Aromatherapy Practice: Facts & Items
In our modern times, aromatherapy got its fame thanks to the beauty and wellness industry. But the practice of essential oils therapy is strongly linked to the ancient holistic medicine.
Its roots go back to more than 6,000 years ago, to those times when such alternative therapies based on natural oils extracted from plants were very popular for enhancing physical and psychological wellbeing.
Majority of us were most likely introduced to aromatherapy in a spa or in a beauty salon, when we probably loved the calming and relaxing effect of a certain aroma.
But there are many more benefits to this alternative practice and we can do it right in our homes. Or, even better, in our cars, while on the road.
Besides de stressing and relaxation, essential oils could help release congestion, headaches, inflammatory problems or sore joints, aid overcome depression symptoms or improve sleep quality. All we need is the right information on how essential oils can be used. And, of course, the right aromatherapy products.
What Do You Need In Aromatherapy Practice
To begin with, you should know that there are two ways to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy: inhalation and topical application. Either way our smell senses are in for a wonderful fiesta. In both cases, essential oils from plant extracts are needed. Luckily there are dozens of these, extracted from medicinal plants and roots.
How it works. By inhaling the aroma of diffused essential oils, we’re giving both our internal organs and our brain a wonderful gift. It is no rocket science or mystical ritual. It’s simply biochemistry.
The oil molecules enter the respiratory system through the nose or mouth and travel through the respiratory system into the lungs. The bloodstream carries them to the brain and the limbic system. The last one is linked to emotions, stress, heart rate, blood pressure and hormone balance. The effect on the body and our mood might be subtle, yet efficient especially when practicing long term.
- Burning candles. Burning an aromatherapy candle during meditation or yoga session could help calm the mind, concentrate on the breathing and increase focus on the practice.
Caution: Not every aromatic candle is an aromatherapy one. There are lots of products made of mixed paraffin (instead of natural wax) and chemical aromas (instead of plants extracts). They do not provide the benefits we are looking for.
- Incense sticks. Burn an incense stick when feeling blue or in need to decompress after a hard day. Besides the calming atmosphere that tells our body and mind that we are in a safe place now, away from the daily noise and stress, the incense sticks are also known as energy purifiers.
Caution: burn one incense stick at a time and do it in a ventilated area. Always use an appropriate incense stick holder for safety reasons and, of course, choose only natural products.
- Diffusers. These special objects release essential oils through vapours. You can choose from a wide range of diffusers, from the basic tea candle ones, to the modern electrical models that work as humidifiers too. It’s up to you, your routine and your preference.
Caution: choosing an electrical diffuser would be safer. Most of the models are designed to switch off automatically when the water tank empties, so you don’t have to supervise them. Some models have colour therapy features, timer settings with high/low control of the mist and beautiful designs. The best of them are also equipped with a low noise technology, which means you can enjoy them during your sleep.
Our favourite: The car diffuser, a small and playful gadget keeping the car air fresh and toxic free.
2. Topical Application
How it works: essential oils are highly concentrated, so they are not supposed to be used directly on the skin. Doing so could potentially lead to allergies or even burns. But, when mixed with a carrier oil like almond, argan or coconut oil, essential oils maintain their benefits.
There are beauty and wellness products especially made to accomplish this goal, with the right essential oil composition and concentration.
When applied directly on the skin, oil molecules are absorbed into the bloodstream. An effective tip is to massage the area where the products are applied in order to increase blood circulation and enhance absorption.
We can also get the best out of essential oils by pouring a few drops of our favourite essence in the water to enhance the benefits of taking a bath. Or we can enjoy a massage on the pulse points any time we feel the need to reduce stress and relax.
Caution: when practicing aromatherapy by topical application at home, we need to be careful and sensible. Most important is choosing natural essentials oils and knowing that is recommended to add a few drops of essential oil to 25ml of carrier oil for the perfect concentration.
Get more inspiration for your aromatherapy practice out of our special selection of Aromas and…
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