Wake Up and Smell the Oils with Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the art and science of using aromatic oils to promote the overall health of the body, mind and spirit. These oils are often referred to as essential oil as used in this non-invasive and all-natural form of therapy are, meaning they are extracted from the purest, most healing parts of a plant, flower, herb or tree. These therapeutic oils work to help treat and prevent health conditions without the use of medications or harsh chemicals.
Uses of essential oils in aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a holistic practice that can be performed and received in a range of ways:
Inhaling essential oils for health, better sleep and to soothe anxiety
Essential oils can be inhaled through an oil diffuser, from a cloth or in a relaxing steam bath. Aside from giving off a divine and refreshing smell, inhaling oils such as eucalyptus oil may work to decongest or disinfect the respiratory system, targeting those rotten cold and flu symptoms.
Inhaling some oils may even help to stimulate psychological reactions in the brain. When the molecules reach the brain through the nose, this can affect the limbic system, which is what regulates our emotions, as well as our hormones, memory and blood pressure.
When the right oil is inhaled, its effect on the limbic system may leave you feeling calmer, happier or more focused. Some oils may even have the ability to heighten motivation levels and calm anxiety.
Topical application of essential oils to combat skin condition and enhance health benefits of massage
Topical application of essential oils, whether self-applied or used by massage therapists, is another way of accessing the oils’ countless healing properties .
Due to their high concentration levels, they are usually diluted with a carrier oil like jojoba before being rubbed onto the skin. The oil is then absorbed into the bloodstream, where it can work its magic on the body and it’s many systems. Depending on the oil, this may include the digestive system, the circulatory system, the endocrine system and more!
Topical application can come in the form of a soothing aromatherapy massage, or self-application to targeted areas of the body such as the insides of the wrists. Aromatherapy may also aid in improving the appearance and external health of the skin. For example, tea tree oil is fantastic for the treatment of rashes, acne and other nasty skin irritations.
Scientific basis for essential oil benefits
With over 40 essential oils available for therapeutic-use, aromatherapy has been proven to help prevent and provide relief from a long list of health conditions and symptoms. It is also a great way to complement conventional treatment of some diseases. There is scientific evidence that when used correctly, certain oils can aid in the treatment of insomnia, depression, anxiety, skin conditions, digestive ailments, headaches, menstrual problems and fatigue to name a select few. Many essential oils, including clary sage, also have the capability to help manage the side effects of some serious diseases, such as chronic pain or high blood pressure.
Other popular essential oils and some of their uses and benefits
- Frankincense Essential Oil – This is known as the ‘king of essential oils’. When used as through diffuser it is known for its relaxing qualities and is great for dry skin, razor burn and cuts when used in a topical context.
- Lemon Oil is helpful for those that have issues with asthma and sleeping problems. When inhaled it can also boost the immune system and is great for boosting dull looking skin and hair when used topically.
- Rose Oil – some studies have shown that rose oil has been helpful as a component in the treatment of depression. When inhaled it can also boost libido and is a great natural treatment for acne when used topically.
- Lavender Oil – Rub a bit of this on your skin and it works as an effective natural bug repellant. Along with this neat use, Lavender oil is also known as one of the better oils to treat some of the classic essential oil go-tos like helping with sleep, stress, anxiety and acne.
Aromatherapy can be practiced at home, but it’s always a good idea to kick-start the process with a qualified aromatherapist – 40 oils, all with different names and purposes can seem a little daunting. Before treating you, an aromatherapist will work to understand your physical and mental health on a holistic level. This will allow them to give you a more fulfilling treatment tailored to you as an individual. At Avaana, we can connect you with an experienced aromatherapist who will apply this fascinating, age-old practice to better you overall wellbeing.