Aromatherapy has become a nearly mainstream practice these days. You can find aromatherapy products just about anywhere, but unfortunately this is a case of buyer beware. The government doesn’t regulate the use of the word “aromatherapy” so you need to read the labels of products carefully to be sure that your products contain only pure natural ingredients. You won’t reap the same benefits of aromatherapy if your products aren’t pure.
All of the modalities of aromatherapy require pure essential oils. What are essential oils? Well they are basically the “essence” of the plant. This is achieved by rigid quality control distillation standards to ensure that only the pure essential oil is captured. However under the name of “essential oil” there are also other products included such as absolutes, hydrosols and CO2s. These are all pure essences, but the difference is how they are processed. Many essential oils will require other ingredients to be used as many are very strong and can actually burn the skin if applied directly.
Some of the modalities in aromatherapy include massage, inhalation, and baths. If using essential oils for massage they should be mixed with pure, cold pressed carrier oil. Some of the best oils that are used for massage include grapeseed oil, sweet almond, safflower, or neem oil. Any oil that doesn’t have strong scent will work well as long as it is pure. If you want to use essential oils for inhalation therapy this can be done in a variety of ways. You can place some oil in an oil diffuser, and burn for about 30 minutes and then blow out the candle. Otherwise the scent can overpower you. Steam inhalation is also a great way to use essential oils, especially oils like eucalyptus, mints, tea tree, rosemary, and pine. This method is used a lot for treating colds and sinus problems. Any essential oil or blend of essential oils can be mixed with Epsom or Dead Sea salts and used in the bath as well. This is great for relaxation, and it is one of the more potent ways to use essential oils as the warm water opens the pores, allowing for more of the essential oils to be absorbed by the body. This is a popular way to use oils like lavender and rose for relaxation. This method is also used in natural childbirth in the early stages to calm anxiety and relieve pain.
Oils for childbirth include neroli, clary sage, rose, jasmine, lavender and myrrh. These oils work together to dull uterine pain, strengthen contractions, and can even be used to perform perinea massage, to prevent the need for an episiotomy and assist in preventing and treating stretch marks. Other oils work great for expelling afterbirth and increasing milk supply.