aromatherapy and essential oils

Using Aromatherapy For Promoting General Health And Healing

aromatherapy and essential oilsAromatherapy has been used since the beginning of time to promote emotional and physical health as well as the balance and healing of the body, mind and spirit, so if you’re interested in holistic health, aromatherapy is an important aspect of this. This is a multi-billion dollar industry but it took a while to catch on as people began recognizing its benefits on the psyche and its effectiveness for promoting general health and well-being.

What is aromatherapy?

This is defined as the use of the therapeutic properties of various plant oils which include essential oils to improve or maintain psychological and physical wellness. By using the very powerful sense of smell, aromatherapy and essential oils promote overall well-being and benefit the body, mind and spirit.

Aromatherapy claims are backed up by scientific research which has proven that the molecules in the essential oils used in aromatherapy are picked up by the sensitive nerve receptors in the nose and sent to the limbic system (emotional center of the brain). The brain then secretes different chemicals with have various psychological effects including serotonin which seeks to relax and calm, endorphins to reduce pain, etc.

If you’re dealing with chronic stress which could be increasing your risk of developing various diseases and conditions, aromatherapy can help to eliminate stress if you use certain essential oils such as lavender which lead to relaxation.

Essential oils

Aromatherapy oils or essential oils are liquids that are distilled or cold pressed from various plants and flowers. Although they are called oils, they are usually not oily and usually clear. If an essential oil you are using leaves a greasy residue if you apply a drop to a tissue, it is not the best quality. These liquids which contain the true essence of plants and flowers are highly concentrated and usually a drop is enough for single use.

Many pure essential oils are highly concentrated and strong and will burn or irritate the skin. Using a carrier oil such as sunflower, coconut, olive, sweet almond, jojoba, castor, grapeseed oil, etc, to dilute the pure oil concentrate is highly recommended to prevent skin irritation and burning but there are some essential oils which you can use without diluting.

This dilution does not affect the scent unless you use a carrier oil with a strong smell such as olive oil. To make your own blend, mix one or true drops of essential oils with a few teaspoons of a carrier oil.

Essential oils are distinct from fragrances or perfumes because the latter are artificially created or contain artificial components and do not offer any therapeutic benefits to the body, mind and spirit.

Aromatherapy is usually applied through inhalation such the use of an aromatherapy bath (a few drops of essential oils added to bath water) or the use of an essential oil diffuser to release the scent throughout the home. Another method to administer aromatherapy is directly in a diluted form onto the skin through massage therapy performed by qualified aromatherapy professionals or during reflexology.

Lavender essential oil is commonly used for massage for soothing and relaxation. Certain essential oils are also used in facial acupuncture. Aromatherapy can also be used in the shower with an aromatherapy soap with invigorating components to jump-start your day.

Essential oils are typically sold in a small dark-colored bottle for individual use. Dark bottles are preferred because exposure to light reduces their effectiveness and they should be stored in a dark corner.

There are a lot of very good essential oil blends available for sale which makes it sometimes unnecessary for you to mix various essential oils yourself. Many of these ready-made blends are for specific health concerns. It is however important when purchasing to make certain of the purity of the essential oil or essential oil blend.

With the mass availability of essential oils, there remains a vast difference in price and quality. With regards to quality, watch out for phrases such as “essence of”, “extract of”, etc, as these are not pure essential oils and you shall not get the full therapeutic benefits as you would with pure essential oils.

It pays to invest in pure essential oils to get the full benefit of vitamins, antibiotics, antiseptics, etc, that are not available in synthetic mixes and they also smell nicer. Most mass market brands sold in drugstores and such are usually worthless and you would simply be throwing your hard-earned money away. Health food stores, bath and body stores, quality pharmacies, etc, are usually the best places to purchase good quality essential oils.

Mixing the oils yourself allows you some level of control over the blend. Also look for organic essential oils which contain no pesticides or other dangerous chemicals from the plants and flowers used in the distillation or cold pressing.

For instructions on the best essential oils to use for various health concerns as well as for promoting general health and well-being, you need this essential oil guide. For the best source for single essential oils or essential oil blends, click here. The simplest way to start is with lavender essential oil and add more as you learn more about various essential oils or simply buy an essential blend.

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