Aromatherapy is the science of using essential oils in a way that promotes an improved sense of well being. The benefits of aromatherapy include aiding relaxation, relieving stress, and boosting energy levels. Aromatherapy can also be used to treat migraine headaches, indigestion, arthritis, menstrual cramps, and other minor physical ailments.
People who are new to aromatherapy often confuse essential oils with fragrance oils, but these two products serve entirely different purposes. Fragrance oils are synthetic scents that have been created in a laboratory, while essential oils are made from natural plant extracts. Both have a pleasing smell, but only essential oils offer the benefits of aromatherapy. Essential oils are also significantly more expensive than fragrance oils, since they are highly concentrated and must be harvested with great care.
Although it is true that some people take essential oils internally to achieve the maximum benefits of aromatherapy, this is a practice that should never be done without the supervision of a trained aromatherapist. Essential oils may be all-natural products, but this does not mean that they are completely harmless. Many oils used in aromatherapy can have dangerous side effects if not taken correctly.
The most common way for people to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy at home is with an aromatherapy massage. However, it is important to remember that essential oils should never be applied directly to the skin. If you wish to experience the benefits of aromatherapy through massage, you’ll need to dilute the essential oil with a special carrier oil before applying it to your skin. Grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, and apricot kernel oil are the most common aromatherapy carrier oils.
You can also enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy by purchasing scented candles, soaps, or body lotions. If you have some experience with soap making or candle making, you can also create your own homemade aromatherapy products. Just remember that whenever an essential oil is being dispersed through a scented product, you’re not achieving the maximum therapeutic benefits that would come from a more direct application approach.
While aromatherapy is becoming increasingly popular among those who are interested in alternative medicine, the benefits of aromatherapy aren’t for everyone. Certain essential oils can be dangerous for pregnant women and children. People with epilepsy, heart disease, asthma, or other chronic medical conditions should also be cautious when experimenting with the benefits of aromatherapy. If you have questions about whether aromatherapy is safe for you, consult your healthcare provider.