How can aromatherapy improve your life?Aromatherapy is treatment using scents. It is a holistic treatment that cares for the body by using botanical oils. Natural essential oils can be massaged into the skin, placed into your bath, inhaled gently or used to scent a room. Essential oils work by stimulating your olfactory nerves and they work on the brain and the nervous system. Aromatherapy can energize, relieve pain, release tension, reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
According to the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, the term aromatherapie originates from Rene Maurice Gattefosse in 1928. He used the word for essential oils used for therapeutic usage. Aromatherapy soon developed into a practice that enveloped the body, mind and spirit. Aromatherapy is considered a holistic therapy.
Aromatherapy has been used for more than 6,000 years. The ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians used aromatherapy. Hippocrates, from ancient Greece, used aromatherapy for bathing and also scented massage. It is said that he claimed that this was the secret to good health – to have an aromatherapy bath and massage every day.
Essential oils are derived from plants, flowers, trees, grasses, bark and seeds. It is best to use natural essential oils. Synthetic oils do not offer all of the healing benefits that natural essential oils do. The natural essential oils can have antiseptic properties, some of which are antiviral, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antidepressant and expectorant. Essential oils may also be used for relaxation, improved digestion and stimulation.
Popular Essential Oils
Some popular essential oils that are often used include:
- Eucalyptus – often used for treating colds, respiratory problems or muscle tension
- Ylang Ylang – a relaxing essential oil, good for muscle tension and depression
- Peppermint – used for headaches and muscle aches
- Lavender – an oil very popular for general relaxation, insomnia and skin care
It is important to be cautious about safety issues when using essential oils because oils are strong and should be considered a form of alternative medicine. Some essential oils are too strong for use by pregnant women. Many essential oils should not be ingested. Follow directions carefully when using essential oils. When using an essential oil, it is often best to use carrier oil or to pour it into water instead of placing the essential oil directly on your skin because this can irritate your skin.
The oils can be used to create customized bath oils, bath salts, soaps, candles and perfumes that you can use for many different purposes. Learning about aromatherapy has tremendous benefits – you can address many physical and emotional ailments through aromatherapy.