City Lit Blog

How to release stress with aromatherapy

Story added 31st Mar 2020


Complementary therapies are a great way to release stress and reconnect with yourself – and aromatherapy is an easy one to try at home. It can reduce anxiety; lift your mood and support a good night of sleep – something that we are currently all craving for during these unsettling times.  

Farrah Idris is a qualified complementary therapist and teaches aromatherapy, massage, reflexology and pregnancy massage at City Lit. Here are some simple tools and tips personally selected by Farrah for releasing stress with aromatherapy.  

Breathe easy 

A diffuser used at home is a great way to experience aromatherapy oils to manage your mood. If feeling flat in the morning – cheery, zingy citrus oils are uplifting. If poor sleep and restlessness affect you more, soothing lavender or frankincense help to calm and help you to breathe more easily. 

Regal relaxation 

Treat yourself royally with a sensual soak in the bath. Use bath milk or powder (has skin softening properties) with geranium (mood balancer) or bergamot to release and relax. 

Crystal healing 

Crystals have been used in treatments to restore balance in the body. Combined with aromatherapy, the subtle and the sensory body become aligned. Use a gua sha or jade roller tool to support lymphatic drainage and boost circulation. 

Press and reset 

Acupressure is a powerful massage technique that can be self-administered any time, any place, anywhere. Take your favourite essential oil blend, lightly coat hands and press your fingers and thumbs in areas of tension. The temples, sinuses, back of head and elbow points help release muscle tension in the upper body and face. 

Rebalance with reflexology 

The rubbing of hands and feet to restore homeostasis in the body is well known. Try a little aroma reflex to ground when nerves feel frayed. Take some plain cream or balm add one drop of eucalyptus (encourages optimism, and openness) and begin to massage your hands and/or feet. Pay extra attention to the tips of fingers and toes (head/brain points) for hormonal balance. 

Cultivate calm with colour 

People are sensory beings who respond and adapt to their environments. Link a colour you are drawn to that imparts calm with your favourite fragrance. For example, a scarf or handkerchief and inhale throughout the day. The brain will create your own unique association for you and used regularly will encourage your parasympathetic system to activate. 

Hydrate with hydrosols 

These are aromatic waters that can been sprayed directly on the skin to alleviate stress and where safely prescribed by an aromatherapist ingested for therapeutic benefits. 

Return to self 

A meditation practice is the stillness we may need but often cannot hear. Use the inhalation tissue technique of one drop on a tissue and take a comfortable breath in. Repeat a few times, without force, allow the mind and breathe to settle with your own rhythm – you can focus on your heart as your centering anchor. Stay here for as long as your time permits. 

Relax As You Are – HypnoBody ™ 

HypnoBody TM is a method I developed for high stress clients. Using the tissue technique above as a starting point:
Start to focus on your feet and breathe into the feet for five breaths
Repeat the instruction ‘loose and light’
Move up to take in the lower legs – repeat the instruction
Continue as you work up the body, breathing into your torso, back, arms, neck face and head
Repeating the instruction – take a gentle swallow and enjoy a few breaths of whole body breathing
When ready – stretch and move slowly to revive yourself
If time is short – focus on the area of main tension and breathe and repeat instruction. This is positive conditioning of the body and emotions. 


About Farrah Idris 

Farrah Idris has been working in the field of wellbeing since 2012 as a qualified complementary therapist, specialising in the treatment of clients with life limiting conditions at St Barts and Guy’s hospitals. Farrah is passionate about promoting the accessibility of services that combine high professional standards and compassion, to the public. She currently teaches aromatherapy, massage, reflexology and pregnancy massage at City Lit. Her heart lies in sharing with her students the joy of self-discovery through wellbeing. Farrah maintains a private practice in East London and is the creator of HypnoBody TM. 


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