Whether you use essential oils from brand A or brand B, or perhaps you have several different oils at home, we are all involved in aromatherapy.In this blog I will take you to the basic principles of aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy, the basics
Aromatherapy is a form of therapy in which essential oils are used as a therapeutic component in the treatment of physical and mental complaints and/or symptoms in order to support and maintain your health.
Aromatherapy is centuries old. The Greeks and Romans made wonderfully fragrant baths with lavender, the Egyptians used oils to mummify and embalm the deceased loved ones, and herbs, oils and incense were used in many different cultures to honour gods, protect themselves, purify and/or for healing purposes.
When we look at modern aromatherapy, there are three main founders:
ProfessorRené Maurice Gattefossé, a French perfumer and chemist who developed, sold and published many fragrance concentrations on the medicinal effects of plant aromas.
Madame Marguerite Maury, an Austrian surgical assistant who came into contact with Gattefossé's published work. She increasingly delved into aromatherapy and developedvariousmassage techniques and skin care, using essential oils. For example, she composed perfumes that precisely matched the physical and psychological problems of her clients.
Dr. Jean Valnet, a French physician specialized in plant medicine. As an army doctor, he treated many wounds with aromatherapy and even received an award for this. Jean Valnet wrote the first book on aromatherapy and has been president of an association (Association d'etudes et de Recherches de Aromathérapie et Phytotherapie) to professionalize and spread the knowledge about aromatherapy.
Essential oils are very broad applicable. On a physical level, you can use this as follows:
Skin and hair, for example in the treatment of allergic reactions, eczema, acne, fungi and other skin conditions.
Muscles and joints, for example in case of muscle pain after exercise or sprains.
Respiratory tract, for example for relief from allergies and colds.
In addition, the application on a mental, energetic and spiritual level is also great to use your essential oils for. Scents stimulate your senses and often bring you back to certain memories and events.
To explain how this works, let's give a brief description of our sense of smell. When you inhale air, this air quickly reaches the olfactory nerves. These are located at the top of your nasal cavity (the olfactory cavity), an area behind the skull, between the eye sockets. The olfactory nerves are directly connected to our limbic system, which, among other things, is strongly involved in our emotions. As soon as you smell a certain scent, it often immediately evokes certain feelings and memories.
Each scent consists of different molecules. There are many olfactory receptors in your nasal cavity that receive these odour molecules. The receptors then pass on the captured information to the brain, where the odour is 'identified'. The brain can distinguish over 10,000 (!) different odours. The more different components in a scent, the more receptors are activated and the more impressive the scent is, and mostly (not always) the more it will trigger certain feelings and emotions.
How your body will respond to a certain odour is determined by the hypothalamus, a kind of junction where messages from the odour molecules arrive and from where certain physical (re)actions are then initiated.
Is the scent wonderfully relaxing (lavender) or does it encourage action and alertness (peppermint)?
Does the scent make you cheerful and happy or does the scent bring back sad memories, for example missing someone?
Essential oils are wonderful tools for relieving physical complaints, but also for supporting your mindset and emotions and using them during (therapeutic) sessions to process and let go of events.
If you want to get started with your essential oils, you can do this in different ways:
Diffusion via a diffuser or a lava stone
Via an aroma inhaler
Through 'cupping'; put a drop of essential oil on your palm, rub your hands together and hold your palms in front of your nose and breathe in and out several times.
Through the skin (topically)
By using a roller
Through lotions, creams and ointments
Using a compress
In a (foot) bath
Orally, for example via a capsule. Please note that you always use pure essential oils and that you are properly informed by an aromatherapist about this application.
The applications are virtually endless. Always remember to use your essential oils in a safe and responsible manner.
It is very important that you use 100% pure essential oils and that you are properly informed about which oils you can take responsibly and which oils you cannot take.
There is a possible interaction between medications and essential oils, including an increase in the side effects of medications. Consult your doctor if you have any questions about implementing essential oils into your daily routine. Pay particular attention to which essential oil is safe to use in the event of a (possible) pregnancy and when using blood thinners. Adjusted guidelines also apply to children. Consult a qualified doctor for this.
This information has been compiled with the utmost care. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases, or to replace medical advice from professional doctors and medicines. Anyone suffering from an illness or injury should consult a qualified physician. _____