What is Aromatherapy?
Many people who have experienced aromatherapy have noted a marked improvement in their mood and increased relaxation when using a blend of essential oils. It has long been accepted that essential oils can have a powerful, even therapeutic effect on the mind and body. Essential oils are concentrated, volatile oils extracted from leaves, stems, roots, bark, seeds, nuts, fruits, flowers, and other organic elements. These oils are found in nature in large quantities, making them more potent than other plant-derived oils. As a result, the essential oils derived from nature are relatively inexpensive and easy to collect.
Aromatherapy unites the mind and spirit while enhancing overall health and wellbeing. It holds the power to refresh and energise the body, mind and spirit with the power of nature’s energy. So let’s take a look at the main uses of aromatherapy as a holistic treatment.
#1. To reduce depression and anxiety
Whilst studies have shown that the essential oils in aromatherapy can alleviate anxiety. Aromatherapy massages have also been proven to be even more effective in influencing emotions. Further examination of this phenomenon showed that deep body oils serve as stimulants that can lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety.
When you are under emotional distress, the functioning of your nervous system is affected. The autonomic nervous system is triggered, which means that your body’s involuntary functions are heightened. Therefore, it is essential to calm down your adrenal function, so that your body will not produce unnecessary stress.
Consequently, the act of aromatherapy can influence the release of endorphins into the body. The holistic treatment is known to decrease stress, trauma, anger and fear, and can therefore calm down overreactive reflexes.
#2. To treat respiratory issues
The way you breathe can have a profound effect, both on your emotional state and body functions. Most of us breathe with shallow breathing, which means we only fill the lower part of our lungs with oxygen once every 90 minutes or so.
However, this is a mistake and can be one of the reasons why we feel so stressed. By using essential oils, you will naturally breath in slower and more deeply. Therefore, you will meet your lungs with oxygen, and consequently calm down your nervous system, reducing its clutter. This deep breathing and inhalation of plant extracts is natural, in that it actively refreshes your cells with fuel, and spurs energetic activity. Aromatherapy is one way to practice slow and deep breathing and can alleviate respiratory problems, from asthma to cystic fibrosis.
#3. To promote relaxation
Essential oils can also be used in your bathroom to provide a therapeutic massage. For example, you can add a few drops to the spring water to have a spa-like bath. If you want to attain even more comfort, you can also add two drops of essential oils to a bowl of warm water, and inhale the steam or massage your skin with it directly.
Then, take a nice, cool shower, ring out the warm water, and then let it run through your head. The aromatic properties will run through your senses, to the brain and is then carried over your spine and to energise your whole body. This process will immediately relax you and reduce any stresses that you may have picked up over the course of your working week.
You can also use this same method for a cooling experience. Showering in cool water, together with a cool bath and pure essential oils, will simply be a great help to clear out your system of all that ‘brain junk’.
#4. To alleviate pain or discomfort
The holistic treatment has been proven to reduce and deter aches and pains which can cause discomfort in your daily routine. Pain can be brought about by a variety of medical conditions, injuries or mental health problems. This is why we often say that aromatherapy provides a multitude of health benefits to the mind, body and soul.
From arthritis pains to more temporary discomforts such as irritable bowel syndrome, the essential oils that are often used if different forms of aromatherapy treatment.
#5. To promote sleep
It is a well known fact that a lack of sleep can be influenced by mental and physical pains. With the knowledge that essential oils are proven to reduce these common problems, we can be rest assured that you will receive an increase in sleep quality as a result of aromatherapy. Lavender is the most common oil used in aromatherapy to treat insomnia. This is because these types of oils act by slowing the heart rate and increasing melatonin levels which induces the need for sleep.
Muscle relaxation is also essential to fall into a sleeping state. Why not try rubbing essential oils onto your skin at night before sleep, or take have a soak in a bath filled with lavender. One thing to try is putting some drops of lavender on your pillow as it has been scientifically proven to help you sleep.
Each essential oil is different in its ability to calm, enlighten, energise, refresh and comfort the mind and body. It’s dynamic attributes give each oil its individual and unique medicinal uses. It is recommended to dilute any essential oils before applying to the body. Powdered essential oils can also be added to an ointment or spray before use and they can also be added to a balm or lavender spray.
Each of the aromatherapy essential oils offer physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. They are able to work as cleansers, purifiers, and enhancers of the immune system, respiratory system and circulatory system. It’s definitely worth looking into as a herbal remedy for common issues that you may encounter in life.