Aromatherapy is a holistic massage that produces a physical, spiritual, emotional and mental sense of harmony. Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils – precious, sweet-smelling liquids extracted from many varieties of plants. Aromatherapy is the art and science of using natural aromatic essential oils. The ‘aroma’ in ‘aromatherapy’ refers to the fact that all essential oils have a characteristic smell, while the ‘therapy’ refers to healing.
Aromatherapy works in two ways – the widely accepted benefits of body massage and the inhalation of ‘essential oils’ derived from the flowers, roots and leaves of plants and shrubs. These oils are absorbed through the skin and their essences are also inhaled through the nose, down into the lungs causing both psychological and physical benefits. Not only does the aroma of the natural essential oil stimulate the brain to trigger a reaction, but also when inhaled into the lungs, the natural constituents (naturally occurring chemicals) can supply therapeutic benefit.
Essential oils that are applied to the skin can be absorbed into the bloodstream because their molecules are extremely small. The ‘essential oils’ are diluted with a ‘pure carrier oil’ to provide sufficient oil to produce a comfortable, pleasing and relaxing massage.
Aromatherapy has several therapeutic benefits: for beauty, general wellbeing, emotional help and certain illnesses. Treatments have also gained in popularity as an effective natural method of stress relief. Aromatherapy can help anyone with a busy pressurized lifestyle, and certain essential oils, either applied in a massage, in the bath, or used in a burner can help make people feel more relaxed and confident.
Depending on the species of plant, essential oils are extracted from petals, leaves, roots, buds, twigs, rhizomes (underground stems), wood, bark, resin or fruit. In a few cases every part of the plant growing above the ground is used. There are several ways of obtaining the oil, the most common being steam distillation. This involves putting the plant material in a large, closed container, known as a vat, and forcing steam through it. The heat and pressure release the tiny droplets of essential oil from the plant, which then rise, with the steam, out through a spiral tube. This cools the steam, turning it to liquid.
Aromatherapy is an entirely relaxing treatment; it has proved to be highly successful in the alleviation and cure of many ailments that prevail in our society today. One of its most ‘effective tools’ is the way in which the essential oils reduce the stressed state of the individual and in so doing will then pave the way to the improvement of the general state of health and well-being.
One of the most cherished and appreciated aspects of using essential oils at home is the fact that aromatherapy gives you more control over your life. Health is, of course, one of the greatest gifts, and essential oils are primarily about maintaining health and wellbeing. Imagine how marvelous it is to be able to do something positive and effective when you’re feeling tense, are lacking in energy, or are struck down with flu, a cold or cough, another infection, or by a sprain or muscular aches and tension.
Most of us go through much of our day completely devoid of the natural goodness provided by nature. Yet we yearn for it, and we need it, as a flower needs the sun. When you use essential oils, however, this yearning can be satisfied. Nature can be brought indoors, where we live and breathe, in the pure concentrated form of essential oils -and made a daily part of our lives. Using essential oils at home is easy, beneficial and delightfully pampering!