Post LFW, we need to take some time out of our busy schedules to breathe and soothe our frayed nerves. One way of doing this is through the use of essential oils, but what is aromatherapy? We caught up with Natasha, one of the Beauty Therapists at Hale Country Club to discover more about how aromatherapy can help calm and de-stress your mind and body...
Aromatherapy. As a therapist to me this means a blend of oils that have been selected to evoke a particular state of mind for my client. Whether that feeling is to be de-stressed uplifted or completely relaxed, aromatherapy usually holds the key to most professional spa treatments. But how does aromatherapy really work? And can aromatherapy be used at home?
What Is Aromatherapy?
Essential oils are concentrated droplets of oils taken from plants, leaves, fruit and certain resins. Sometimes it can take up to 60 flowers off a certain plant for one droplet of oil. These potent essential oils are so concentrated they need to be diluted in a carrier oil (usually cold pressed nuts or seeds such as sweet almond or coconut). These oils help them to spread evenly over the skin without reducing any of the health giving benefits.
There are 2 main ways in which aromatherapy effects us when placed onto the skin.
Absorption of the oil happens the moment you smell it. The oils release tiny particles carrying its scent to the back of the nose where the body absorbs it; secondly after application to the body the oils are absorbed by the skin. Not all oils are small enough to pass through the skins protective barrier, the carrier oil that the essential oil is mixed in will sit on the skin's surface while the essential oil passes through much deeper, having a completely different effect on our bodies and skin.
Association also has a role to play when it comes to how oils affect us. Lemons will always feel more energising than lavender. Citrus fruits will make you feel fresh and awake while woody notes are scents that will make you feel more relaxed. Partly because this is what you expect and when you smell these oils, this is the emotion it evokes.
As essential oils do not have to be applied directly to the skin to benefit us, there are lots of different ways at home you can use them.
3 Ways To Use Aromatherapy
- Using a pillow mist or a room spray is a perfect way to introduce your home to aromatherapy. A few spritzes on your pillow and the natural oils will help you to relax, unwind and get a good night's sleep.
- Essential oils such as the Aromatherapy Associates Support Breath are the concentrated essential oil. These are perfect for putting in an oil burner which diffuses the scent into the room leaving a beautiful uplifting fragrance in any room.
- Roller balls are designed to be used on pulse points and can be easily transported with you wherever you go. It brings the benefits of aromatherapy to the busy outside world, for whenever you might need a little pick me up. Support breathe was designed as part of the support range from Aromatherapy Associates, a small collection of blends specifically designed to help with specific concerns. Support Breathe is great for helping to maintain easy breathing and to help clear your head due to its menthol properties.