The use of essential oils, commonly known as aromatherapy, is well-defined by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy as the use of naturally extracted aromatic essence from plants for physical and emotional well-being. Using essential oils is a step toward a healthier life.
Aromatherapy is the art and science of using aromatic oils to promote the overall health of the body, mind and spirit. These oils are often referred to as essential oil as used in this non-invasive and all-natural form of therapy are, meaning they are extracted from the purest, most healing parts of a plant, flower, herb or tree.
A recent study showed that the level of anxiety of women in labor decreased after exposure to orange essential oil. Another showed that lavender helped an elderly population with dementia become calmer. Now, a new aromatherapy program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is helping patients manage their symptoms … without the use of drugs.
Among the most commonly used essential oils are lavender recommended for relaxation; eucalyptus as a decongestant; lemon to relieve stress; and peppermint to ease nausea.
Benefits of Essential Oil
Aromatherapy is a holistic practice that can be performed and received in a range of ways:
Inhaling essential oils for health, better sleep and to soothe anxiety
Essential oils can be inhaled through an oil diffuser, from a cloth or in a relaxing steam bath. Aside from giving off a divine and refreshing smell, inhaling oils such as eucalyptus oil may work to decongest or disinfect the respiratory system, targeting those rotten cold and flu symptoms.
Topical application of essential oils to combat skin condition and enhance health benefits of massage
Topical application of essential oils, whether self-applied or used by massage therapists, is another way of accessing the oils’ countless healing properties.
Due to their high concentration levels, they are usually diluted with a carrier oil like jojoba before being rubbed onto the skin. The oil is then absorbed into the bloodstream, where it can work its magic on the body and its many systems. Depending on the oil, this may include the digestive system, the circulatory system, the endocrine system and more!
Effect of Smell on mood, behavior, and dreams
Mood influences thinking, which often leads to observable behavior. A positive mood often means higher levels of creativity - including creative problem solving - increased productivity, performance, and the tendency to help others. Pleasant ambient odors also enhance attentiveness during tedious tasks, stimulating higher self-efficacy and spurring people to set higher goals, and to make more efficient work strategies compared to those in a no-odor condition. Conversely, negative moods and bad smells impair judgments, diminish a tolerance for frustration, and decrease prosocial behavior.
This is the most effective way for it combines the effects of the oils themselves with the element of human touch. In sport therapy, massages are essential in relieving muscle ache and tension. And that is enhanced with the use of aromatherapy.
In Aromatic Baths
Water is therapeutic. Immersing in a hot tub rekindles your metabolic fire. Workaholics will tell you that soaking in a hot bath after a long day of work does better in soothing than you could ever imagine. This is the simplest and most valuable way to use essential oils.
A large component of our perception of smell does not come from the scent or the oil itself but from the emotions and experiences we associate with the aroma. Scent can evoke strong emotional responses in a person simply because of the mental connection they have formed with a specific experience at some point in their life. Whether it’s sentiment or science or a combination of both, aromatherapy works, changing our thoughts, feelings, and environment. You can harness the power of scent to create daily changes in your perspective while shaping the feeling evoked by your favorite spaces.