Aromatherapy for Golfers: Inhale to Improve Your Swing?

    Sep 24, 2013 12:35:00 PM

    golf swingHere's something new for all you golfers looking to improve your game—Swing Trust Oil. According to developer Chad Van Den Top, this handy dandy aromatherapy blend of essential oils like bergamot, ylang ylang, and clary sage comes in a "easy-to-sniff flask that clips to your golf bag"[1]. So, "whenever golf gets you down, Van Den Top prescribes a whiff of Swing Trust Oil to help you play through the pressure," says journalist Pete Madden in "Sniff and scratch? Aromatherapy for your golf game," which you can find online on GOLF.com[2].

    Does it work? You'll have to tell us! Van Den Top says he does not have evidence to back up his claims for Swing Trust Oil. He says, “You just have to go on your personal experience[3].”

    BUT—there is plenty of evidence that aromatherapy essential oils, in general, can help improve concentration and help reduce anxiety. For example, in the 2009 study, "The Effects of Lavender and Rosemary Essential Oils on Test-Taking Anxiety Among Graduate Nursing Students,” rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil was shown to decrease test-taking anxiety[4].

    The fresh citrus aroma of bergamot Citrus aurantium var. bergamia essential oil can also be very soothing in stressful situations. In 2011 study in Taiwan, bergamot essential oil was administered to 54 elementary school teachers to determine its stress- and anxiety-relieving effects in the workplace. After bergamot essential oil was diffused for 10 minutes, there were significant decreases in blood pressure and heart rate. Researchers concluded that all of the test subjects experienced lowered anxiety and stress levels after the aromatherapy inhalation [5].

    Similarly, ylang ylang has been shown to support blood pressure. As you line up for that hole in one, is your heart pounding with a mixture of fear and anticipation? A study done in 2010 in Korea investigated the blood pressure lowering effectiveness of a blend of aromatherapy essential oils, including lemon Citrus limon, lavender Lavandula angustifolia, and ylang ylang Cananga odorata. The control group was given an artificial citrus scent, and both groups inhaled their blends for two minutes, twice daily, for three weeks. The results showed that aromatherapy was effective in lowering systolic blood pressure and effecting the sympathetic nervous system[6].

    Now, will rosemary, bergamot, and ylang ylang improve your swing? Perhaps, to paraphrase Chad Van Den Top, you'll have to try it for yourself! But, before you go out and purchase a prepackaged product where you may not be able to accurately assess the ingredients, including ensuring they are high-quality, organic, spray-free, and sustainably sourced, why not try making your own aromatherapy blend first? (You can find these aromatherapy essential oils on the college Apothecary Shoppe website here.)

    Here are 2 aromatherapy blends you can try to help improve your game (or, for any time you need a little concentration and/or stress-relief support):

    RECIPE #1: Anti-Anxiety

    Bergamot Citrus aurantium var. bergamia oil: 2 drops
    Lavender Lavandula angustifolia oil: 5 drops
    Ylang ylang Cananga odorata var. genuina oil: 3 drops

    Blend and inhale twice daily or whenever you feel the need.

    RECIPE #2: Morning Revive

    Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis oil: 15 drops
    Grapefruit Citrus paradisi oil: 10 drops
    Tangerine Citrus reticulata oil: 10 drops
    Petitgrain Citrus aurantium oil: 6 drops

    Prepare a couple of bottles of this blend, and use it on a hot washcloth in the shower and once again during your morning commute.

    Are you a golfer, athlete, or aromatherapist with some pro-tips of your own? Be sure to join the conversation and leave a comment.

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    References

    [1] Madden, P. (2013, September 10). Sniff and scratch? Aromatherapy for your golf game. GOLF.com. Retrieved from http://blogs.golf.com/equipment/2013/09/sniff-and-scratch-aromatherapy-product-promises-better-golf.html

    [2] Ibid.

    [3] Ibid.

    [4] McCaffrey, R., Thomas, D.. & Kinzelman, A. (2009, October 1). Research Exclusive: Aromatherapy Reduces Test-Taking Stress. MASSAGEmag.com. Retrieved from http://www.massagemag.com/News/massage-news.php?id=7892&catid=3&title=research-exclusive-aromatherapy-reduces-test-taking-stress

    [5] Chang, K.M. & Shen, C.W. (2011) Aromatherapy benefits autonomic nervous system regulation for elementary school faculty in Taiwan. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 946537.

    [6] Cha, J.H., Lee, S.H., & Yoo, Y.S. (2010). Effects of aromatherapy on changes in the autonomic nervous system, aortic pulse wave velocity and aortic augmentation index in patients with essential hypertension. J Korean Acad Nurs., 40(5):705-13.

    These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult with your primary care physician, naturopathic doctor, or Registered Aromatherapist (RA) before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

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