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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:853809. doi: 10.1155/2013/853809. Epub 2013 Oct 21.

The physical effects of aromatherapy in alleviating work-related stress on elementary school teachers in taiwan.

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1
Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, Chaoyang University of Technology, Taichung, Taiwan.

Abstract

People use aromatherapy to relieve the symptoms of physical and psychological stress. However, previous studies have not precisely clarified a scientific basis for the beneficial effects of aromatherapy. Therefore, the overall purpose of this study was to elucidate the beneficial effect of aromatherapy in relieving work-related stress. Twenty-nine elementary school teachers from Taiwan participated in this study. The experimental procedures comprised 2 phases. First, we verified the effect of aromatherapy by conducting 2 blind tests. We used natural bergamot essential oil extracted from plants and synthesized a chemical essential oil as the placebo to do the aromatherapy. Second, we analyzed the performance of the aromatherapy treatment on the teachers who had various workloads. We measured the teachers' heart rate variability to evaluate their autonomic nervous system activity. The results show that only the natural bergamot essential oil had an effect and that the aromatherapy treatment relieved work-related stress of teachers with various workloads. However, the aromatherapy treatment had a weak effect on young teachers who had a heavy workload. Moreover, the aromatherapy treatment exhibited no effect on teachers who belong to the abnormal body mass index subgroup having a heavy workload.

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