The powerful and therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy essential oils have been used for self-care and medicinal practice for thousands of years. Aromatherapy is applied via inhalation (diffusers and directly from a bottle or on a tissue) and through the skin (via massage or bath soaks).
When essential oils are applied to the body they penetrate the skin via the hair follicles and are absorbed into the bloodstream, where they not only help to kill bacteria and viruses but also stimulate the body’s immune system, thereby strengthening resistance to further attack.
Each essential oil has its own character and aroma, exhibiting a varying number of properties and benefits which are unique to itself. Some essential oils increase the circulation and help with the efficient elimination of toxins, others promote new cell growth and encourage the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
The tiny molecules of essential oils are readily absorbed via the lungs and into the bloodstream when they are inhaled from a tissue, or a room a vaporizer, or bathwater. The aroma sends a signal directly to the Limbic System in the brain which is the centre of emotions and memory, which is why essential oils can help to lift depression, soothe stress and tension, induce sleep, calm nerves and generally encourage a better state of mind.
Massage is one of the best ways to enjoy aromatherapy because you not only receive the therapeutic properties of the essential oils, but you also get the wonderful benefits of the massage itself. The therapeutic action of the essential oils when brought together with the revitalising effects of massage stimulate all of the organs in the body, plus the skin, muscles, nerves and glands. The increased circulation of the blood and lymph flow also assists with the clearing away of body toxins.
It has long been understood that preventative measures go a very long way towards protecting the body against all types of illness. Therefore the relaxing and de-stressing influence of essential oils and massage, together with their effect on the immune system, places aromatherapy in the pre-eminent position as the finest preventative medicine.
Sonja Sorich is the director of spa and wellness for Mt Lofty House and has over 16 years of experience as a wellness ambassador working alongside top practitioners in internationally acclaimed spa’s and health resorts.