Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of scents in the form of essential oils, which have different chemical constituents. There are many ways in which you can use essential oils and benefit from their therapeutic effects.
Aromatherapy calms the nerves when feeling anxious or tense, helps you sleep if suffering from insomnia, and energizes you if you are feeling tired and fatigued.
Using essential oils can be of assistance in correcting many bodily mal-functions, and influences our emotions.
USING ESSENTIAL OILS
Vapourizers provide an enjoyable way to utilize the benefits of essential oils and aromatherapy. Vapourizers are also known as diffusers, fragrancers, burners and aroma lamps. They generally consist of a container (usually ceramic or glass) with a bowl at the top to house the oil (sprinkled into water) and an opening at the bottom for a candle. (Electric models are also available)
The bowl is filled with warm water and 5 to 6 drops of essential oils added. The candle keeps the water heated, releasing the fragrance into the atmosphere.
Do NOT allow the water to evaporate completely. Not only does the bowl become tacky with oil residue, but it may also become a fire hazard. Never leave candles burning unattended.
Baths are wonderfully relaxing at the best of times, but by adding a few drops of your favourite essential oils, a bath can become positively divine. Baths are an excellent way to reap the benefits of aromatherapy.
Add 8 to 12 drops of essential oils to the bath water and disperse well by swishing around the water vigourously prior to getting in.
Allow yourself to lie back and relax for 20 to 30 minutes in order to allow the oils to penetrate the skin and enter the blood stream. Its as simple as that.
If you bathe in the evening, have the water as hot as you can to create a vapour which you inhale as you soak and relax. This also aids relaxation and helps you to have a good night’s sleep.
If you have your bath in the morning, the water should not be too hot. Once you’ve had your soak in the bath, briefly stand in the shower under coolish water to revive and invigorate your skin, nervous system and whole body, energizing you for the day ahead.
At times a shower may be more practical than taking a bath when time is limited. Simply sprinkle 2 to 3 drops onto a damp cloth and rub all over the body whilst under the running water of the shower. The steam produced vapourizes the essential oils, releasing their benefits.
Massage is a relaxing, comforting method of using essential oils. Aromatherapy massage can be uplifting, invigorating or relaxing and soothing, depending upon the oils chosen and massage technique used.
Prepare your oils by blending a base or carrier oil such as sweet almond or jojoba oil with 10 to 25 drops of the essential oils of choice. Blend in a glass bottle or bowl.
Make your oil blends as you need them as they last no longer than 5 to 8 days. If you make a fresh mixture prior to each massage, the usual proportion is 2 to 3 drops of essential oil to 5ml (1 teaspoon) of carrier or base oil.
Massage the prepared oils into desired areas.
Compresses are soothing for most tension and anxiety symptoms such as headaches and mental fatigue.
To make a compress, fill a bowl with ice cold water and add 6 to 10 drops of essential oils and disperse thoroughly.
Place a clean cloth into the bowl and submerge fully. Then wring out and place on the forehead and temples for 20 to 30 minutes.
Headache blend: 4 drops Lavender, 2 drops Orange and 2 drops Chamomile.
Footbaths are excellent for refreshing the feet, the body, the mind and soul. They can either uplift the spirits or relax and ease tension depending upon the oil blend used.
Add 4 to 8 drops of your chosen essential oils to a bowl of warm to hot water, pop your feet in and sit back and relax for 15 minutes or so.
You can enjoy the benefits of using essential oils at any time by sprinkling a couple of drops of your favourites onto a handkerchief or tissue, so that you can carry it around with you and breathe in the soothing vapours whenever you wish.
Candles and Soaps
Essential oils can be added to soaps and candles and are an excellent and easy way to add ambience to any room or environment, as well as dispersing therapeutic benefits to all who enter.
A vast array of candles, soaps and other accessories are commercially available.