Aromatherapy, today, is described by the Federation of Holistic Therapists as the 'systematic use of plant essential oils for therapeutic purposes.’ Essential oils, that are extracted from aromatic plants, have properties which can trigger healing effects in the body. As a complementary therapy, aromatherapy is used to help people restore their health and wellbeing, naturally encouraging the body to heal itself. If you visit an aromatherapist the main treatment will usually comprise of a full body massage, using essential oils diluted in a vegetable base oil. There are also various safe and effective self-care techniques that you can use at home. So, how do you get started?
Attempt to keep your breath relaxed as you inhale. Notice if it gets caught in the body or if it flows in and out with ease. A deep breath isn’t a sniff. If you practice slow, deep breaths, your body will send signals to your mind that it needs to relax – and your entire body will follow. Your body and mind aren’t separate things, and sometimes tricking the body to relax first, is going go put the mind in a position to achieve relaxation as well.
Massages are shown to be very therapeutic and lots of doctors actually recommend massages. Massage usually works on all big muscle groups within the body. It is extremely important to remember that if giving (or getting) a massage, the strokes should always go towards the heart. If not, you are not going to receive the full advantages of the massage.
Adding essential oils to your bath is an amazing way to take a relaxing time-out during your busy day. Buy a box of simple Epsom salts as the base for your essential oils. If you just drop the oils into the water, they will not dissolve as nicely as they do when first mixed into the salts, who then dissolve beautifully. Please don’t combine any other chemically produced soaps or products into this mix in an effort to fully enjoy all the benefits of the essential oil and Epsom salts alone.
Before we talk about where I buy my essential oils, I think it’s important to discuss two terms often used in the buying controversy: “therapeutic grade” and “certified pure therapeutic grade”. It’s important to note that there is no agency that regulates these terms, rather they are made up by the essential oil industry. Don’t let these terms fool you or effect your buying.
Some essential massage oils may make their way into the placenta, an organ in your uterus that grows along with your baby and helps to nourish it. It’s not clear if this causes any problems, unless you take toxic amounts, but to be safe, it’s best to avoid certain oils if you’re pregnant. Those include wormwood, rue, oak moss, Lavandula stoechas, camphor, parsley seed, sage, and hyssop. Ask your doctor if you’re unsure.
Known for its gentle, woodsy aroma, Copaiba has high levels of beta-caryophyllene and a uniquely sweet aromatic profile, which helps create a relaxing atmosphere when it is diffused or applied topically. Copaiba is a great addition to your daily routine and skin care. Add it to a neutral moisturizer to utilize its natural fragrance and moisturizing properties. It can also be applied following activity for a comforting cooldown. Aids with sore muscles and helps reduce inflammation.
Peppermint is a very recognizable scent, after all they make gum that smells like peppermint. But Peppermint is so much more than just a nostalgic, fresh aroma. This oil can be diffused to create a stimulating, focused atmosphere for daily tasks. You can also apply it topically to create a cool, tingling sensation on the skin, which can be very soothing after hard physical activity. Peppermint can help relieve headaches, curb appetite, settle an upset tummy and is great for an afternoon pick me up.
Hi Kristin, I have just bought myself Lemon & Lavender EO and enjoying using them as much as possible in my daily life – with the participation of hubby and the kids. I thank my lucky stars for leading me to your site. Now, I’ve got better sources of info : Plant Therapy & ‘Learning About EOs’. I’ve been so confused with the conflicting infos in the many books & sites out there that I become suspicious of EO sites, especially those linked to MLM. Thank you for sharing. 😀
In the era of modern medicine, the naming of this treatment first appeared in print in 1937 in a French book on the subject: Aromathérapie: Les Huiles Essentielles, Hormones Végétales by René-Maurice Gattefossé [fr], a chemist. An English version was published in 1993. In 1910, Gattefossé burned a hand very badly and later claimed he treated it effectively with lavender oil.