Aromas have such power, don’t they? The smell of apple pie baking in the oven can take us right back to childhood. Perhaps the scent of a certain flower or perfume reminds you of someone special. Aromas hold incredible power to transform our moods.
It’s no wonder, then, that aromatherapy – the science of aromas – is so essential to the spa experience. It plays a vital role in relaxing and healing both the mind and the body.
Aromatherapy is versatile, too. You can light a scented candle, inhaling deeply as it gives off its aroma. You can release your favorite essential oils in the steam shower. In that case, you’re not only inhaling a wonderful scent, your skin is soaking up the benefits, too.
Aromatherapy can really be as simple as that or as complex as you’d like to make it. Here are some of the basics you’ll need to know before experiencing it for yourself.
Because aromatherapy has skyrocketed in popularity over the last number of years, you’re going to have to keep a discerning eye out. The aromas used for this therapy are essential oils that have been extracted from plants. This process can take a considerable amount of effort. So, if you find aromatherapy oils that are priced low, you’ll need to beware. The bottle could be at least partially filled with some synthetic concoction that you probably don’t want to be inhaling. Go to a well established and reputable spa to purchase these oils, instead. You don’t need a lot to experience the wellness they provide. You do, however, need to make sure you have the real, natural, deal in hand.
How To Use It
It’s true that proponents of aromatherapy have claimed that it can soothe or cure any number of ailments. I’ve found that the result really depends on each individual person. That’s not to say there aren’t huge benefits to be gained from using aromatherapy. There are! Just give some thought to which scents are associated with the ailments you’d like addressed. Look, too, to the diverse ways that aromatherapy can be administered. Choose the one that suits you best.
Quick breath in. Need a quick boost? Place a drop or two of essential oil on a facial tissue. Bring the tissue up to your nose and inhale.
Steam it. Some steam showers come with aromatherapy dispensers. In that case, all you need to do is add the required amount to the dispenser, sit back, and inhale the scented steam that’s generated around you.
If you don’t own a steam shower, you can place a few drops of essential oil in a cup or two of boiling water. Inhale deeply as the scented steam rises from the cup.
Freshen up. Rather than purchasing a chemical-laden room freshener, you can make your own. Place a few drops of essential oil in a humidifier and set it to low. The scent will slowly disperse throughout the room.
Rub it in. One of the most common uses for essential oils is as a massage lubricant. Add a drop or two to your favorite massage oil. Proceed with your favorite type of massage.
Bathing beauty. Who doesn’t love to step into a hot, scented bath? Because bathtubs hold a lot of water, you’ll probably need more than a drop or two of essential oil. Add in as much as you’d like, remembering though that the more subtle the aroma, the more pleasing it will be as you soak.
There are quite literally hundreds and hundreds of essential oils. There are probably as many essential oils as there are plants on the earth. So, the list below is by no means complete! However, I did want to give you a bit of a running start. The oils I’ve listed are among the most common and easily found in pharmacies and spa stores across the country. The ailments listed for each oil are also not exhaustive. An aromatherapist is the best one to consult for your own particular situation.
Bergamot Citrus-like; used to treat stress and anxiety.
Chamomile Sweet herbal aroma; used for calming nerves and improving mood.
Eucalyptus Smells of mint and honey; for respiratory problems and deodorizing.
Jasmine Sweet smelling; used to treat stress.
Lavender Aromas of smoke and vegetation; used for stress and insomnia.
Patchouli Sweet and earthy-smelling; for soft skin and stress.
Rose Smells just like a rose flower; used to treat anxiety and asthma.
Sandalwood Woody aroma; used to clear mucous membranes and stress.
As I mentioned above, always consult with an aromatherapist before beginning aromatherapy. Each essential oil is powerful in its own right, and can be combined for different effect. Speak to a professional to make sure you’re using the right oil in the right method for you.
Which aromas are your own personal favorites?