Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils (the highly concentrated essences of plants) to enhance and balance the mind, body and overall wellbeing.
Massage is one of the best ways to experience aromatherapy. The individual properties of the essential oils can help with a range of complaints from digestive issues to muscular aches & pains and emotional concerns. A trained aromatherapist knows how to select and blend the right oils to meet the needs of the client.
You can also benefit from essential oils through creams, aromatic baths or compresses or inhaled through diffusion or steam inhalation.
Aromatherapists use about 150 essential oils and each one has a unique chemistry and properties that produce a distinct therapeutic, psychological and physiological effect but here are five to get you started:
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – is calming and soothing, antiseptic, aids sleep, aches and pains, it is also great for skin care and burns/bites.
Tea Tree – (Melaleuca alternifolia) – is uplifting, helpful for allergies and respiratory infections, immune support, minor cuts and freshens the air.
Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) – is uplifting and cheering, antiseptic, supports immunity, helps digestion and nausea, sore muscles and freshens the air.
Rose Geranium (Pelargonium asperum) – cooling and balancing, natural anti depressant, aches and pains, antiseptic, great for skin care and women’s health.
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) – is refreshing and stimulating, helps to ease headaches, indigestion and nausea, helpful for respiratory infections, immune support and insect repellent.
My top tips to safely use Aromatherapy at home:
~ When you buy essential oils make sure they state the botanical name on the bottle and have no other ingredients.
~ To diffuse effectively put 6-12 drops of essential oil (either pre-blended or your own blend of 2 or 3 essential oils) into your diffuser with some water (follow the instructions for your specific model) and diffuse for 30-60 mins only.
~ To make your own aromatic bath add 4-6 drops of essential oil to 1 tablespoon of whole milk, unperfumed bath foam base e.g. Neal’s Yard Remedies Create your own range, or a carrier oil e.g. sunflower oil. Add the essential oils after you have run the bath to stop them evaporating before you get in.
~ Always dilute essential oils and never put them directly onto your skin or ingest them because they can be harmful and cause severe irritation, burning and sensitization. A 2% essential oil dilution is generally considered a safe guideline for topical application of essential oils on adults. To make a 2% dilution take 30ml of a carrier (carrier oil e.g. grapeseed oil or lotion) and put 12 drops of your chosen essential oil in.
~ Not all essential oils are safe for pregnant women, children or animals so get some advice. I have two young children myself and post lots of tips and advice on my blog.
~ There are many lovely essential oils to use whilst doing yoga and meditation but one of my favourites is the new ‘meditation’ blend by Neal’s Yard Remedies.
~ Only follow the advice of qualified aromatherapists, as there is a lot of misleading and poor advice online.
I hope some of these tips help you to incorporate aromatherapy into your daily life.
If you are interested in booking an Aromatherapy massage or learning more then please check out my website and Instagram. I also offer free Aroma Balance workshops for you and your friends at your home.