Aromatherapy Modes Of Application
Aromatherapy is one of the most popular and versatile forms of alternative medicine. The practice of aromatherapy uses a variety of volatile plant materials (essential oils), or other aromatic compounds to alter the health, cognitive function, mood or mindset of an individual.
Essential oils have been demonstrated to have a range of health benefits, although the evidence supporting their use is mostly anecdotal and their therapeutic potential remains largely undocumented. That said, there is no denying the popularity of aromatherapy methods and if something that is supposed to make you feel better does, then it is probably doing its job!
Whilst conventional medicines enter the body via the stomach, intestine and liver, the properties of essential oils means that they can enter the body in a greater number of ways. Aromatherapy comes in a range of forms and can be applied by aerial diffusion, direct inhalation and topical application. Internal application can also be used, but this is only used in special cases and should only be used by experienced professionals. The application mode is dependent on the symptom, the essential oil used and, more often than not, personal preference.
Aromatherapy, by definition, uses highly diluted quantities of essential oils or aromatic compound. Neat, undiluted oils are usually not recommended and a two percent dilution, with a fatty base oil, is normal, although, due to the large variation and complexity of aromatherapy, this is not always the case. Either way excessive dosages should be avoided.
Aerial diffusion is utilised for aerial disinfection as well as environmental fragrancing. Devices known as Aromatherapy Diffusers or Essential Oil Diffusers fill a room or space with the fragrance of the essential oil used and are good for covering up unwanted odours in the bathroom or kitchen, or for creating a `mood` in a room. Candles, steam diffusion and tissue diffusion can also be used, the method depending on how quick you want to diffuse the aroma and how long you want the effect to last.
Direct inhalation can be used to treat congestion and respiratory infection, as well as inducing psychological benefits. A few drops in an empty nasal inhaler, a tissue with a few drops of oil placed in the nasal passage, are usual ways of directly inhaling essential oil aromatherapy.
Topical application is typically used in the form of general massage, compresses, baths and therapeutic skin care. A two percent dilution in a fatty base oil has become the standard for skin care and massage aromatherapy. An aromatherapy massage is the most usual mode of topical application. Gentle long sweeping strokes, applied by warm hands can help relieve anxiety and relax tensions.
Facial steams, facial masque, facial oil blends and dry brushing are all common delivery methods for skin care. Steam inhalation, microdiffusion, using a nebulising diffuser and adding essential oils to a humidifier are popular ways of treating sinus or bronchial problems. Baths and compresses are more common for general use, to treat colds and flu and to relax sore muscles. Compresses, where a cloth is soaked in a bowl of warm water with essential oil before placing on the affected area, are excellent for treating menstrual cramps. Aromatherapy can also be used in the Jacuzzi or shower.
Around the house, adding Lemon Oil to you washing can remove greasy or oily smells and Lavender essential oil can be added to the dryer to scent bed linens. Lemon Oil is also good to for breaking up grease on the dishes.
There are a broad range of products available to help with the diffusion and application of aromatherapy. The Healthcounter online health products include a range of aromatherapy products and essential oils for all your aromatherapy needs.