During this term my class have been experimenting with essential oils to enhance our practise. Aromatherapy has blossomed over recent decades as more and more research has become widely available. It is now a widely accepted holistic approach to healing and mood enhancement.
Oils have been used for over 6000 years but it was French perfumier and chemist, Rene- Maurice Gattefosse, who coined the term “aromatherapie” in 1937 to distinguish the medicinal use of essential oils from their perfumery applications. His book “Gattefosse’s Aromatherapy” contains early clinical findings for utilising essential oils for a range of physiological conditions
Aromatherapy is commonly used to treat anxiety, some forms of depression, colds and coughs, fatigue, pain, PMS, menopause symptoms, nausea, ulcers or indigestion, and arthritis joint pain. But how does it work?
Inhaling essential oils stimulates the olfactory system, the system of organs concerned with the sense of smell and includes parts of the brain. Molecules that enter the nose or mouth pass to the lungs, and from there are able to be absorped and transported other parts of the body. As they reach the brain, they affect limbic system, which is linked to the emotions, the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory and stress. The amount is very tiny, so the effect is very subtle but completely holistic. Massage oil products are absorbed through the skin. Massaging the area where the oil is to be applied also has an added bonus of boosting circulation and the lymphatic system.
Using certain oils in our yoga practise enhances our sense of wellbeing and vitality by either relaxing and calming or stimulating and energising.
NB you must make sure upon purchase that you have a pure essential oil and not a fragrance oil. It’s the difference between butter and petrol in your Christmas cake. 😉
Here are a few of my FAVOURITE oils and some of their properties:
- Lemongrass – uplifting, deodorant, anti-mosquito
- Sweet Orange – anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, complexion brightener
- Rose – warming, calming, antiaging
- Lavender – antimicrobial, skin calming, relieves insomnia
- Cedarwood – antiseptic, muscle relaxant, decongestant
- Ho leaf – mood balancing, reduces fatigue, alleviates cold symptoms
If you are interested in learning more about aromatherapy there’s a great Udemy course on offer for £10.99 here.
Have fun mixing your own concoctions! All these high quality essential oils can be purchased from Naissance.