Aromatherapy – the past, the present, the future. Our ancestors used aromatic substances lavishly and in all facets of their lives. Records dating back to antiquity tell of performed oils, scented barks and resins, of spices, and aromatic waters all used medicine, ritual, astrology and embalming. Aromatherapy is a holistic complimentary alternative therapy, a lesser known branch of our Indian Ayurvedic medicinal system, based on plants.
Essential oils are powerful substances and should be handled with care. The therapeutic results are achieved by the right combination of essential oils carried by complimenting carrier oil in the right ratios and the quality of the oils used. Equally important is way these blends or single oils are used. When it comes to essential oils, contrary to general belief, less is more.
There are two safe ways of using essential oils -Inhalation and Topical Application. Ingestion, in any form, is not advised.
One of the easiest and efficient way of using essential oils is to deeply inhale their scent. You may simply open the lid of one of the bottles or rub one drop of oil in your hand, rub them together and take a deep breath or you can use diffusers, sprays, incenses or aromatic spritzer for creating a healing ambience around you.
As oil evaporates in the air and enters the body through the nose and into the olfactory system, part of the brain connected to the sense of smell, molecules that enter the nose or mouth pass through the lungs, and from there, to other parts of the body. As the molecules reach the brain, they affect the limbic system, which is linked to the emotions, the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress, and hormone balance. In this way, essential oils can have a subtle, yet holistic effect on the body.
Massage or topical application is another most popular and effective method of making use of essential oils and blends, as they are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and reach the organ or affected area within a few minutes. Applying the oil in the desired area and gently massaging it into the skin also boosts blood circulation which brings quick results. Areas that are richer in sweat glands and hair follicles, such as the head or the palms of the hand, absorb the oils more effectively. This is especially useful for targeted healing.
Generally, essential oils are safe to use. However, it is good to keep in mind these general guidelines in mind while using essential oils -
Applying single oil, diluted in a carrier oil, is the most simple and safest way to use an essential oil. Both the oils should be pure with no solvents or additives to reap the benefits of that herb. While applying a single oil, you need not be concerned about its chemical composition. However, the application of a single oil restricts you from receiving full benefits that the herb has to offer.
In a blend, the quantity of each essential oil is very precisely calculated according to our body type and the issue we are addressing with that particular aromatherapy blend. An aromatherapy blend is made with carefully chosen herbs that come together chemically to make a powerful composition. Overall, a blend is entirely a new substance whose property is very different from individual oils used to make that blend.
Aromatherapy blends are designed and mixed with carefully chosen essential oils in appropriate proportions by experts to address a specific problem. Each essential oil is chosen based on its specific property as well as its cohesiveness with the others so that they may complement each other and make a powerful blend.
The proper knowledge of individual oil allows an aromatherapist to create powerful oil combinations that can miraculously act on your body. Aromatherapy blends are crafted for targeted action to address a specific issue and as they are quickly absorbed in the body, they provide fast and long lasting results.
Aromatherapy without massage is like an orchestra without a conductor.
- Robert Tisserand