What is Aromatherapy and What are its Benefits?
Aromatherapy is also known as essential oil therapy that has been used for over 6000 years with the simple goal of improving an individual’s health and mood. Aromatherapy involves using several essential oils, which have various degrees of antimicrobial activity and are believed to have antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties. The application of oils includes massages, topical applications and even inhalation. There’s so much more to know from what is aromatherapy to how it works, and we’re going to tell you all about it.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that enhances a person’s physical and emotional health with the use of natural plant extracts. It is also called essential oil therapy as aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils with which it improves the health of an individual’s body, mind and spirit. Aromatherapy has started to gain more recognition in the field of science and medicine.
How Does Aromatherapy Work?
Aromatherapy works through the sense of smell and skin absorption using products like:
– Bathing salts
– Aromatic Spritzers
– Body oils, creams, lotions for topical application or massage
– Clay masks
– Hot and cold compresses
– Facial steamers
You can use any of these products alone or in any combination you prefer. There are close to a hundred types of essential oils available in the beauty market. Some of the most popular oils for aromatherapy are lavender, chamomile, lemon, cedarwood, bergamot, etc., which you can easily get online, in health food stores or in regular supermarkets. However, it’s important to note that you should buy these oils from a reputable producer since the oils aren’t regulated by the FDA. This will ensure that you buy a quality product that is 100% natural. Also, ensure that it doesn’t contain any additives or synthetic ingredients. Each essential oil has unique healing properties, uses and effects, and when you combine these essential oils to create a synergistic blend, it becomes more beneficial. All in all, aromatherapy will only do good for your mind and body when you use the right kind of essential oils.
Benefits of Aromatherapy
Now that you know what essential oil therapy is all about and how it actually works, let’s look at the excellent benefits of aromatherapy on your mind, body and spirit.
1. It Reduces Stress:
It’s no news that stress is a part of life and it affects each one of us in different ways. While it is nearly impossible to dodge stress, there are several ways to manage it and one way is by using aroma oil. The essential oil lavender has time and again proven to reduce stress levels. It calms the nervous system, lowers blood pressure, heart rate and rewires brain waves to help you become more relaxed. You can also try essential oils like jasmine, chamomile, lemongrass and geranium to reduce stress.
2. It Reduces Anxiety:
Decreasing anxiety by using an essential oil blend is one of the most effective aromatherapy massage benefits. You can simply give yourself a hand massage once a day for a week with an essential oil blend like lavender, bergamot or frankincense. All of these oils have strong healing properties and can reduce pain and anxiousness. You can also use rose and chamomile essential oil to reduce anxiety.
3. It Boosts Energy:
One of the benefits of aromatherapy is that it can revitalise your senses and bring back some energy to your body. All citrus oils, especially lemon, are filled with antioxidant terpenes like limonene, which naturally carries energising effects. Peppermint oil boosts exercise performance, increases brain oxygen, concentration, and decreases exhaustion.
4. It Improves Focus:
If you’ve been struggling to pay attention to the tasks at hand, you must use aroma oil or bring yourself back to focus. Essential oils like rosemary, basil and sage can be used to improve concentration, memory and cognitive performance. These oils contain antioxidants that fight free radicals, making aromatherapy quite helpful for people with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other mental illnesses.
5. It Reduces Physical Pain:
One of the best benefits of aromatherapy is that it has a positive impact compared to placebos or control treatments when it comes to decreasing pain. Whether you have obstetrical, gynaecological or postoperative pain, using essential oils like turmeric, chamomile, thyme, ginger, or eucalyptus will greatly help.
6. It Improves Sleep:
One of the aroma candles benefits is that they can promote restful and peaceful sleep. When you light an aroma candle that contains lavender essential oil, it can improve sleep quality. Just inhaling lavender oil for 15 days will significantly improve the quality of your sleep. You can also use other oils like bergamot, chamomile or ylang-ylang to get yourself a good quality sleep each night.
7. It Aids Digestion:
If you’ve been dealing with an upset stomach, essential oils can help support digestive health by stimulating digestive enzymes, which ultimately help break down the nutrients. One of the aroma oil benefits is that it reduces abdominal pain and relieves gas. Ginger oil and peppermint can help when it comes to treating irritable bowel syndrome. You can also use fennel and juniper berry essential oils for aromatherapy.
8. It Strengthens Your Immune System:
Essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties that are useful in fighting infections. Like, oregano is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties that can protect your body against bacterial infections. You can also use oils like ginger, myrrh, eucalyptus and frankincense to strengthen your immune system.
9. It Boosts Hair Health:
If you desire thicker, stronger hair, or suffer from dandruff or dry scalp, try aromatherapy. There are several hair care brands that are making products infused with essential oils to avoid the use of harsh chemicals that damage your hair. Essential oils like tea tree, rosemary, helichrysum and myrrh can promote hair health. After using rosemary oil for six months, you might notice a significant increase in the amount of your hair even if you suffer from female pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. Isn’t that one of the best aromatherapy massage benefits you could ever come across?
What do Different Aroma Oils Do?
Different essential oils have different uses and effects, some of them are mentioned below:
– Chamomile oil can treat eczema.
– Basil oil is used to increase concentration and alleviate some of the symptoms of depression.
– Bergamot oil is said to be useful for the urinary tract and digestive tract.
– Black pepper oil is commonly used for stimulating blood circulation, muscular aches and pains, and bruises.
– Citronella oil is a relative of lemongrass that can act as an insect repellent.
– Clove oil is a topical analgesic, a painkiller that can be used for toothache. It can also prevent vomiting and nausea.
– Eucalyptus oil can help relieve the airways during a cold or flu.
– Jasmine oil has been described as an aphrodisiac that is linked to alertness.
– Lavender oil is used for minor cuts, burns and to enhance relaxation and sleep.
– Lemon oil is said to improve mood and relieve the symptoms of stress and depression.
– Rosemary oil promotes hair growth, boosts memory and prevents muscle spasms.
– Tea tree oil is said to have antiseptic, antimicrobial and disinfectant qualities.
– Thyme oil helps reduce fatigue, nervousness and stress.
Conditions That Aromatherapy can Treat
Use of aroma oil can potentially treat the below-mentioned conditions:
– Peripheral neuropathy
– Menstrual issues
– Erectile dysfunction
Frequently Asked Questions
What does aromatherapy heal?
Aromatherapy can promote relaxation and relieve stress. It has been used to help treat a wide range of physical and mental conditions that include burns, high blood pressure and several other conditions that are mentioned above.
Does aromatherapy work for everyone?
While most people don’t have an adverse reaction to essential oils, they’re not for everyone. If you’re thinking about using essential oils or aromatherapy to treat a medical condition, it’s better to consult a doctor first just to be on the safer side.
What are the pros and cons of aromatherapy?
One of the pros of aromatherapy is that it has very few side effects. One of the cons is the fact that you can have an allergic reaction. In fact, some people are very sensitive to smells and cannot use essential oils.
Whenever you start to explore aroma oil uses, make sure to pay attention to how different oils and methods affect you. Always talk to a doctor before you start with any kind of aromatherapy treatment. Remember that aromatherapy is meant to be a complementary therapy and not meant to replace any doctor-approved treatment.
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