Beginning aromatherapy, beyond burning a scented candle or soaking with a pleasing pre-packaged bath salt mix, can be somewhat daunting to a lot of people. All those small bottles of expensive liquids, electrical contraptions, and fancy-sounding blends – how can you actually use essential oils to enhance their health, happiness and well-being? It’s simpler than you may think – getting started can start a whole new world of fun and effective natural remedies which can lift your mood, calm your nerves, and encourage recovery of a great many common disorders.

Fundamentals of Aromatherapy

The Basics are easy, once a few basic concepts are known. Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils – the aromatic compounds of plants, extracted via steam distillation or other procedures. The oils act as the chemical messengers and guards of the plant kingdom. Each essential oil may contain hundreds of different’volatile’ (easily evaporated) compounds, the majority of which are extremely compatible with the structure of the human body. What’s so wonderful is that they could also do for us what they do for crops – act as chemical messengers through affecting our odor sense and limbic system, and protecting the body against foreign invaders by their antibacterial and anti-viral actions. In this report, we will focus on the emotional and psychological effects of aromatherapy, and handle the physiological aspects at the time.

Essential Oils

They are best used in one of two easy ways: via inhalation, in which the oils can affect specific regions of the brain, and through topical application, where the oils are easily absorbed into the bloodstream. (Note: Oral intake may be an alternative, but only under seasoned medical oversight – farther, some oils can be toxic, and other seemingly harmless oils shouldn’t be used under specific conditions. If you’re pregnant, or have particular medical needs, consult with a knowledgeable practitioner before continuing!)

Inhalation of Essential Oils

Essential oils when inhaled directly influence our limbic system, the brain’s emotional centers. Many oils are found to sharpen concentration, decrease tension and anxiety, and even reduce depression. How can we reap these magnificent benefits? There are a couple of simple, cost-effective methods to prepare essential oils for inhalation – and experience these wonderful consequences: the ‘handkerchief method’, which makes your own’smelling salts’, and making your own aromatherapy ‘mister’.

The Handkerchief Technique

is pretty straightforward – place a drop or two of an oil or blend on a tissue and inhale (cautious with some oils – peppermint, for instance, can burn the sensitive skin around your nostrils if placed in direct contact). You can even leave the tissue (or handkerchief, or piece of cloth, or cotton, etc) in a room or your own workspace and the oil will last to evaporate and have its own effects.

Smelling Salts

is similar, though your preparation will last a while longer. To create the salts, fill a small vial (dark glass with a fantastic cap is best) with organic sea salt and drop essential oils to the salt. The quantity of petroleum isn’t overly critical – sufficient that there is detectable odor, rather than so much that the salt becomes completely wet. Just unscrew the cap and inhale from the bottle when you require a lift, or, like the handkerchief, leave the vial open on your area, allowing the aroma slowly fill the region.

Mister

can be used infuse a room with odor – only add essential oils to water in a small spray bottle, shake (before every use) and spray!

Simple Recipes to the Inhalation Procedure

For uplifting the disposition and brightening the brain – 4 drops of Rosemary Cineol, 3 drops of Lavender, 2 drops of Lemon and one drop of Peppermint, OR 3 drops Clary Sage, 2 drops Bergamot and one fall Sweet Orange.

For calming pressure – equivalent elements of Roman Chamomile, Bergamot and Orange, OR 3 drops Lavender, 2 drops Neroli and one fall Bergamot.

For creating a harmonious setting – 3 drops Jasmine, 1 fall Ylang Ylang and one fall Sandalwood, OR equal parts Geranium, Patchouli and Bergamot.

Aromatherapy Massage

Now for the topical application technique. Usually that is called aromatherapy massage – ideally, this is done with a partner, but self-massage will work also. Creating your own massage oil is a simple process – only dilute 10 – 20 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil. There are a variety of carrier oils available, though Sweet Almond is a great all-around oil and is advised for overall aromatherapy massage. As for the massage, itself, any technique will do – allow your intuition be your guide. When you want to get a bit more advanced, do a little further research to create synergy with specific essential oils and certain acupressure points.

Recipes for Massage

      • For a sensual massage, per ounce of carrier oil, add – 8 drops Sandalwood, 6 drops Rose, 4 drops Lavender and two drops Ylang Ylang.
      • For opening the heart, attempt 4 drops Spikenard, 4 drops Lavender and two drops of Rose.
      • Finally, for absolute comfort, use 6 drops Lavender, 4 drops Neroli and two drops Bergamot.

Don’t be afraid to make your own blends! You will certainly find particular oils that you like – and aromatherapy is similar to that. It is the oils that you find most enjoyable that are probably those who are best for you. My only recommendation would be to change the ratios of oils you’re blending very slowly. Start with a single drop of each oil in a small vial, mixing them and allowing a couple of minutes for them to blend before adding more oil 1 drop at a time. In general, citrus oils ( Orange, Bergamot, Lemon, Lime) often bring alertness while relaxing in the same time. Herb oils (Peppermint, Rosemary) tend to be invigorating, while floral oils tend to be relaxing (Lavender, Chamomile, Jasmine, Neroli). This is just a guideline – many oils have complex properties and will affect individuals differently – use your nose as a guide.