The concept of aromatherapy is made up of two terms: aroma (the chemical compounds that include odoriferous particles in their formula) and therapy (the area of medicine focused on how different health disorders are treated).
Aromatherapy consists of the medical use of essences or essential oils: the fluid present in certain plants that is characterized by its pungent odor. It is a technique that is usually included in alternative medicine (that is, it does not find sustenance in the traditional medical-scientific community).
According to DigoPaul, the origins of aromatherapy are remote since several ancient peoples used aromas to treat diseases and various ailments. Baths with essential oils and the spread of incense sticks were some of the first manifestations of aromatherapy.
Due to the high concentration of essential oils, aromatherapy tends to dilute them with other substances to avoid irritations or burns. In any case, it is important to note that most essential oils are not ingested or applied to the eye area.
Essential oils can be diluted in hot water for the patient to inhale the steam. Another possibility is that, diluted in cold water or in another type of oil, they are rubbed on the skin.
Let’s see the application methods of essential oils in more detail below:
* inhalation: it is the most common way, and can be carried out directly or indirectly. As mentioned above, it is possible to mix the oil with water. An alternative to the mere location of the product near the patient is the use of diffusers, to promote the movement of particles in the air, and is often used to treat respiratory problems or even for certain skin disorders;
* massage: depending on the type of ailment to be treated, it is possible to apply the oil directly to the affected area and perform a massage, the intensity of which also depends on the problem in question. This form of aromatherapy is widely used for muscle contractures;
* aromatic baths: when the patient’s problem is related to his blood circulation, a suitable application is to take a hot water bath with a few drops of essential oils. It is important to reduce the water temperature from time to time, to achieve the ideal degree of relaxation and avoid injury;
* poultices: these are soft topics that can be applied both hot and cold, and are recommended to treat skin problems or muscle pain;
* Internal use: This is the least common application of aromatherapy, and is only possible with certain essential oils. In addition, it is very important that it appears as an indication of a professional, who must also carry out a control to limit consumption.
Each essential oil offers different benefits, thanks to its specific healing properties. Among the most used are the following:
* bergamot: it is used for depression, stress and anxiety, as well as to normalize appetite. It is refreshing, energetic, revitalizing and stimulating;
* Cypress: their properties purifying, invigorating and sedatives are ideal for reducing the symptoms of menopause, certain allergies and stress, and to calm the nervous system;
* Geranium: also serves to treat depression and to relieve menstrual symptoms. Its stimulating and balancing action offers especially good results to improve mood and overcome distress states;
* ginger: it provides an immune system stimulation that helps fight colds and flu, improves blood circulation, is ideal for the prevention of nausea and dizziness during travel, is relaxing and promotes proper digestion;
* Lavender: Aromatherapy uses this oil to soothe headaches, relieve burning stings and burns, and regulate high blood pressure.