What is Aromatherapy?
Often when people think of aromatherapy, they think of a massage or a beauty treatment, but there is so much more to it than that. Aromatherapy is the controlled use of essential oils, extracted from aromatic plants through the process of distillation. The word ‘aroma’ means smell and ‘therapy’ means treatment, which means that our nose plays a vital role in this process.
How it Works
When we inhale the aromas, the cilia in our olfactory bulb at the back of the nose pick up tiny molecules and the pathway to the neurotransmitters in the brain is opened, ready for us to feel the real effect of aromatherapy.
The body releases feel-good hormones and our body begins to feel the soothing effect. Essential oils are also said to stimulate the limbic system, which is the oldest part of our brain and the base of all emotion.
Mind, Body and Spirit
Aromatherapy is a body, mind and spirit treatment and can be a very powerful tool for developing peace of mind when our outer world is in turmoil, tranquillity during troubled times, and vitality when we need a bit more get up and go. Aromatherapy can offer support during changing times in our life.
Aromatherapy for Children
Children often prefer the fruity, flowery smells, but they should be encouraged to choose their own essential oils as their noses will guide them to what they need at that time. Roman chamomile, lavender and mandarin are considered to great choices for children suffering from stress. Aromatherapy is gentle and safe, but they should be accompanied by an adult.
Aromatherapy for Teenagers
As we all well know, teenagers are prone to getting breakouts. Lavender, bergamot and geranium in a calendula or grapeseed base are great for use on mild acne and general hormonal breakouts. Tea tree and lavender in a cleansing gel can assist good skin hygiene and tea tree and lavender in aloe vera gel makes for a really good spot treatment.
Aromatherapy for PMT
PMT will affect most women at some point during their life. PMT is accompanied by symptoms such as food cravings, tearfulness and stomach cramps. Sometimes, these symptoms can be quite debilitating and aromatherapy can help to soften these and, in some cases, can prevent them altogether. A good time to start using essential oils is around 12 days before your period is due.
Bergamot and geranium are balancing and uplifting; they can help to dissolve your low mood and negative thoughts and aid positivity. Rose and clary sage can help to regulate the cycle, reducing stress and easing cramps.
The oils can very beneficial for calming monthly anxiety, when inhaled from a tissue or smelling strip. If you have more physical symptoms, apply in a base oil or lotion to the abdomen and lower back when you start to feel discomfort. If you have regular periods, you can use the oils the day before as a preventative measure.
Aromatherapy in the Home
To help to create harmony in the home use a natural room spray, rose water with rose geranium leaves a cleansing, refreshing aroma and attracts loving harmony to the environment. Using juniper berry on the doormat creates a natural barrier, leaving any negativity and stress outside. As you walk over the mat, the aroma will cleanse you of the emotional clutter that you have picked up throughout the day.
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