Lavender - The surprising ingredient to a stress free and calm procedure

Posted on the 28 July 2011 at 12:08

Trypanophobia:  The fear of medical procedures involving hypodermic needles or injections.

Whether you’re just slightly squeamish about needles or suffer from trypanophobia, the thought of Botox or other dermal fillers can be quite terrifying. However, a new simple solution has emerged: Lavender.

Yep, just a whiff of plain old lavender and you can visit the dermatologist’s office worry-free with a spring in your step and a smile on your face!

At least, that’s according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology . In the study, the first of its kind linking Lavender to Cosmetic Injections, Doctors from the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine and the Baumann Cosmetic and Research Institute have carried out studies and found Lavender products have a calming effect on patients worried about Cosmetic Surgery. 

Lead study author Lisa Danielle Grunebaum MD, concluded “Lavender has the potential to ease anxiety in patients undergoing invasive cosmetic procedures”. Although the lavender did not have a direct effect on the patient’s perception of the pain, those who were exposed to lavender products immediately prior to the procedure had an increase in parasympathetic nerve activity (the body’s natural calming system).

The soothing effects have been linked with our sense of smell and its impact on the brain chemistry. People with no sense of smell are more at risk of suffering depression or anxiety. Likewise those with a heightened sense of smell can sometimes suffer from anxiety as a direct response to smells that other people wouldn’t even register.   

Smells enters the nose and is absorbed by the cilia – the miniscule hairs that line the inside of the nose – and connect with the area of the brain controlling mood/emotion. This is where the type of smell incites different reactions within the body – lavender having a calming effect. Lavender has also been shown to increase alpha waves within the brain, which is produced naturally when we are in a state of calmness, helping the body relax further.        

Lavender has been used in the past for treating anxiety and is popular amongst aroma therapists. One study, carried out by the American Society of Parianaesthesia Nurses found it to be effective when calming patients pre-surgery in a hospital environment. Furthermore, in 2010 a study from Phytomedicine doctors concluded that lavender oil was as effective as benzodiazipene in controlling and reducing panic attacks – without the side effects or addiction risk.  

Lavender is a natural substance and can be found in a number of high street shops. Highly concentrated products such as essential oils have the best effect and can be carried around for a natural instant anti-anxiety remedy at the tips of your fingers. 

So if you’re thinking of taking the plunge into the world of cosmetic surgery, or any procedure that makes you slightly nervous, maybe a quick sniff of lavender could be just the ingredient for a stress free surgery!

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