These days, many health & beauty products on the market use the word Aromatherapy on their labeling. Even cleaning products are scented to capitalize on the aromatherapy buzz. I advise caution when using scented products due to the fact that many products contain artificially derived fragrances or perfume oils. Perfume oils are not the same as therapeutic grade essential oils and, in some cases, can cause irritation to individuals who have sensitivities or even compromised respiratory systems.
According to Len Price, co-author of Aromatherapy for Health Professionals there are “connections between a person’s thoughts, feelings and immune status [which] suggests that the ability of essentials oils to affect all these via the sense of smell makes aromatherapy a truly holistic therapy.” Methods for inhalation include diffusers, steamers, vaporizers, inhalers, spray bottles, tissues, hands and baths. Baths provide a double benefit because they not only disperse the aroma but also permit the oil to come in contact with the skin. I love this quote from Hippocrates “Good health rests on having daily aromatic bath and scented massage.” Scented massage is not just relaxing (or uplifting, as the case may be). Added to massage oil or cream, essential oil is absorbed into the skin in under 30 seconds where it penetrates and enters the tissues and bloodstream. Pathways of entry include the lymphatic system, endocrine system, nervous system, respiratory system, digestive system, etc. There are four broad groups of essential oils based on their physiological effects. Some oils belong to more than one group since they have multiple properties based on their molecular structure.
The Calming Group is characterized by the ability to decrease redness and inflammation of the skin. These include Chamomile, Lavender, Geranium, Neroli and Rose.
The Energizing Group of oils increase blood flow to the skin by dialating the capillaries imparting a feeling of warmth and redness of the skin may be visible. The major ones include Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Clove, Lemon and Ginger.
The Fortifying Group doesn’t actually change things but supports balance. Some examples are Bergamot, Melissa & Chamomile.
Corrective Oils have a specific action on a particular condition, for example, Lavender for inflammation. Peppermint is a local analgesic and Tea Tree oil is effective for antibacterial and fungal conditions.
Natural remedies tend to work a little slower than prescription medications but, in most cases, there are little, if any, negative side-effects associated with their use. Complimentary medicine can be used in addition to conventional treatments. With very few exceptions essential oils should NOT be used undiluted, directly on the skin. For massage a 3% dilution is usually very effective. I create custom-blended essential oils based on the needs of each individual massage client. Contact me about purchasing custom blended oils specifically for you.
“Good health rests on having daily aromatic
bath and scented massage.”