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The Beginner’s Guide to Aromatherapy

posted: 04/15/16
by: Ashley Lauretta
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It has become a common practice to turn to medication for issues such as stress or sleeplessness. But with the rise of natural remedies and organic products within the past few years, we've learned there are other ways of dealing with these normal occurrences. Aromatherapy is one of those practices.

With aromatherapy, you use essential oils to help heal your body and mind. Research (and anecdotal evidence) shows that the scent of these oils, taken from plants, may help soothe a multitude of issues. It can all seem overwhelming at first, but once you learn the basics, using aromatherapy is quite simple. As you get comfortable, you can experiment with different scents and brands to suit your personal preference.

Step 1: Identify what ails you

As we said above, aromatherapy can be used for a number of things. Stress and fatigue, however, are two issues that can simply be addressed with aromatherapy. Knowing what ailments you would like to address is the first step of aromatherapy, because the scents and types of oils you choose are all based on what they can help alleviate.

Step 2: Choose your oils

There are many brands of essential oils--Aura Cacia and Young Living are two popular brands--so you can do research on the company to choose the best fit for you. They will have information on how the oils are extracted (this matters so you know you are getting the highest quality oils with no additives). Once you have a company you like, it is time to learn about which scent or oil type you need. Here is a short breakdown of some of the most popular:

  • Lavender: Promotes relaxation
  • Eucalyptus: Addresses nasal congestion
  • Peppermint: Promotes mental sharpness
  • Citrus: Promotes alertness
  • Chamomile: Promotes calmness
  • Vanilla: Promotes balance

There are many more types of oils, from sandalwood to basil to grapefruit and everything in-between. Also, scents can be mixed for additional benefits.

Step 3: Choose how to enjoy the aromas

There are a few different ways to enjoy the scent of essential oils, and the most popular is probably the diffuser. May diffusers will heat the oils so that the scent is released into the room. There are other types of diffusers that use water or ultrasonic waves to help create a mist of oils, but with all of the different types you are sure to find one that works for you. Young Living even has a USB diffuser that will plug into your computer so you can take it on the go! They have thought of everything. If you do want to try essential oils that stay with you on the move, the Cor Pendant is great for beginners. It is wearable aromatherapy in the form of a necklace, and comes with wicks you place inside (for little mess). To smell the scent, you simply twist the necklace. You can help reduce stress, fatigue and promote focus depending on the wick you choose.

It is important to know that essential oils can be used for much more than aromatherapy. If you're into DIY beauty, as you start to experiment with oils, you can use them to make your own lotions, cleaning products and more. This is again where it is great to combine types of oils. When doing this, you need to know that the oils should be diluted, so check any warnings or labels before use, as oils can be too potent without the proper dilution. This is definitely the case to be followed when using the oils on your skin or in skin products. Additionally, there are some oils that should be avoided during pregnancy or if you have conditions such as high blood pressure, so reviewing the oil safety guidelines from the company you are buying oils from is recommended before purchase and use.