Aromatherapy Healing ~ Aromatherapy Techniques

In various subtle ways, you probably already use aromatherapy. When you make a tea made from a fragrant herb {such as peppermint or chamomile} or toss such herbs into your bath, you are extracting the herb’s essential oils into the water. Likewise, when you make recipes from this website that use fragrant herbs, you are using aromatherapy.

Because essential oils are so concentrated, the safest way to use them is to dilute them in a vegetable oil base and then rub them into the skin as you would a liniment. Essential oils are absorbed into the bloodstream because their tiny molecules pass through the skin. Compounds from lavender essential oil have been detected in the bloodstream only 20 minutes after a lavender massage oil was rubbed on the skin. {You can test this at home by rubbing a piece of cut garlic on the bottom of your foot. Its essential oils will travel through the sole of your foot and within 30 minutes you will taste garlic!}

Essential oils are especially effective when you apply them to the skin over an internal region where they are needed. For instance, a massage oil designed to ease a stomachache can be rubbed over the abdomen. I will provide a chart at the end of this series that details the best proportions to use in creating aromatherapy products.

The most effective way to use aromatherapy is to make the fragrance so subtle that it is barely perceivable. Blend several scents together, as a perfumer does. Use your nose as your guide, and do not be afraid to experiment. I know nurses and other health care professionals who dab scented oil on the backs of their hands before seeing patients.

The most refined way to fill a room with fragrance is by using an electric aromatic diffuser, a glass apparatus that pumps a consistent, light mist of unheated fragrance into the air. {If you decide to purchase one, be sure to get a model with a quiet pump.} A simpler alternative is to dab a few drops of essential oil on a light bulb or, for a more lasting effect, on one of the special ceramic or metal rings designed to be placed on a light bulb {these rings are available at stores that sell essential oils}. When you turn on the light, the heat causes the scent to fill the room.

A simmering potpourri cooker, heated with either electricity or a candle will also scent a room for hours. You do not even need the potpourri; you can simply put a little water in the cooker and add a drop or two of essential oil. Or you can heat a pan of water containing a few drops of essential oil on the stove, then turn off the heat and allow the scented steam to fill the air.

Of course, the oldest way to scent a room is with incense {if you do not mind the smoke it produces}. Potpourri, sleep pillows and scented bed linens, clothes and stationary offer ways to share aromatherapy with others through fragrant gifts. Aromatherapy can even improve some of your mundane household tasks. Try placing a cotton ball scented with a drop of essential oil in your vacuum cleaner bag.

A fragrant plant often contains less than 1 percent essential oil, but that small amount can be highly aromatic. The oil is extracted from the plant by methods such as distillation or pressing. Once extracted from the plant, these pure essential oils are highly concentrated and must be used with care. Do not use them straight; always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil, alcohol or water before putting them on your skin.