I want to touch briefly on aromatherapy, since it can play a huge role in what we’re trying to accomplish here. That is, maintaining or restoring total health and wellness, holistically in mind, body and spirit. This is meant to introduce you to aromatherapy and acquaint you with the many benefits available through the use of essential oils. I hope what you read will spark your interest and inspire you to learn more about aromatherapy and how it can help you. So, what is aromatherapy, anyway?
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy has been in existence for nearly 3500 years. Authentic aromatherapy utilizes medicinal plant extracts called “essential oils” to evoke the body’s own healing power. That is, essential oils support the body in achieving what it does naturally, that is seek balance. It is not just about the aroma, but the process that occurs in the body at a cellular level after its applied. Essential oils have the ability to destroy abnormal cells, like cancer cells, without harming normal cells. Essential oils have been found to provide psychological, emotional, physical and spiritual benefits when used correctly. Products that contain synthetic (man made) ingredients are not a part of holistic aromatherapy.
The 3 Basic Application Methods
- German model – promotes inhalation. There are a few different ways you can inhale essential oils: place 1-4 drops on a tissue and place near your nose and inhale. For steam inhalation, boil 2 cups of water, pour in a bowl, add 3-7 drops of the essential oil of your choice, place your nose about 12″ from the bowl and inhale the steam. Don’t inhale constantly and stop immediately if you notice any discomfort. Careful with oils that can irritate your mucous membranes, like cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary, pine, thyme, etc.
- English model – promotes topical applications of diluted essential oils.
- French models – uses inhalation, topical and internal methods. Internal use requires guidance from a clinically trained aromatherapist.
The effects of aromatherapy are numerous. No other modality influences body, mind and spirit as completely as aromatherapy.
3 of My Favorite Essential Oils and Their Uses
These are just 3 of the thousands of essential oils to choose from. These are 3 that I use frequently and have found especially therapeutic at this time in my life…over 50.
- Lavender. Lavender contains an oil that seems to have a sedating effect and relaxes muscles. It is used to calm the mind, heal the body and improve well being. Specifically, it used to treat restlessness, insomnia, nervousness, depression, digestion, gas, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea and upset stomach. It can also be used for migraines, toothaches, sprains, nerve pain, sores, joint pain, acne, cancer, hair loss and even to repel mosquitoes. When added to bath water, lavender treats circulation disorders and improves mental well being.
- Patchouli. Patchouli is rich, earthy and grounding. In skin care, patchouli oil is helpful for most skin types ranging from dry, cracked skin to regulating oily skin and acne. It helps with eczema, psoriasis and dandruff. Emotionally, patchouli oil is calming and grounding. Spiritually, it is used during prayer and meditation. Some other uses are for treating athlete’s foot, dermatitis, chapped skin, frigidity and maturing skin (that’s ours).
- Tea Tree Oil. Tea tree oil is medicinal, fresh, woody, earthy and herbaceous. It is used for acne, athlete’s foot, candida, chicken pox, cold sores, corns, cuts, flu, insect bites, itching, migraines, oily skin, ring worm, sinusitis, sores, spots (age spots), urethritis, warts and whooping cough.
Please feel free to leave a comment with your favorite essential oil and how it benefits you. Or, if you’ve never used any essential oils, let me know what issues you’d like to address and I’ll try to lead you in the right direction. Thanks for visiting today!
Suggested reading: Complete Guide to Aromatherapy by Salvatore Battaglia