Aromatherapy involves the use of volatile plant materials and has been around for centuries. It is generally used as a supplemental medicine or alternative medicine. Aromatherapy has gained popularity in the recent years because it can be easily applied in the comfort of your own home.
The most common way to administer the therapy is through an oil diffuser. These are readily available and can be used in any room. The diffuser sends an essential oil into the atmosphere where it is then inhaled by the user. Diffusers are commonly used while bathing (regular shower or steam shower) or while sleeping but can be used anytime.
Essential oils are usually the first thing to come to mind when thinking about aromatherapy, but there is more to it than that. Aromatherapy can be very complex. Some treatments involve carrier oils, absolutes, vaporizer oils, and herbal distillates. If you are getting involved in an aromatherapy treatment it is important that you obtain your essential oils from an approved source. Ask your aromatherapist for information on the various ingredients and applications and never attempt to use or mix oils unless you are a professional aromatherapist. Most importantly, always consult your doctor before trying any new treatments.
Here are 5 health benefits of aromatherapy:
Relieve Anxiety and Depression
Perhaps the most popular use of aromatherapy is for stress relief. The aromatic nature of essential oils helps to soothe and relax the mind. This can improve your mood, reduce outbursts of anger, and eliminate anxiety. Inhaling essential oils after a long stressful day has been shown to reduce tension and increase relaxation. It can also be used to combat feelings of depression. Due to the adverse side effects of many pharmaceutical antidepressants, aromatherapy can be a powerful supplemental medicine. Oils that are often recommended to reduce anxiety and depression include lemon oil, vetiver, chamomile, jasmine, lavender, and peppermint.
Studies have shown that aromatherapy can boost memory capacity for a period of time after the treatment is administered. It is often used to enhance meditation and cognitive ability. Aromatherapy can also be used as a supplemental medicine to help fight memory loss. Studies are underway to determine the effect of aromatherapy on patients with diseases that cause memory loss. Therapists often recommend Sage oil to enhance memory.
One of the most common applications of aromatherapy is pain relief. Aromatherapy could be a viable solution instead of relying on over the counter medication. A perfect example is the common headache. Everyone experiences headaches and some can be rather painful. Some essential oils that have been found to reduce headache pain are eucalyptus, sandalwood, rosemary and peppermint. You can also apply carrier oils to your scalp, neck, or temples to help relieve headache pain. Another effective way to eliminate pain is by massaging carrier oils onto the skin. Almond, apricot, avocado, and coconut are just some of the carrier oils that are frequently used for pain relief. If you experience neck or joint pain, you may also want to consider applying lavender, chamomile, clary sage, or juniper oils to the problem area.
Immune System Booster
Aromatherapy can also be used to boost your immune system if applied properly. This area of aromatherapy has been studied extensively and is gaining popularity. Many essential oils act as stimulants to enhance the body's recovery process. They can be used to increase oxygen and blood flow to wounds and aid internal healing following surgery or illness. Certain oils have anti-microbial properties that naturally protect the body while healing. Others have anti-fungal and antibacterial effects. These can prevent a number of harmful illnesses and infections. Some essential oils that have been shown to speed up the recovery process include buckthorn, rosehip, calendula, and lavender. Others that have shown to boost the immune system are frankincense, oregano, cinnamon, lemon, and eucalyptus essential oils.
Aromatherapy can be used to improve energy. Many people use it as a holistic non habit-forming way to increase their energy levels. One way is helping with a good night's sleep. Some essential oils have a sedative effect and can normalize Circadian rhythms. This causes a more balanced restful sleep during the night. That in turn increases energy and productivity the following day. This is usually accomplished by burning the oils in a diffuser while asleep. Some oils that enhance rest are benzoin, rose, sweet marjoram, chamomile, neroli, sandalwood, lavender, and jasmine. Other oils are known to increase circulation and raise energy levels. These stimulate the body and mind without harmful side effects. Use angelica, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, rosemary, sage, and jasmine to provide that extra boost of energy you may need to help make it through the day.
This article was written by Katie Mills from Steam Shower Store, the UK's premier steam shower, steam cabin and whirlpool bath specialist. Katie has been writing articles for over 10 years and is a commanding voice in the health and fitness community with her articles high in demand.
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