Aromatherapy is an alternative healing technique which involves the use of plant and tree oils to bring about mental and physical health. It is essentially a treatment method which relies on the healing properties of certain scents. An aromatherapist is one who is trained in this discipline. One can also practice aromatherapy at home in a number of ways.
The oils used in aromatherapy are derived from the roots, leaves, bark, flowers, seeds and fruits of various plants and trees. These are known as essential oil and are highly concentrated in nature. They can also be dissolved in alcohol. Many essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus and rose are commonly used for various health purposes. Each essential oil has its own healing properties and most of these oils can also be combined with each other. This helps to increase the effect of the original oils and also adds to the healing properties. Essential oils, due to their concentration, are used in combination with carrier oils. The carrier oil helps to dilute essential oils to make it safe for use on the skin. Some popularly used carrier oils include jojoba, grape seed and olive oil. Aromatherapy healing can be done by adding just one or two drops of essential oil to suitable carrier oil. Perfumed or synthetic oils must not be used with essential oils as they have no beneficial properties. Some essential oils can also be used directly on the skin. Aromatherapy treatment works by stimulating the sense of smell and also through penetration of the oils into the skin.
Aromatherapy uses are many and a large number of people use it regularly to treat various illnesses or health problems. Some conditions that are known to benefit from use of aromatherapy include stress, arthritis, insomnia, anxiety, depression, pre-menstrual symptoms, headache, migraine, colds, fever, digestive trouble, skin ailments, insect bites and minor burns. There are many ways to practice aromatherapy at home. Stress and respiratory problems can be alleviated by adding a drop of the essential oil on a handkerchief and inhaling it. Massages with essential oils are known to be highly beneficial in relieving stress and muscle tension. One can also add a couple of drops of essential oil to warm bath water. Headaches, swellings and sprains can be treated by adding essential oil to a cold compress and placing it over the affected area. Essential oils can also be used in diffusers.