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Aromatherapy

image of essential oils.

Scents play an important role in our lives. The pungent smell of certain spices can bring on hunger cravings. The aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies may trigger long-forgotten childhood memories.

However, certain smells may also have health benefits, from relieving pain to reducing depression. The use of scents — most often essential oils extracted from plants — to heal is called aromatherapy.

What Is Aromatherapy?

Although we are all affected by many different scents, aromatherapists use ones specifically designed to promote health and wellbeing. These highly concentrated essential oils are extracted from various parts of plants.

The oils can be used directly or indirectly. Often the scent is spread through the air with an essential oil diffuser or by putting a few drops of oil in hot water. The oils can also be added to massage lotions, bath salts or even directly into bath water.

Essential oils work by triggering the smell receptors in the nose. The nervous system picks up that signal and carries it to the brain, where it activates the part of the brain involved in emotions.

The health benefits of aromatherapy are thought to come from the effects that the oils have on our emotions. In a way, this allows the smell of the essential oils to bypass the thinking parts of our brain and directly change how we feel.

Types of Essential Oils

Some of the most common essential oils used for their health benefits include:

  • Bergamot
  • Chamomile
  • Clary sage
  • Citrus
  • Green apple
  • Frankincense
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Neroli
  • Peppermint
  • Rose
  • Sandalwood
  • Vanilla
  • Ylang ylang

Benefits of Aromatherapy

Most often, essential oils are used to uplift your mood or wake you up. Although medical studies of aromatherapy are limited, these oils may have other health benefits, such as:

  • Reducing pain, such as during medical procedures, migraines or arthritis
  • Stabilizing the heart rate and blood pressure
  • Improving sleep
  • Lowering levels of depression and anxiety, even during labor
  • Improving quality of life, especially for people with chronic diseases

Side Effects of Essential Oils

Essential oils are safe when used as directed. It is unknown, though, whether essential oils will interact with other treatments or prescription drugs, so be sure to let your healthcare provider or aromatherapist know if you are undergoing other medical treatments or taking medications.

Because the oils are so highly concentrated, some people may develop a rash or allergic reaction when the oils come in contact with their skin. Other people may develop headaches or nausea from smelling these highly potent oils.

Children may be more sensitive to the side effects of essential oils. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should check with their doctor before using them.

For many people, finding the essential oils that work best is a matter of trying them out. However, this is often the most fun part and may even bring up fond memories from long ago.

Multicare Health Clinic

3930 STADIUM DR
SIOUX CITY, IA 51106
Phone Number: (712) 276-4325

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Monday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-6:30 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-2:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

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Testimonials

  • "My company encouraged all of us employees to get screened at Multicare. I didn't know what to expect. It was easy and I learned so much. The orthotics they prescribed really help me to feel more stable and confident at work."
    Jim J.
  • "At night my right hand would go painfully numb at least 2-3 times where I could not sleep. Now, I don't have that pain and can get a full night sleep."
    Janet D.
  • "My shoulder and neck feel so much better. I now have the knowledge, motivation, desire and tools to keep up the exercises."
    Barb B.
  • "After an accident at work I didn't think I'd ever get relief from my aching shoulder. But, the doctors at Multicare gave me adjustments and physical therapy and now I feel normal again."
    Cliff C.
  • "I'm so glad my sister referred me to Multicare! My elbow hasn't felt this good in a long time. Thanks to the great physical therapy team there."
    Ellen E.
  • "I leave here feeling confident that I have the resources to manage my pain and live normally, and that's priceless."
    Alycen V.
  • "I wasn't able to use my hand the way I should. After working with Dr. Sneller and the physical therapy team, I can use my hand again."
    Henry H.
  • "Being able to present my back pain to three different professions in one place and knowing that they are working together to make me better is very comforting."
    Charlie P.
  • "I'm now a believer now! I didn't think chiropractic could help my foot problems. But after meeting with Dr. Pistello and Dr. Dave for a few weeks, I'm feeling so much better!"
    Gino G.
  • "Dr. Sneller helped. I haven't been feeling dizzy anymore."
    Belinda B
  • "There couldn't be a better physical therapy team in Siouxland! Not only did my knee feel so much better after six weeks, but I feel like I made new friends."
    Karla K.
  • "I'm a runner. When I wasn't able to run due to leg problems, I was devastated. But a consultation at Multicare Health Clinic identified the problem and after some adjustments, stimulation treatments and therapy, I'm running again!"
    Lisa L.
  • "After my knee surgery I was asked where I wanted to do my physical therapy, I chose Multicare Health Clinic and I'm so glad I did! Dr. Steve and the therapy assistants (Sara and Megan) are fabulous! They know what they're doing and they all really seemed to care about my recovery. I'm feeling fantastic! I'll definitely go back again whenever I need therapy or adjustments."
    Sheri J.
  • "I wasn't able to use my hand the way I should. After working with Dr. Sneller and the physical therapy team, I can use my hand again."
    Ivy I.
  • "I now can go a full week without pain and headaches."
    Luke W.
  • "Not only is my pain level down to zero, but what I'm really thrilled with, is that I have normal feeling in my hands."
    Jill L.
  • "After my consultatin with the doctors at Multicare Health Clinic, I understand how to address my balance issues."
    Anna A.