By Hollie Spooner
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy has been around for decades and is a holistic healing treatment. Aromatherapy uses plant extracts in order to promote health, well-being and healing. This is done by using essential oils medicinally to encourage good health and healing of the mind, body and spirit.
Aromatherapy not only enhances your emotional health but offer several benefits to your physical health as well.
Aromatherapy can be looked at in two different ways one as an art and the other as a science. More recognition has been gained among aromatherapy within the fields of both medicine and science.
How does aromatherapy work?
Aromatherapy uses skin absorption and the sense of smell in order to benefit you.
Aromatherapy can be delivered in many different ways such as these:
• Bath salts
• Aromatic spritzers
• Body oils and lotions
• Clay masks
• Facial steamers
With over one hundred essential oils available you are sure to find one that may be well suited for your particular complaint. Aromatherapy oils can be purchased from health food stores, supermarkets, market stall and online stores.
While the oils are not regulated by the FDA it is essential to buy from reputable producers to ensure you are buying a quality product that contains 100 per cent natural oils. Steer clear of any oils that have synthetic ingredients or additives.
The oils all have different healing properties, effects and are used for different things. You can gain more benefits by mixing different oils together to create what is called a synergistic blend that offers more benefits.
There are many different benefits and it will depend on what you want the oils for as to which one is best suited.
The many benefits include
• Improve poor sleeping habits
• Manage pain
• Reduces stress and anxiety
• Sore Joints
• Helps with the discomfort of labour
• Helps ease the side effects of chemotherapy
• Fights bacteria and fungus
• Helps with digestion
• Boosts immunity
Many conditions you may be able to treat with aromatherapy are:
• Menstrual complaints
• Erectile dysfunction
• Peripheral neuropathy
Different complaints will have different effects on aromatherapy. Speak to your doctor if you are thinking about undergoing aromatherapy for a particular complaint. How well it works will also depend on the individual’s health and what the problem is.
Popular aromatherapy oils used today:
• Clary sage
• Roman chamomile
• Tea tree
• Ylang ylang
These oils can be used in a variety of ways from adding them to lotions or add them to a carrier oil and apply to the skin. You can enhance shampoo and conditioners with different oils to help with hair growth or itchy scalp.
You can make your own mouthwash for dental complaints or to help bad breath. Diffusers or spritzes into the room to gently inhale or they can be added to a carrier oil and soaked in the bath.
The side effects:
Aromatherapy oils are quite safe to use but you need to take precautions when doing so. If you are taking any prescription medication speak to your doctor before undergoing aromatherapy treatment.
Essential oils should not be placed directly on the skin as they can burn and cause irritation. Add the oils to a carrier oil and always carry out a skin test before using. Some essential oils can make your skin more sensitive to the sunlight so be sure to check that out when using and avoid them if you are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time each day.
These oils should never be swallowed or placed inside the body they are to be used externally only.
Some common side effects can be:
• Allergic reactions
• Skin irritation
• Asthma attacks
Discontinue use and seek medical advice If you experience any of the above side effects.
Many people have experienced great benefits from the use of essential oils, but they should not replace medical advice from your doctor. Always consult professional advice before using essential oils.
Research the oils and have a full understanding of what they are used for, the side effects and benefits they offer before undertaking aromatherapy.