Using Essential Oils:
You can soak and splash in them, feed your skin, sensually smooth them all over, or simply breathe in their wonderful aromas. The pleasure and versatility of aromatic oils make them one of nature's kindest gifts. Essential oils contain the active ingredients of a plant in a highly concentrated and potent form. They therefore need to be treated with care and should never be applied directly to the skin undiluted. However, there are many ways of dispersing their fragrance and utilising their therapeutic properties, and most methods do not require any special equipment.
i. Inhalation: Steam inhalation is an excellent method for treating respiratory problems, colds and so forth, but should not be used by asthmatics. Add 6-12 drops to a bowl of steaming hot water. Place a towel over your head and breathe deeply. This is also a great way of deep-cleansing the face.
ii. Therapeutic Massage: This is the classic aromatherapy treatment, triggering the body's natural healing process by using lymphatic massage and essential oils to stimulate the flow of blood and lymph fluid. The aromas also act upon the emotional centre in the brain (the "limbic" system) which governs the way we feel. For massage use a 1-3 per cent solution of essential oil to base oil.
iii. Fragrancers: These attractive pots, also known as diffusers or vaporizers, are simple to use. Fill the top china bowl with water and add a few drops of essential oil onto the surface. The candle in the pot underneath heats the water, slowly releasing the natural fragrance of the oil into the room. Stand the burner on a plate or tile, not on plastic surfaces. 3-6 drops of essential oil are sufficient, depending on the size of the room. It is also possible to buy battery-driven fan vaporizers which blow air through oil-impregnated pads, which can be changed to suit the mood.
iv. Baths: Run hand-hot water and then add 5-19 drops of the essential oil to suit your mood. Close the door, keep in the vapors, and soak for 15 minutes. For sensitive skin it is better to dilute the oil in a base oil first, like sweet almond, apricot or peach kernel. Essential oils can mark plastic baths if they are not dispersed thoroughly. Wipe the bath straight after use.
v. Foot Bath: Refresh tired feet by adding 4-5 drops of peppermint, rosemary and thyme to a large bowl of hot water. Soothe with lavender.
vi. Hand Bath: Soothe chapped skin by soaking in bowl of warm water (not hot) with 3-4 drops of patchouli or comfrey before a manicure.
vii. Shower: After soaping or gelling, rinse well. Dip a wet sponge in an oil mix of your choice, squeeze and rub over your whole body while under a warm jet spray.
Essential Oils And Aromatherapy - Using Essential Oils