Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 946537, 7 pages
Aromatherapy Benefits Autonomic Nervous System Regulation for Elementary School Faculty in Taiwan
Kang-Ming Chang1,2 and Chuh-Wei Shen1,3
1, Department of Photonics and Communication Engineering, Asia University, Taichung 41354, Taiwan
2, Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
3, Ming-Chien Elementary School of Nantou County, No. 220, Jhangnan Rd., Ming-Chien Township, Nantou County 55146, Taiwan
Workplace stress-related illness is a serious issue, and consequently many stress reduction methods have been investigated. Aromatherapy is especially for populations that work under high stress. Elementary school teachers are a high-stress working population in Taiwan. In this study, fifty-four elementary school teachers were recruited to evaluate aromatherapy performance on stress reduction. Bergamot essential oil was used for aromatherapy spray for 10 minutes. Blood pressure and autonomic nervous system parameters were recorded 5 minutes before and after the application of the aroma spray. Results showed that there were significant decreases in blood pressure, heart rate, LF power percentage, and LF/HF while there were increases in heart rate variability and HF power percentage ( ) after application of the aromatherapy spray. Further analysis was investigated by dividing subjects into three background variables (position variables, age variables, gender variables) and anxiety degree groups. All parameters were significantly different for most subgroups, except for the substitute teachers and the light-anxiety group. Parasympathetic nervous system activation was measured after aromatherapy in this study. It encouraged further study for other stress working population by aromatherapy.
2.2. Experimental Procedures
Aromatherapy was conducted once a week. Physiological recordings were taken during the second week in the school’s health center. An Ultrasonic Ionizer Aromatherapy Diffuser was used for aroma evaporation (type YHL668/I, ultrasound frequency 2.5 MHz, Nature Creart Co. Ltd, made in Taiwan). 100% pure bergamot essential oil was used and diluted to 2%. Physiological parameters were recorded by an ANSWatch monitor (TS-0411 type, Taiwan Scientific Ltd., which has been approved by ISO 13485, and EU CE Mark). Each session was recorded for seven minutes. Average blood pressure and HRV parameters were shown on the panel of ANSWatch monitor. Detailed experimental procedures were as follows. IRB was approved by Asia University Medical Research Ethics committee.