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The benefits of aromatherapy

by timetospa October 29, 2013
The benefits of aromatherapy

When life gets hectic and winding down is near impossible, aromatherapy might just be the answer. Some believe that aromatherapy has the potential to heal ailments and promote general well-being, while others view the practice as a method to promote relaxation. Either way, if you're feeling stressed, here are some reasons to incorporate the concept into your daily life:

Taking some tips from history
Central to Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils is central to aromatherapy. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, essential oils are concentrated extracts from the leaves, blossoms, seeds, or roots of plants. The source also noted that healers from ancient cultures such as the Egyptians, Chinese, Indians and Greeks used these essential oils as cosmetic and medicinal items. 

Figuring out the benefits 
According to Aromatherapy.com, some of the most popular essential oils include chamomile, eucalyptus, jasmine, lavender, lemon, peppermint, rose, sandalwood and more. Some of the oils have well-known uses that may not be noticed right away. Eucalyptus is found in many cough drops to help relieve respiratory issues. Lemon juice and chamomile are known for their soothing properties. Peppermint has a cooling effect that also promotes good breath. There are people who think that aromatherapy has an even greater effect on health. It is believed that jasmine helps with childbirth and even depression, according to Aromatherapy.com

A few essential oils have some scientific backing for their beneficial qualities. UMM states that there is some evidence that peppermint oil may help with digestion and citrus oils may help in strengthening the immune system. The university also says that several studies suggest that essential oils in the hands of qualified midwives helped pregnant women feel less fear and anxiety while giving them a better sense of confidence and a lessened need for pain medication while in labor. Additionally, some essential oils have anti fungal and antibacterial properties.

The benefits of essential oils are still being studied. You should note that there are aromatherapy products that do not necessarily use the essential oils listed, but may employ artificial fragrance instead. Before you purchase anything, make sure the ingredients include these oils to reap the potential perks - your investment will be well worth it.

What aromatherapy actually entails
There are a number of options if you opt to try aromatherapy. You can go to a professional aromatherapist or masseuse. Alternatively, you could pick up your own essential oils from a pharmacy and hold your own session. 

If you decide to visit a professional, UMM states that practitioners will inquire as to your medical history, and any ailments you may have, as well as any scents you prefer. You may then be instructed to inhale a mixture of essential oils or have some rubbed on during a massage. Often, you'll be instructed on what to purchase and how to use it at home.

Should you try aromatherapy at home, do some research to look into which oils would best suit your needs. Products range from simple sprays and incense to use in your room, to more involved items such as massage oils.

A massage can be a great method for exploring aromatherapy. Not only will you be physically relaxed, but the oils will also enter your pores and you'll enjoy the scents. If you're considering a massage to wind down, consider the Elemis Spa At Home De-Stress Massage Oil, which vows to ease any tension and melt your stress away.

If you don't have the time for a massage bur are looking to incorporate some aromatherapy into your routine, think about the Bliss Big Lemon + Sage Body Bar. It has massage beads to help ease the muscles and also boasts some serious scent power. If you simply want to lay down and enjoy some relaxing scents, take a look at the Mandara Spa 3 inch Starfish Pillar Ivory & Antique Green Candle, which is made with all-natural beeswax and palm oil.

Figuring out a good way to relax
Whether you decide to go to the spa for a massage session or choose to stay home for some self-treatment, remember to always do your research first. There are certain essential oils that people with conditions should avoid. Aromatherapy.com states that peppermint may make you more energetic, but that it can also be a skin irritant. Before delving into this practice, consider your allergies and possibly even approach your doctor to take an allergy test. You definitely don't want to wind up using a massage oil you're allergic to. More importantly, essential oils should never be taken orally without consulting a health professional who is trained and qualified in the study of aromatherapy. 

Aromatherapy ranges in practices and products, from massaging oils to candles and incense. Consider giving it a try and see if it helps you relax after a hard day's work. It may soothe ailments and it may not, but you'll likely enjoy simply breathing in some of the more pleasant scents nature has given us.

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