Aromatherapy Basics for Anyone
Starting in the Aromatherapy world could be a little bit daunting because there’s no single page that can provide with all those details, until I created this one 🙂 After reading guide to aromatherapy I promise you will be more confident in using essential oils for your well-being.
Aromatherapy takes the wonders of essential oils to another level. The oils extracts can contain hundreds of different ‘volatile’ (easily evaporated) compounds, most of which are very compatible with the physiology of the human body. They act on our smell sense and limbic system, defending the body against foreign invaders by their anti-bacterial and anti-viral attributes.
Health for the body and for the mind are very closely connected and aromatherapy seeks to address both of these factors. Essential oils which are diffused into the air (typically a few drops are mixed with water in a humidifying diffuser) can provide the mind with a variety of mental health benefits. Citrus essential oils such as lemon, orange, or grapefruit may be used in aromatherapy to provide energy and awaken the mind while lavender or chamomile may be diffused to relieve stress and help with relaxation. Ylang ylang is thought to help balance the hormones, and the list goes on and on. If you want to know what are the best essential oils for aromatherapy follow this link to my detailed article.
Aromatherapy Basics 1: Diffusing Essential Oils
Studies like this one describe that in order to get the most out of your essential oils, you’ll want to be able to diffuse them into the air so that you can breathe them in to absorb the benefits into your system. For this you’ll need the help of a “diffuser” or something to help you dilute your essential oil blends into the air. I’ve covered extensively this topic in this article in which I describe all the types of diffusers available, from ultrasonic diffusers to natural essential oil diffusers, covering their benefits, price and overall value.
You can start with the following essential blends, and I also have prepared a nice guide of 12 essential oils blends for you to explore and choose the best essential oil blend for your personal wellness.
Aromatherapy Basics 2: Inhalation of Essential Oils
Inhalation is a more direct form of aromatherapy. Rather than pouring any drops out, you can simply open the bottle of essential oil and take a deep breath through your nose in order to gain the benefits. Or it is also effective to place one drop on the hands, rub them together, and gently sniff. More than simply the joy of smelling something nice, most essential oils can have a deep impact on the brain, whether to stimulate it when tired or relax it in times of stress. Because the olfactory center of the brain is near the limbic center, essential oils can prompt the brain to greatly influence the emotions.
Aromatherapy Inhalation Basics 1: The Handkerchief Method
Put a drop or two of an oil or blend on a tissue and inhale (be cautious with your oils. Peppermint, can burn the sensitive skin around your nostrils if put in direct contact, lemon or any citrus can stain your skin if exposed to sun).
Aromatherapy Inhalation Basics 2: Personal Smelling Salts
Making your own ‘smelling salts’ is similar, and these will last a while longer. Fill a small vial with natural sea salt and drop essential oils into the salt. The amount of oil is not too critical – enough that there is detectable aroma, and not so much that the salt gets completely wet. Just unscrew the cap and inhale from the bottle whenever you need a lift, or, like the handkerchief, leave the vial open in your space, letting the aroma slowly fill the area.
Aromatherapy Basics 3: Massage
Although ideally this done with a partner, but self-massage will work as well. Creating your own massage oil is a straightforward process – just dilute 10 – 20 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil. Sweet Almond is widely recommended for general aromatherapy massages.
You can use the same blends offered in the article already shown, but we can spice things up:
My only recommendation is to change the ratios of oils you are blending very slowly. Start with one drop of each oil in a small vial, mixing them and allowing a few minutes for them to blend before adding more oil 1 drop at a time. Teach your nose to accept the aromas and scents and little by little you’ll be able to grasp the smells and the feeling right away, choosing the best blends ever; the ones you do, only for your body, soul and mind.
I suggest you to read the articles I’ve shared with you in this article to have a better understanding of what is aromatherapy and essential oils and where to start. If you are serious and want to leave your beginner life far behind, I highly recommend you to get this book “Essential Oils Safety” which has more than 400 comprehensive essential oil profiles, which chapters on the respiratory, cardiovascular, the urinary system, etc with risks, doses and usage.
Be careful, neverl apply essential oils directly to your skin (always diluted), don’t place the essential oil bottle too close to your nose (use the handkerchief instead), and try to be safe until you know everything you need to know, but overall, have fun!