Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What You Should Know About Aromatherapy

Scent is a powerful thing. It has the ability to bring back memories from the ancient past and revive people that you haven`t seen in decades, just with a single whiff. Because of this, aromatherapy is something that has become very useful as a therapeutic aide.

Many people are aware that simple things like the smell of lemon smells clean and peppermint is often an aroma that reminds us of freshness and energy. But the actual amount of aromatherapy options out there can be overwhelming and there are quite a few things that those not steeped in knowledge of aromatherapy may not be aware of.

Some Oils Are Dangerous

Did you know that aromatherapy shouldn`t be used with all organic essential oils? Some oils are actually toxic and this may not be noted by the seller. Essential oils such as wormwood, camphor and rue are actually bad for you and shouldn`t ever be applied to the skin. It`s always good to know which oils shouldn`t be used in aromatherapy.

Other toxic herbs that shouldn`t be used with aromatherapy include wintergreen, sweet birth, Spanish broom, arnica, pennyroyal, onion, garlic and bitter almond. You may wish to talk to a professional before starting in on any aromatherapy work, just to be sure you know which oils are safe and which shouldn`t be used.
Aromatherapy Isn`t Just Mental

A common misconception is that aromatherapy is only a way to help your state of mind. It`s far more than that, though and you`ll find that some of the simplest smells can actually have a physical effect on your body, especially when applied to the skin. It`s important not to apply pure essential oil directly to the skin, you`ll need a carrier oil, first so it won`t burn you.

Drops of lavender oil on a pillow can induce sleep and a massage with peppermint is great for stimulating blood flow and waking you up. These herbs have physical effects, not just emotional or mental ones. Tea tree oil is perhaps one of the best known essential oils and is commonly used to heal all manner of maladies by simply applying it to the affected area.
The Methods of Aromatherapy

The great thing about aromatherapy is that if you don`t enjoy massage or prefer not to use a specific method of diffusing the smell, there are always other options.

Massage with an essential oil in a carrier oil can be very invigorating or relaxing, depending on the smells chosen. Diffusers are some of the most common methods of spreading the scent and consist of a heater (often a candle) and a container for the oil. Sometimes the oil is added to wax chips that release the scent as they melt. There are also aromatherapy candles on the market and sprays. You can also add a couple of drops of essential oil to a sink or tub of hot water or even onto a handkerchief or cloth to tuck inside your pillowcase or pocket.

Aromatherapy is a very useful way to treat problems or to enhance a state of mind. If you find that you are drowsy in the morning when you need to get ready for work, it can be a great idea to have a diffuser ready to go with an invigorating aroma. Likewise, a soothing one at bedtime eases the transition from being wide awake to sleep and has been used by insomniacs for hundreds of years now. Aromatherapy is a great way to connect with your family, as well, using their sense of smell to draw them in. Author: AmyNut.

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