One of the most fascinating facets of the beauty industry is aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is mysterious, an age-old remedy for everything from headaches to arthritis. It utilizes a diverse array of tools from candles, oils, lotions, to incense. Aromatherapy is steeped in an air of mystery, which may account for its allure. People are captivated by things that seem foreign and exotic.
Whether you realize it or not, you probably have used aromatherapy in your everyday life without even realizing it. Scents are everywhere, and each particular aroma has a certain physical or psychological effect on the person who is smelling it. If a certain fragrance has ever made you feel a certain way, then you have essentially utilized aromatherapy. Some scents remind you of forgotten places or long-lost loves. Some fill you with energy, while other sooth an relax you. Identifying the fragrances that have an effect on you can help you lead a healthier and less-stressful life.
The basis of aromatherapy is essential oils. Essential oils are what gives a particular plant its characteristic odor and flavor. Each plant, tree, or flower has one essential oil that is unique to that particular plant, tree, or flower. It’s what makes mint smell like mint, and what makes basil smell like basil. Each essential oil has a specific effect on a person’s body or mind. Some effects are physical; for instance, tea tree oil increases circulation when applied topically to the skin. Other effects are mental. Bergamot can be used to alleviate depression, while other aromas can decrease appetite and calm jittery nerves. Aromas are highly individualized. What may relieve nausea for some people may cause nausea for other people. Aromatherapy should be used to enhance a person’s health, and it should never take the place of emergency medical treatment. There are those who claim aromatherapy can cure everything from colds to cancer, but these are the type of people you should avoid. Aromatherapy is an aid that can enhance medical treatment, but it should never take the place of medical treatment.
The methods essential oils are diffused vary greatly. Incense is a popular method, but the smoke generated may irritate people who are sensitive to smoke. Oils and lotions are very popular as well, but they might cause irritation to people with sensitive skin. The key is to use the method that best suits the client. I prefer to use diffusers, which are electrical appliances that dispense the oil’s molecules through the air. Diffusers are also easier to clean up after than oils, creams, candles, or incense.