Aromatherapy - What Is It?

Aromatherapy - What Is It?
There are many different types of therapies and remedies out there which are very alternative and operate outside of the conventional pharmaceutical options. One of these is called aromatherapy. However, not everyone may not be aware of what this is. To try and help, we’re taking a look at aromatherapy, and what exactly it is.

So, what is aromatherapy?

So, what is aromatherapy?
To begin with, let’s look at what aromatherapy exactly is, because while many people may well have heard of the term, but may also not be aware of what it is. Aromatherapy is a type of therapy which uses essential oils from flowers and plants to be effective. These oils are good for the body and can provide health benefits when used in aromatherapy. The aim is to improve well-being and reduce stress, so the oils do have a calming effect on the system. This is different from most other therapies because instead of trying to target a single disease or infection, the aromatherapy instead attempts to focus and restore the entire body, and helps to maintain a balance within the body which aids recovery and repair. Aromatherapy itself can work in one of two ways. It can either be introduced to the system via absorption of the skin, or it can be applied via the use of smells.

So, how do we identify these smells?

So, how do we identify these smells?
It can sometimes be challenging to determine these kinds of smells during the aromatherapy process, so people began to look into ways of identifying smells based on what they had detected previously, to draw a comparison between the two aromas. These were consequently split up into different descriptive words. Balsamic is often given to scents which are very deep and sweet, like for example vanilla. There can also be tones which may well remind you of balsamic vinegar. Alternatively, citrus is the fairly distinct smell of different kinds of fruits, such as lemons or limes. Then you have aromas which are similar to herbs and spices, and things which are more elemental, such as an earthy or a wood smell. At any rate, there’s a lot of different types of smells which can be described to draw comparisons between ordinary everyday smells and the aromas which are best suited for the therapy at hand.

Overall, aromatherapy is a potent tool for people who are seeking an alternative way to restore the balance within their bodies. The use of essential oils from plants and flowers is a great way to provide a calming element to the body which is not industrial, which for alternative health supporters is always a good thing. Being able to identify scents based on descriptions which correspond to aromas which we’ve experienced before is also an effective way to find the smells which best help them to calm down, so they can reduce stress and experience the many benefits which aromatherapy has to offer people, working with natural ingredients in order to properly de-stress and maintain balance within the body.

The 5 Amazing Benefits Of Aromatherapy You Might Not Have Known

Aromatherapy is a practice which has been going on for a long time and is a trendy thing for people to do to relax and maintain a balance in their bodies. There are some significant benefits to be gained from aromatherapy, even if you aren’t aware of them all, and we’re taking a look at some of them here.

It helps to relieve stress

The fact that a lot of people may not have known is that aromatherapy is chiefly used for stress relief. The natural oils and essences which come from plants have been shown to have a calming effect on the body, are known as relaxants. The best ones to use have been suggested to be lemon oil and peppermint, to name a few.

It helps your memory

As you get older, you’re going to be at a more pronounced risk of conditions which will affect your memory, such as dementia and alzheimer's. Aromatherapy has been shown to be a good way of slowing down and halting the progression of the diseases. The relaxing nature of the treatment ensures that your memory is much better for a good few hours afterwards, and can apply to any age group, not just those with conditions.

It will boost your energy levels

Whether it is coffee or energy drinks, we’ve all got something we use to try and stay full of beans and awake, especially early in the morning. However, the problem with all of these kinds of stimulants is that they are damaging to the body. A lot of the essential oils which are part of aromatherapy help to increase the circulation in the body and thus provide the same benefits that caffeine based substances do, only you’re not taking in any of the harmful chemicals.

You’ll sleep more, and you’ll sleep better

Another advantage of aromatherapy is that it helps you to sleep better. Insomnia or a lack of REM sleep can set you back when you’re working because you’ll be tired and unable to focus as well. With aromatherapy, you’ll find that you sleep more, and you’re also not as tired on a general basis.

It helps with digestion problems

It’s very likely that after a big meal, you have found yourself feeling bloated, lethargic or even suffering from indigestion. Aromatherapy can help with all of these, contribute to ease these symptoms and provide assistance with the digestion of your food, so you aren’t spending hours wishing you didn’t have that last slice of pie.

Overall, these are just a few of the benefits which aromatherapy can provide. Whether you’re old or young, there are some definite improvements to your health to be enjoyed. From better sleep to aiding with stress relief, there’s a real need for something natural and relaxing in a modern world, and it is easy to see why so many people choose to utilise aromatherapy when there’s such an abundance of benefits to be had.

A Look at the Different Ways Aromatherapy Can be Used

A Look at the Different Ways Aromatherapy Can be Used
Aromatherapy harnesses the healing properties of essential oils and offers a significant boost to conventional medications. Essential oils have such a range of uses that they are great for the body, mind and soul. They can relieve some medical conditions, reduce stress and help the mood, so it is essential to understand how to use them safely and correctly. Essential oils should never be used internally, and you should take advice from a qualified aromatherapist if you are unsure in any way. For most people using them at home in the methods described is considered safe. However, care should be taken if you are pregnant, have very young children and have animals in the house as some can be toxic to pets. If you are planning to use a specific oil check out any contraindications for that oil first.

So How Can You Use Aromatherapy?

Diffused

There are two ways you can diffuse essential oils. Using a candle burner a small amount of oil is placed in a well on top of the burner, with water added and a candle is lit below. Remember to take care when using candles. Secondly modern electric diffusers replace the candle element, and you add the aromatherapy oil to water inside the device, and it generates enough heat to mist the oils out into the room. These diffusers are considered safer as they have auto shut off when the water has all evaporated.

In the Bath

Adding aromatherapy oils to the bath is another favourite way to use them. This enables you to select the oils you feel the best match you need and create a warm and relaxing environment. Add the drops of oils to a small amount of milk before adding to the water as this prevents the oils from being damaged by the heat of the water.

Get Steaming

A popular method when you have a cold or allergies (please make sure you speak to a Dr if you have lung conditions or asthma before trying this). Just add some drops of oil to hot water in a bowl. Lean over the bowl and inhale the steam. You can use a towel over your head to help trap the steam but take care that you are not in danger of scolding your face.

Breathe In

Perhaps the most straightforward way to harness the power of aromatherapy oils is to inhale them. Just undo the bottle and take a sniff. You could add some drops to a tissue or decant a small amount into a little vile to make it easier.

Spray Them On

Finally, this is a lovely way to add the benefits of aromatherapy to your home. Mix the desired oils with water and add to a mister bottle. You can then spray onto clothing or upholstery, bed linen and more. Check with a qualified aromatherapist for guidance on which oils might stain or damage fabrics but most used in a dilute form should be safe.

What is Aromatherapy?

What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is an age-old practice dating back thousands of years. It involves the use of natural oils and plant materials to help stimulate psychological and physiological wellbeing. Using various techniques such as massage or steam inhalation, aromatherapy is said to relief pain as well as acting as a highly effective mood enhancer. Ancient civilizations including the Romans and Egyptians were amongst the first people to use essential oils and included them in both fragrances and cosmetics.

A look at the physiological benefits of Aromatherapy

A look at the physiological benefits of Aromatherapy
Physiological benefits of aromatherapy

Physiological benefits deal with the overall health and function of the body. For example, a physiological benefit of an Aroma therapeutic massage might be to help relax and soothe tension in the organ systems. Aromatherapy can provide a wide array of physiological benefits. Some of which are discussed below:

Acts as an aid against Insomnia

Aromatherapy is a proven aid of sleep deprivation. Lavender oil, in particular, is a much-used essential oil used to help people sleep. You can either add a little drop onto a tissue and leave it on your pillow to inhale overnight Other essential oils that can help promote relaxation and aid sleep are chamomile and marjoram. These essential oils can be combined to produce a sedative quality.

Stimulates your immune system

One of the many physiological benefits of aromatherapy is that it can help to stimulate your immune system and increase the production of healthy white blood cells. It is also said to be able to increase the body’s rate of healing. Some of the best essential oils for boosting your immunity include tea tree oil and Rosemary.

Increase blood circulation helping to deliver oxygen and nutrients round the body

Aroma therapeutic massage can significantly increase the amount of oxygen and nutrients being carried around your body by your red blood cells. It also re-establishes oxygen delivery to the cells surrounding the small capillaries, allowing them to lose their excess fluid and work more effectively. This increased blood circulation helps feed muscles and joints reducing your body’s fatigue and helping itself to repair.

Helps to restore your body’s balance

Essential oils including Lavender and Geranium are said to be particularly useful in helping to balance your bodies Yin and Yang. If your energies are not properly balanced it can have all sorts of effects on your health and wellbeing. Many people believe that aromatherapy can help restore your bodies balance helping energy to flow through the body more freely.

Physical benefits of aromatherapy

Physical benefits of aromatherapy
Many people swear by the beneficial properties of aromatherapy and it is regarded as an effective treatment for a variety of symptoms and conditions. Through the use of various essential oils and plant extracts, aromatherapy can help all manor of ailments such as aches, pains, anxiety and depression. In this article we will look specifically at how aromatherapy can help physical conditions.

A Look at The Physical Benefits of Aromatherapy

A Look at The Physical Benefits of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy has many physical benefits and is used to treat a variety of physical conditions. Below are just some of the many physical benefits aromatherapy can offer:

Treatment for aches, pains and inflammatory conditions

Some essential oils are particularly useful for helping treat aches and pains. Aroma therapeutic massage can ease tensed muscles and reduce the swelling of strained muscles. Essentials oils are also often used to relieve joint pains and other problems such as arthritis.

Can Relieve Headaches and Nerve Tension

Aromatherapy is an effective treatment of nerve tension and headaches and is good for relieving headache and tension. Essential oils such as peppermint and lavender are excellent at helping treat migraines and treating headaches providing pain relief as well as aiding circulation and reducing stress. Unlike tablet form painkillers they are also entirely free of negative effects so are safe to use.

Treatment of skin disorders

Essential oils are often used in the treatment of skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis, however you should be aware that certain oils will need diluting. Lavender oil is a powerful soother and also very gentle on sensitive skin which is why it is often used to treat a variety of skin complaints. Tea tree oil is also great for use on the skin and its antibacterial properties can help ward off the bacteria that causes acne.

Helps settle stomach issues

Certain essential oils can also be used to aid stomach irritations. Mandarin and other citrus oils provide excellent nausea relief whilst clove oil is known to reduce inflammation within the intestinal lining helping to alleviate discomfort. To use essential oils in order to aid with digestion you should gently massage the oil into the abdomen.

Increases Energy Levels

Aromatherapy can also increase your energy levels and relief fatigue. Many essential oils such as jasmine, cinnamon and clove are believed to increase circulation which, can in turn help raise your energy levels and help stimulate the body.

5 of The Popular Essential Oils Used in Aromatherapy

5 of The Popular Essential Oils Used in Aromatherapy
There are lots of different essential oils, and it would be impossible to remember the healing benefits of each one unless you were working with them daily as an aromatherapist. However, there tend to be a few favourite oils that are more commonly used because of their healing properties. Here are five of the most common oils and the benefits they offer.

5 Popular Essential Oils and Healing Benefits

Lavender

Lavender has a myriad of properties. It is part of the antibacterial group of essential oils which makes it a powerful illness buster. It can be used in combination with other oils to create natural home cleaning products. Combine a few drops of each oil in a spray bottle and dilute with water. This can be used to wipe down surfaces such as worktop and door handles and helps combat the spread of germs. Another great property of lavender is the soporific value, which makes it an excellent oil for people who are having problems sleeping. It helps the body relax and calms a restless mind.

Lemon

Coming from the citrus family of oils lemon is another popular and powerful oil that has many uses. It can work to combat feelings of depression and anxiety and is excellent for nerves, for example when taking exams. It is an uplifting smell that helps you feel awake and alert. Lemon is a great diet aid as the smell can help combat food cravings, so you do not overindulge. It is another potent cleansing oil so can be used in combination with lavender as describe above to help clean the house.

Eucalyptus

Although traditionally the food of the Koala this is another useful oil to have handy at home. The pungent smell is a great decongestant and can help with clearing the sinuses and a stuffy nose particularity when you have a cold or allergies. It has expectorant properties which means that it helps the body break down and expel germ filled mucus. Because of the effect on the lungs, it is also a great oil to use when working with asthma, pneumonia and COPD. This is because it creates an expanding impact on the blood vessels within the lungs which in turn leads to more oxygen in the area.

Tea Tree

Another great oil from the antibacterial group. Tea tree oil has the power to kill off germs and makes a great aid to bacterial infection treatment. It is a tremendous immediate first aid oil for stings, insect bites and sunburn and is one of the only oils that are safe to use neat - in small quantities. So for example, if you are stung or bitten by an insect, add tea tree oil to a cotton bud and dab the wound site. Add some drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo and help in the battle against head lice.

Clary Sage

The antibacterial group of oils is quite vast, and clary sage is another one. This oil has a broad range of therapeutic properties and is an excellent choice for ladies as it can help with menstrual cramping and, later, the effect of the menopause. Another oil that is said to help with those who struggle to sleep as this is another oil that allows the brain and body relax and achieve a state of sleep.



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