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Techniques used in aromatherapy

There are four techniques used in aromatherapy and these are massage, bathing, inhalation and compresses.

Massage is the most familiar method of treatment associated with aromatherapy. Essential oils are able to penetrate through the skin and are taken into the body, exerting healing and beneficial influences on internal tissues and organs.

The oils used for massage are first diluted by being mixed with a base and should never be applied directly to the skin in their pure form in case of an adverse allergic reaction.

Bathing most people have experienced the benefits of relaxing in a hot bath to which a proprietary perfumed preparation has been added. Most of these preparations contain essential oils used in aromatherapy.
The addition of a number of drops of an essential oil to the bath water can have great beneficial effects.

It is soothing and relaxing, easing aches and pains, and can also have a stimulating effect, banishing tiredness and restoring energy, depending upon the type of oil that is used.
In addition, there is the added benefit of inhaling the vapors of the oil as they evaporate from the hot water.

Inhalation is thought to be the most direct and rapid means of treatment. This is because the molecules of the volatile essential oil act directly on the olfactory organs and are immediately perceived by the brain.
A popular method is the time-honored one of steam inhalation, in which a few drops of essential oil are added to hot water in a bowl.

The person sits with his or her face above the mixture and covers the head, face and bowl with a towel so that the vapors do not escape. This can be repeated up to three times a day but should not be undertaken by people suffering from asthma.
Some essential oils can be applied directly to a handkerchief or onto a pillow and the vapors inhaled in this way.

Compresses to prepare a compress in aromatherapy, a few drops of essential oil are added to a proportion of hot or cold water and then a cloth is soaked in the mixture. The cloth is wrung out, (although kept fairly wet) and applied to the painful part, and is tied in place with cling film and a bandage.
The compress needs to be left in place for two hours before being changed. Usually, hot compresses are applied to chronic persistent pain. For conditions in which there is heat, inflammation, swelling and fever, a cold compress is generally indicated.

Essential oils may also be diluted with water and used in hand and foot baths if only a small area of the body needs to be treated. Some are appropriate for use as gargles and mouth washes, and are helpful in clearing up infections such as mouth ulcers.

However, they should never be swallowed. Essential oils can be used effectively in the home by adding a few drops into a bowl of water or potpourri and leaving to stand in a room.

Essential Oils Extraction
Essential Oils Use
Aromatherapy Techniques
Mode of action
Aromatherapy benefits

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