Recently, we had shared with you a post on everything you wanted to know about aromatherapy. Today, let go a little more in detail. Aromatherapy is commonly used to aid relaxation, promote calmness and reduce stress. It nourishes our mind, body and spirit. There are plenty of examples when smell has affected our thoughts and emotions in our day to day lives, like the smell of lemon is said to increase our perception of personal wellbeing or the smell of freshly baked bread in supermarket makes us feel hungry and we tend to buy more food.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils that are concentrated, naturally occurring chemicals extracted from flowers, trees and other plants, to promote personal wellbeing. A vast quantity of plant material is required to obtain small quantities of essential oil. The way to discover the oil that produces the desired response in you is to smell each one individually and observe the physical and emotional responses it evokes.
Here’s few aromatherapy essential oil for relaxation
Lavender – Also known as “universal oil” it is the most popular of all essential oils. It has a soothing, earthy, somewhat sweet and freshly floral scent. It is extensively adored for its relaxing and balancing effects, both physically and emotionally.
Frankincense – It has a comforting warm and exotic aroma. It is commonly used for stress relief.
Rose – This highly versatile oil provides relief from both stress and depression. It is little expensive than other essential oils as to make one ounce of rose oil, 60,000 roses are required and it is labour-intensive.
[Also Read: Aromatherapy Bath Oils]
Chamomile – Both the Roman and German types of chamomile essential oils are well suited for calming the nerves.
Vanilla– It has the ability to soothe in serene relaxation and stimulate mental clarity.
Some more best aromatherapy oils for relaxation include patchouli, sandalwood, bergamot, cedar wood , geranium, jasmine and ylang ylang.
WAYS TO USE AROMATHERAPY FOR RELAXATION
As we all know, body massage is a blissful relaxation technique and when mixed with essential oils, it can further enhance the experience. Carrier oils should always be blended with the essential oils before they are used in massage, so that they can dilute the essential oils and can help with absorption. Usually, a few drops of essential oil are mixed with a teaspoon of carrier oil. However, different essential oils will require different dilution depending on their effectiveness. Common carrier oils include almond oil, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil and jojoba oil. Massage is generally most effective before bed and can help encourage a good night’s sleep.
A warm bath at the end of an exhausting and stressful day is a superb way to calm your nerves, and adding a relaxing essential oil such as Chamomile or Lavender makes it truly a blissful experience. Add 6 to 8 drops of essential oil to the water and stir up vigorously to diffuse them consistently before getting in. While relaxing in this aroma therapeutic bath, you inhale in the aromatic molecules of oil and simultaneously they also get absorbed in the skin.
When your feet are dead and hot, pamper it with a soothing and refreshing aromatherapy footbath using just 2 or 3 drops of cooling and refreshing essential oils such as Peppermint, Rosemary and Lavender oil. It will bring you delightful experience and have you back on your feet in no time at all. A footbath is the ideal alternative to a conventional bath.
Another way to gain benefits from aromatherapy is to inhale the essential oils. It can be achieved by many different ways. However, diffuser is the most common method. A diffuser is anything that enables the essential oil to be evaporated and dispersed into the air.
Some of the most common ways of diffusing essential oils include:
- Heat diffusers use the heat of an exotic aromatic candle or incense stick or other source to warm the oil and disperse it into the air. These are commonly available and can be inexpensive.
- Mist diffusers are used to create a fine mist in the air. Mix your essential oil with water and use the mist diffuser to add fragrance and a relaxing effect to the room. You can also use aromatic air fresheners.
- Passive diffusers can be anything that lets oil naturally evaporate into the air. You can add few drops of essential oil into a saucer or other vessel filled with hot water as a passive diffuser. You can also place a few drops of oil onto your pillow or a tissue.
You can add few drops of essential oils in hot water and cover your head with a towel over the bowl and inhale the steam.
Hair and scalp massage
Hair and scalp massage promote hair growth and reduce scaling with the additional benefit that it will relax and calm your body. Alternatively, you can use aromatherapy to treat itchy scalp.
Make sure you have 2 to 3 hours to devote to this aromatherapy session before going ahead. You will need to select carrier oil and an essential oil. For short or thin hair, mix 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of carrier oil and 3 drops of essential oil. For long and thick hair, mix up to 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of carrier oil and 6 drops of essential oil.
Place a couple of towels in the dryer with hot setting. Mix carrier and essential oils and heat it in a microwave. Be cautious not to burn yourself. Apply the oil to your hair, covering every strand as if you were dying it. Massage your scalp with your fingertips in circular motion. Take the towel from the dryer and wrap it around your head. Leave oil in your hair for at least 2 hours.
Simply choose the method that best suits your requirements. If you really want to experience the varied usefulness and benefits of aromatherapy, you should try all of them but of course not at the same time.