What Is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a healing modality that uses essential oils to heal the body, mind, and spirit. Essential oils are natural products. They are highly potent, concentrated oils from trees, plants, and grasses. The scents, energy, and properties of the oils heal and protect you from illness, disease, and imbalance. There are many different essential oils and ways they can be used, so it's best to have training, buy a comprehensive guide on aromatherapy, and/or talk to someone who is well-trained for sound advice about which oils to use for the results you desire.
The National Cancer Institute has found through studies on rats in Europe and Japan, “that exposure to various odors can result in stimulation or sedation, as well as changes in behavioral responses to stress and pain.” And they noted “improvement in immunological and behavioral markers in rats exposed to fragrances while under stressful conditions.”
Not everyone agrees on which essential oils support each chakra. That doesn't meant it's not a valid support for the chakra system. It means that each person is slightly different, and responses will vary. Seek advice from someone who is experienced and well-informed and combine that information with your own experience of how the essential oils affect you. Their knowledge combined with your personal experience is the best indicator for which essential oils you will favor for balance.
A trained professional gives aromatherapy massage by selecting the appropriate oils to mix in a base carrier oil. The essential oils are highly potent, and so are not meant to be applied directly to the skin. A base carrier oil is a pure oil, such as extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil or sesame oil, that can be used to dilute essential oils.
If you do get expert advice and would like to do self-massage with essential oils, get the best carrier oil that you can, from a specialist store. What you put on your body gets absorbed into your body, so you want only the purest and best oil when you apply it to your skin.
Then, add drops of the essential oil to the base carrier. A typical recipe is to measure the amount of base oil in milliliters, and then divide that number in half to give you the maximum number of drops of essential oil that you will need.
Test the mixture of essential oils and base carrier on the skin of the receiver, first, by applying a small amount to the inside of the wrist, behind the knee, and/or in the crease of the elbow. Check the spot twenty-four hours later to see if the skin had a reaction or not.
After testing the oil on the skin to make sure there is no allergic reaction, you can do a healing self-massage. First put a couple of drops of the mixture of base oil and essential oil onto your hands and rub your hands together to stimulate the scent of the oil. Bring the palms of your hands up to your face, and inhale the scent for several breaths. Then, gently begin to massage the top of your head, at the crown. Then, slowly progress down the body, giving your body the attention it deserves. Continue to inhale the aroma that gently wafts through the air.
When you've finished with the massage, relax. Allow the effects of the massage to sink in. Envision the healing occurring, enjoy the process.
You can do an aromatherapy energetic self-massage without touching your body. For the energetic massage, mix the essential oils with a high-quality base carrier oil, as directed above. Place a few drops of the elixir into your hands. Rub your hands together to release the scent of the oils. Bring the palms of your hands to your face to inhale the scent for several breaths and call to mind the healing properties of the oils. Inhale and exhale several times. Then, hold your hands about six to ten inches from your body and do an energetic sweep of your entire body. Slowly sweep downward, brushing away unwanted disturbance in the energy field. After you've completed this, relax for several moments. Notice the effects. Then, wash your hands with cold water.
Historically, lavender has been used as an antiseptic and for mental health support. Today, it's used for its sedative and calming qualities. It's used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and depression. It can also be used to alleviate headaches and upset stomach.
Diffusing Essential Oils
Instead of applying a mixture of base carrier oil and essential oils to the skin, you can receive the healing benefits of essential oils by diffusing them. There are specific diffusers made to use with essential oils. Read the directions, each diffuser works differently. The point of the diffuser is to release the aroma and the healing properties of the essential oil into the air. This has both a humidifying benefit to combat the dryness in the air, and it helps sanitize and infuse the air with healing properties. For example, you can diffuse lavender in the air to promote relaxation and serenity, or tea tree oil for its antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Steaming with Essential Oils
Especially at times of year or in climates where the air is dry, steaming with an essential oil is a wonderful way to receive therapeutic benefits.
1. Have a towel and your essential oil nearby.
2. Get a bowl that is approximately ten to twelve inches in diameter.
3. Boil enough water to fill the bowl one-half to two-thirds full.
4. Pour the steaming water into the bowl, and then add one drop of the essential oil to the bowl.
5. Lean your head into the flow of the steam, and put the towel over your head to cover your head and the bowl.
6. Inhale deeply through both nostrils, exhale gently through the mouth. Repeat this several times.
7. If you would like to, also close one nostril with your finger, and inhale and exhale through one nostril at a time to make sure that each side is receiving the benefits.
8. If one drop of the essential oil wasn't strong enough, or if the scent diminishes, add another drop. It's doubtful you will need more than two drops of the essential oil.
9. When you are finished steaming, sit down. Take a moment to notice the effects. Practice this two to three times per day if you're working with a particular imbalance or onset of a cold
Steaming with an essential oil is a fast way to get the benefits of the essential oils. The vapor infused with healing properties rises into the nasal passages, entering your system immediately. Steaming is an effective, easy, and soothing way to feel the benefits of essential oils.
Essential oils contain the healing properties of the plant from which they came, so when these properties enter your system they help boost your immunity. In addition, essential oils carry the energetic vibrations of the plant, the life-force energy sustained within it. That vibration interacts with your energy system. Particular oils are said to balance specific chakras.
Another way to enjoy steaming with an essential oil is to use the elixir in a warm bath. First, dilute the essential oil in a base carrier oil, then pour about a fourth of a cup of the mixture into your bathtub. The oil will absorb into your body through your skin, and as you inhale you will bring the oil's healing qualities into your body through your nostrils. This is a soothing, relaxing, and natural way to feeling healthy.