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Aromatherapy - How Do I Use It? Print E-mail
Burgess & Finch   
Friday, 25 May 2007

Aromatherapy - How Do I Use It?

Aromatherapy is the fragrant art of using selected aromatic essential oils for therapeutic purposes.  It is the fastest growing complementary therapy in the world, and is recognised as being one of the most natural and holistic treatments available today. This article will advise you on how to use essential oils in bathing, burners, massage, inhalation, compresses, creams, ointments and lotions.

Bathing:  To pamper yourself, simply fill the bath with water, close the bathroom door and create an ambience suitable to your mood, perhaps with candlelight.  Dispense 2-3 drops of your favourite oil into the bath water and agitate the surface to disperse the molecules.

Burners:  Burners provide the perfect means to permeate the atmosphere with the delightful aromas of pure essential oils.  The oils in the air also provide an extremely effective antiseptic air freshener.  A few drops of the chosen oil are placed in a shallow dish filled with water on the top of the unit.  A night candle is lit underneath the dish.  The heat from the candle gently evaporates the water and oils together in the surrounding air. You will find that by varying the oils and combinations, you will be able change the atmosphere in your surroundings.

Massage:  Massage not only promotes circulation, it stimulates the release of toxins through the lymphatic system and provides a sense of warmth and wellbeing.  Up to three or four essential oils can be combined with a carrier oil to incorporate the individual expressions of each oil, working together to produce the most effective results.

Inhalation:  Use 2-3 drops of essential oil in a basin of water (just below the boil).  Drape a large towel over the basin and your head and inhale the vapour for a few minutes.  Keep your eyes closed when inhaling.

Compress:
  Hot compresses are generally used to relieve chronic pain, while cold compresses are ideal for acute pain or injury.  Fold a face cloth to make your compress, and place it on top of the hot or cold water to which the essential oils have been added.  Wring out the excess water, and place the cloth over the area to be treated.

Creams, Ointments and Lotions:  Essential oils can be combined very successfully into creams and lotions, especially if these are themselves made from natural, preferably plant-derived, materials.  Mix 10-12 drops into 30ml of cream or lotion.

Direct: 
Depending on the condition, essential oils can be placed on a cotton bud and applied to the affected area or it can be dabbed directly onto the affected area.  It can also be placed onto a tissue or hankie, and inhaled.  Only the following oils are recommended for direct use:  Lavender, Tea Tree and Lemon.

Essential oils can be used to benefit any person; however there are some precautions with certain oils. Some oils are not recommended for the following conditions/situations:

  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • High blood pressure
  • Epilepsy
  • Sensitive skin

If any of the above applies to you, ask your aroma-therapist to make a selection of essential oils that are safe for you to use.

For more information on the uses of essential oils visit www.vital.co.za



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