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What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the inhalation, ingestion or topical application of plant oils, called essential oils, to support physical, mental, and emotional well-being. When practicing aromatherapy it’s vital that only pure, undiluted essential oils are used. Synthetic, perfume-grade products lack the necessary level of beneficial constituents and offer little or no positive effect.
What is an Essential Oil?
An essential oil is the aromatic, volatile liquid that is within many shrubs, flowers, tress, roots, bushes, and seeds and that is usually extracted through steam distillation.
The chemistry of an essential oil is very complex and may consist of hundreds of different and unique chemical compounds. Essential oils are highly concentrated and far more potent than dried herbs. Most essential oils will not go rancid and if stored properly can last for quite a long time.
What are the benefits of Aromatherapy and Essential Oils?
Each essential oil’s complex, pleasant, and unique scent activates the limbic system—the brain’s center of emotion and memory—differently. Essential oils can be your key to a more fulfilling and balanced emotional life. Modern lifestyles don’t always create optimal conditions for physical wellness. Poor diet, lack of exercise, and an overabundance of environmental toxins can leave the body unbalanced and diminish energy levels. From cleansing and weight management to supporting every system of the body, essential oils and essential oil-infused supplements can provide the targeted solutions you need to restore balance and feel your best. Essential oils have always played an important part in religious and spiritual ceremonies, helping participants to transcend the trivial and connect with something larger than themselves. Research shows that the pure constituents in these oils stimulate olfactory receptors and activate regions in the brain’s limbic system associated with memory, emotion, and state of mind. Essential oils have a potential emotional impact that can both relax the mind, and uplift the Spirit.
How are Essential Oils used?
Using essential oils follows three different models:
● English: essential oils are heavily diluted in vegetable oil to massage the body for relaxation
● French: therapeutic-grade essential oils are used undiluted topically or by ingestion
● German: focuses on the inhalation of essential oils
By integrating all three models with various methods of application such as Vita Flex, auricular technique, Healing Touch, and Raindrop Technique, the best possible results may be obtained.
Occasionally, individuals beginning to use quality essential oils may experience rashes or allergic reactions most likely caused by an interaction of the oil with residues of synthetic, petroleum-based chemicals in personal care products that have leached into the skin. When using essential oils on a daily basis, it is imperative to avoid personal care products containing chemicals such as aluminum compounds, FD & C colors, formaldehyde, parabens, talc, thimersol, mercury, titanium dioxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, and synthetic fragrance.
From Essential Oils Desk Reference, Fifth Edition, Life Science Publishing, 2011
Essential Oils for Physical Health & Well-Being, HTSM Press, 2005