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Bringing the Health Spa Home: Aromatherapy (Part 2)

23rd Arpil 2007

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is one of the key essential tools to utilise in order to achieve the perfect home health spa. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils taken from aromatic plants in order to calm nerves, calm stressed minds or emotional state through use in bathing, steam sessions, and massage.

Where has Aromatherapy come from?

During ancient times, aromatherapy was used for its healing and mood altering effects. Medical texts dated back over 3000 years ago detail how aromatherapy essential oils were used for therapeutic purposes.

How does Aromatherapy work?

When we smell something, it’s carried to the olfactory mucous membrane where over 20 million nerve endings carry appropriate signals to the brain. It is at this point where they are interpreted as a smell which can invoke pleasant memories, favourite foods or even desired moods.

Aromatherapy oils can be classified by their effects as stimulants, euphoric, sedatives, regulators or aphrodisiacs. You can combine various oils into “blends” in order to achieve a particular desired effect and gain maximum benefit from the aromatherapy oil when being used. These effects can be described as follows:

  1. Euphoric odours (Jasmine & Grapefruit) stimulate the thalamus glands which causes the body to release encephalin (pain-killing hormones) leaving you feeling a sense of boosted well-being.
  2. Sedative odours (Lavender & Chamomile) cause the body to release serotonin, also known as the happy-hormone, making you feel in high spirits. Serotonin is found in chocolate which explains why you can never have enough!
  3. Aphrodisiacs (Ylang Ylang) stimulate the pituitary gland which causes the release of endorphins. These endorphins can induce sexual feelings as well as providing feelings of exhilaration and happiness.

How do I use Aromatherapy?

There are numerous ways in which you can make use of aromatherapy within your home health spa. The following methods are just a few ways how you can take full advantage of aromatherapy:

  1. Baths – Run the bath to a comfortably warm temperature. Blend desired oil with a carrier (a carrier is a neutral liquid that is blended with the essential oil before use, such as milk) and swish into the bath water before getting in.
  2. Steam Shower – Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil to the steam outlet before allowing the unit to reach your desired temperature. Enter the steam shower and enjoy an aroma filled steam session, making sure to take deep breaths - This will ensure that you will take full advantage of the aromatherapy oil.
  3. Facial Steaming – Pour near boiling water into a heatproof glass bowl. Add 5-7 drops of your preferred oil and stir until oil has blended with the water. Lean over the bowl covering the top of your head with a towel, ensuring that steam reaches your face. A 15 minute treatment is sufficient enough to cleanse the facial area. To finish, rinse with cold water to close all pores.

The Top 8 Aromatherapy Oils

The following oils are widely available within today’s marketplace. Each aromatherapy oil has both its common name and botanical name to ensure that you purchase the right oil for the right job:

  1. Geranium (Pelargonium Graveolens)
    Source: Plants/Leaves
    Safety: None
    Effects: Hydrate; Moisturise and soothe dry skin; Balance natural skin oils.
  2. Grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi)
    Source: Fruit peel
    Safety: Avoid strong UV light for 12 hours after use with massage
    Effects: Cleansing oily skin; Removing excess sebum; Detoxify areas of cellulite.
  3. Lemon (Citrus Limonum)
    Source: Fruit peel
    Safety: Avoid strong UV light for 12 hours after use with massage
    Effects: Natural antiseptic; Cleanse blemished & greasy skin; Improve skin tone.
  4. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
    Source: Plants/Flowers
    Safety: None
    Effects: Soothing & rejuvenating for all skin types; Relieves headaces; Muscle ache.
  5. Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)
    Source: Flowers
    Safety: None
    Effects: Cleanse oily skin & hair; Balance skin tone; Treat oily complexion
  6. Juniper (Juniperus communis)
    Source: Berries
    Safety: Do not use when pregnant
    Effects: Powerful for detoxifying cellulite and fluid retention; Improve blood circulation
  7. Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
    Source: Needles & Twigs
    Safety: None
    Effects: Skin toning; Muscular aches; Improve blood circulation
  8. Cardamon (Elettaria cardamomum)
    Source: Seeds
    Safety: None
    Effects: Stimulates poor circulation; Relieves backache/neck ache/shoulder ache

Aromatherapy is a fantastic way to treat your body to increased relaxation and rejuvenation. You can guarantee that using aromatherapy just once a week will make a huge difference to your lifestyle and the way you feel daily. Take advantage of aromatherapy today, and reap the benefits it has to offer.

« Part 1: Bringing the Health Spa Home: Hydrotherapy and Hydromassage
» Part 3: Bringing the Health Spa Home: Essentials of the Home Spa

Note: Di Vapor is not responsible for the views, opinions or advice represented in the articles on this site. You are advised to seek medical advice before following any such information. Copyright © April 2007 Di Vapor.



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