How Aromatherapy Works and The Ways to use it
How does Aromatherapy Work? The easiest way to explain how essential oils and other aroma-therapeutic products work within the body is this;
Essential oils can enter the body through 2 routes – the nose (inhalation) and the skin (topical application, massage, baths).
It takes approx. 20 minutes for essential oils to enter through the skin and start to work.
Here are the different methods that can be used with Aromatherapy
INHALATION: Inhalation is especially helpful in alleviating emotional problems like stress, anxiety and depression.
Inhalation is an easy, effective and inexpensive mode of administration that can be carried out anywhere at any time.
Place 2-3 drops of an essential oil or essential oil blend on a tissue and inhale deeply. You may also place a few drops of the oil on the insides of your shirt so that the heat from your body can send aromatic vapors up to your nose all through the day. It also acts as an organic alternative to perfumes.
When inhaled (inhalation) Essential oil particles are quickly picked up by the tiny hairs in our nostrils (cilia) and are absorbed into the mucous lining from where the aroma reaches the ‘smell center’ in the brain (olfactory bulb). The olfactory center converts the aroma into a neural code which is relayed across to the ‘emotion center’ (limbic system) and further to the ‘short-term memory center’ (hippocampus) and the ‘long term memory center’ (hypothalamus). The information is then passed on to the ‘master gland’ (pituitary gland) and other endocrine glands to secrete ‘feel good’ hormones and to restore hormonal balance. To put it straight, here is how it goes:
Nose —-> Smell center —-> Emotional center —-> Short term memory —-> Long term memory —-> Master gland —-> Endocrine system
In this simple way, the brain establishes a strong connection between certain smells, emotions and memories and responds to it in a predictable way. For instance, if your partner professes his love for you with a bunch of red roses, your brain will associate the smell with a romantic emotion and fragrance will make you feel nostalgic and romantic for a long time to come.
The topical method of administrations is therefore, more holistic in nature as it seeks to balance out all systems of the body. Since they are all-natural compounds, essential oils do not deposit themselves in the cells and are expelled from the body through sweat, urine and exhalation within 24 hours.
When used topically on the skin:
All essential oils undergo a process of distillation where the finest and smallest molecules remain. These molecules are small enough to penetrate the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) and the smaller they are, the faster they are absorbed. The molecules pass through the deeper layers of the skin (dermis) and enter the blood stream through the capillaries from where they are taken to various parts of the body. Owing to their specific biochemical characteristics, the oil molecules bind to cell receptors in the target organ and work as a tonic for the same.
While traveling in the body, the oils also act to revitalize and detoxify organs involved in metabolism and drainage (kidneys, liver and lymphatic network).
Skin (outer layer) —-> Skin (inner layer) —-> Capillaries —->Blood stream —-> Target organs —-> Cell receptors —> Metabolized and excreted
BATH: A warm bath hydrates the skin and opens up the pores thus facilitating penetration to a large extent.
COMPRESS: Compresses increase the surface temperature and prevent loss of molecules through evaporation.
MASSAGE: Thinner carrier oils are more effective for penetration than thicker, viscous oils.
HERBAL PILLOWS: Warm temperatures cause capillary dilation and promote faster penetration and absorption.Our herbal pillows are heatable in the microwave and hand created with essential oils, natural herbs and a proprietary grain blend. Laying these pillows are certain areas of your body the herbs and oils penetrate the skin bringing lasting comfort and relief.
TEAS: Drinking herbal teas can relieve many different ailments including gastro-intestinal, stress and insomnia.(herbs)
HOME FRAGRANCE/SCENT: By using a heat safe dish or simmer pot, you can burn the scents of essential oils in your home while keeping your rooms fragrant, healing and free of negative energy.
NATURAL FRESHENERS AND CLEANERS: using essential oils, you can keep the bacteria at bay with natural home cleaners made with essential oils and herbs! Safer for your pets too!
What products are used in Aromatherapy? Are they all natural? All of our products are! Yes. All Aroma-therapeutic products are from nature, plants, trees and flowers. We also use energy healing (REIKI) in our Aroma-therapeutic Practice.
Usually, the following products are used in Aromatherapy ( not limited to only these products).
ALWAYS Check for allergies especially to nuts and berries for the fact that many blends use sweet almond oil coconut oils and others alike.
ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN IF TAKING PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION. Some herbs do not mix well with prescription meds therefore they can not be taken with them. Just one example- is that St John’s Wort should not be taken with antidepressants and mood-altering medications)
ALWAYS FILL OUT AN INTAKE FORM and discuss any questions with the Aromatherapist before using natural healing,
JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE NATURAL DOES NOT MEAN THEY CAN NOT HARM US. My suggestion and recommendation, ALWAYS RESPECT MOTHER NATURE!
Who SHOULD NOT USE essential Oils? Women that are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding should not use essential oils. Since essential oils and herbal remedies soak into the skin and enter the bloodstream they can be excreted through breastmilk and enter into the babies bloodstream. Since the babies liver and other organs are not developed, the oils can become toxic to the child. Never use essential oils during these times.
Certain Oils should not be used with pets
Essential oils should not be used on infants.
Essential oils should only be used with children when a Certified Natural Practitioner prescribes it.
Copyright Lifeshare University of Healing, LLC 2009 All Rights Reserved
Lisa is certified in 7 different areas of natural wellness and holds a degree in Transformational Psychology. She is the founder of Lifeshare University of Healing, LLC, and the Published Author of Nine Amethyst Angels Self Help Book and the Personal Development CD Series "A Life from Roses to Lilies, Back to Seed.