Though there seems to be a recent “aromatherapy craze” with essential oil use being on the rise, aromatherapy has actually been used for hundreds of years. Aroma means scent and therapy means treatment. Deeply connected to our emotions, scents have the ability to transport us to different times in our personal history and affect our mood. Scientists believe this connection is partly due to the part of the brain responsible for processing scents, located next to the hippocampus, which is crucially responsible for handling and storing memories. Aromatherapy plays off of this relationship to enhance or change a mood.
All too often it seems that aromatherapy is only thought of for making our homes smell nice or to enrich our luxurious spa services. But aromatherapy can be safely and effectively used at home in a medicinal fashion. An easy way to begin incorporating aromatherapy into your everyday life is to use a diffuser and diffuse your favorite scents. Incorporating aromatherapy in this way can help reduce stress and fight anxiety and depression.
One of the main methods of aromatherapy to relieve physical nuisances and emotional stress is massage. Various massage techniques in combination with the beneficial properties of essential oils make aromatherapy massage ideal for:
- Relaxes, balances and harmonizes the body
- Reduces stress
- Strengthens the entire body and supports the body in its own healing process
- Encourages a healthy immune system to fight infection
Another way to enjoy aromatherapy is to use it in a bath. Draw a hot tub that is not so hot that it will cause excessive perspiration. While the tub is filling, add all or part of the diluted aromatic massage oil to 2 cups of Epsom salts, mixing well. Up to 15 drops may be used and let the aroma be your guide. Again, mix well for complete dilution. Once you are seated in the tub, you add additional essential oils to the water and swirl, inhaling deeply. Soak for 10 minutes and enjoy!
As you can see aromatherapy is easy to incorporate into everyday life. Now all you have to do is choose the scents that will help you achieve your specific goals for overall mind and body well-being, then let your nose and brain do the rest.