What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is an alternative healing practice that is used to promote the health and wellness of your body, mind and soul. At the heart of this practice are the natural oils that are extracted from various parts of plants: roots, stems, leaves, bark, and flowers. These oils are also referred to as essential oils.
This alternative practice is based on the belief that essential oils have powerful healing powers and medicinal benefits. It is important to remember that essential oils are natural plant oils, and differ from perfumes and fragrance oils that have a chemical base or component.
Although the term ‘aromatherapy’ was only coined in 1937, this alternative medicine has been in practice for far longer than that. There is evidence of the use of essential oils for healing in ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and in China.
As the name suggests, aromatherapy focuses on the healing properties of the aromas of essential oils. Inhaling these aromas stimulates brain functions and each different scent has a different effect. This is because each essential oil is believed to have its own unique healing properties.
The specific technique that is most often used is called vapor inhalation. Add five drops of an essential oil to a bowl of very hot water. Lean over the bowl, placing a towel over your head to create a tent that traps the aroma. Breathe slowly and deeply to inhale the healing aromas. This might seem like the most obvious method of benefiting from aromas, but the application of essential oils for healing purposes goes beyond this.
Did you say massage?
In addition to vapor inhalation, aromatherapy oils can also be absorbed through the skin. Drops of essential oils are added to a carrier lotion as essential oils are too potent on their own to be applied directly to the skin without being ‘diluted’ in a carrier lotion.
Once they have penetrated your skin, these oils enter your bloodstream so that they can promote wellness throughout your being. If pampering is your thing, then invest in an indulgent aromatherapy massage where the combination of healing aromas, the absorption of essential oils into your body, and effective massage techniques can work wonders in terms of the relaxation and healing of your body and mind. It’s no wonder that this is the most popular form of aromatherapy!
An effective massage will open the body’s energy centers and make the aromatherapy aspect so much more effective. Massage will reduce the body’s stress thereby creating additional opening for the healing energy of the essential oils to be more effective.
Fortunately, there are application techniques that are both relaxing and easy to do at home. Try adding a few drops of essential oil to your bath water. Mix the oil into the bathwater before your get in. Lie back and relax, absorbing the oils and their aromas for incredible health benefits. This is particularly useful if you want to regain a sense of balance in your physical body.
It’s easier that you might think to create your own healing lotions, creams, and salves. All you need to do is add a few drops of essential oils to a carrier lotion or massage oil. The important thing is to use an unscented lotion or oil as a base, although shea butter and cocoa butter are also acceptable.
If you are looking for a pain relief method, then using a compress is the most effective application. Add a few drops of essential oil to a bowl of hot water. Wet a washcloth with this blend, and then wring it out well. Fold the washcloth into a compress and apply it to the part of your body in need of pain relief. There are also oils for rashes and other physical issues.
The practice of aromatherapy can be extremely beneficial in many ways. The exact benefits will depend on your choice of essential oils. Some essential oils produce healing psychological and/or physiological benefits on their own. Sometimes a few different oils are mixed together to produce a blend that will have the desired effect.
The uses of each oil and all the possible blends are beyond the scope of this article, due to the sheer variety that is possible. Suffice it to say that aromatherapy can be used to alleviate all kinds of symptoms.
I never travel or go anywhere without Lavender. I have had truly miraculous results from using this oil directly on a burn. It has completely and virtually instantly eliminated the burning and when applied repeatedly stopped blistering. This is just one example. Each oil has many uses.
Consider having a bottle of Lavender in your home 911 kit. Never be without it.
Essential oils can affect you psychologically, and so can be used to boost your mood and improve your overall sense of wellbeing. On a physical level, the application of essential oils can be used to relieve pain, promote restful sleep, improve digestion, improve blood and lymphatic circulation, strengthen your immune system, and balance the production of hormones by your endocrine system.
It works well for anxiety and stress as well. In fact, aromatherapy has been used to alleviate all kinds of symptoms, illnesses, and injuries.
Your Pets Will Love it Too!
Another powerful use of Aromatherapy and Essential Oils is on your animals for healing. All of the benefits described above can be experience by our four legged friends as well. There are many oils that are used for separation anxiety, stress, fears, pain, skin issues etc. As an example, you can apply the oils to the pads of the feet in your cat or dog. Aromatherapy has been used for horses and other animals as well.
You can put the oils on a blanket and have your pup lay on it (or put it in their crate), for a relaxing experience. Be creative!
Although essential oils are completely natural, that is not to say that they are without side-effects. The unguided use of essential oils has the potential to cause unwanted side-effects. Be sure to conduct some research first before embarking on this method. Although there is a lot of information online, you could also consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner – just check that they have a recognized aromatherapy certification first.
Improved health and well-being is just a sniff or two away…
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Author: Esateys Stuchiner
Esateys (pronounced Ee sáh teez) is an International Life Transformational Speaker, Author, Master Facilitator, Life Coach and Expert in the Human condition. She is a Nationally and Board Certified Nurse Practitioner. For over 30 years, she has practiced, taught and lectured extensively in the allopathic and alternative medicine field.
Esateys is known for her groundbreaking work in the areas of personal empowerment and health restoration using mindset and inner connection as the catalyst for all change.
Esateys describes herself as the ‘Architect of the New You’ and has dedicated her life and professional career to helping her clients create “New Beginnings” by facilitating self empowerment, economic freedom and restored health.
For more information, go to esateys.com.