Our initial contact with essential oils is most often a sensory encounter with the power of aroma. We close our eyes, inhale deeply and are astonished at the resulting calm or sense of revitalization that we experience. Aromatherapeutic mood enhancement is not new, but as of late, this practice is enjoying a vital comeback.
The process by which both essential oils are gathered, as well the biochemical response of our bodies to these aromatics is complex yet completely natural.
Through the process of distillation, raw plant material undergoes extraction which produces liquid essence, the active ingredient in essential oil. The conversion process of liquid essence into essential oil does not alter the active ingredients and when used in aromatherapy, these curative properties are able to faithfully distribute their benefits to positively affect wellness and equilibrium of the mind, body and spirit.
The fragile composition of this liquid essence will cause it to evaporate if exposed to sunlight and not properly stored. This propensity towards evaporation is known as volatility, and it is for this reason that essential oils are sold in dark, glass bottles.
Our bodies respond to these natural components when we come into contact with them through inhalation or topical application.
The aromatherapeutic process begins with the sense of smell. Chemoreceptor cells in the nasal area carry the active ingredients to nerve fibers, and by way of impulses, the scent reaches the olfactory bulb in the brain and from there, it travels to the limbic system (center of memory and emotion) where chemicals are released into the nervous system. This entire aromatherapeutic experience happens in a matter of seconds!
In addition, biochemical responses within the body are happening in the circulatory system, through the lungs when essential oils are inhaled, and the skin when oils are applied topically.
The therapeutic properties of essential oils are as numerous as the vast array of plants that sustain us. One of the most popular ways to begin enjoying their benefits is through the method of vaporization provided by an electric diffuser. In these units, water is added along with several drops of a particular oil or a blend of oils. Once the unit is activated, an ultra-fine, scented mist is dispersed into the air by atomization technology a.k.a. cold air diffusion. This process transforms essential oils into a micro-particle vapor.
Research has shown that atmospheric oxygen is increased by transforming the active ingredients of an oil into a vapor. Consequently, the body is also enabled to more easily transport this readily available oxygen to individual cells by way of the bloodstream. This internal bodily process is possible, due to the lipid-soluble or cell membrane penetration ability of essential oils.
Cold air diffusion releases beneficial plant compounds for the treatment of depression, anxiety, insomnia and headaches. In fact, further research on specific essential oils reveal therapeutic applications unique to each individual oil. Science and technology work together with the power of aroma to provide a truly therapeutic experience.
A number of essential oils possess key therapeutic properties best able to relieve depression, insomnia and anxiety while promoting relaxation. At the top of the list is the ever-popular lavender, due to its ability to restore balance. The rest of the short list includes: bergamot, cedar, chamomile, clary sage, geranium and jasmine. Why not dispense a few drops of one of these aromatics into a hot bath at the end of the day to clear your mind and induce tranquility? Have a headache? Apply peppermint or rosemary to a pulse point or infuse the air around you with their revitalizing scent.
Every season brings with it different health concerns such as a need for allergy relief or immunity support and several companies offer a number of special blends to address allergy symptoms naturally, as well as strengthen your immune system. A combination of essential oils work in concert to provide relief or greatly reduce the presence of viruses, bacteria and mold.
Incorporating the use of essential oils into your life will raise the quality of your spiritual, emotional and physical experience. These aromatics constitute true flower power in its purest form. The methods of therapeutic application are as varied as their well-documented benefits. You can use them to bring balance into a stressful moment, disinfect your home, promote personal health and wellness and improve your skin and hair. Aromatherapy happens in the space of a single breath. Experience the power of scent and alter your present moment.
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