Of all our five senses, the sense of smell is powerful in the way that it can instantly transport the mind to another place. I remember starting school and how the blend of chalk, floor cleaner, timber, and other students all melded together to make an unmistakable aroma that when I chance upon the smell now it still has the power to evoke a particular period of my life.
Aromatherapy is the art of blending essential oils for emotions and health. Despite what you may think aromatherapy is not some modern day creation designed to feed our consumerist tendencies – it has been around for many years and can have a profound effect on the mind, body and spirit.
Essential Oil Basics
Aromatherapy is completely natural as the essential or fragrant oils are extracted from plants. It is a kind of natural physical and psychological healing method that can either be massaged into the skin or inhaled. Plants like rosemary, juniper, sage and lavender were first experimented with for medicinal reasons in ancient China.
In the sixteenth century aromatic herbs were used to ward off the Black Death. In the nineteenth century the art of perfumery began through the creation of natural fragrances (perfumes) from plant oils. With the increased emphasis today on returning to a more natural way of life, aromatherapy has become revived and further developed as a stress relief and healing method but also as a way of adding depth to an occasion or situation.
What is it about Essential Oils?
The main ingredient in any aromatherapy product is essential oils. Essential oils are the liquid essence of the original plant. A very concentrated substance which is incredibly potent, essential oils come in small bottles and can be applied to the skin only once they have been diluted using a carrier oil like almond oil. If you are inhaling essential oils, then you need only use a few drops diluted in water, as too much of it can be harmful.
What Can Essential Oils Do?
There are many ways that you can use aromatherapy to heal and enhance your life and how you incorporate it into your daily life depends largely on your personal preferences. Some people like to use aromatherapy candles or incense, and breathe in the scent of various fragrances to create a particular mood or environment. The scent is said to set off a chemical reaction in the brain, creating a mental state of relaxation. Other types of oils, salts and lotions can be used on the skin, creating the same relaxing effect except on a physical level. Others use aromatherapy as a way to look and feel younger and more vibrant.
Aromatherapy is a great way to encourage relaxation. So next time you feel uptight or tense think about burning a scented candle and focus on inhaling the scent and as you do so feel your whole body relax and soften. Whether you make it a habit and do it every night, or wait until a long Sunday to loosen up your senses and muscles, choosing aromatherapy is an easy way to unwind. With natural ingredients and a beautiful fragrance, it is a great natural way to celebrate life.
The secret is to make sure that you buy good quality essential oils and products and not just any old oils.