Did you know that this week (June 11th – 17th) is Aromatherapy Awareness Week? (Well now you do!)
Since we make and sell aromatherapy products here at Body Solace Studio, I thought I would break down a bit of information about aromatherapy and its uses and benefits.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the use of pure essential oils to encourage good health and wellbeing. Essential oils are the fragrance essence of a plant; they are truly holistic in the fact that they can have a powerful and positive effect on our mind, body, and spirit. Ancient civilizations in China, India, Egypt, Greece, and Rome used aromatherapy for their physical and mental well-being over thousands of years ago. Aromatherapy today has developed to become a holistic approach, treating the body as a whole and promoting wellness on all levels. Oils are chosen that work on several levels: mental, physical and psychological.
Aromatherapy works by the oils entering our body in several different ways. They can be absorbed through the skin, passing into the circulatory system. They can also be inhaled, passing into the blood system through the lungs or, by the scent being transmitted through the nervous system directly to the limbic system of the brain. When we inhale, scent molecules travel up the nose and into the brain where messages are sent to stimulate the release of various happy hormones which help to balance and stimulate our body and emotions.
What are Essential Oils?
They are highly concentrated oils that are extracted from various parts of the plant. They contain the life force of the plant and have the ability to strengthen our immune system and to stimulate our body’s natural healing abilities. It takes 60 roses to make 1 drop of rose essential oil and 1 drop of peppermint essential oil is equivalent to drinking 30 cups of peppermint tea. So as you can see they are very potent!
How to use Essential Oils:
Essential Oils are highly concentrated and should not be used directly on the skin or near the eyes, they should also not be taken internally. Using oils neat on the skin can create a rash, itching, an allergic reaction, and even severe pain.
They must always be diluted into a carrier oil for massage and blended with soap, oil, or bath dispersant when adding to bath water. Essential oils should be kept away from children and pets and stored in dark-colored glass bottles away from sunlight and heat. Certain essential oils are contra-indicated for pregnancy, sunbathing and some health problems.
Uses and Applications of Aromatherapy Treatments
Aromatherapy can be used in a variety of ways for many benefits: Massage, Inhalers, Baths, Foot-baths, Vaporizers, Compresses, Diffusers, Skincare, Meditation, and Deodorizers.
A very popular way to use aromatherapy, the oils are blended with a carrier oil. They are absorbed into the skin as well as inhaled and can affect the body both psychologically and physiologically.
Inhalation, Vaporization, Deodorizing
Aromatherapy, combined with deep breathing, can be very calming for the respiratory and nervous system. Vaporizing essential oils in your home or office can have a peaceful and stress reducing the effect, and leave behind a delicate scent.
Full body and Footbaths
Always be careful to properly dilute aromatherapy oils. A great way to do so, and to enjoy them to the fullest, is to add them to a bath premixed with oil, milk or salts.
While ice is the most common go-to for sprains and swelling, an aromatherapy compress can be beneficial for minor skin irritations, joint traumas, and fatigued muscles.
Scent and meditation go hand in hand. We’re all familiar with the popular combination of meditation and incense. If you meditate, consider adding in a few aromatherapy tactics for full relaxation. For example, you could try meditating in an aromatherapy bath, or recline in your bedroom while you vaporize your favorite scents and apply a relaxing compress to your sore muscles.
Benefits and Uses
Aromatherapy can be soothing, uplifting, even healing, and it’s easy to incorporate into your day. It can boost the immune system; relieve muscle pain, and helps with insomnia. It has also been found to relieve stress and tension.
Here are five essential oils for your health and well-being:
- Lavender – to relieve stress, help sleep problems, good for the skin, and work as an antiseptic
- Grapefruit – to help as a diuretic, lift your mood and help repair oily skin
- Peppermint – to uplift and rejuvenate the body, reduce headaches and calm nausea
- Rosemary – to stimulate hair growth, boost mental activity and reduce pain
- Cedarwood – to improve skin issues like acne and eczema, it helps with circulation, and to alleviate congestion.
If you are pregnant, around children, or have a specific illness, there are oils that you should not use or which need to be diluted in smaller amounts. This is where you need to talk to a certified Aromatherapist, such as Dawn Canning from Dropwise Aromatherapy here in Truro, or someone who can answer your questions about the various oils and their properties.
Here at Body Solace Studio, we like to treat the body as a whole, whether it is through movement, meditation, nutrition or aromatherapy. Come in and see us and ask us about our services and some of the aromatherapy items for sale!