We had set aside a few uselful topics to help you become more fimiliar with aromatherapy
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the inhalation and application of volatile essential oils
from aromatic plants to restore or enhance health, beauty and well-being.
The basic intention of Aromatherapy is to bring together the scientific
achievements of man with his intuitive understanding for the treatment of illnesses with the most effective and useful natural essential oils. Conforming with the laws of nature, the principle of Aromatherapy is to strengthen the self-healing processes by preventative methods and indirect stimulation of the immune system. Their field of activity is quite wide, ranging from deep and penetrating therapeutic actions to the extreme subtlety of unique fragrance. Simply put, essential oils can be used to enhance health as well as the quality of life. Aromatherapy is an ancient yet timely and stunningly modern approach to total well-being that is in tune with nature.
Methods of using Aromatherapy
One of the great things about essential oils is their tremendous versatility and ease of use in aromatherapy. An amazing amount of power is packed into each drop, and this makes it very easy to use them in daily life to improve your health and wellbeing.
It can be great fun learning how to use essential oils and trying out all the different ways they can be enjoyed, but you must use them properly to get the best results. And because they are so powerful, they usually need to be diluted before you can use them.
The correct way to dilute and apply them is very important if you are to receive all the benefits of an oil, because no matter how good its quality may be, inhaling essential oil from a tissue or burner won’t do much to ease an aching back!
Here are some of the easiest and most popular methods of using your essential oils, simply choose the method that best suits your particular needs. However, to really experience the benefits and versatility of aromatherapy - you should try them all – but not all at the same time!
Massage is one of the best ways to enjoy aromatherapy because you not only receive the healing properties of the oils, but you also get the wonderful benefits of the massage itself. Their therapeutic action when brought together with the revitalising effects of massage stimulate all of the organs in the body, plus the skin, muscles, nerves and glands. The increased circulation of the blood and lymph flow also assists with the clearing away of toxins from the body.
You can choose just one, or up to five different essential oils suitable for your own particular needs and add them to your carrier using a total of 5 drops to 10ml (1 tablespoon) of carrier oil or lotion. If you have particularly sensitive skin use only 3 drops of oil to every 10ml of carrier.
Nothing beats a warm soothing bath at the end of a stressful day, and adding relaxing oils such as Roman Chamomile, Clary Sage, Lavender, Sweet Marjoram or Sandalwood makes it a truly blissful experience. Alternatively you can use stimulating oils such as eucalyptus, lemongrass or rosemary in the morning to give you an invigorating start to the day. Add 6 to 8 drops of oil to the water and agitate vigorously to disperse them evenly before getting in, or add a capful of Bath Dispersant to the water before adding the oils. Whilst relaxing in the bath you are breathing in the aromatic molecules of oil and they also penetrate the skin. When using several essential oils together in a bath, ensure that you do not exceed a total of 8 drops. Citrus oils may be mildly irritating to some sensitive skins, so use no more than 3 drops. Bathing can be particularly helpful if used in combination with massage oils, but always take a bath first, and then apply the massage oil.
Footbaths are great after you have been out walking, exercising or perhaps digging in the garden all day and your feet begin to complain. Comforting oils such as Black Pepper, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Sweet Marjoram or Rosemary can really help to ease those aches and pains away.
When your feet are hot, a soothing and refreshing aromatherapy footbath using just one drop each of cooling and refreshing Peppermint, Rosemary and Lavender will bring blissful relief and have you back on your feet in no time at all. A footbath is the ideal alternative to a conventional bath for the elderly. You only need 3 or 4 drops of essential oil in a footbath.
This is a highly effective method for both pain relief and emergency first aid. Use a hot compress for relieving chronic pain, muscle aches, period cramps etc, and a cold compress for reducing swelling, sprains and headaches.
Put 4-6 drops of oil into very hot or icy cold water, and using a folded piece of absorbent material soak up the oils without fully immersing in the water, wring out excess and apply to the affected area. Finally, cover the area with a towel or wrap with polythene.
Used for centuries to help all respiratory tract problems, this method is a highly effective way to deliver essential oils into your system. Fill a large bowl with almost boiling water and add 3 or 4 drops of your individual oil or mixed blend. Close your eyes, lean over the bowl and breathe slowly and deeply for a few minutes until relief is felt. For best results place a large towel over the head and ensure it surrounds the bowl entirely to help direct the vapours.
If you suffer with blocked sinuses or congestion during the winter, you will find that using Cypress, Eucalyptus Radiata, Fir Silver, Frankincense, Peppermint, Pine, Ravensara or Tea Tree in your vaporiser can bring tremendous relief. When you have a case of the sniffles or a runny nose remember, these same oils all have highly effective antiviral properties too and are ideal to kill those nasty bugs.
For instant relief if you are suffering from a cold, asthma attack or hay fever, put 3 or 4 drops of oil onto a tissue or handkerchief and gently inhale. This is a handy method to use when out of the house, and is the recommended method for asthmatics who should not expose themselves to steam.
Vapourisers and burners
These devices enable you use essential oils effectively to clear stale cooking odours in the kitchen, or create a harmonious and relaxing atmosphere anywhere in the home. The natural antiseptic properties of certain oils can also be employed during illnesses to kill airborne bacteria and help prevent the spread of infections.
Choose from traditional candle-powered burners or temperature controlled electric models. The latest electric designs atomize the oils without using heat and give the very best representation of the oils true aroma
For a powerful bug-busting gargle add 1 drop of Tea Tree and 1 drop of Ravensara to a half-teaspoon of honey and mix together well. Add this mixture to hot water, take a small mouthful and gargle for about thirty seconds, then spit it out. Repeat the process several times, and for maximum effect you should use this treatment every 4 hours.
Lotions, Creams and shampoos
Essential oils can be added to our unfragranced Professional base creams, lotions and shampoos to create your own personalised products. For example, after a footbath you can add a few drops of Peppermint essential oil to a Carrier Lotion Base to complete the treatment and leave feet feeling cool, revived and refreshed.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the highly concentrated volatile extract of flowers herbs, grasses, shrubs and trees. These tiny droplets are present in particular glands, hairs or specific structures of the plant and contain some (but not all) of the active principles of the plant. Similar to herbal therapy principles, essential oils are phytochemicals with particular biological properties. Non-oily in texture, these highly concentrated substances are obtained by steam distillation, peel pressure, and solvent extraction methods. Only the utmost quality of essential oils should be used in aromatherapy. The majority of essential oils produced in the world market are used in the food flavor and fragrance industry, so essential oils are often found on the market adulterated with similar essential oils, chemicals and synthetics, as well as extenders such as dipropylene glycol. Unfortunately, even the type used in food can be adjusted with chemicals from a natural source and still legally be called natural. Therefore, it is wise to purchase only from a reputable aromatherapy source.
How Do Essential Oils Work?
Essential oils work in harmony with the body to normalize and balance. They produce certain effects that we can count on, but can also adapt to the needs of different people. Used for their undisputed anti-microbial and antiseptic effects, essential oils are not only less toxic than synthetic antibiotics but also support life (eubiotic) by working with the body's own natural healing abilities (through which the only true healing occurs). Certain oils, such as Roman chamomile, have cytophylactic (cell regeneration), antiseptic, and wound healing effects as well as anti-fungal and anti-inflammative properties making them the ultimate active principles for holistic natural skin-care.Essential oils work in harmony with the body to normalize and balance. They produce certain effects that we can count on, but can also adapt to the needs of different people. Used for their undisputed anti-microbial and antiseptic effects, essential oils are not only less toxic than synthetic antibiotics but also support life (eubiotic) by working with the body's own natural healing abilities (through which the only true healing occurs). Certain oils, such as Roman chamomile, have cytophylactic (cell regeneration), antiseptic, and wound healing effects as well as anti-fungal and anti-inflammative properties making them the ultimate active principles for holistic natural skin-care.
What Are The Effects?
Oils can directly or indirectly affect the body's physiological systems. For instance, a couple of drops of peppermint taken orally can aid digestion and inhalations of mucolytic oils can relieve respiratory symptoms. Used topically for their antiseptic and soothing effects, essential oils can successfully treat minor skin conditions. It has been demonstrated that the application of certain essential oils to the skin can produce vaso-dilation which in turn causes warming of underlying muscles, however this is an indirect effect of the oil acting on the superficial tissues, it is not a pharmacological effect produced as a result of the oil entering the systemic circulation via the skin. In addition, because of the effect of relaxation on the brain and the subsequent sedating or stimulating of the nervous system, essential oils can also indirectly raise and lower blood pressure and possibly aid in normalization of hormonal secretion.
Because of olfaction's direct connection to the brain, sending electrical messages directly into the limbic system, essential oils can have effects on emotions and mental states. Perception of odors can have a major impact on memory, learning, emotions, thinking and feeling. As therapeutic agents, essential oils work similarly to tranquilizers but in a subtle organic way. Most scents uplift spirits and calm the nervous system. For example, lavender is calming and sedative; basil, rosemary and peppermint are uplifting and stimulating; and jasmine and ylang-ylang are exciting or euphoric.
How Are Essential Oils Used?
Direct inhalation of the oils can have psychological effects through olfactory links with the limbic system that can then stimulate or sedate body systems or organs. In addition, physiological effects are possible because this is the fastest route into the bloodstream. Inhalation is most useful for respiratory symptoms and can be done by sniffing drops on a tissue or by inhaling near a diffuser with glass nebulizer. Local application of diluted oils (2-10% in a vegetable oil base) on various points (spinal nerves, chakras, meridians) is effective for certain conditions. As well, full-body massage is quite effective, providing relaxation as well as a physiological action through the nervous system. Although it is claimed in the literature that many physiological systemic effects are due to essential oils entering the bloodstream via skin application, little evidence backs this up as a major route of absorption. In addition, many of the therapeutic claims are "borrowed" from herbalism, or are really the effect of ingesting the herbal extract. Nevertheless, aromatherapy does work for topical application and relaxation, we are just not sure how it works for some other conditions. Common sense and education should accompany essential oil applications for particular medicinal results. Safety data is mandatory knowledge for anyone using essential oils on the skin, as many are irritating or sensitizing as well as photo-toxic.
Aromatherapy provides health and body care on a completely natural basis, and the subtle qualities of the oils lend themselves best to a gradual experience. The combination of factual information from reference books now being offered coupled with a developed intuition make one capable of generating spectacular successes in self-healing. At first, using essential oils is pleasant; this experience then grows into a heightened awareness of increased health as a consequence of external use of essential oils. Money-wise, aromatherapy can cut your health care and cosmetic bills.