Basics of Aromatherapy
A fragrant flower in the garden. The smell of salt at the beach. The unmistakable odor of corn dogs and cotton candy at a county fair. The world is full of smells. While we take in the bulk of our sensory information through our eyes, smell remains one of our most powerful senses. A particular smell can brighten our mood, dredge up old memories or even raise old fears we thought we’d gotten over.
Because smell affects us in such a primordial way, it can also be used to promote the health of the mind, the body and the spirit. That’s where aromatherapy comes in. It’s both an art and a science that utilizes naturally extracted aromatic essences (usually, but not always from plants) to enhance an individual’s innate healing process. Common aromatic essences include: lavender, peppermint and rosemary and many more.
Aromatherapy doesn’t heal the body directly. Instead it boosts the body’s natural defenses and regenerative abilities. It helps the body help itself by:
- Kicking the immune system up a notch
- Getting rid of toxins more quickly
- Enhancing new cell growth
- Increasing digestion and circulation
You can take in the aromatic essences in one of two ways: through inhalation or through the skin. In other words, breathe it in or rub it in. In either case, it’s absorbed into the body and makes its way into the circulatory system where its benefits are distributed to the rest of the body.
Whatever your ailment or mood, with a little research you can find just the right essence to help. So if you’re looking for something a little different, give aromatherapy a try. Good health never smelled so good.