The quickest way to absorb essential oils is by inhaling their aroma, which has a direct effect on the brain. Oils can also be absorbed via the skin during a massage, in a bath, or in a cream. Both routes allow oils to enter the bloodstream, where their healing properties take effect.
Of all the senses, smell has the most direct connection to the mind and effect on our emotions. In fact, our ability to percieve odour is so connected to our sense of wellbeing that those who have lost their sense of smell can be more prone to depression and anxiety. Inhalation is great for treating colds, congested sinuses or a chesty cough. The easiest way to inhale essential oils is to put 2-3 drops on a tissue and inhale deeply.
Massage is ideal for addressing problems over a large surface area such as aches and pains and digestive problems. For a body massage, use a 2.5-5 dilution. This is about 2 tablespoons of a base oil and 4-6 drops of your chosen essential oil. For normal skin your base oil should be almond, grapeseed, apricot, coconut, sunflower or canola oil. For dry skin try something a little heavier such as avocado, olive, wheatgerm, argan and jojoba oils.
Using essential oils in baths can be very therapeutic. In order to do this you still need to mix the essential oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil to allow it to disperse. Mix 4-6 drops into a tablespoon of carrier oil and add them once the bath has been run as they can quickly evaporate in the heat.
A compress is a simple yet effective way to treat local complaints such as bruises, headaches, burns and varicose veins. Use a hot compress if you're experiencing muscular and joint problems, strains, backaches and arthritis. Use a cold compress for headaches and inflamed areas. Add 3-4 drops of essential oil to a shallow bowl of hot or cold water and soak a washcloth, wring it out and apply to affected area.
Showers and Saunas:
Using essential oils in the shower and in saunas is a great way to clear sinuses and relieve tension headaches. For a steamy aromatherapy shower, but 5-8 drops of an essential oil onto a warm damp washcloth. Place this washcloth in an area you are having the shower and ensure the temperature of the shower is hot enough to produce steam.
This increasingly popular way to use essential oils disperses tiny molecules of the oil into the air in a fine vapour or mist. Diffusers can create a special atmosphere as well as fumigate a room. Simply drop 5-10 drops of essential oil into the diffuser and turn on as directed.
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