Aromatherapy for Relaxation
If you haven’t picked up on the fact that aromatherapy and essential oils have made a resurgence, you may or may not be living under a rock. Essential oils are in many of the beauty products we use every day, from perfumes to soaps, but using them on their own in aromatherapy is making a comeback as a common indulgence for home spas and relaxation. This homeopathic practice is revered and loved for its simplicity; just experiencing a scent can have immediate, and positive effects on the body’s nervous system. Our olfactory nerve sense reacts quickly to smells and scents; those nerves connect directly to the parts of our brains that control mood and emotions. Aromatherapy taps into the healing powers of certain plants and can be used for all sorts of emotional balancing.
How to Choose a Good Oil
But, if you are new to the practice, the process can appear daunting. There are what seem like scores of oils to choose from and then still several methods of use from which to choose. The most popular methods are diffusers and vaporizers, but you can also use essential oils in a hot bath or directly on the skin. If you’re using aromatherapy specifically for relaxation, you might prefer to use a method that you can control the length and intensity of; in which case, I would suggest the bath or self-massage route.
It is key that whichever method you choose, you ensure that you combine the essential oil of your choice with a “carrier oil.” This will dilute the essential oils and tone down the aroma, as well as make it safer to use in direct skin contact. You could mix with coconut, olive, avocado, or almond oils. Be sure to test whichever oils you choose on your skin in case of an allergic reaction; the last thing you want is to discover you’re allergic to something after rubbing it all over your body while attempting to relax. Diffusers, of course, eliminate this need altogether, and can be controlled by simply adding more or less diffuser rods.
Next, you’ll have to pick the essential oil you want to use in your quest for relaxation. As mentioned, there is no shortage of various oils to choose from and each can have different calming effects. If you are looking for scents to help you relax or to lessen anxiety, you have plenty to choose from. The most commonly used oils for relaxation are Lavender, Rose, Bergamot; Sandalwood and Frankincense, Jasmine, and Chamomile.
Choosing the Best Scent for Aromatherapy
Depending on how strong you like your scents, you may prefer some over others. For instance, rose and sandalwood can be particularly strong, and if that is something that may irritate rather than relax, you could choose lavender or chamomile. But when using pure essential oils, you do have the control over potency when you mix with your carrier oil–so mix carefully if you are sensitive to scents! It is always easiest to start out by low-balling how much you want to mix and adding as you desire.
Maybe you want to include a lavender mixture in with your hot bath and follow it up with a cup of chamomile tea to help yourself get sleepy, or even have a diffuser full of frankincense by your bedside so you can end your stressful days with a jasmine oil massage. At any rate, there are a multitude of ways to enjoy aromatherapy and all it offers; it’s all up to your preferences.