Do you want to improve your health complications from anxiety to poor sleep? Then you may want to try Aromatherapy. In this therapy method, you use extracts from plants called essential oils. Use them either by breathing through your nose or by applying them to your skin. Some people put oils on their skin while they massage or take a bath.
In this article, we discuss what Aromatherapy means and how it works on the human body.
What’s Aromatherapy mean?
Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy. You can use it with medical treatment. People used plant oils as a medicine for thousands of years. Essential oils are produced from the essences found in the flowers, leaves, roots, peels, resins, seeds, and bark of certain plants. Examples of aromatherapy oils are:
- Citrus oils like lemon and grapefruit
- Tea tree
You can absorb some essential oils through the skin. Some of them affect you through your sense of smell and through breathing in. Here are just a few of how you can use essential oils:
- Mix it with a carrier oil (like sweet almond, evening primrose, or black seed oil) and massage in your skin
- Apply a few drops of oil to the warm water of the bath
- Apply oils to non-perfumed creams, such as moisturizers
- Breathe some oils from (inhale) in form of vapor
- Apply oils to your aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer
- Apply oil to an oil burner
It’s important to visit your GP before you wish to have Aromatherapy for a health issue. They can ensure your diagnosis and that you undergo the treatment you may require.
How does it work?
Aromatherapy usually works in two different ways. It can work by the sense of smell and absorption of the skin. Let’s look at the skin’s absorption first. Certain essential oils have anti-inflammatory effects. You can apply it to the skin to fight inflammation or relieve pain.
It’s best to contact a licensed aromatherapist before you do it. If you suspect an infection, it’s important to consult your GP. However, perhaps the most common application of essential oils on the body is by massage.
Conditions it may treat
Aromatherapy can treat a variety of diseases, including:
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Menstrual issues
- Erectile dysfunction
How well does Aromatherapy work?
Scientific evidence on how well aromatherapy works varies, and we require further study. Here are some of the problems and situations of health that scientists have studied.
- Anxiety. Researchers have performed studies on patients receiving treatment in hospitals. They aimed to see if Aromatherapy can help to relieve stress and anxiety. They tested lavender oil to see if it can benefit people with anxiety disorders. Research indicates that Aromatherapy can help to relieve anxiety. But we still need more studies.
- Depression. Aromatherapy may be helpful for depression. But, there is not enough evidence to know from current studies.
- Cancer. Aromatherapy can help to reduce any short-term pain and anxiety. But we need further research.
- Dementia. Studies have looked at whether or not Aromatherapy can enhance symptoms such as anxiety and quality of living for people with dementia. The results of this research are mixed.
- Labour pain. Research has considered whether Aromatherapy will help with pain during labour. Some women find Aromatherapy helpful at work. But, there is little evidence that it works.
- Sleep. Some study has found that Aromatherapy can help improve sleep quality,. But the proof is weak.
- Feeling sick after surgery. Feeling ill or vomiting is common during surgery under general anaesthesia. And some people have used Aromatherapy to relieve it. But we need more research to show if Aromatherapy can benefit.
Risks of Aromatherapy
Some aromatic plant oils are poisonous. You should never use them – camphor, pennyroyal, and wintergreen.
Aromatic plant oils are very potent, and you should never eat or apply them to the skin. Those with asthma and those prone to nasal bleeding should use caution when inhaling vapour oils. Do not use aromatic oils on any orifice, including ears, mouth or vagina.
Aromatic plant oils (essential oils) can be toxic if you take them by mouth. Consumption of essential oils is a growing cause of childhood poisoning. You should protect all aromatic plant oils and keep them out of reach of children. If poisoning occurs, the ring triple zero (000) or the Victorian Poison Control Center at 131 126.
Pregnant women and people with such illnesses, including epilepsy and high blood pressure, should contact a doctor before using any aromatic oils. Some oils can be toxic during pregnancy and for people with such conditions.
Choosing a provider
You may want to consult with a certified aromatherapist. You can find an aromatherapist using an online directory. Or ask in the spa or yoga studio.
In conversation with the aromatherapist, you will answer questions and speak about your lifestyle. Together, you may develop an individual treatment plan to achieve your goals. You may have a few sessions with your aromatherapist. Or you may opt to have a longer period of regular sessions.
Aromatherapy is a complementary treatment. So, you can speak to your doctor before beginning your session. That way, the essential oil medication will be tailored to work with whatever treatment you get.
There are lots of information available online and in books if you want to treat yourself at home. There are also courses that you can take to learn more about Aromatherapy.
Consultations with the aromatherapist can vary based on a variety of things, including where you live. You should expect to pay up to $100 for the original consultations and up to $50 for follow-ups.
Using Aromatherapy at home
Before using essential oils at home, get advice from your certified aromatherapist. If you plan to use Aromatherapy at home, you will need to dilute the oils. You can:
- Put a few drops in your bath
- Apply it to the steaming water to breathe in the steam.
- Also, apply oils to the diffuser or vaporizer in Aromatherapy
- Apply to the non-perfumed creams
Also, read the information leaflet that comes with your essential oil. This can inform you how to do it and, if necessary, the recommended dilutions.
Be sure that you buy essential oils from a reputable source. And keep the oils in their original packaging in a cold, dark place. Treat them like conventional medicines and keep them out of the reach of kids.
The Bottom Line
As you discover essential oils’ uses, pay attention to how you are affected by the different oils. You have known what does your Aromatherapy mean.
Always speak to the doctor before beginning any treatment with Aromatherapy. Remember the Aromatherapy is supposed to be a complementary treatment. But Aromatherapy meant not to replace a doctor-approved recovery plan.