Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Aromatherapy to Help your Studies

Aromatherapy to help your studies
Photo by davidhc.
It’s that time of year again when students are revising hard and preparing for their exams this summer. Whether it is a GCSE, AS/A2 level, or university exam, many students find it difficult maintaining concentration when studying for long periods of time, and often find it hard to recall facts and figures. Most students would also admit to feeling anxious or nervous before and during an exam.

Research has shown that aromatherapy positively affects the mood reducing stress and anxiety which are often felt at exam time; increases alertness giving you that much needed focus to revise with; and improves memory recall. In one study, 40 participants were given three minutes of aromatherapy using two different essential oils – lavender (a relaxing oil) and rosemary (a stimulating oil). They were given simple maths computations to perform prior to and after using the essential oils. Although the participants who used the lavender oil reported that they felt drowsier, they felt more relaxed, felt less depressed, and most importantly, they performed the math computations faster and more accurately following aromatherapy compared to without the use of essential oils. Those who used the rosemary oil benefitted from increased alertness, reduced anxiety, and felt more relaxed. It was also found that they performed the math computations faster but the accuracy was no different compared with not using essential oils.

Rosemary is believed to have been woven into a garland and worn by students in ancient Greece as it was believed even then to strengthen the memory.

A couple of drops of the oils listed above can be burned in an oil burner when studying at home. You can also use them in the exam hall, simply add a couple drops of lavender or rosemary (or both) essential oils on to a tissue to take in with you.

Other oils which can help improve your brain power include lemon, sage, basil, eucalyptus, thyme, cypress, marjoram, and peppermint.

Those of you who aren’t students could benefit from using these essential oils in the workplace too.

If you are feeling really stressed and you don’t think the aroma of the essential oils is enough to help you relax, why not try an Indian head massage or an aromatherapy back massage. Balance Holistics offers a 10% student discount on all holistic treatments offered. Please mention you are a student when booking an appointment.

Good luck to everyone taking exams this summer.

Diego MA, Jones NA, Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Schanberg S, Kuhn C, McAdam V, Galamaga R, Galamaga M. Aromatherapy positively affects mood, EEG patterns of alertness and maths computations. Int J Neurosci. 1998 Dec; 96(3-4):217-24

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