Aromatherapy is the art and science of applying pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils in various ways: by direct application, such as massage, by inhalation, by diffusion into the air, or by internal use to support the health of body, mind, emotions, and spirit.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils come from flowers, leaves, seeds, shrubs, roots, grasses, bark, resins, and trees, and are the essence or lifeblood of the plant. They are fragrant, volatile liquids made by steam distilling or pressing the fresh plant material. Their molecular size is very small, so they can quickly penetrate the tissues of the skin. Essential oils are very powerful antioxidants and have antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. They support the immune system by providing oxygen and nutrients to the cells.
The following are a few of the many benefits of topical application of the oils, whether through massage, a compress, or a bath: relaxing the body, relieving stress, improving digestive function, relieving muscle strain and headaches, repairing and balancing the skin, and increasing circulation. (See below: benefits of the Raindrop Technique)
Inhalation of essential oils can affect the limbic lobe of the brain and the hypothalamus to balance and uplift our spirits, balance our hormones, increase oxygen levels, clear the mind, and improve concentration. Diffusion of essential oils can purify the air from bacteria, fungus, mold, and unpleasant odors. Certain essential oils can be taken internally as a dietary supplement if they are therapeutic-grade and Generally Regarded As Safe by the Department of Agriculture.
BEATRICE ACOSTA, CMT
EMILY NELSON, MA