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Aromatherapy is often used by human therapists to help their clients relax, relieve stress, and encourage health and well-being. But what about your animals? Can you use aromatherapy to help them? Absolutely! In animals, aromatherapy reduces behavioral issues such as anxieties, obsessive behaviors and aggression, and physical conditions such as skin problems, arthritis, allergies, and more.
Aromatherapy affects chemical changes in the brain, which then causes physical and psychological changes in the body. Instincts and emotions such as pain, pleasure, anger, or fear can be heightened or subdued. Stress, a major cause of disease, is reduced through the use of Essential Oils, and a sense of well-being is introduced. Reducing these stressors then allows the body to begin to heal naturally. Essential Oils support the whole body in an effort to heal the problem and restore the body to health, instead of simply treating or masking symptoms.
Since 2007, I’ve worked on a number of dogs with varied behavioral and physical problems. One dog in particular “Sheena,” had severe separation anxiety and thunderstorm fears. She was a rescue who had suffered emotional and physical abuse at the hands of a previous owner. By the time my client contacted me, she was at her wits end. She had tried everything she knew of to help the dog, but to no avail. Each time my client left the house the dog tried to escape, chewing whatever she could to get out. The situation was much worse whenever there was a thunderstorm while my client was away.
Unlike humans who can tell you what they do and don’t like, animals aren’t given the same choice. In my aromatherapy training, we were taught to let the animal be an active participant in his own healing. We do this by presenting a pre-selected group of Essential Oils, then allowing the animal to choose the oils he knows he needs. It’s uncanny how correct they are. Once the animal has chosen up to three oils, the oils are diluted in a carrier oil (such as sunflower oil), at the rate of up to 5 drops in 5ml for a horse or other large animal, up to 3 drops for a dog, and at most 1 drop for cats and other small animals. Care needs to be taken with cats since their livers can’t metabolize the oils. Once the oils are diluted, simply let your animal sniff them twice a day. When the animal no longer needs the oils, he’ll let you know by walking away from them. By then, you will notice improvement in the condition you’re working on.
After a week or two of working with Sheena using Essential Oils, she began to calm down. She no longer tried to chew the house apart whenever my client left for the day. We continued to work with her over a couple of months, using new sets of Essential Oils once she was through with the previous set. The idea was to balance her, and remove her stress so her body could heal. Today, you wouldn’t recognize Sheena. She is calm, and pleasant to be around. She still gets some anxiety during severe thunderstorms, but she is nothing like she was before.
Yes, you can use Essential Oils for animals! When used appropriately and with the interest of the animal at heart, Essential Oils can help your animal with many emotional and physical issues. I encourage you to give them a try.