Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

Essential oils are also known as the use of essential oils from plants for healing and relaxation is known as aromatherapy. The art of using oils to enhance health and beauty is almost as old as humankind itself. The ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans all used oils as medicine and during religious ceremonies.

The term aromatherapy was coined by the French chemist in the 1920s. The conversion to the healing power of essential oils followed an incident in his laboratory. He burned his hand and instinctively plunged it into a nearby jar containing essential oil of lavender. The oil soothed the pain, and, he thought, accelerated the healing process.

Manufacturers extract essential oils from different parts of a huge variety of plants by various methods, including distillation and expression (squeezing or pressing). Some oils, such as German chamomile, come from the flowering head of the plant, others, such as cloves, come from the buds. Yet others, ginger for example, come from the root, while citrus oils are extracted from the peel.

Essential oils are highly concentrated substances. They are, on average, 70 times more concentrated than the raw parts of the parent plant. This concentration means that they are used in tiny amounts and are always diluted with a much larger amount of a base, or carrier, oil. The exceptions to this are lavender oil and tea tree oil, which can be applied directly to the skin. Carrier oils are always vegetable oils. Typical carrier oils include wheat germ oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, grape seed oil and peach kernel oil.

Practitioners believe that essential oils contain the life force of the plant and this is absorbed through the skin, or inhaled, to stimulate the body’s tissues, promote healing and generally restore the balance between mind, body and spirit. The oils are believed to have painkilling, antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties and to be able to improve the functioning of the immune system. Each essential oil has its own characteristic aroma and is believed to have healing properties. Some oils are soothing and relaxing; others are stimulating and invigorating.

Essential oils and Aromatherapy – back pain

Many oils have more specific healing properties, and a number are particularly recommended for those suffering from back pain.

Using Essential Oils And Aromatherapy For Back Pain

  • Bay Laurel – Rheumatic aches and pains
  • Clary Sage – Inflammation, aches and pains
  • Eucalyptus citriodora – Arthritis and rheumatism
  • Eucalyptus globulus – muscular aches and pains, rheumatic pains
  • Everlasting – inflammation, arthritis and muscle pain
  • german chamomile – inflammation, arthritis and muscle pain
  • ginger – aching muscles, arthritis and rheumatism
  • lavender – muscle pain
  • manuka – muscular pain, osteoarthritis and rheumatois arthritis
  • marjoram – low back pain due to muscular stiffness, arthritis
  • niaouli – muscle aches
  • peppermint – neuralgia and muscle pain
  • scots pine – arthritis
  • thyme – joint pain

Like essential oils, carrier oils are held to have their own special characteristics and properties. Much of the art and fun of aromatherapy is matching the properties of the various oils, both essential and carrier, to achieve the result you want.

Of the commonly used carrier oils, sweet almond is believed to have a powerful healing effect on the skin. Use rosehip oil to treat scars and stretch marks. Practitioners recommend wheat germ oil for its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are believed to neutralize the action of harmful free radicals in the body, and may offer protection against heart disease, in addition to boosting the immune system.

To obtain recommended that you use no more than two or three essential and carrier oils together at any one time. There are several ways in which you can benefit from the therapeutic qualities of essential oils. They can be massaged into the skin during an aromatherapy massage, applied to a compress to treat localized aches and pains, inhaled, either directly or indirectly via a diffuser or bowl of steam, or used in a bath. There is a really close connection between essential oils and aromatherapy.

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