The Ins and Outs of Aromatherapy

You might have heard people rave about aromatherapy and how wonderful it is, and you might wonder if it really works. While you should always talk to your doctor about your medical issues, aromatherapy does seem to have many health benefits for people’s overall wellness, so it never hurts to explore this ancient practice.

The Scents

Aromatherapy is all about using various scents, often but not always from essential oils, to improve people’s mental, emotional and even physical health. Essential oils are usually made out of plants, and they carry various properties and are thought to stimulate people’s brains and affect their bodies in various ways. Peppermint, for instance, energizes and can also ease nausea while lavender is soothing and can help a person sleep. Ginger can improve digestion while cedarwood is said to clear airways and improve the function of one’s circulatory system. Balsam sharpens awareness while geranium improves one’s mood. You get the idea. Scents can make a huge difference in both body and mind.

The Methods

Those scents can be delivered in a variety of ways. Some people use diffusers. Diffusers spread the scent of the oils gently through the air. There is even a best home fragrance system that smoothly diffuses a fragrance throughout your home for a deep aromatherapy experience. Other people prefer inhalers that allow them to draw scents directly into their noses and lungs. Still other popular aromatherapy methods include bath salts, steamers, lotions and body oils, compresses and spritzers or sprays. Any of these can be used alone or in combination for a personalized aromatherapy experience that is just right for you.

The Benefits

Many people claim to receive great benefit from aromatherapy. It can, for instance, help some people manage their pain and cope better with chronic illness. For others, it helps relieve stress and anxiety. Some experience easier breathing, better digestion and improved circulation by breathing in their favorite scents. Still, others sleep better. Sufferers from joint troubles find that certain oils, especially when rubbed on, ease their aches. People who get frequent headaches have also noticed that certain scents diminish the pain and pressure. Women in labor have even reported a lifting of some discomfort through aromatherapy, and those who work with the dying use aromatherapy to soothe and comfort their patients.

The Cautions

While aromatherapy may have many benefits, it should be used with some practical caution. First, aromatherapy is not meant to take the place of medical treatment but rather supplement it. It does not cure illness even though it may often reduce symptoms.

Further, essential oils do contain some chemical compounds that can cause irritation and trigger allergies in some people. If you have asthma, hay fever or allergies, be extra cautious. Essential oils may also interact with certain medications, and you should check with your doctor before you use them. Further, essential oils that are meant to stimulate should be used with great care by people who have high blood pressure. Never ingest an essential oil, and always follow instructions closely.

That said, though, aromatherapy, if used properly and with care, may well bring great benefit and even enjoyment to your life and your home.