Aromatherapy – What is it?
Aromatherapy uses the scent of natural oils to bring balance and healing to the body and mind. These are extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical wellbeing. Aromatherapy is gaining momentum in the arena of alternative medicine. It is used for a variety of applications including pain relief, mood enhancement, stress relieve, and increased cognitive function. The inhaled aroma from these “essential” oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. They can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing. There are a wide number of essential oils available, each with its own healing properties.
Essential or aromatherapy oils, are the fragrant essence of a plant. These are the foundation of aromatherapy, which is based on the idea that the aromatic oil from a plant has healing properties. Essential oils should not be confused with perfumes or other fragrance oils. Essential oils are natural to the plant, whereas fragrance oils are chemically produced to mimic certain aromatic scents for perfumes, colognes, candles, etc.
One of the cornerstones of aromatherapy treatment is the vapor technique. Since many essential oils are thought to alleviate sinus or respiratory issues, steam inhalation is a very popular application method.
Aromatherapy is based on the principle that natural fragrances from certain plants or flowers can affect our moods and consequently how we think or feel at any given time. In fact, practitioners of Aromatherapy base their entire belief system on the ideology that essential or aromatherapy oils, have medicinal benefits. Some of those benefits include being an effective anti-depressant as well as having antibacterial properties, and many more in between.
Another way to get the amazing benefits of oils is through salts. Salts have their own incredible health benefits including being a natural disinfectant and having antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Inhaling particles could reduce inflammation and mucus in the lungs resulting in better respiratory health. When you combine salts with oils, you then have a powerhouse of wellness. Aromatherapy salts can be used in both your hot tub and jetted bath. This method gives you the benefits associated with both.
Physical and Emotional Responses
Certain essential oils can trigger physical or emotional effects on their own. For instance, lavender is a widely known calming agent, whereas peppermint is a mood lifter. Others are blended to achieve a desired physiological or psychological effect. Blending ylang ylang with grapefruit relieves stress.
Little is known about the history of aromatherapy, or where it originated specifically. However, the Egyptians are credited with developing one of the first distillation machines to extract oils from certain plants like cedarwood, clove, and cinnamon just to name a few. They used these to embalm the dead.
The practice of using infused aromatic oils as a mood enhancer, however, is thought to have its roots in China. The Greeks also played a role in the history of aromatherapy. Megallus, a Greek perfumer, developed a fragrance he called megaleion, which consisted of myrrh. Hippocrates, the “father of medicine”, is said to have practiced aromatherapy (before it was dubbed so) for healing purposes. Greek mythology claims the gods were gifted with the knowledge of perfume and fragrance.
The actual term “aromatherapy” first originated in 1937 when French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse invented the word after a burn incident spurred his curiosity about the healing power of essential oils. On the heels of Gattefosse’s “discovery” that lavender oil helped to cure his burn. French surgeon Jean Valnet used essential oils to help heal soldiers’ wounds in World War II, proving the medical benefits of aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.
Power of Smell
Scent is the most enduring of our senses. It has the power to transform our emotions, and heal our bodies. It can take us to another place and time.
Practitioners of aromatherapy believe that fragrances in the oils stimulate nerves in the nose. Those nerves send impulses to the part of the brain that controls memory and emotion. Depending on the type of oil, the result on the body may be calming or stimulating. The oils are thought to interact with the body’s hormones and enzymes to cause changes in blood pressure, pulse, and other body functions. Another theory suggest that the fragrance of certain oils may stimulate the body to produce pain-fighting substances.
Waters Choice Aromatherapy Salts
Waters Choice carries 5 different aromatherapy salt scents for use in your spa. Each one has a unique scent designed to lift moods or help you relax. The salts completely dissolve in your hot tub leaving you with an amazing aroma to thoroughly enjoy!
Try all 5 of the Waters Choice aromatherapy salt scents in the salt sample pack and transform your emotions and heal your body.