The broadest definition of aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plant oils to improve health and well-being. One of the main characteristics of aromatherapy is that it stimulates feelings of relaxation and reduces pain and stress. For these reasons, aromatherapy is often used in conjunction with other alternative therapies, like massage. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about aromatherapy:
#1: Essential Oils are Medicinal
The main source of aromatherapy is essential oils, which are hydrophobic liquids containing aroma extracts from various plants and flowers. As many plant extracts contain antiseptic, antibacterial, analgesic, digestive, and anti-inflammatory properties, these are often applied directly to the skin to provide the desired effect. Popular essential oils that have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties are:
Many of these essential oil extracts are used in traditional or over-the-counter medicines. Aromatherapists are specialists in combining the perfect blend of oils to properly relax and sooth aching muscles, joints, and ligaments.
#2: Aromatherapy Oils Should be Diluted
Because essential oils contain such high concentrations of plant or flower extract that might cause skin irritation, many massage therapists dilute them with carrier oils, such as oil from coconut, avocado, grapeseed, almond, or olive. These carrier oils also contain their own desirable properties, like healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and proteins, to name a few.
#3: You’re Probably Using Aromatherapy Right Now
Aromatherapy is more steeped in our culture than you probably realize. Every time you spray your perfume, light a scented candle or incense, wash your hair, or have a bath, you’re utilizing the power of blended aromas to achieve the desired effect. At Mantra Wellness Centre, our registered massage therapists have extensive knowledge of plant and flower aromas that help them create their own medley of relaxing, soothing, and rejuvenating oils to enhance your experience.
#4: Aromatherapy Has Been Used for Over 5,000 Years
That’s right. Aromatherapy is the literal opposite of modern medicine. It has been used for over five millennia in ancient Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, and other cultures all over the world to treat various physical and spiritual ailments and to support and maintain the body’s systems. It was often used in ceremonial or religious practices, but even without modern medical knowledge, the healing properties of essential oils was recognized by our ancestors.
#5: There is a Wrong Way to Use Aromatherapy
It is possible to take aromatherapy home with you. In fact, it seems as if essential oils and aromatherapy diffusers are more popular than ever. However, it’s important to understand that essential oils are in fact highly potent and are not appropriate for everyone. They should be treated like medicine in order to avoid overdose or unwanted side effects. Essential oils should never be ingested or used directly on the skin without cutting its potency. If you buy your own essential oils, keep them out of reach of children and pets and away from sunlight. If you’re unsure about how to use your essential oils, ask an aromatherapist for advice.
The staff at Mantra Wellness Centre believes in the healing and restorative power of plants and flowers. We utilize essential oils and other aromatic compounds to enhance your relaxation, relieve stress, and improve your mood. Contact us today to book your therapeutic or relaxing massage or book your appointment Online.