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by: Ric Wiley
Aromatherapy is a method of using the aromatic oils which have been distilled from plant sources to engender a feeling of well being both physically and psychologically. Safe and correct use has been shown to benefit the physical and mental well being.
There are many aromatherapy oils which are used in the art of aromatherapy and these are too lengthy to list here. However, there are many benefits to be had from aromatherapy oils but you need to understand that there can be some drawbacks for use in aromatherapy although many people say there are greater benefits.
There are two ways in which essential oils are used in aromatherapy. These are by inhalation and by application to your skin.
Inhaling aromatherapy oils is where the vapor given off by the oil is inhaled into the lungs. This is thought to incite the brain and cause it to trigger a reaction to the oil. It is also thought that there is a physical well being by breathing the vapors directly into the lungs. Remember that safety is of the utmost importance and always follow the manufacturer's instructions as otherwise a reaction, possibly very severe can take place. It is important to remember to consult a trained specialist before using aromatherapy oils.
The other method of using aromatherapy oils in is by application to the skin. It is thought that when oil is applied to the skin it is absorbed into the blood stream and is useful for many health, beauty and hygiene conditions. Again, I must stress the safety aspect as aromatherapy oils are usually very strong and it is important that they are always diluted before you use them. To dilute them a carrier oil is needed and these are oils such as grape seed oil, sweet almond oil and apricot kernel oil.
Another way that aromatherapy oils can be used is to act as an insect repellent. We are all familiar with the use of citronella in candles. I find these excellent as a way of keeping bugs at bay.
Aromatherapy oils can also be blended together and this can be done with a carrier base but not always. Combination oils can have even more benefits in aromatherapy as they then offer a combination of uses. The Internet has many sites where you will be able to find recipes for blending together different oils with their uses listed as well.
The term aromatherapy is a fairly recent phrase first thought to have been used in the 20th century but the practice of aromatherapy has been around for well over 1000 years.
The Egyptians are thought to have developed a way of distilling oil from cedar wood and the Chinese have used plant and herbal incense from a very long time which they burned to give a feeling of well being.
René-Maurice Gattefossé, A Frenchman, is first thought to have used the term aromatherapy after he supposedly treated a nasty burn with the nearest liquid to hand which turned out to be oil distilled from lavender. This wound healed quickly and it left no scaring. This started his in-depth research into essential oils.
We are now becoming more aware of natural products after we have relied on synthetic drugs for many years and aromatherapy is growing in popularity. Most of us prefer to use natural products, such as aromatherapy oils, to sooth and heal our minds and bodies. Gattefossé would have said, Long Live Aromatherapy, but he would have said it in his native French. Using essential oils for aromatherapy is natural and is an excellent way to help calm and sooth our troubled 21st century lives.
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