Aromatherapy has grown in popularity as a recognized form of alternative therapy for several medical conditions. This natural therapy uses scented oils for therapeutic purposes. These all-natural oils are used to treat a variety of conditions such as:
- Menstrual cramps
- Indigestion and other stomach problems
The dependence on fragrance to treat medical conditions isn’t something new. In fact, the therapeutic use of certain scents has been around since antiquity.
Benefits of Aromatherapy
One of the reasons aromatherapy is becoming increasingly popular is due to its convenience. You may have benefited from aromatherapy before without even realizing it.
For example, maybe you felt a sense of relaxation as you walked through a scented garden, or maybe a scented candle help put your mind at ease.
Along with its ease-of-use, aromatherapy is also inexpensive compared to some other forms of medical treatment. You don’t need any elaborate equipment to practice this form of alternative medical treatment.
Most health food stores sell the essential oils that are frequently used in aromatherapy. While the price of these oils often very, you don’t need to use large quantities. Three to four drops will usually suffice during an aromatherapy session.
How to Practice Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy can be used to treat a variety of medical ailments and there are also several ways to practice this alternative form of therapy.
Scented oils can be applied to baths; you can use a single oil or a blend of several oils. These oils are absorbed through the water and then are released into the air as a pleasant fragrance.
Many people will apply drops of eucalyptus oil to a warm bath. This essential oil is beneficial for clearing nasal problems.
Scented candles can help to create a pleasant atmosphere around your home. Due to aromatherapy’s increasing popularity, these candles come in a wide variety of scents and can be found at many retailers.
You can use scented candles as a focal point for meditation, or add scented candles to a relaxing aromatherapy bath for additional benefits of aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy combined with massage can help ease tense muscles and relax the mind at the same time. Essential oils will need to be diluted with a “carrier” oil prior to applying it directly to the skin. Common carrier oils are:
- Sweet Almond
Aromatherapy diffusers or vaporizers distribute the vapors of essential oils through the air. There are many possibilities of essential oils that are available to be used with diffusers.
Fragrant aromatherapy scents are also used in soaps, shampoos and creams. If you decide to use aromatherapy beauty products, make sure to look for products that contain essential oils not fragrance oils.
Fragrance oils are synthetic scents that are often created in laboratories. Essential oils used in aromatherapy are much more potent and are made from natural plant extracts.
Aromatherapy Scents and Conditions Treated
Most health food stores will carry a variety of herbal therapy products as well as literature regarding the dosage and instructions for the products they sell.
Here is a list of common aromatherapy products. This is just a sample of some of the scents that are available, along with the conditions that they commonly are used to treat:
- Lavender – Used for its calming effects
- Eucalyptus – Used for treating coughs and nasal problems
- Melissa – Used for treating headaches
- Chamomile – Used to treat muscle aches, menstrual cramps, and digestive problems
- Jasmine – Use as a natural antiseptic
- Marjoram – Used as a natural sedative
- Rosemary – Used for headaches, muscle aches, and migraines
- Sandalwood – Used for dry skin and acne
Before starting an aromatherapy program make sure you are aware of any sensitivities or allergies that you might have to certain oils. Start slowly. And if you have any problems, stop immediately.
There are also some oils that can be dangerous for people with certain conditions; people who are pregnant, have high blood pressure or diabetes should avoid certain oils.
Additionally, patients undergoing cancer therapy, such as radiation or chemotherapy need to be aware that certain oils are dangerous and can cause problems during these therapies. Always consult with your physician before starting an alternative medical treatment.