The ancient technique of Aromatherapy is based on the application of essential oils. These oils, extracted from herbs, flowers, seeds, woods and roots, are inhaled thereby sending signals to an area of the brain responsible for regulating emotions and memories. Aromatic substances can also elicit physiological responses when applied to the body, as the oils are absorbed by the skin and enter the bloodstream. In whichever form they are used, essential oils offer a holistic approach to healing and balancing the mind, body and spirit.
There are numerous methods for using Aromatherapy. Inhalation (by diffusion or directly from the bottle) is the quickest way that the body responds to the oils. Massage is a preferred method as it encourages circulation to distribute the essential oils throughout the body while inducing relaxation. Aromatherapy can also be included in the bath, in lotions, as a perfume, or in facial preparations. Another way to use essential oils is in household cleaners, as many oils are antimicrobial and safer than synthetic substances. Choosing a method of treatment is just a matter of preference.
Because each oil has a unique scent and list of healing properties, choosing an oil can be tougher. One should understand how the essential oil interacts with the mind and body in order to determine which oil (or oils) will be incorporated into a treatment. It is also helpful to understand blending, as not all oils make pleasing scents when combined. But, if the chemistry is right, an aromatic mixture can be produced that works holistically to encourage harmony and health.
The following are examples of conditions that can benefit from the use of Aromatherapy:
Emotional – Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, Irritability, Moodiness, Nervous Tension, Sadness
Physical – Bruises, Colds, Digestive Imbalances, Fatigue, Flu, Infections, Muscle Aches, Scars
Skincare – Acne, Cellulite, Dry Skin, Eczema, Oily Skin, Stretch Marks, Varicose Veins, Wrinkles
If you are hoping to enjoy the health benefits of Aromatherapy in this New Year, here is a blend to get you started:
1 drop Anise (Pimpinella anisum) essential oil
2 drops Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) essential oil
3 drops Lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil
2 drops Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) essential oil