For beginners, aromatherapy can be daunting because of the myriad of materials and methods used to treat many ailments of the mind and body. Aromatherapy, however, is often practiced in daily life in ways that you are unaware of! As an example, you probably remember the times when you used lavender baths to make you feel more relaxed and the scent of roses in the room to brighten up your mood.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils and aromatic compounds derived from plants to exert positive effects upon an individual's mental mood and / or bodily health. This is usually achieved through two basic ways: nasal inhalation and skin application.
As a beginner, it is wise to remember the following aromatherapy tips regarding the purchase, application and storage of the oils and waters used. After all, you want to heal not harm yourself and your patients!
For buying tips, you must remember the following dos:
o Do buy from reputable vendors, either in online sites or in offline stores. The quality will vary from one store to the next so it is always best to initially purchase small quantities to test them out.
o Do look at the botanical names of the oils. Often, two oils will have the same label names but will come from two different plants. For example, bay essential oil comes from Pimenta racemosa and Laurus nobilis, which have different therapeutic properties.
o Do look at labels since not all essential oils have therapeutic values. Pure essential oil has therapeutic values and you can easily tell them from harmful petroleum solvents via a simple test: Place sample oil drops on a blotting paper. Pure essential oils should not leave residues while petroleum solvents will.
For application and usage tips, you need to keep in mind these dos:
o Do use essential oils according to package instructions and precautions. Essential oils contain high concentrations of compounds that can cause adverse side effects like nausea, drowsiness and headaches when used improperly. Also, some oils like clary sage must be avoided when drinking alcohol.
o Do dilute essential oils with carrier oils before applying to the skin. If your skin comes into contact with essential oils, apply vegetable oil and soap and then wash with lukewarm water. Repeat as needed.
o Do test diluted essential oils on the skin. Since each individual reacts differently to specific oils, this step is necessary to avoid allergic reactions. When you observe skin irritations (ie, itching, burning, redness), do stop using the oils immediately.
o Do adopt a one-week break from using aromatherapy when you have used it continuously for two weeks. This gives your body a rest from the aromas and oils used.
For storage tips, you have to follow these dos for the general safety of everyone exposed to the oils:
o Do keep away from the reach of children.
o Do keep your essential oils in dark bottles either in amber or cobalt blue. Place these bottles in cool, dark places. Or better yet, purchase wooden boxes for this sole purpose.
However, the most important part of learning to use aromatherapy to reap its maximum benefits is to read books and listen to experts before trying to use essential oils. After all, information is power in the art of healing!