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February 12, 2006

Aromatherapy FAQ

Filed under: Reference Articles — Administrator @ 11:44 am

What Is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a gentle but powerful healing art that uses Therapeutic Grade pure Essential Oils in a way that can positively effect our physical, emotional and mental health.

Certified Aromatherapists will recommend massage (introduction through the skin) and inhalation (introduction through the respiratory system) as the most effective methods of introducing these wonderfully balanced and holistic gifts from nature into the human body. For massage, a good quality Carrier Oil, Lotion, cream or salve is used to deliver the Essential Oils to the area needed. For inhalation, a simmering pot, Diffuser, hot tub, sauna – or something as simple as a common cotton ball is used.

While modern science can in some cases duplicate the fragrance of some Essential Oils, they have been unable to duplicate the benefits each can deliver. Each Essential Oil is made up of between 50 to 500 different chemicals that occur in nature. Essential Oils can be used for pleasure only, to scent your environment, or be used in an effective natural way to enhance Beauty and health.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential Oils are very volatile substances produced from Botanical sources. They are the concentrates of sromatic molecules of the plant or its parts. The molecules can be considered the hormones of the plant, as they control certain functions of the plants life. Many people think of Essential Oils as the spirit of the plant.

Pure Essential Oils are naturally occurring substances found in different parts of plants – the blossom, fruit, leaf, stem, bark, wood or resin. Through a complicated and often expensive process of distillation or solvent extraction, these precious oils are captured and bottled. The Essential Oils are then measured and combined according to the quality each oil possesses, and this blend is then administered to the recipient.

What are Essential Oils made of?

Essential Oils are compositions made of the basic Organic elements; carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, forming alcohols, Esters, ketones, oxides, phenols, and terenes. An Essential Oil can contain between 10 to 200 components and other minor trace compounds that are very difficult to analyze. Essential Oils form very interesting and specific molecules that react against such microorganisms as bacteria and Viruses. Such molecules can sometimes form a vitamin composition or a hormone-type chemical.

How do Essential Oils Enter the Body?

Three ways…
1. Through our skin. The largest organ in the human body, and accessible to Essential Oils because the molecular structure of the Essential Oils is so small they can enter through the skin and enter the blood steam. A modern application of this principal is used by many people today and is known as the patch. To Quit Smoking, or to raise estrogen levels in post Menopausal women, medication is introduced at a gentle and consistent level into the body through the skin. Massage is another way Essential Oils are introduced into the body. Essential Oils in salves, creams, oils, perfumes all are vehicles of delivery. Essential Oils take about half an hour to be absorbed.

2. Through smell. The olfactory system, (nose) sends the chemical message of the Essential Oils through the limbic part of our brain, which is the oldest part of our brain. Here the message is telegraphed to our central Nervous system and to our glands, which control how our body functions. Methods to use here are in baths, Diffusers, humidifiers, hot tubs, steams, perfumes, on a hanky, or Pillow. Takes only seconds for the message to be received.

3. Ingesting. In North America, ingesting can never be suggested. It is not the best method, in any case, as the Essential Oils end up reacting with the other materials in the digestive tract, and are often of very little use to the client.

How is a skin test performed?

We recommend testing Essential Oils by applying a small amount of diluted Essential Oil to a small skin area. If irritation or burning occurs, dilute the area with Massage Oil and discontinue use.

Are Essential Oils used by doctors or hospitals?

Hospitals in England and France make a great therapeutic use of Essential Oils. There are many medical studies that support therapeutic results from the use of Essential Oils. The US utilizes Essential Oils less than most other countries for therapeutic assistance. In the US, massage therapists, reflexologists, accupressurists, nail salons, skin specialists and homeopathic practitioners generally make use of Essential Oils.

How long do Essential Oils last, once purchased?

Most Essential Oils will last 1-2 years if kept in a dark bottle in a cool place. Some of the resinous oils are more like wine, in that they actually get better with age! Because citrus oils are top notes and highly volatile, they should be used up within one year, and once oils are blended with Carrier Oils they should be used up within 1 to 2 months as the therapeutic value starts to diminish.

Essential Oils can be classified into top, middle, and base notes, signifying the length of time an oil’s scent can be detected.

Top notes (oils like Bergamot, Petitgrain, citrus bases) tend to last 2-3 hours and are the first part of any blend that you smell first. Top notes give the first impression of the blend.

Middle notes (oils like Lavender, Chamomile, Geranium) give blends body and help to round out the sharp edges of the top notes. Typically these scents (and effects) can last upward of 2-3 days.

Base notes or fixatives (like Patchouli, Clary Sage, Myrrh, Cedarwood) help to deepen the blend and create a lasting aroma. When smelled directly from the bottle they may have very little scent, but once used in a blend and applied to the skin, they react strongly and release their power. These scents (and effects) can last from several days to a week, depending on the oil.

What are the benefits of Aromatherapy?

Odors bring back memories and influence our behaviour. Depending on the fragrance, odours can calm, Relax, stimulate associations, evoke, frighten and arouse us. In fact, we have the capacity to distinguish up to 10,000 different odours that influence our memory and feelings and impact our quality of life.

In addition to the mind-emotional benefit, many oils have been scientifically proven to have antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal and antiseptic effects. Oils are also capable of exerting effects on various body systems and organs.

To learn more about the benefits of Essential Oils and massage, click here.

Can a person be Allergic to a scent?

NO, there are no Allergens present in an aromatic chemical. However, if a person has an Allergy to grass for example and smells something similar, they can react with similar sensitivities because of the scent memory.

What scent makes people buy more?

There is no particular scent. It depends on many factors, such as overall atmosphere, customer service, lighting and design. Scent compliments a marketing theme to create a better environment. In fact, recent tests have proven that people will stay longer in a store with pleasant odours, that it has a positive effect on the perception of a product and will influence the purchase decision.

What scents are most conducive to Relaxation and passion?

According to certain research it was discovered that women really like the smell of Granny Smith Green Apples, and Cinnamon Rolls and other baked goodies. They feel more relaxed and at home with sweet and spicy smells such as these. They are more encumbered to be more passionate, because such smells remind them of a homey atmosphere? They dont like strong smells such as cherry or strawberry. Men favor a more woodsy aroma with hints of spice, like Cedar, and Myrrh. Walk into a real Cedar cigar humidor and you will understand.

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