Aromatherapy is the art and science of inhaling the scent from essential oils. In this article, we will explore the science behind aromatherapy, its potential benefits, and how it can be incorporated into a daily routine. By understanding the therapeutic properties of essential oils and learning how to use them appropriately, aromatherapy can be an effective, holistic tool for supporting physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
Essential oils are powerful, highly concentrated volatile oils extracted from the roots, stems, leaves, bark, and flowers of plants. Often referred to as the essence or life force of the plant, essential oils embody a variety of therapeutic, medicinal properties, such as antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory. Plants create these powerful oils to defend against pathogens, and humans, thanks to coevolution, can use these same medicinal properties to support their own immune system.
With impressive, evidence-based scientific research, essential oils have grown immensely popular - and unfortunately, so have the counterfeits. To ensure you are using a quality product, it is vital to invest in essential oils that have been GC/MS lab tested for purity, ideally with a lab report available. This technology, performed by a botanical chemist, will prevent adulteration by discovering hidden contaminants that may cause adverse reactions within the essential oil.
Aromatherapy works by directly impacting the limbic system, which is the part of the brain responsible for regulating behavior and emotions. For instance, the scent of lavender can help to relax and reduce stress, while peppermint can increase energy and lemon can uplift your mood. Studies have shown that certain scents can trigger stored memories to release blocked emotions, a powerful technique when processing trauma.
As a professional clinical aromatherapist, I have witnessed success in my clients and experienced it myself when using neroli, melissa and ylang ylang to effectively release emotions that no longer serve our greater good. In some cases, the essential oil you are strongly averse to can be the one in which you need the most. For me, the essential oil I have a visceral reaction to is geranium and ylang ylang, until I addressed the blocked emotions underneath. Experiment to discover which essential oil unlocks the power in you.
With the right knowledge and usage, aromatherapy can be an effective tool for improving your overall health. Taking a few moments each day to incorporate aromatherapy into your daily routine can be a great way to reduce stress and make a positive impact on your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS IN DAILY ROUTINE
Add 8-10 drops of an essential oil to a water-based diffuser
A decent diffuser doesn’t need to cost a lot, budget $25-$50. For optimal performance, avoid overfilling and clean the water tray with a cloth between uses.
- Add 2-3 drops of an essential oil to the bath tub.
Dilute the eo with soap or bath oil prior to adding to a bath tub. To avoid adverse skin reactions, ensure the essential oil is safe for skin application.
- Add 2-3 drops of an essential oil to a roll-on.
Roll-on’s are small glass vials with a roller plastic or metal ball on top. Add a few drops of an essential oil to a vial then add a botanical oil such as olive or sunflower. Then, apply to your forearms and inhale the power of aromatherapy.