skin or on cloth, cotton balls or warming devices for direct inhalation. Aromatherapy essential oils evaporate quickly, and the molecules are easily inhaled. The inhaled aroma from these essential oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing. A form of alternative medicine, aromatherapy is gaining momentum.
Holistic medicine, such as aromatherapy, for drug addiction treatment has become an increasingly popular tool in the treatment of withdrawal side effects. There have been several recent studies that have shown aromatherapy to be effective in the treatment of the symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the drug of addiction, and may include anxiety, sleep disturbances, irritability and restlessness. Aromatherapy for drug addiction treatment has been shown to reduce these symptoms. Aromatherapy oils can also help support emotional balance, promote a sense of calm, contribute to stress relief, and increase feelings of well-being.
Aromatherapy for drug addiction treatment is often used as an adjunct to other holistic treatments and traditional addiction treatment. Often, aromatherapy is used together with massage therapy. It has been shown to increase the therapeutic value of massage therapy. Many report having a greater sense of relaxation and pain relief when massage therapy is combined with aromatherapy.
Some aromatherapy essential oils that are traditionally used in addiction include:
- Anise Aromatherapy: Anise improves relaxation and sleep and helps relieve stress caused by overwork. It is also used to curb sugar and chocolate cravings that are often experienced by alcoholics.
- Bergamot Aromatherapy: Bergamot helps relieve anxiety, depression, and compulsive behavior. It’s effective for treating sugar, food, alcohol, stimulant, and sedative addictions and withdrawal.
- Chamomile Aromatherapy: Chamomile is a traditional antidepressant. It calms anxiety and hysteria, helps relieve suppressed anger, and aids sleep. It also helps decrease addictive cravings.
- Eucalyptus Aromatherapy: Eucalyptus is relaxing. It is used to decrease alcohol cravings.
- Fennel Aromatherapy: Fennel is stimulating. It helps dispel cravings for alcohol, sugar, and chocolate.
- Frankincense Aromatherapy: Frankincense enhances spirituality, perception, and states of higher consciousness. It encourages release from the past. It is used to reduce sugar, sedative and other addictive cravings.
- Geranium Aromatherapy: Geranium is a balancing remedy that relieves anxiety, depression, and stress. It is used for sedative and stimulant addictions. It can be helpful during withdrawal.
- Lavender Aromatherapy: Lavender calms nervousness and relieves exhaustion and depression. It can help dispel alcohol cravings. It can also be helpful during withdrawal.
Caution must be exercised when storing and using aromatherapy essential oils. Some of these oils are poisonous if ingested. Other aromatherapy essential oils can irritate skin or interfere with medications. Aromatherapy for drug addiction treatment should always be practiced under the supervision of a licensed professional.