People are becoming more aware of the importance of relaxation, self-love, and well-being. Romanticising stress and hard work is no longer cool, so seeking a way to reduce that knot in your stomach, the pulsing headache and the restless mind at night is slowly but surely becoming a priority for many.
If you haven’t tried aromatherapy by now, it’s time to give it a chance. People were using oils for aromatherapy since forever. Those highly concentrated, plant extracts have been used for beauty, health and cleaning. And today, we have the luxury to have these oils in small bottles and use them wherever we want to, even in the comfort of our homes.
However, as they are very potent, it’s important to use the right oils for aromatherapy and in a safe manner. That being said, here are some basic aspects of aromatherapy that you need to know.
How Does Aromatherapy Work?
Essential oils carry the very “essence” of the plant. They can be fast absorbed by your smell receptors that are connected to the limbic system, which controls your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and stress. No two oils are the same. When applied topically, they can also reach the deep layers of your skin and even go as far as your bloodstream where they can do their magic.
Using oils for aromatherapy is a wonderful way to relax and reduce your tension. When using essential oils you should follow the instructions and never ingest them, since there is a risk of unwanted effects. You should also make sure to dilute a pure essential oil with a carrier oil such as almond or coconut in order to balance out its effects.
Best Ways to Use Essential Oils
When using essential oils, make sure you don’t go overboard. Never breathe in essential oils for longer than one hour at a time. Always follow the instructions on the bottle. If you’re taking any medications, it’s best to consult with your doctor or pharmacist. Just like any other medicine, essential oils should be used properly if you don’t want any side effects.
The safest and most efficient way to inhale essential oils is with a diffuser. It will spread the essential oils in the air in a safe and pleasant amount. If you don’t have one, simply drip oil into a bowl of steaming hot water. In both cases, one or two drops of one oil at a time is more than enough. Stand a few metres away and take ten deep breaths. Afterwards, breathe normally. You can always open the window if you can’t leave the room where you practised the aromatherapy.
Another way to use essential oils is topically. They make some of the best oils for a relaxing massage as they can penetrate deep into the skin, reach the muscles and help unwind them.
The great thing is that you can use essential oils anyplace you want. Drip one or two drops on a cotton ball, put it in your car, in your office and you’ll always have a pleasant scent. Pick the essential oil you need and follow the instructions for best results. Always buy essential oils from trusted sellers and never overuse them.
How Essentials Oils Can Help
Every essential oil has special properties that can provide relief from various problems. Let’s see some of the benefits of using essential oils.
Studies have shown that oils such as lavender or orange may help relieve anxiety. However, this is only a temporary effect, there’s no proof that the use of essential oils can permanently reduce anxiety. Nevertheless, a short anxiety-free moment may be just what you need when things get stressful.
Relief from Headaches
According to some smaller studies, people who applied essential oils such as lavender and peppermint to their forehead had reduced headaches. Lavender has also been found to be an effective way to relieve the very painful migraine headaches.
Fall Asleep Faster and Easier
Since essential oils help reduce anxiety and put you in a relaxed mood, this can also help you fall asleep faster and easier. Lavender oil is famous for being a natural cure against insomnia. So, if you have been struggling with falling asleep, it may be just what you need.
Some essential oils might help to reduce inflammation. There are studies on mice that showed that essential oils such as thyme, oregano and lavender may help in this. However, this area requires more studies on humans. Nevertheless, it won’t hurt to try.
While some essential oils can help you relax and fall asleep, others can boost your energy. For instance, peppermint essential oil can be a great stimulant. According to a small study, men who used peppermint oil could perform better at the gym than those who didn’t. More research is needed for women. Other essential oils that have been found to increase energy are citrus oils.
Soothe Stomach Problems
Lemon oil is excellent for fighting things like nausea and vomiting. A study on pregnant women found that the women who smelled lemon oil had reduced nausea and vomiting in the following days compared to women who didn’t.