What is Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has been practiced to promote physical and mental well-being around the world for long time. Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils which are the essences distilled from different parts of the plants and referred to as the 'life force' of plants.

 

 

Rose Otto is very precious oil distilled from the petals, ginger oil distilled from the root and peppermint from the leaves.

Essential oils penetrate through massage to the skin into the blood vessel. Aroma passes directly from the nose to the limbic system through the olfactory system. Each essential oil features a unique combination of aromatic substances that interacts with the body’s chemistry and produces therapeutic effects. Citrus oils tend to be energetic and uplifting while spicy oils like ginger and nutmeg are great for warming the spirit.

How to use essential oils

Essential oils are very concentrated and should not be used neat on the skin. They have to be diluted in a carrier oil or lotion base and must never be taken internally unless under the guidance of a qualified therapist.

Aromatherapy can be used during massage, while bathing, in compresses, as part of a hair and skin care, as steam inhalations and in the form of vaporization.

 


Massage

Massage or just the loving touch of arms, hands, feet, legs using appropriate essential oils can help with various ‘aches’ / pains and release tension and anxiety. Add 5 drops of essential oil (or a blend of essential oils made up to 5 drops) to 10mls of base carrier oil for massage. The essential oils are absorbed into the skin and inhaled inducing a sense of calm and relaxation.

 

Neck massage

Shoulder massage

Hand massage

Foot massage


Bath
At the end of a busy day fill the bath with warm water, add 6 - 8 drops of essential oil to a water-soluble medium such as full fat milk and pour into the bath water. Allow time to relax in the warm vapours and feel the tension just slip away.

Inhalation
Add 3 - 4 drops of essential oil to a bowl of steaming warm water or an electric facial steamer. Cover your head with a towel and breathe slowly over the vapors for a few minutes in case of headache or respiratory infection. You can achieve the same benefits by simply placing 1-2 drops of essential oil in the palm of your hand, then cupped around the nose and breathe deeply.

Vaporization
Add 5 - 10 drops of essential oils to a diffuser or burner to create a comforting mood or a sensual atmosphere. Many essential oils have antiseptic or disinfecting properties for use in the sick room or as air fresheners and others enhance concentration when working and or studying.

 

 

Compress
Make a hot or cold compress by soaking a towel in water with a few drops essential oils, and then applying to the desired area. Cold compress is used to reduce pain and swelling in recent injuries while hot compress to relieve pain in old injuries and in chronic pain.

Additional aromatic uses For Essential Oils Include:

  • Apply 3-5 drops oil to a cotton ball and place in the air vents of vehicle to clear unpleasant odor
  • Mix 8-10 drops oil in a 50ml spray bottle with water, shake before mist over as household surface cleanser
  • Add 5-8 drops oil to a small towel or handkerchief to a batch of laundry or to dryer sheets

 

It’s always advisable to use several small doses throughout the day rather than a single large dose. Start with the lowest possible dose (1–2 drops). A topical dose can be repeated every 4–6 hours as needed. Because every individual is unique, the dose will vary for each individual based on size, age, and overall health status.

Blends for various conditions

  • foot massage: Roman Chamomile, Geranium and Lavender for anxiety
  • hand massage: Bergamot, Cedarwood and Petitigrain for calmness
  • friction over temple: Eucalyptus and Lavender for headache
  • compress: Cypress, Sweet Marjoram and Lavender for pain reduction
  • foot bath: Tea tree with lavender for athlete foot
  • spray: Bergamot and Frankincense for stress release
  • inhaler: Eucalyptus, Frankincense and Lavender for cold with stuffy nose