Aromatherapy and Relaxation:
A Perfect Combination

aromatherapy gift basketaromatherapy gift basketAromatherapy and relaxation can be combined to reduce anxiety and stress levels and there is more than one aromatherapy benefit available to you.

If you're like the average person, you probably have a few candles or air fresheners lying around the house and you probably use a relaxing aromatherapy bath product in the tub.

While these products can do wonderful things for you (like set the mood for a romantic evening or cover up pet odours), they also have the power to alter your health and mood. How so? This is where aromatherapy and relaxation come in.

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy that may be used as an alternative to drugs and other pharmaceuticals. Basically, aromatherapy is the use of scented oils (essential oils) and other aromatic compounds originating from plants for the purpose of affecting your mood or health. These essential oils can be dispersed using aromatherapy diffusers or other diffusion methods. You should always check with your doctor prior to beginning an aromatherapy program if you have existing medical conditions.

Aromatherapy and relaxation are highly compatible themes.

Through the sense of smell, essential oils stimulate olfactory receptor cells, which then transmit an impulse to a specific part of the brain known as the limbic system.

The limbic system is connected to memory, so specific emotions can be triggered by one smell. For example, the aroma of a freshly baked apple pie might bring back happy childhood memories.

But most importantly, the limbic system is connected to blood circulation and endocrine glands (responsible for regulating hormone levels), which is why aromatherapy can be beneficial to your health.

Aromatherapy and relaxation are not limited to inhaling odours. Essential oils, when diluted in a carrier oil, can also be absorbed through the skin. The oils can then make their way into your bloodstream, and affect your organs and your entire body.

Remember that scented massage oil? Didn't it add to the romantic mood and give you that relaxed feeling all over? Sure... magical hands might have helped a little, but aromatherapy also played an important part.

What are the Most Common Essential Oils?

While the list of essential oils can be quite lengthy, I will limit my list to the most commonly used oils for aromatherapy and relaxation, but plenty of other essential oils are available.

It should be noted that the absorption rates of essential oils vary between 20 minutes and 2 hours, so if you are planning on using essential oils for a massage, it is probably best not to bathe or shower directly following your massage.

Sleep and Insomnia

Basil. You're probably familiar with this one, at least as a spice used in the kitchen. In aromatherapy, it is known for stimulating brain functions and helping to ease depression and relieve muscle aches. Note: you should avoid basil essential oil if you are pregnant.

Bergamot. If you are an Earl Grey fan like me, then you are familiar with this scent. Bergamot is a very versatile essential oil that can alleviate the symptoms of several skin conditions as well as reduce depression and anxiety. Note: if used on skin, make sure the bergamot oil is distilled or bergaptene-free and you should stay away from the sun.

Black pepper. Just like too much pepper activates your sweat glands, black pepper can stimulate blood circulation. It is especially useful for easing muscular aches and improving the quick disappearance of bruises. Don't get me wrong here... I'm not saying that pouring ground pepper in your eye will make your black eye disappear faster... All you'd get from that is a lot of pain... Essential black pepper oil diluted in a carrier oil will help heal a bruise faster (but don't get it in your eyes!)

Chamomile. You have probably come across soothing chamomile tea in the aisles of your grocery store. Use chamomile if you suffer from insomnia, nausea and/or rheumatism. It relaxes your entire body and reduces stress and pain associated with sprains, strains and wounds. Aromatherapy and relaxation are also compatible with herbal teas and other comfort food.

Ginger Root. Ginger root is commonly used in cooking but it is also a powerful aromatherapy product. You can use ginger essential oil diluted in a carrier oil for a warming massage that will relax tense muscles. Ginger is well-known for its digestive and warming properties.

Jasmine. Jasmine can be used to improve your mood, boost your sense of well-being, create a romantic atmosphere, reduce symptoms of depression and inspire your creative spirit.

Lavender is known worldwide for its properties to create calm and relaxation. It can also soothe headaches and migraines. Luckily for us, some well-known companies now sell lavender-scented laundry detergents and fabric softeners. Who said that doing laundry had to be a chore?

Marjoram. Marjoram can help relax aching muscles and muscle cramps. It also alleviates some symptoms of bronchitis such as coughing. It can reduce hypertension, your stress levels and pain associated with sprains and strains.

Neroli. Neroli can help treat depression, insomnia, and other nervous problems such as shock and stress. As an added bonus, when neroli is used on skin, it can reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks.

Sandalwood. You can tell by its name that sandalwood has a strong wood aroma. It is often used as a fixative to enhance the head space of other fragrances. When used by itself, it is known to help treat anxiety and can also be used as an aphrodisiac.

Ylang Ylang. Ylang ylang can help reduce anxiety, depression, hypertension, palpitations and stress.

At Home Therapy

There are many ailments that can affect your everyday life. Here are some aromatherapy therapies or techniques you can try in the comfort of your home.

Basically, aromatherapy and relaxation are just around the corner... Click here to return to the homepage and discover more ways to relax.

Want to Find Out More About Aromatherapy and Relaxation?

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils InformationRevealed: the quick and easy way to use aromatherapy at home by simply following step-by-step instructions! This site gives free aromatherapy and essential oils information for you to enjoy.

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Note:The information contained on this aromatherapy and relaxation page is for educational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a physician and/or other health specialist. Precautions must be taken to ensure aromatherapy does not conflict with existing medical conditions.

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