Our sense of smell is linked to special sensory neurons that are linked with creating a balance and harmony between the body and the mind.
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that explores the use of essential oils extracted from flowers, stem, bark, leaves or roots to induce a sense of psychological or physical well-being.
The history of aromatherapy as a form of alternative medicine dates back to the Egyptians who extracted essentials oils from plants like cinnamon, clove and cedar wood to embalm and preserve their dead as mummies.
But we specially owe it to the Chinese who acquainted us with the health benefits of aromatherapy and opened doors to a miraculous healing practice.
These essential oils can even be absorbed through the skin and they travel through the blood to promote a process of healing throughout your body.
Aromatherapy has recently gained a momentum with respect to its beneficial application in the fields of pain relief, mood enhancement and enhancing cognitive ability.
The concept of aromatherapy revolves around the existence of essential oils. So let us begin by discussing about the role of essential oils.
Aromatherapy oils are the fragrance essence of a plant extracted by the process of steam distillation or pressing. This results in the production of concentrated oils with miraculous healing properties.
This is the reason why some of these aromatherapy oils are too concentrated to apply directly to the skin and are combined with a base of lotion or carrier oil to dilute its original strength.
Here are a few popular essential oils that bring about varied effects depending on what aromatherapy recipes you opt for or which aromatherapy scent you wish to benefit from:
- Bergamot: for stress, anxiety, depression, anorexia and skin infections (psoriasis and eczema)
- Cedar wood: as a calming oil for stress and anxiety or for respiratory and skin problems.
- Chamomile: As a calming agent, anti-depressant, antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and as a mood lifter
- Peppermint: It has a cooling refreshing effect that enhances mental alertness
- Eucalyptus: antiseptic, antispasmodic, decongestant, diuretic and stimulant. It also helps with migraines
- Jasmine: Helps ease depression and childbirth, decreases depression anxiety and helps with addiction problems
- Lavender: as an antiseptic, antidepressant, anti inflammatory and helps reduce stress and anxiety
- Sandal wood: Helps with urinary tract and respiratory tract and has a calming effect
Application of Essential Oils:
The process of application of essential oils has a great impact on their healing properties. As previously mentioned, application of concentrated oils directly to the skin can be harmful because it may result in burns, rash or a severe skin reaction.
Therefore here are a few ways with which you can extract the beneficial power of essential oils:
1. Soak the aroma in your bath oil
Adding the essence of aromatic oils to your bath water is an effective way to cash out their benefits. Simply put a few drops of essential oils in the bath water and wait for the aroma to diffuse in the bath water.
Once the aroma is blended, submerge yourself and indulge in the sweet fragrance that lingers around you. The rich aroma will trigger your olfactory sensation and send you on a flight of ambiance with the enhanced circulation returning harmony to your body.
2. Massage the oils through your skin
Aromatherapy oils are most popularly used as massage oils to instill the essence into the circulation through your skin vessels. Drops of aromatherapy oils can be instilled in carrier agents like lotions.
A sensational almond lotion, mesmerizing Shea butter and elusive cocoa butter can add the magical touch to your massage session when coupled with essential oils.
The benefits of essential oils like lavender as a relaxing therapy or peppermint as a energizer can be obtained through two routes.
While most of the oil gets soaked into the skin directly upon massage, the powerful aroma can trigger your olfactory neurons to bring out both physical and psychological benefits.
3. Inhale the aromatic vapor
So if you are currently taking steam to help with your blocked sinuses or flu problems, then add the twist to the therapy by instilling a few drops of oil to enhance the effects.
As a rule of thumb, five drops of an essential oil of your choice added to steaming water will be used as the basic vehicle for steam inhalation.
Just put a towel around your hand and inhale the aroma with the steam and feel the vapor work its magic on your clogged air passages.
4. Use a lotion or cream enriched with essential oil
Put a few drops of your choice of oil to your favorite lotion or cream to enhance the effects of its application. This lotion or cream can be used for massage or moisturizing as long as it is unscented.
Your skin with soak in the essence of the formulation to provide you with the healing properties and with the additional benefits of creating a fragrant blend of product for your use.
5. Compress out the pain
Simply add a few drops of your oil of choice to a bowl of warm water. Now soak a wash cloth or towel in this mixture and wring it out.
This wash cloth can simply be applied to areas like forehead, muscles or abdomen to trigger the process of pain relief.
Aromatherapy oils are also an easy and effective remedy for those stubborn menstrual cramps as well. So simply compress the pain out of your system with the help of aromatherapy.
6. Follow your whims
If you don’t want to follow a strict regime to obtain benefits from the practice of aromatherapy then you can try many other methods to inculcate the aromatherapy scents in your life.
Buy aromatherapy candles and relish as the perfume freshens up your ambiance. Or simply put some aromatherapy essential oils in a diffuser or sprinkle a few drops of sandal wood on your pillow to savoir in the benefits of the aroma healing your stress or illness.
Aromatherapy essential oils can be put in a vaporizer or simply used as incense. More over a diluted essential oils can works wonders if you utilize it for gargles in case of throat problems.