Aromatherapy essential oils have been used for centuries by different cultures dating back to the Egyptians and to China, India, Arabic, Greek, Roman and various other civilisations. The therapeutic aroma essential oils can lift your mood, help balance hormones and heal. The essential oils are extracted from plants and are natural remedies. There are two key methods of extraction ie “Distillation” or “Expression” these produce concentrated oils and this is why you only need to use a few drops. It is important that you use pure essential oils as instructed and if to be applied to your skin that you dilute accordingly. An Aroma therapist will blend selected essential oils depending on requirements and add to a base massage oils. Despite all the information and that the oils can be easily purchased there is still a little mystery about them...
I have been using essential oils even before I became fully qualified Aroma Therapist and would often add a few drops to my bath of either lavender, chamomile, geranium, bergamot or clary sage. Another popular way to use aroma oils either in a diffuser or burner to scent rooms, some good suggestions are pine, cinnamon, orange, lemongrass, juniper or sandalwood. Whilst I studied I often used basil scent this helps to clear your mind and become more concentrated. Though it is not until I learnt how the essential oils are distilled, processed and about their properties for mind, body and spirit that I fully understood their benefits.
When we use essential oils these are either absorbed through our skin or inhaled in to our body system which can be beneficial to stimulate, balance and calm. For example when we breathe in essential oils in to the nasal cavity, the olfactory nerves are stimulated which is the sensory system. The ability to smell has a close link to memories and emotions. Plus connects to areas of the brain hypothalamus and pituitary gland which governs hormonal system. When we inhale in these oils through our nose and in to our system this can stimulate hormones to be produced to ease pain or promote a feeling of well-being. These essential oils are so versatile and can be added to our baths, creams or base oils and these are then taken in to our skin which is the largest organ of the body. The oils will be absorbed and transported through the blood, to organs and the rest of the body. The essential oils have therapeutic health benefits but these work gently with the bodies system. Aroma oils should be used as instructed and kept in a safe place. Usually stored within a small dark glass bottle with a lid, in a cool place and out of the light.
When blending oils these are divided in to top, middle and base oils. To simplify and another way to explain is to refer to them being uplifting, balancing/relaxing and soothing. When blending or using own essential oils you need to think about oils properties and those that will compliment each other for the outcome to be achieved. In addition to the choice of oils is the combination of the aromas when mixed together. Generally you are going to only blend the amount to be used at a time although larger quantities can be made up and stored and used when required. For example if you are using 10 ml of a base massage oil ie almond or grapeseed then generally 5 drops in total of essential oils as a guide. If you used 20 ml then you would double the quantities and so forth. It is possible to use 5 drops of only one oil or 5 drops of a mixture.
A therapeutic blend for muscle fatigue in 10 ml of base massage oil:-
Eucalyptus (2 drops)
Peppermint (2 drops)
Chamomile (one drop)
There are many guides to help you use essentials oils but always read up on any side effects for example citrus oils tend to be photo sensitive take care when using and stay out of the sun for at least an hour afterwards. Most oils have clear warnings about not to be ingested or certain ones not to be used during pregnancy or have child safety lids. These days there are many good pre-blended products soaps, lotions, oils etc. It is always pleasure to try and blend your own and it can be fun and that way you learn more about the oils. Happy blending…