A holistic way to change your life — aromatherapy
It's incredible how much your whole life can change just by the mood you're in, isn't it? That's why you really need to be able to master your moods to be the person you want to be.
Now while it's fun, although a bit time-consuming, to build collections of the absolute best mood playlists on your iPod or in your Spotify account, sometimes even the right music just isn't enough. Let's look at some more holistic ways to feel better that are more effective, shall we?
The next time that you find yourself going into a situation where you want nothing more than to stay on the couch watching Netflix and eating chocolate until the world ends, you have more options to turn things around and start to flip the switch on those emotions. That's because you can use different kinds of fast-acting aromatherapy anytime and anywhere to help you feel better.
Hold on, what exactly is aromatherapy again?
According to most dictionaries, aromatherapy normally includes a massage with essential oils or using their scents to improve your well-being. That's a pretty dry way of looking at it though.
We prefer to think of aromatherapy as using the scents and natural healing properties of applying essential oils as a most-delightful alternative to eating a pizza and downing a glass of wine that you're likely to regret later. Aromatherapy is by far the most pleasant form of therapy you can have because, for one thing, our happiness is more connected to our sense of smell than we realize. Instead of prescribing you a bunch of pills, an aromatherapist prescribes essential oils.
As soon as you inhale essential oils, the purified scent literally goes straight to your brain and "lights it up" by stimulating new activity, in a manner of speaking. Your moods start shifting, and that's just the beginning of it.
Where did aromatherapy come from? A general history:
Since 4,000 BCE in Mesopotamia, which is in modern-day Syria, we know that ancient civilizations have used plant-based remedies as medicine for many ailments. Archaeologists have found old texts thousands of years old describing these traditional recipes in India, Egypt and China before they reached Europe.
Surprisingly though, it wasn't until after 1881 that René-Maurice Gattefossé wrote the first book to coin the word "Aromatherapy," describing his successful research of using essential oils in treatments. He and his colleagues had observed how essential oils were helpful as antiseptic agents for cleaning the wounds of soldiers in the Second World War. By the 1960s, international schools of aromatherapists began to open as increasing amounts of research confirmed the incredible potentials of essential oils.
What are the benefits of aromatherapy?
Now before we jump into everything that essential oils can do, you have to know that lots of aromatic oils out there aren't really "essential" oils. Most conventional oils you see in the supermarket are heavily diluted and treated, weakening their healing properties.
You must use therapeutic-grade essential oils that contain many rich, complex chemical compounds not found in adulterated, heavily diluted and synthetic oils. Only pure essential oils will give you the strongest impact for healing. In our experience, Young Living's essential oils are the purest we've ever encountered anywhere, so we wouldn't use anything else.
Now the most fascinating part about high-quality essential oils is that researchers say they have a very similar cell structure to our own body's tissues, making them quickly absorbable by our skin. Once applied onto your skin, they can penetrate the tissues rapidly, enter the bloodstream and even alter your hormonal balance naturally.
Honestly, you can nurse anything with essential oils in one way or another. That's how beneficial they truly are. Volumes have been written on how to use which oils to support the healing of health issues.
Here are some of our favorite benefits to give you some idea of what they can do:
- Many essential oils help your body fight disease by triggering the release of more antibodies and endorphins that make you feel better quickly.
- Lavender is much more than a natural relaxer you'll want around to ease PMS and help you sleep better. It can encourage faster hair growth and help wounds heal faster too.
- The essential oils of sage stimulate the release of estrogen to help balance hormones.
- To improve the health of your skin, one example of a great essential oil for scars is frankincense. It reduces inflammation, helps produce more natural growth hormones for rapid healing, and it also lifts your mood with excellent anti-depressant properties to make you feel better about yourself in general.
- These oils support the body in healing respiratory issues in many ways. For example, clove essential oil can trigger a thinning of the blood to improve circulation.
- Diffusing oils in your office like lemon and orange reduce fatigue and make you more alert, even if you didn't sleep much last night.
That all sounds too good to be true, right? Well, we have scientific proof to back up the power of essential oils.
Incredible studies done on aromatherapy:
One study observed the effects of treating patients with osteoarthritis of the knee with aromatherapy massages using lavender essential oil. In this well-controlled clinical trial, patients saw immediate reduction of their pain and had less pain even one week later too.
As far as addressing insomnia, this study investigated the impacts of using aromasticks -- personal inhaler devices -- to diffuse the smells of essential oils in patients' bedrooms to see if they slept better. In a UK cancer center, most subjects of the study receiving cancer treatments had chronic sleeping problems. They studied the responses of 65 people in 13 weeks. A striking 94 percent of all patients loved using the aromasticks to help them fall asleep, and more than two-thirds of them had better quality of sleep as well. The essential oils in this trial included bergamot, frankincense, sandalwood, lavender and mandarin.
How to perform aromatherapy:
Let's talk about options! You have so many choices when it comes to treating yourself right with some essential-oil love at home.
Some of the most common ways to take your essential-oil medicine include:
- Use a few drops in a diffuser.
- Soak up the oils into a cotton ball or other medium to slowly release the scent, which works great when using oils with young children.
- Massage yourself with the oils blended with carrier oil.
- Put about 5-10 drops of essential oils in your hot bath.
- Rub a couple of drops of essential oil directly on pressure points or areas that need more attention, although some oils are too potent to use on their own. For example, apply clove and peppermint oil only after rubbing mild carrier oil onto your skin first; otherwise, they can irritate your skin.
Living Mavens offers a great selection of accessories to help you enjoy your oils in any setting!
For more great DIY aromatherapy ideas you can do at home, try:
1. Pour several drops of your favorite oils into an oil locket/decorative bottle you can wear around you neck, letting you fashionably wear your "medicine" everywhere. These unique necklaces are perfect for filling with scented oils.
- Add a few drops of essential oils to those fun bath-bomb fizzy recipes you see on Pinterest to bring aromatherapy into your bathtub with an extra kick.
Make aromatherapy sachets out of spare cloths or little cotton bags to put in your drawers, under your pillow or in your car, which don't require any power source and make your home and spaces both smell and feel amazing.
While essential oils aren't a complete cure for anything, they are very potent healing agents that we absolutely love to use, and we think you're going to love them too.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Living Mavens products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. Individuals using essential oils should be educated about their use, properties, safety precautions, and dosage or be under the care of a qualified health professional. Customers should purchase products from Living Mavens with the clear understanding that all products must be used at the customers own discretion.
*** The International Federation of Aromatherapists does not recommend that Essential Oils be taken internally unless under the supervision of a Medical Doctor who is also qualified in clinical Aromatherapy. In addition, Essential Oils must be properly diluted before use in order to avoid any damages to property or adverse physical effects (including injury or bodily harm).
About the Author: Suzanne Leopold started Living Mavens in 2016 to share some of the products and techniques that help her focus inward and transform her life. With over 15 years of exploring energy and manifesting modalities, she is passionate about creating a life she loves and sharing her discoveries with others. To learn more on how to consciously create a life you love, go to www.livingmavens.com