The Essentials of Aromatherapy

The Essentials of Aromatherapy Aromatherapy refers to the skilled use of essential oils obtained from aromatic plant material to maintain health and well being, and to prevent imbalances and illnesses on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. Essential Oils are distilled extracts from aromatic plant material. They are highly concentrated and, in most cases, are used in dilution with a suitable carrier oil or lotion. The use of aromatherapy grade essential oils is necessary to achieve a therapeutic effect. Major points to keep in mind when working with essential oils: Use only genuine 100% essential oils (avoid synthetic fragrance oils) Be aware of individual sensitivity/allergy Keep out of reach of children Use diluted in a carrier – lotion, vegetable oil Do not use photo-sensitive essential oils if going into the sun: bergamot, lemon, lime, bitter orange, angelica root In the case of skin irritation, apply vegetable oil to wick the essential oils from the skin. Essential oils are used in a variety of ways depending on the desired outcome. A 2-3% dilution is recommended for a massage or body lotion = 12-18 drops of essential oil in 30 cc (l oz.) lotion or massage oil 1% = 6 drops/oz. is recommended for children, elderly, ill, and expectant mothers 0.5% = 3 drops/oz. is recommended for emotional and spiritual purposes and face care. Bath – sitz, hand, foot, full bath. Use 6-8 drops total per adult, always using a carrier to disperse into the water. Avoid irritating oils such as peppermint, spice, & citrus oils. Baths are useful for respiratory, stress and insomnia complaints; both the water and heat increases absorption. Inhalation – environmental fragrancing, steam inhalation, diffuser, aroma lamp, room sprays, tissue, humidifier, potpourri pots, candles, jewelry Massage – localized or whole body. 2-3% dilution in a vegetable, nut or seed oil as a carrier, or unscented natural lotion. 4% dilution = 24 drops/oz. can be used for local areas needing stronger concentration. Facial steam – 1-3 drops in a bowl of hot water. Use skin friendly essential oils (lavender, geranium, R. chamomile) according to skin type, keep eyes closed. Compresses – hot, cold & alternating; local treatments for headaches, menstrual pain, muscle pain. Whole body wraps for encouraging general detoxification, relaxation and stress maintenance. Clay masks – for face and whole body clay packs