Aromatherapy is simply the use of essential oils in a skillful and controlled manner to improve the physical and emotional well being of an individual. It’s an all-natural, non-invasive method of altering a person’s mood, feelings and sensations with the help of essential oils. Aromatherapy can also be defined as the treatment and prevention of diseases using essential oils. Whichever definition you pick, aromatherapy is a type of alternative medicine that has long been practiced by the Chinese with incredible results. The field has now grown to include many disciplines. In addition to essential oils, aromatic compounds can also be used for holistic healing.
Uses of Aromatherapy
The main goal of aromatherapy is to prevent and treat disease. This is largely due to the fact that most essential oils and herbal extracts contain antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help counter disease-causing microorganisms.
Aromatherapy is also used to reduce anxiety and relieve pain. The aroma, or rich smell, of some essential oils have a big effect on the brain’s limbic system. Therefore, they can help to reduce stress and anxiety as well as relieve pain. When properly used, some essential oils can also help with short-term memory loss and relaxation.
Research has also shown that aromatherapy, and related procedures, can help reduce eczema-induced itching and hair loss.
Modes of Application
There are several ways of administering aromatherapy, including:
– Topical Application: The best example of topical application of aromatherapy oils is massage. During the procedure, the masseuse applies aromatherapy oils directly onto the patient’s body and gently massages the area to spread the oil, thereby maximizing the surface area for absorption. As the skin absorbs the aromatherapy oils, the patient can start enjoying the benefits, such as pain relief, enhanced mood and reduced stress among others. The procedure can also help to improve the tone and texture of the skin. Other topical application techniques include; therapeutic skin care, baths and compresses.
– Aerial Infusion: Aromatherapy oils can be used to make room fresheners for aerial disinfection and environmental fragrancing. When some oils are inhaled, the user’s mood can be enhanced, stress reduced and memory improved, depending on the aromatherapy oils used.
– Direct Inhalation: A mist of aromatherapy oils can be inhaled to decongest the lungs as well as to treat respiratory infections. These oils can also be inhaled for their physiological and expectoration effects.
Materials Used in Aromatherapy
i) Herbal Distillates
Popular examples of herbal distillates include; rose, chamomile and lemon balm. These are the liquids left behind after rosewater, or any other herbal extract, has been distilled. In addition to their medicinal value, herbal distillates can also be used in skin care and culinary applications.
ii) Essential Oils
These are fragrant oils obtained from plants through steam distillation. Popular examples are grapefruit and eucalyptus oils.
iii) Carrier Oils
The best example of a carrier oil is sweet almond oil. Carrier oils are typically oily plant-based triglycerides. They are used to dilute essential oils for use on the skin.
These are liquids extracted from different types of plants. A popular example of an infusion is chamomile.
When buying an aromatherapy product, be sure to read the product description to learn about the extraction method used as well as the purity of the product to ensure that it is all-natural. Getting medical advice before using aromatherapy oils for treatment of illnesses, such as asthma, is highly recommended. A great range of Aromatherapy and Essential Oils can be found online at http://www.n-essentials.com.au/.