Aromatherapy has been used throughout the ages to offer relief from many complaints, both emotional and physical. As of yet, science has neither confirmed nor denied the benefits of aromatherapy as a being a curative alternative health practice. However many people still rely on age-old traditions and wisdom to assist in the healthiness of their lifestyle.
Aromatherapy, by definition, is the use of selected fragrant substances in lotions and inhalants in an effort to affect mood and promote health (The American Heritage Dictionary). By doing a search on the internet, or by visiting your local library, one can find a wealth of information on aromatherapy, both practical and estoric (spiritual) uses. Not only are there unlimited amounts of fragrances to help your health, but an unlimited amount of applications of the fragrances.
Several of the more common applications you probably know about are candles, incense, bath products, lamp rings, massage oils, and diffusers.
Candles can be purchased in an almost limitless variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and most importantly, fragrances. Even people who aren't fond of candles for fire safety reasons can find tart melts, electric votive warmers, so-called "flameless candles", and many other alternatives. A hint for purchasing candles for aromatherapy reasons is to purchase soy candles. Not because any other kind is especially unhealthy or unsafe, but because soy is cleaner burning with a higher scent throw and less soot, bringing you that much more scent than regular candles.
Incense can be found in many forms as well, including your regular stick incense, cones, charcoal, powder, resins, and others. If you are turned-off by incense because of the "woodsy" smell that makes you think of burning leaves, try charcoal incense instead, which has a very clean burning, non-woodsy scent, giving you more fragrance and less of that smokiness.
Bath Products, and Pulse Point Rubs can bring aromatherapy up close and personal. By bathing in or with aromatic oils, you carry the fragrance with you whereever you go. However, you should make sure that the fragrance you are getting has the right benefits you would like instead of just smelling nice. Some more common name brand bath products may smell pretty but have little to no theraputic effects.
Essential oils are the best way to get the benefits of aromatherapy, however the fragrance itself, even if manmade can still be beneficial to you. If I listed all the benefits of each fragrance out there, this article would probably take up about 5000000 paragraphs. However, I highly recommend doing research into the different fragrances and their benefits before jumping on the aromatherapy train. Some fragrances are not skin safe (especially in essential oil form), and others can cause allergic reactions. Remember safety first when experimenting with aromatherapy and your body!
As a few suggestions, generally lavender is used for relaxation, peppermint for energy, ylang-ylang for passion or love, chamomile for calm, frankencense & myrrh or nag champa for meditation, and sage for cleansing. There are plenty more out there though...something for everything one might say!
Aromatherapy can benefit everyone, and is available in so many different forms that it is easily accessible and easy to use no matter who you are. Scent affects our lives in so many ways, and this is just one more way it can benefit you.
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