Aromatherapy, also referred to as the Essential Oil Therapy, refers to a range of traditional, alternative or complementary therapies that use essential oils and other aromatic plant compounds. If you are looking out for remedies for your anxiety or poor sleep, aromatherapy is a go-to. This involves oils with a characteristic scent, and the oil is inhaled or used topically on skin for sleep, headaches, and other conditions. At first glance, it sounds too good to be true. But over the years, the results speak for themselves.
Essential Oils are widely available, and here’s a guide for you to understand how to use these potent oils.
Let’s begin with the several aromatherapy methods:
- Inhalation: This is the old-fashioned method of taking deep breaths of the aroma after opening the bottle.
- Diffuser Method: A diffuser is a device that disperses tiny oil particles around the room so you can breathe them in. Mix essential oil with water in the essential oil diffuser and enjoy the magic.
- Dry Evaporation Method: Put a few drops of essential oil on a cotton ball and smell the aroma as it disperses.
- Steam Method: Put a few drops of essential oil in boiling hot water bowl. Put your head over the bowl, a towel over your head and breathe in the steam.
Benefits of Aromatherapy:
Aromatherapy may not provide a cure for diseases, rashes or illnesses, but it can support conventional treatment of various conditions.
- It helps manage pain.
- One of the most popular uses of aromatherapy is to help relieve stress.
- Aromatherapy helps increase memory capabilities.
- It’s good to enhance the immune system.
- Aromatherapy treatments are used to aid digestion.
- Aromatherapy is a proven solution that can help you achieve a balanced sleep schedule.
- Instead of pharmaceutical anti-depressant pills, many homeopathic medical healers believe aromatherapy can be used to control depression.
Are Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Safe?
Aromatherapy is quite safe, but essential oils might have mild allergic reactions. Some can irritate your eyes, skin, or mucous membranes in your nose. If you’re new to aromatherapy, work with an aromatherapist or your doctor.
The quality of essential oils vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some may be very diluted with less expensive ingredients, while some may have the best quality and work wonders on your body.
Here are the safest ways to use essential oils during aromatherapy:
- In the form of Accessories: By applying essential oils in your accessories like necklaces, bracelets and keychain made with absorbent materials. You could sniff it throughout the day and let go of the anxiety at any point.
- Add it to your Body Oil: Since essential oils are concentrated, they may cause irritation. It’s best to make a mixture of essential oil with a carrier oil like olive, jojoba or coconut oil or any oil that can be massaged into your skin. Avoid using them full-strength on skin.
- Aroma Stick: These sticks soak up the essential oil and are portable. They come with a cover to keep the scent under wraps until you’re ready.
We’d suggest you go for organic, minimally processed essential oils. Look for oils that are 100% pure, available in dark glass bottles and has the details of the essential oil ingredients.
Some other aromatherapy methods:
– Tropical Application: When using essential oils on skin, in a bath or shower, or in an aromatherapy massage, always dilute the oil and be careful not to use too much. Be sure to patch test an essential oil before using it all over your body.
– Ingestion: Some people take essential oils orally in teas, supplements or even via a drop or two on their tongue. Ingesting, or swallowing, essential oils is not recommended. Taken by mouth, the oils can damage the liver or kidneys.
Some common essential oils are –
1) Lavender Oil : Can help with stress and pain, along with helping you sleep;
2) Tea Tree Oil : It can be used as an antiseptic, antimicrobial or anti-fungal.
3) Frankincense Oil : It can help with inflammation, mood and sleep.
4) Peppermint Oil : It can help with headaches, fatigue, digestion and memory.
5) Eucalyptus Oil : It is a great essential oil to have on hand during cold season.
Caution: Do not ingest any essential oil without medical supervision and buy them only from trusted practitioners. Aromatherapy can help alleviate some conditions, but it should be used correctly, under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.