A guest post for Aromatherapy Awareness Week.
I have always been interested in Aromatherapy but that interest was well and truly piqued at last year’s Neal’s Yard Annual Conference when I learnt that their trainers use essential oils during training sessions. When they have a lively group they will diffuse Frankincense oil to calm the atmosphere and with a very quiet group they use Ylang Ylang to energise and ease feelings of anxiety.
So what exactly is Aromatherapy?
Quite simply it is the use of essential oils to enhance physical health and emotional wellbeing.
The use of essential oils can be traced back through the centuries – the Egyptians used scented oils in burial rituals; the Greeks believed aromas connected them to the gods, while the Romans used scented oils for seduction.
How does it work?
Essential oils are highly concentrated essences derived from plants. The oil is responsible for keeping the plant alive by attracting pollinators and warding off predators, fungus and bacteria. Once extracted, the oil contains the essence of the plant plus these therapeutic benefits.
When we use essentials oils they enter the blood stream, where their healing properties take effect. For example, when inhaling the aroma, the scent breaches the blood-brain barrier reaching the limbic system of the brain. The limbic system is known as the emotional switchboard, it is responsible for emotions, memory, stress, nurturing, hunger and arousal.
What can it be used for?
Anxiety, stress, sleep disturbances, skin problems, respiratory issues, fatigue, focus, energy, digestive upset… the list is endless!
How to use essentials oils?
Any top tips?
Some oils to get your started
Possibly the most known essential oil for its ability to bring about restful sleep, Lavender promotes a sense of calm and relaxation and can be used when feeling stressed or anxious.
Lemon is uplifting and invigorating and it is great for mental focus and positivity. It is a must have oil if you suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Tea tree is a power antiseptic and a great all-rounder to have in your first aid kit. Think wound healing, skin infections and immunity.
Peppermint has stimulating and analgesic properties making it effective for muscle pains, digestive issues and headaches. It can help clear the head and stimulate the mind.
Frankincense can lift the spirit and increase energy and focus. It is ideal when feeling stressed, tired or overwhelmed and helps to promote calmness.
Guest blogger for Aromatherapy Awareness Week:
Chelsea Green, homeopath and independent Neal’s Yard consultant