Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy, also known as essential oil therapy, is the practice of using natural plant extracts to promote physical and mental health. The use of essential oils has been dated back to over 6000 years, with the goal of healthy and peaceful living.

Ancient cultures in South East Asia and Central Africa have used aromatic plant compounds in their lotions, balms, soaps, and oils. They did so for medicinal as well as cultural purposes. The inhalation of these oils were known to be soothing even in those times.

Use of Aromatherapy:

Aromatherapy treatment is done through inhalation or by applying the essential oil directly to your skin or clothing.

Inhalation:

The oil is inhaled through spray bottles, diffusers, steam baths, and other such ways. This provides an individual with a relaxing scent and can provide respiratory cleansing, act as a decongestant, and provides mental clarity.

When inhaled, essentials oils stimulate your olfactory system, which is connected to your sense of smell. These molecules pass from your respiratory system to the rest of your body. They affect your limbic system, which controls your emotions, breathing, memory, heart rate, blood pressure, stress, and also hormone production. This way, essential oils have a holistic effect on your body.

External application:

Massage oils, bathing, and skin-care products, when applied, are absorbed into the skin. By massaging essential oils increases the surface area to volume ratio, which makes absorption easier. Some believe certain areas of the body, such as the head and feet, may absorb the oils more effectively.

How does aromatherapy treatment work?

There are several ways you can use aromatherapy to ease your troubles. You can do this by using the following things:

  • Diffusers
  • Aromatic Spritzers
  • Inhalers
  • Bathing salts
  • Body oils, creams, or lotions for massage or topical application
  • Facial steamers
  • Hot and cold compresses
  • Clay masks

Aromatherapy Uses & Benefits:

Research has proven that aromatherapy can help you in the following way:

Most popular aromatherapy oils

Some oils are more commonly used than others because they are more effective, and they provide an array of benefits. Some of the most commonly used aromatherapy oils are:

Safety and side effects:

While some essential oils may be safe to use, others can be harmful. Hence, essential oils should be handled with care and precautions, especially if you use prescription medication.

Essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin but should be diluted in carrier oils before use. Perform the skin patch test to test for allergic reactions. 

Some side effects can include:

  • Rashes
  • Asthma attacks
  • Headaches
  • Allergic reactions
  • Skin irritation
  • Nausea

Use essential oils with caution if you have:

  • Hay fever
  • Asthma
  • Epilepsy
  • High blood pressure
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis

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