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Aromatherapy for the Novice

Updated on March 9, 2010

Have you ever stopped to smell the flowers? Now close your eyes, take a deep breath and feel your body’s reaction to the scent, does your mood change? Do you feel less stress? Does it take you somewhere, a memory, a moment from the past?

Even when you go shopping you’ll notice that scents and fragrances are added to everything from cleaning products, body lotions, cleansers, shampoos, and more. Scented candles and aromatherapy products have become more popular. They are even being used in some medical professional offices. Ever wonder why?

The benefits of aromatherapy are real and speak for themselves, their abilities to heal and de-stress are becoming more commonly accepted. Essential oils may not directly stimulate the immune system, but they can aid in boosting the system’s ability to fight off infections. Certain oils can also stimulate lymphatic drainage or even have antibacterial properties. Aromatherapy can be used to help relieve physical pain and discomfort, managing anxiety, depression, and fatigue, skin and hair care, pregnancy and childbirth… and these are just a few of its many uses.

There are a variety of methods of diffusion to obtain the healing benefits of these essential oils. Below are just some examples of their benefits and forms of usage. (Excerpts from Medical News Today - August 29, 2006: “The benefits of Aromatherapy: M.D. Anderson (CancerCenter) Teaches how to Soothe and Heal”; and “Aromatherapy for Women” – by Maggie Tisserand, a practicing Aromatherapist) The information provided pertains to both women and men alike. Always take into consideration when using aromatherapy for serious condition to always consult with your doctor to assure that it will not have an adverse reaction with the current medications that you are taking.

AIR FRESHENER/ENVIRONMENTAL FRAGRANCE

  • Add a few drops of essence to a bowl of hot water
  • Add to baking soda and sprinkle before vacuuming (ie. Pink grapefruit oil)
  • Aromatherapy burners, diffusers, and lamps

COMPRESS

Combine water with a few drops of essential oils and soak a cloth, cotton ball, towel, etc. with the mixture and apply to the area to be treated. A handkerchief is the perfect size for a forehead compress for a headache. Lavender oil and Peppermint oil are two oils that used by themselves can aid in the relief of headaches.

MASSAGE OIL

One method is to blend essential oils and base (or carrier) oils, such as sweet almond, wheat germ oil, or jojoba oils to name a few. The usual ratio is 2:98, which is 2 percent essential oil to 98 percent base oil. For a relaxing massage oil, try one of the following:

13 drops lavender

2 drops geranium

10 drops sandalwood

in 50 ml base oil

or

10 drops geranium

10 drops lavender

5 drops marjoram

in 50ml base oil

INHALATION

Steam vapor inhalations to which essential oils have been added are used for respiratory conditions. Add your chosen essences to a bowl of hot water and drape a towel over your head while you inhale the aromatic vapor.

These examples are the most common and are simple for even the novice just experimenting with and learning about aromatherapy. Exploring Aromatherapy has many benefits. In addition to what has already been stated, using it as a method of healing allows us to also give back to the plant what it has naturally given us. These essential oils are derived from nature with nothing added bringing us to the conclusion that Aromatherapy is a truly holistic form of therapy. In the long run we can all benefit from that.

Explore, heal, live, breathe and enjoy what is naturally before you.


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