After a stressful day most people like to relax and unwind. Some people do this by watching television, others read, some just sniff. Aromatherapy is a popular relaxation technique that can soothe the senses, calm the mind, and alleviate symptoms. The practice of using essencial oils to balance the mind and body goes back many thousands of years. Ancient Chinese, Egyptian and Indian civilizations are known to have used oils extensively in their cultures. After these ancient peoples disappeared the art and practice of aromatherapy was replaced by medeval medicine and then by the advent of modern medicine. T o obtain essential oils the aromatic essence molecules of the plant must be captured by using a technical distillation or extraction method. In earlier times, the art of distillation was held in the hands of the few and was considered to be an alchemical transformation of spirit, a bridge between the two realms. Recently, the interest in using essential oils on the body and for aromatic purposes has regained acceptance. The oils can be absorbed by the body in the form of massage, compresses, skin creams, bathing or inhalation in the form of burners, sprays, and candles. In the Aromatherapy it is held that essential oils have a relatively small, simple and lipid-soluble molecular structure that allows them to pass easily through the skin. Once diluted essential oil is applied directly to the skin it is completely absorbed and penetrates deeply into the tissues, interstitial fluid and bloodstream. Different oils have varying rates of absorption, between 20 and 120 minutes, according to aromaweb.com. Many professionals say essential oils should be treated with caution as if it were medicine. Essential oil should never be placed on the skin undiluted because of its high concentration. Break outs, irritations, and allergic reactions can occur when pure essential oil is placed on the skin. Essential oil should be mixed with a carrier oil which “carries” the essential oil onto the skin. Professionals say that companies who claim that putting essential oils on your skin directly just want you to use your oils faster to produce more sales. Even when some oils are diluted with a carrier they can cause allergic reactions. It is suggested to perform a skin test prior to using the oil vigorously. This can be done by placing a small amount on the inside of the elbow and placing a bandage over it. After 24 hours check to see if any reaction has been caused by the oils. It is important to remember when using essential oils that less is more. When one drop will do the job, do not use two. Not only does it waste the oil, but it can be too strong and over powering. The power of just a few drops of a pure essential oil can produce obsverable positive effects. The Japanese found that workers exposed to jasmine, lavender, and lemon fragrances seem happier and make fewer keyboard errors. New York medical researchers gave MRI patients vanilla fragrance “a comfort aroma” during their scans. They came out feeling significantly less anxious. Also, in Australia tea tree oil was used as an effective first aid treatment. If you have had a stressful day and are in need of some relaxation just get out some essential oils and start sniffing. Here are some easy ways you can incorporate essential oils into your daily routine.
Ways to Use Essential Oils:Liquid Soap: add about 30-45 drops of essential oil to 8 ounces of unscented liquid hand soap or unscented liquid shower body wash. Shake vigorously.
Body Oil: add about 12-15 drops of essential oil to one ounce of carrier oil and shake to blend.
Body Lotion: add 50-60 drops of essential oil to 16 ounces of unscented body lotion. Stir with a spoon or stirring stick to blend the essential oil into the lotion until smooth.
Body Mist: add 10-15 drops of essential oil to a 1 ounce glass misting bottle filled with spring or distilled water. Shake well and shake before each mist.
Shampoo/Conditioner: add 12-15 drops of essential oil to one ounce of unscented or mild shampoo and conditioner. Shake well to blend.