What is Aromatherapy?
Many of you are new to using essential oils and may not even really know what aromatherapy is or what it truly means. So I wanted to give you a brief overview in hopes that you will start to feel comfortable and begin your journey into exploring the many benefits of essential oils.
WHAT IS AROMATHERAPY
So what is aromatherapy? Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to balance, harmonize and promote health in the body, mind and spirit. essential oils are extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant.
Essential oils are made up of hydrogen and carbon and the way those molecules are arranged create a constituent. Each essential oil has 100’s of different constituents like Menthol, Alpha Pinene, or linalool. These constituents have been researched to determine what effect they have on the body.
For instance Menthol has a cooling and soothing effect on the skin, Alpha Pinene is an anti-inflammatory and an anti-microbial. Or Linalool which is a calming constituent.
Ok, so as not to bore you with more chemistry let’s move on.
There are several methods of aromatherapy:
Many people are familiar with inhaling essential oils, this form of aromatherapy can be using a diffuser to inhale essential oils throughout your home or office. Putting essential oils directly onto a cotton ball or handkerchief is another way to “inhale” essential oil.
Inhaling essential oils is the quickest way to gain benefits through aromatherapy. Research shows that it takes 22 seconds for essential oil molecules to reach your brain, 2 minutes to be found in the bloodstream and after 20 minutes essential oils can affect every cell in the body.
When you inhale essential oils the aroma travels from your olfactory nerve, to the olfactory bulb then to the limbic system of your brain which is where behavior and emotions are processed. Signals are then sent out to the body to react to that constituent.
The 2nd method of aromatherapy is through topical application on the skin. This is done by using essential oils that have been diluted with a carrier oil in products such as body oil, body spray, roll ons, creams or lotions.
Those who use essential oils topically tend to do so for cosmetic purposes, to treat pain or to gain the benefits as the oils are absorbed into the skin. Essential oils are absorbed via the epidermis (top layer of skin), move from the soft tissue to the bloodstream, are carried to the treatment areas and then metabolized in the liver.
When applying essential oils topically it is recommended to apply to your pulse points for quickest absorption.
The best places to apply essential oils are:
- Pulse points (this is the area where your blood is closest to your skin allowing for fast absorption and quick results! ...
- Back of the neck.
- Forehead & temples.
- Bottoms of the feet.
- Inner elbows.
- Behind the knees.
I have been using essential oils for about 15 years. I began using them to replace the use of synthetic or man-made products where possible. I started using lavender essential oil to help anytime I had a headache, peppermint oil if I had indigestion and eucalyptus and honey if I had a sore throat. Today, I use essential oils daily and in fact carry them with me everywhere I go. You can usually find germ fighter, headache relief, body oil and deodorant in my bag at any given time. I have even found a great pouch to put all my essential oil products in as I got tired of them clanking around in my bag.
Once you become familiar with the many benefits of essential oils, I’ll need to check your purse!