As much as it is gaining popularity and acceptance worldwide, Aromatherapy is still a new concept for many. Many people believe that aromatherapy is therapy using aromas or scents – but if that was the case, anything that smells pleasant would be aromatherapy! Misconceptions aside, anyone who is new to aromatherapy would naturally have many questions and doubts regarding the same.
Here are the answers to some questions frequently put up by our clients and readers:
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy, as the name suggests, is an age-old practice of healing bodily imbalances and disorders using essential oils extracted from botanical sources.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are botanical products that may be obtained from different parts of a plant such as flower, seed, bark, leaf, root, sap or fruit. Plant oils are extracted through a lengthy process called steam distillation that requires specialized equipment and expertise. These oils are believed to contain the medicinal and therapeutic properties of plants in extremely concentrated forms.
How does it work?
Essential oils are volatile, which means they evaporate quickly when exposed to air. Vaporized droplets of these oils are inhaled into the lungs from where they make their way into the blood stream. In case of massage, they may be absorbed into the skin along with carrier oils. Essential oils are known to act upon specific body organs or systems and may produce noticeable physical, psychological and emotional effects.
While aromatherapy cannot be used as a substitute for conventional medicines, many users have reported positive effects in terms of wellbeing and holistic healing. When used under proper guidance, essential oils can complement medical treatment and in some cases, even speed up the healing process. Either way, there is nothing to lose!
How soon can I expect results?
Since aromatherapy is a completely natural and organic mode of treatment, it may not produce instant results. The healing process is gradual, multi-faceted and holistic. The outcome of aromatherapy will largely depend on the nature and degree of the health problem, lifestyle factors and individual response.
Is aromatherapy safe for me?
Essential oils, when used as indicated, can be safe to use even on children and pets. They should however, never be ingested or applied directly on the skin and around the eyes. Some essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy or by those with asthma, epilepsy, or with other health conditions.
How can aromatherapy benefit me?
Essential oils are known to affect the mind and body in profound ways. Some oils may have a relaxing effect while others are energizing and stimulating. Some may detoxify the body while others may help restore hormonal balance. Essential oils may be used in everyday routines to help you feel fresh, cheerful, energized and healthy.
I am new to aromatherapy. Which oils are good to start with?
Here are some basic and versatile essential oils that are good for everyday use:
– A potent antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, sedative and anti-depressant.
– It’s refreshing and energizing scent can uplift moods and detoxify the body. Its works as a natural antiseptic and promotes clarity of thought.
– Possesses antibacterial, antiviral and immunity boosting properties. It is an effective remedy for cold, congestion and respiratory disorders.
– Works as a tonic for the central nervous system, improves circulation and restores mental and physical balance.
How do I use essential oils?
Essential oils may be used in any of the following ways:
The recommended essential oil is blended with carrier oil and massaged all over the body. This method facilitates the penetration of oil into the skin and also improves blood circulation and lymphatic drainage.
The physical environment is impregnated with the aroma of essential oils for a long-lasting and sustained effect. You may use a traditional aromatherapy burner or an electrical plug-in diffuser.
Some oils may be directly inhaled from the bottle or a tissue while some are more effective when taken in with steam.
- Baths –Fill your bath with warm water and add 10 drops of essential oil to it along with ½ cup unscented salt. This is one of the most important and effective forms of treatment in aromatherapy.
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Cristina Proano-Carrion, aromatherapist. She helps holistic practitioners, spa owners, massage therapist and the general public use nature’s essential oils to obtain optimal health and a balanced state of mind. Find more about her work and get more aromatherapy tips by visiting www.aromandina.com
© 2010, Cristina Proano-Carrion, Aromandina LLC
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This information on this blog is based on traditional use of aromatherapy and it does not intend to diagnose or treat any condition. This information should not be used as a substitute for medical counseling with a health care professional. No part of this blog may be reproduced in whole or in part without the explicit written permission of Aromandina.