Essential Oils Can Be Part of Your Wellness Plan
You walk into a spa and from the moment you open the front door you can feel the stress and tension leave your body. The room is fragrant, soft music is playing and the lights are dimmed. External stimuli can play an important role in altering your mood, mental state and overall well-being. It is with this premise we recognize the role essential oils and aromatherapy can play in the integrative and complementary approach of pharmacy. Health and wellness is more than simply taking a pill for every ill. True optimized health care involves a multipronged approach including diet, pharmaceuticals, nutritional supplementation, lifestyle modification, exercise and environmental control. Choosing to add essential oils to your health regimen may prove beneficial.
It is thought that essential oils work by stimulating nerves which send messages to your brain. Your brain’s response can cause both physiological and psychological changes within the body. The effects may result in a variety of responses including relaxation, decreased anxiety, reduction in blood pressure, decreased pain sensitivity and the stimulation of the immune system. Although there is limited scientific research on these products due to the lack of FDA regulation, there are many who routinely use essential oils as part of their health care. While essential oils can complement your health and wellness plan, it is strongly encouraged you seek the advice of a medical professional to diagnose and fully manage your medical conditions. Essential oils are not intended to replace medical care but rather be a supportive piece in your medical treatment.
Some of the most popular and foundational oils include lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, patchouli and peppermint. Quality steam distilled and cold pressed oils typically are highly concentrated and are generally used in very small quantities. The benefits of these oils can be achieved through direct or indirect inhalation or application to the skin. For topical application, it is almost always necessary to dilute with a base oil such as almond, grapeseed or jojoba oil to help prevent skin irritation and disperse more evenly when used as massage oils. Oils can be diffused into the air in several ways, but the most effective way to achieve maximum benefits while maintaining the integrity of the oil, is through a cold diffusion process. Many choose to use an ultrasonic diffuser. By combining water and oil, a diffuser disperses tiny droplets into the air adding both fragrance and humidity. Additionally, oils are often mixed with Epson salts to create custom bath salts to enhance relaxation.
Foundational Oils and Common Uses
Lavender – Balancing, Relaxing and Soothing
Eucalyptus – Balancing, Cleansing and Stimulating
Lemon – Refreshing, Stimulating and Uplifting
Patchouli – Romantic, Soothing and Rejuvenating
Peppermint – Invigorating, Refreshing and Stimulating