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Aromatherapy has been around and has been practised in one form or another since the beginning of civilisation. It is the art, and science, of using oils extracted from aromatic plants to enhance health and beauty. Apart from the physical benefits, essential oils can have subtle effects on the mind and emotions. The essential oils taken from plants and used in Aromatherapy have been described as their "life force" - they are essential to the plants' biological process, as well as being the substance which gives them their scent. Synthetic oils, even if chemically similar, will lack all the natural elements, and that vital life-force, that make essential oils so valuable therapeutically.
Another reason why synthetic oils are not acceptable is that the minor constituents are never identical. The addition of synthetic chemicals is not normally disclosed in the essential oil business, so unless there is a declaration that the oils are natural, pure and unadulterated, assume otherwise.
Essential oils are extracted from flowers; herbs; spices; woods and fibres, usually by distillation, expression and solvent extraction. Solvent extraction is only acceptable for aromatherapy if the solvent used is completely removed after the manufacturing process
MASSAGEThis is the most effective method of using
the oils, combining their properties with the therapeutic power of touch. The
oils should not be used undiluted, but should be diluted with an odourless
carrier oil, (see section on carrier/base oils), such as grapeseed, sweet almond
or peach kernel. A dilution of 3% essential oil to carrier oil is a recommended
starting point. (Less if using on sensitive skin such as babies). This is
approximately one drop essential oil to two millilitres of carrier oil. (6 drops
in two teaspoonfuls). But in all cases less can be definitely more!
Contrary to popular books, essential oils are not absorbed through the skin. Saying that oils go through the skin is a myth that needs to be exposed. Just because some books have said that oils go through the skin does not make it so. There is no scientific evidence that oils are absorbed through the skin and then into the bloodstream. Sylla Shepperd-Hanger in the book "The World of Aromatherapy" has shown that there is _no_ evidence, from proper aromatherapy experiments that have the person having the oils put on the skin and have a seperate air supply, that significant components of the oils go through the skin. Dermatologists who have done similar experiments also show that oils do not go through the skin. "Some" chemicals in EOs do show up in the blood in very small amounts but is is not proven that the amount is of thereaputic value.
The skin is the largest organ of the body and is designed to keep out contaminants not let them in. Medical patches use specially designed synthetic compounds to go through the skin. It has been shown that those oils that do have penetrative affects are also those that are likely to be sensitisers or irritants thereby showing that the skin is working in stopping contaminents getting through the skin.
Use of the sense of smell and fragrances of various kinds = "Aromachology". Use of essential oils and our sense of smell (along with our other senses), AND use of eo's on the skin/hair, etc. is Aromatherapy ... at least that is how most people see it.
Take care with plastic baths as some oils may cause staining.
The best way of dispersing essential oils is to use a diffuser or the Aromastream TM, as most other forms of vaporiser drive off the most volatile "high notes" first, leaving the slowly evaporating "base notes" to linger.
I personally believe that vaporising rings on light bulbs should be used cautiously, though I have not heard off anyone having a fire through using one.
The Droppers supplied in bottles should be in different sizes according to the viscosity of the different oils. Good internal droppers have a grove on one side. With the grove uppermost you will get a "slow drip", with the grove downward you will get a "fast drip".
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