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Aromatherapy: Procedure, Benefits, and Side-effects

By Anand Dubey March 11, 2021

Aromatherapy: Procedure, Benefits, and Side-effects

We are all exhilarated by the aromatic fragrance of certain oils, known as essential oils. These are put to use for benefitting various health conditions. This therapy that incorporates the use of essential oils into massage is known as Aromatherapy.

It is a form of Ayurvedic treatment, done using plant materials and aromatic plant oils. This therapy using essential oils is an age-old way of treatment. It is an amalgamation of a wide range of alternative, traditional, or complementary medicines. The essential oils used in this therapy aims to improve a person’s physical as well as mental health.

Ayurveda & Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is an essential part of the Vedic holistic treatment system. It is also an effective natural remedy that is most widely used for balancing the doshas. The special properties of each oil help in relaxation, concentration, as well as restoring strength. It also helps in balancing the emotional state.

The ayurvedic treatment works to restore the balance of the doshas. The doctors of Ayurveda use essential oils for treating a variety of problems such as joint pains, muscle stiffness, etc. These oils also cleanse the toxins and carcinogens present in the body. 

Benefits of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy has several health benefits due to the properties of oils. This ensures both mental and physical well-being. These are-

Eases pain from various conditions

The essential oils and massage help in relieving problems such as chronic lower back pain, arthritis, and joint dysfunction. It also relieves premenstrual syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.

Relief from Anxiety and Depression

The soothing effect of massage and the aroma of essential oils provides relief from mental distress that helps in relieving anxiety and also depression.

Decrease Muscle Tension

The oils provide relaxation to the muscles and also widen the gaps reducing the tension between the muscles.

Reduces Headache & Improve sleep

The massage calms the nerves and muscles which helps in improving the sleep patterns and also reduces stress, which can alleviate tension, headaches, or soothe the pain.

Improves Blood circulation

Certain essential oils have anti-inflammatory as well as pain-relieving properties. Aromatherapy is also used in folk medicine for improving blood circulation.

Opens Nasal passage

Essential oils also open up the nasal passages and clear the sinuses. This further helps in providing relief in sinus tension that causes headaches.

Improves Immune system

Aromatic oils such as tea tree have outstanding anti-microbial properties. It has the ability to stimulate the immune system. It also helps in fighting several infections and diseases.

How is it done?

Aromatherapy can be done in several ways. The only common factor in all the techniques is the use of essential oils. It is done in various forms such as-

  • Massage
  • Sauna
  • Inhalation
  • Aromatic bath
  • Compresses

Oils used in Aromatherapy

The essential oils used in aromatherapy are:

  • Clary sage
  • Cypress
  • Eucalyptus
  • Fennel
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Helichrysum
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Mandarin
  • Neroli
  • Patchouli
  • Peppermint
  • Roman chamomile
  • Rose
  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree
  • Vetiver
  • Ylang ylang

These oils have different properties and widely used essential oils:

Calming: Lavender, Chamomile, and geranium oil

Decongesting: Tea tree oil, Eucalyptus, and pine

Energizing: Rosemary oil

Uplifting: Clary sage, ylang-ylang, and rose

Precautions

The essential oils are highly potent. Therefore, the skin absorbs the oils easily, so it’s important to take some precautions. These are-

  • Overuse of aromatic oils can cause side-effects.  Therefore, Strictly use these oils by properly diluting them in a carrier oil.
  • If you’re allergic to a strong aroma, the therapy may not be the right choice for you.
  • Pregnant women,  and also women who are breastfeeding should check with their doctor to ensure if the therapy is safe for them. 
  • Problematic skin such as skin with rashes, bruises, inflamed skin, unhealed wounds, or fractures should not be massaged directly. 
  • People with health conditions such as cancer may need to avoid essential oils or massage.

Side-effects

The high potency of the oils may lead to various side-effects. Although the chances are rare but it can cause-

  • Allergic reactions such as pimples, acne, etc.
  • Skin irritation 
  • Sun sensitivity

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