Aromatherapy For Physical and Physiological Wellbeing
Aromatherapy is an ancient treatment and it heals mind and body. In this treatment, natural oils from plant parts are extracted and used in to enhance the physical and physiological wellbeing. These natural oils are applied using different techniques which we will discuss here.
The herbs used in Aromatherapy are known to be mood lifting, energizing and easing away from any mental or physical stress.
History Of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy has been known to humans for over 5000 years. It is also in the records of Ayurveda. The process of aromatherapy was first recorded in Egyptians around 3000 BC. They burned aromatic incense and herbs to connect to their Gods and in search of immortality. Frankincense and Myrrh were most famous in the early days and their demand and value was equal to that of most precious gems. They were also being used for medicines and to decorate and beautify themselves with the aroma herbs by application of them as oils. One of the famous known things of the aromas in the Egyptian era was of Julian Caesar. When Julian Caesar conquered Egypt the aroma herbs were thrown in the crowd to demonstrate his victory.
The usage of Aromatherapy and its benefits were spread and adopted by other civilizations like Assyrians, Babylonians, Hebrews, and Greeks. It is also been told that the therapy was used in India and China at the same time.
Asclepius the famous Greek physician was the first one to use the Aroma-herbs in healing. After his death, there were temples on his name and was considered as the God of healing in Greek. Later many great physicians like Hippocrates, Theophrastus and Dioscorides have explored the world of Aromatherapy. Hippocrates studied around 200 aroma herbs; Theophrastus studied the effects of herbs on human emotions and wellbeing. The famous of all in the history of aromatherapy is the 5 volume book “De Materia Medica” or “Herbarius”.
Claudius Galen, the famous Greek physician was known for his service to the gladiators of Rome, where not a single warrior was sick or dead of the wound. Because of his success, Claudius Galen was appointed as a personal physician to the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.
Much of this data and records were lost after the British Conquest and introduction of alternate medicines.
Hundreds of years later, French Chemist Rene-Maurice-Gattefosse was the one to bring back the Aromatherapy and also was the one to name it. It is known to be discovered by an accident. When Rene burned his hand during an experiment, he dipped his hand in a bowl of lavender essential oils. The burn was cured without any scar and was astonished at the speed that was cured. He then later studied and experimented by using Aromatherapy by applying and curing many of soldiers in the First World War.
Process and applications of Aromatherapy
In Aromatherapy different liable natural oils are extracted from flower, leaves, roots, stem and other parts of plants. These oils are used in combination with massage and other therapeutics to enhance the beneficial effects of the treatments. Aroma-herbs are most commonly applied in the following ways: Baths, Aromatherapy Massage, Aromatherapy Vapor Inhalation, as Lotions or creams and Compress.
Bathing with Aroma-herbs is one of the most widely practiced Aromatherapy. Usage of Aroma Herbs in baths is known to relax both mind and body. There are multiple ways where one can benefit from Aromatherapy Baths.
Adding Aroma oils to Bath – In this technique, drops of essential oils are added to the mild hot water tub and mixed well.
As most of the oils do not blend with water, they are usually mixed with other carrier or bath oils. The addition of carrier also helps in moisturizing and nourishing the skin. Mostly as the oils do not stay mixed, numbers of Aromatic bath oils are readily available in Here which can be directly used in the bathing. Using bath oils along with essential oils are recommended as there is a chance of essential oils getting settled only in one spot.
2 fl. Ounces of carrier oils and 15-20 drops of essential oils are recommended for Aroma baths.
Jasmine, Sandalwood, rosemary, neroli, ylang-ylang and patchouli are the generally used essential oils for Aroma bath. Lavender, Roman or German chamomiles are also used for skin soothing effects.
Black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, basil, oregano, thyme, nutmeg and bay (Pimenta and Laurus) are few of the herbs that are to be avoided in Aroma bathing.
A number of oils to be used in the bath should be carefully read the safety instructions. And also the oils that are being used must be read and is better to check with a specialist before using them in baths, as few of the herbs are known to cause irritations or skin damage when used in baths.
Aromatherapy Bath Salts – Aromatherapy bath salts are a type of natural sea salt or rock crystals. These contain a number of minerals and sodium which removing toxins and also ease the body pains. These bath salts are known to help the ones suffering from psoriasis and eczema.
Sea salt, Himalayan Pink salt, Epsom salt is few of the recommended salts. These salts can also be mixed to augment the benefits. The selected salts are to be mixed with essential oils are to be stored in an airtight container. Vegetable oils or other carrier oils can also be added for skin moisturization and nourishment. Most salts are plain, but there are few exotic salts like Hawaiian Red Sea salt and Black Sea Pink salts are naturally colored which can also be mixed with other salts. There are other coloring agents that are available in Here, but the instructions are to be read carefully before adding them to the bath salts.
These salts are available in different sizes, and chunking down before using is better as stepping on or forcing our skin against the salts might cause pain.
Aromatherapy Bath bombs – These bathing bombs are the cool ones which are a kind of happy bomb and make great gifts in the world of aromatics. These bombs when dropped into water create a fizz when dropped into water spreading aromatic and nutrient ingredients.
These bath bombs are readily available in Here and come in different flavors like Lavender, Wild Orange, Citrus, Peppermint, Eucalyptus and other natural flavors.
However, these can also be made at home. You can make your customized bath bombs by the following procedure.
Add 1 cup of baking soda and ½ cup of citric acid. The paste shall be stirred and squeezed till it is felt dry. Later add desired ¼ or 1/8 of essential herbs and 15-20 drops of essential oils to the mixture. When strong oils like cinnamon are used only 1 or 2 drops are recommended. Once done store them balls in silicon molds for 24 hours. These bath bombs will be ready within 24 hours and can be dropped in the tub. To enjoy these bath bombs in the shower, unwrap the bath bombs and place it on the floor or on the sides, these bath bombs will break and fragrance the bath with scents and nutrients.
One or two bath bombs are generally used in baths.
Oils and herbs that are being used in the baths are to taken after a confirmation or assistance of a specialist as few of the strong oils are might cause irritations and skin damage.
Aromatherapy massage is done by using aromatic oils during the process of massage. Adding these essential oils is known to relax and optimize the benefits of the massage.
There are many centers out in Here, where Aromatherapy massages are given. As massages can also be done on own, it is recommended that it is given by a practitioner as the nerve, muscle, and other sensitive areas are to be handled carefully. As they also handle and do massage depending upon the body type and stress the person is going through.
A Massage with aromatherapy mainly relaxes the body and mind. When the therapy is done, the toxins are released from the body. This therapy is also known to ease out and energize the human briskly. The aromatherapy massage is also known for improving the blood circulation.
The oils for Aromatherapy massage can also be prepared at home and used for the easy massages that can be done on our own.
Add 1 ounce of carrier oil with essential oils depending upon their strength. Stir them until the oils are mixed and store them in an airtight bottle. ½ or 1 tablespoon of oil is usually recommended for 1 massage.
Aromatherapy Vapor Inhalation
Aromatherapy Vapor Inhalation is a therapy in which the herbs are inhaled which can be clearly known from the name itself. Vapor Inhalation is best suited for any blocks in the nostrils or aches in the head. Inhaling is also known to pass the active aromatic components into lungs, blood stream and throat. Aromatic vapor Inhalers are readily available in the market. It is a very simple and easy way of having aromatic experience.
Below are the listed ways of taking the pleasure of aromatic herbs by inhalation.
Using Tissue or Handkerchief: 1-3 drops of the essential oils can be added to handkerchief or tissue and inhaled. This practice is best suited for traveling.
Using Pillow: In this method drops of the oils to the pillow has also been proven to be effective as the inhalation goes through the night. Also adding essential oils to Epsom salt in a bowl is also a way that where one could take the benefits of aromatic inhalation. Adding oils to the salt slow down the evaporation and the benefits of the herbs can be felt all over the night.
Inhalers: Inhalers specifically made for aromatherapy are also available in the market. All that is required is adding the required amount of desired essential oils and inhaling them.
Steam inhalation: This is another type of inhalation. In this method, the 2-3 drops of essential oils are dropped in hot water and are thoroughly stirred. Once done, we should cover our head with a cloth and lean over the steam bowl. Also ensure that the steam is not going out of the covered area. These can be done 2-4 times and is recommended that the face should be about 10 inches away from the steam.
Aromatherapy lotions and creams are used to heal skin diseases and beautify the skin. These aromatherapy lotions can be applied daily depending upon the prescriptions and the safety measures. Aromatherapy lotions have proven to cut down the aging of the skin, cure skin diseases and also preventive measure for skin diseases.
A number of aromatherapy lotions are also available in the market. However, as the others, these lotions and creams can also be made from home. Add 8 fl. Oz of lotion or body cream to a bowl. (Ensure that the lotion can be blended with other herbs and do not have any effects if required check with specialists). Later add the essential oils to the bowl and stir them till they are completely blended. Now this lotion can be put back into the bottle or any other convenient bottle and used as a lotion or cream.
Aromatherapy Compress is one of the easy ways to take the benefits of aromatherapy. This particular therapy has known to relax and ease out headaches, chest congestions, strain and other body pains. And also relieve the stress at a very fast rate.
Preparation of aromatherapy is also an easy process. Add essential oils to cold, mild or hot water depending upon the desired requirements. Later stir the water the water and then dip the cloth in the mixture. Squeeze out the water and place it on the body part.
Make sure that the essential oils used for this technique can be used by reading the safety instructions.
As we have been discussing earlier ,the benefits and the ways that Aromatherapy could heal us without any side effects. There are numerous other benefits that this therapy could give us. Below are the few listed essential oils which are known to have great effect:
Frankincense and Jasmine for relieving stress, fear, pain and boosting energy
Lavender and Sandalwood for irritability
Rosemary and Cypress for memory, concentration and confidence
Cardamom for Appetite
Cedarwood Atlas for Acne, arthritis, bronchitis, coughing, cystitis, dandruff and dermatitis
German and Roman Chamomile for Abscesses, allergies, arthritis, sores, sprains, strains, and wounds
Juniper Berry for toxin builds up, obesity and urinary system
Myrrh for Amenorrhea, athlete’s foot, bronchitis, chapped skin, gums, halitosis, itching, ringworm
Above mentioned are few of the hundreds of essential Aromatherapy oils that can be used to relax and energize both physical and physiological wellbeing. A number of researches and studies have been done on the usage and benefits of Aromatic herbs and have proven to be one of the most important treatments can be done without any side effects.
Aromatherapy is also considered a holistic treatment as it not only cures the physical illness but also enhances the mental ability of a human being. Aromatic herbs can also be burnt during meditation, prayers and spending time by ourselves, the smell and energy of these herbs are known to bring in the positive vibes.
Taking all the above-mentioned information and benefits of Aromatherapy, we all should give it a try and experience the benefits. As these therapies can be taken on an everyday basis, by adding them to our daily routines would surely uplift our spirits and make our daily lives better.