The Science Behind Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is thought of as a holistic or alternative method of treating the mind and body. Its healing powers are amazing. In aromatherapy, essential oils are inhaled, ingested, or massaged. Essential oils are extracted from plants, flowers, bark, and other natural substances. 100% pure essential oils have therapeutic qualities, and are used by millions of people worldwide to improve their health, support relaxation, lower stress and to transform or create a certain mood.
This practice began with ancient Chinese, Indians, Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. The ancient application of essential oils for healing paved the way for aromatherapy in 1928 when it was studied by French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé. Gattefossé and other aromatherapy experts believe that scents detected by the nose stimulate communication with the emotions and memories of the brain.
According to this theory, when you breath in a particular essential oil your brain will have a corresponding reaction. Experts also believe that essential oils interact in the blood with enzymes or hormones. However, they may work, based on the experience of the millions of people that use them, it is clear that essential oils affect our bodies as a whole.
Transforming Your Mood
Essential oils used in aromatherapy can transform your mood. The type of essential oils you use in your treatment will vary depending on the mood you want to change. Simply identify your mood issue or a mood you want to create (romance, happiness, calm) and then use the according essential oils with the directed method of application.
Below we have outlined some common moods you may experience or want to experience, and some of the essential oils used for transformation.
• Anxiety: Bergamot, neroli, sandalwood, lavender, germanium, wild orange, and vanilla are popular essential oils in treatment of anxiety because they induce feelings of calm, rejuvenation, and relaxation. These oils can be used individually or blended to create an aromatic experience. A full body massage with a blend of lavender, sandalwood, and vanilla could be the perfect way to unwind an anxious mood.
• Lethargy: Basil, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, and germanium are beneficial oils to someone struggling with fatigue. One method of application could be to include a few drops of peppermint oil in the base of your shower. As you inhale the peppermint and steam, you will be stimulated and awakened. A diffuser will fill the room with energizing scent and get you going in no time!
• Anger: Roman chamomile rose, neroli, lime, ylang ylang, jasmine, and patchouli can help a person get a grasp on anger, and brings feelings of calm and peace. These work great as a chest rub. Please note that the use of essential oils in massage oil forms requires that they be blended with a carrier oil, such as canola, olive oil or jojoba oil, just to name a few. This is because applying pure essential oil directly to the skin can cause burn. The typical formula is 2 drops of essential oil per one teaspoon of carrier oil.
• Grief: Cypress, Palo Santo, frankincense, vetiver, and rose are used in the maintenance of grief. Find a blend of oils with aromas you find soothing. Combine this blend with oils like grapeseed or jojoba, then massage on skin for mental relief or use the pure essential oils in a diffuser.
• Confidence: Ylang ylang, orange, jasmine, cedar wood, fennel, and pine are essential oils associated with increased self-confidence. Vaporize the oil or oil blend of your choice in your personal or professional environment to find greater confidence when needed.
• Creativity: Cloves, bergamot, lemon, patchouli, and neroli are oils commonly used by creatives. Vaporize oils in your creative space and before bed to help promote creativity. Aromatherapy can be your muse.
• Concentration: Basil, black pepper, lemon, hyssop, and cypress are oils associated with memory and concentration. When prolonged attention is required or you feel your attention slipping away, you can inhale this scent through a diffuser or even a pocket size aromatherapy aromatic stick for increased concentration.
• Intuition: Clary sage, juniper, myrrh, St. John’s Wort, and carrot seed are essential oils used to increase awareness. Inhale these oil(s) to help create peace of mind and open up opportunity for heightened intuition.
• Passion: Cardamom, jasmine, rose, sandalwood, and patchouli are all sensual aromatics. Massage the oil or oil blend of your choice on your body to awaken your senses and tap into unlocked passion. Rose or jasmine also work great in a diffuser to fill the bedroom with a romantic scent.
Rather than immediately jumping to a prescription or over the counter medication, you should consider the holistic options available to you. Of course, you should always listen to your doctor, but that does not mean that you cannot seek out natural remedies as well.
Although antidepressants or other commonly prescribed medications may be alluring as a quick fix, mood can be bettered with different essential oils. Aromatherapy can also be a wonderful option as a complementary therapy to conventional medical treatments.
This ancient practice has many benefits. With some research and experimentation you should be able to find the most effective aromatherapy plan to truly transform your mood.