Aromatherapy 101: Your Crash Course To All Things Aromatherapy And The Products To Buyby | August 12, 2019
Aromatherapy is an age-old form of therapy that all of us have resorted to at some point. You know the essential oil that sits in your diffuser, filling the air with the floral scent of lavender? Or the candle by your bedside that enhances your mood just as you light it, spreading the warm and smokey aroma of sandalwood? That is the effect of aromatherapy on your mind and spirit. With the rise in importance of new-age concepts such as mental wellbeing and self-care, aromatherapy has become more popular than ever in its many forms and iterations for mental and spiritual healing. Sniff away.
So, What Is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that makes use of aromatic materials such as essential oils both for physical and mental well-being. The effect is experienced through the sense of smell which is linked to parts of the brain that govern your thoughts and emotions. It instills a feeling of well-being and induces a feel-good factor while tackling mental issues such as anxiety and depression. Physically, the essential oils help to relieve aches and pains, while also improving circulation.
How Can One Indulge In Aromatherapy?
Essential oils form the core of aromatherapy and can be incorporated into your everyday living in varied ways. They are often an integral part of the home where one uses them in the way of diffusers to instill a sense of spa at home that soothes your senses and calms your overworked mind, all through the power of aroma. It is also a vital skincare ingredient if used correctly.
Other ways in which you can indulge in aromatherapy include scented candles that often carry the scent of lavender or lemongrass, scents that are known to tranquilize your mind and spirit. Bath and body products such as bath salts and body washes are also effective ways to destress and decompress.
Essential oils, simply put, are highly concentrated plant extracts obtained via varied extraction methods from plants. Commonly used oils in aromatherapy are lavender oil, tree tea oil, and rose oil among numerous other oils. Each oil is potent with varied health and lifestyle benefits and target different areas of concern. We break it down for you to make the process easier.
What Are They?
As we mentioned, each oil has its benefits and are used for different purposes. The top 10 most popular oils used in aromatherapy are:
Lavender is used for stress relief, often sprinkled on your pillow to induce calmness as you fall asleep.
The minty and fresh fragrance of peppermint is known to boost energy and also help with digestion.
The smokey and woody aroma of sandalwood comes in handy to calm your nerves and helps focus better.
Often used to cure skin problems, Bergamot is known to improve eczema while also reducing stress levels.
The floral and sweet scent of rose is used to enhance your mood whilst also reducing anxiety.
A commonly used essential oil, Chamomile helps in relaxation and improving one's mood.
The floral fragrance of Ylang-Ylang comes in handy to treat headaches, nausea, and skin conditions.
Great to boost immunity and fight infections, tea tree oil is also commonly used to resolve skin troubles.
The flowery Jasmine oil is known to relieve you from depression and enhances your mood. It also helps to improve your libido.
Used to aid digestion, lemon oil also relieves headaches while having a positive effect on your mood.
Other popular oils and their benefits include:
For anxiety and stress: Cedarwood, orange, and valerian.
For skincare: Carrot seed, rosehip, frankincense, geranium, patchouli.
For cleaning: Cinnamon and pine.
For boosting immunity: Oregano, thyme, orange, and cinnamon.
The Different Essential Oils And Their Benefits
Essential oils can be used in several ways. They can be applied physically and externally on your being as in the case of skincare. This is categorised as topical application. They can also be inhaled via the use of diffusers, which is called ariel diffusion. If your concerns are specifically mental and spiritual, like depression and anxiety, the best way is to inhale the scent. For skincare, the healing qualities of these oils come into factor, and these are often used on your skin in their purest form or are an integral part of skincare serums. Essential oils are also used in massage oils for the aromatic scent. We break it down for you for easy understanding.
How Does One Use These Essential Oils?
You know those bottles of oil that are used by licensed massage therapists to knead your knots and stress away? Those are essential oils that fill your senses with a calming scent that lingers on for hours post a massage. They also fill the air in the room with a sense of tranquility. Choose your oil based on what the purpose of your massage is. Do you want to boost your energy levels? Or do you wish to be massaged into a state of comatose? There’s an oil for each.
For those of you who are using it for skincare, essential oils contain chemical compounds that can kill acne-causing bacteria and regulate skin that’s acting up due to hormonal issues. That said, they are chemically active and using them on your skin directly could have a harsh reaction. The best way to apply it is to dilute it. Dilutions decrease the risk of any adverse reactions. You can dilute the essential oil with coconut oil or argan oil for best results, or use skincare products that are formulated using essential oils.
Bath And Body Product
Baths in themselves are super-relaxing and soak your stress away, and aromatherapy bath salts are a great way to indulge in some self-care. Draw up a warm bath and sprinkle a pinch into itto stew in some aromatic water. This will also help body aches and post-gym pains.
A lot of body washes and body oils are concocted using essential oils to smell divine. Since you use these on a daily basis, it is hardly an indulgence, and thus one of the simpler ways to experience the benefits of aromatherapy, without the splurge. Slather on and lather up!
Diffusing is a great way to experience the benefits of aromatherapy and the goodness of essential oils, while also creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere to come home to. It can single-handedly transform your space into a spa, by injecting the air with a sweet and intoxicating aroma to calm and enhance your mood and to stimulate the olfactory system in the brain. Interested? There are two kinds of diffusers that you can use: electric or reed diffusers.
An essential oil diffuser uses heat, sonic vibration or steam to transform the oil's aromatic molecules into pure vapour or microdroplets that can be distributed through the air. In most cases, you add water and the oil of your choice, which allows the diffuser to also double up as a humidifier. And if you’re worried about these messing with your home decor, don’t fret because the contemporary ones come packaged in cute forms—we are talking riddled with LED lights or in the form of a pineapple, that will also work overtime as a decor product.
Reed diffusers are fairly common and probably a cheaper solution to using a fancy new-age diffuser. These are essentially rattan reeds that are inserted into a glass bottle or a ceramic jar that contains the scented oil. These look like incense sticks but do not use any heat or flame thus making it a safer alternative to store at home.
Sleep Sprays And Drops
There are several brands such as ThisWorks that create sleep sprays that aid sleep and soothe your senses into a deep slumber. Made using different essential oils, you can spray this onto your pillowcase before you hit the bed.
Candles are an easy and Instagrammable way to indulge in some aromatherapy. Arm yourself with fragrant candles that will help soothe your nerves. Light them in your room as you read your book or keep them by your bathtub for a relaxing bath.
Featured Image: Unsplash
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