Using Aromatherapy in Addiction Recovery

aromatherapyEssential oils are certainly not a cure-all elixir for people in recovery from a substance use disorder, but it might not hurt to add them to your daily routine along with a reputable addiction treatment program.

Holistic therapy has become an important part of many rehabs and helps heal the mind, body and spirit from the tolls of addiction. Aromatherapy is a type of holistic therapy that more and more people are exploring. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy defines it as “the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.” Aromatherapy is also called Essential Oil therapy.

Before you stock up on oils, consult with your addiction counselor to make sure these oils don’t interfere with any health conditions or medications. It’s also important to seek out therapeutic grade oils that don’t include harmful fillers.

Recovery Benefits of Aromatherapy
Here are a few ways essential oils can play a role in addiction recovery:

Relaxation: If you’re in rehab, we don’t have to tell you that recovery is often an emotional rollercoaster. Aromatherapy is often touted for its soothing and relaxing effects, especially when using the following oils:

  • Citrus oils (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit)
  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus
  • Ylang ylang
  • Chamomile

Mental clarity: A few essential oils have been study-proven to reduce brain fog, which is a common symptom of Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS). During PAWS, people in early recovery may experience mental confusion and have difficulty concentrating and/or making decisions. Oils linked to better mental clarity include:

  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Ginger

Aches and pains: Physical symptoms like headaches, muscle tension and nausea are also common during early recovery. Some oils that may help alleviate physical discomfort as your body continues to heal:

  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Clove

Mindfulness: Learning to stay in the present moment, or practicing mindfulness, is a skill that will help you throughout various stages of your recovery. Mindfulness helps restore emotional balance and gives you greater mental clarity to make sound, sober choices throughout recovery. Experts suggest adding these oils to your mindfulness or meditation routine:

  • Sandalwood
  • Cedarwood
  • Eucalyptus

Total Healing at BRC
Permanent recovery is possible. If you or someone you care about is ready to heal physically, mentally and spiritually, BRC Recovery can help. Our holistic recovery programs work, and we have the alumni network to prove it. For more information, contact a BRC Recovery Specialist today: 866-905-4550.