Most people will have heard about aromatherapy at some point in their lives, but they may not have actually tried it or know a great deal about it. Quite simply it is a natural complimentary therapy which is designed to promote health and well-being by use of pure essential oils.
These oils can be used for a variety of reasons whether just for the feel-good factor or to promote healing of a specific condition. Visiting a qualified aromatherapist would be beneficial in the first instance as they will make a detailed case history so that they can make a decision as to the best oil for you. Quite often the oils used will be a mixture which compliments each other and your needs, although it is not difficult to prepare a mixture of oils, having the understanding of individual oil properties is a must.
If visiting an aromatherapist would be too expensive or if you haven’t got time, then invest in a good book which will advocate all of the qualities of the oils and also list any contra-indications that may be associated with it.
The majority of pure aromatherapy essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin; they should always be diluted in a good base carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or grape seed oil. Because the oils are so pure, a couple of drops added to the carrier oil are often sufficient, the exception to this rule are Tea Tree oil and Lavender oil and although they could be added directly to the skin in the case of an abrasion for example, ideally the oil should be added to a piece of gauze or a bandage, so that there is less chance of it becoming an irritant.
Aromatherapy oils can be used in various different ways and it is just personal choice as to how they are used individually:
• Bath-add a few drops of oil and enjoy a luxurious soak
• Foot Bath- a couple of drops of oil into a foot spa for approximately 20 minutes
• Steam Inhalant-a couple of drops of oil into boiling water and a few minutes spent inhaling the scented steam is beneficial for colds, sinus problems and headaches.
• Candles-there are some wonderful aromatherapy candles available and these can create a lovely feeling of relaxation and peace.
• Vaporizers-by use of a fan circulates the oils into the air creating a soothing, energizing or uplifting environment.
• Massage- blended oils can be wonderful for sports enthusiasts, or can be used for general relaxation
Some suggested aromatherapy oils if creating a general kit for home use could be:
• Lavender-calming, antiseptic used for tension, insomnia and has pain relieving qualities
• Tea Tree – Anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and can be useful for insect bites and spots
• Peppermint-antiseptic, useful as an insect repellent, mental stimulant, good for asthma and digestive problems
• Rosemary- good for fatigue, flu, antiseptic, burns and for poor circulation