The New Renaissance of Aromatherapy
by Brian Skinness
This country is reawakening to the traditional benefits of natural health care. Natural health care focuses on all aspects of wellness and includes many complementary forms of therapy, which are individually suited for each one of us. Aromatherapy is emerging as a beautiful and effective form of therapy that blends exceptionally well with other practices.

Aromatherapy is the art and science of using pure essential oils to relax, balance and stimulate the body, mind and spirit. Pure essential oils are the quintessential expression of a plant and its environment. The oils are formed by aromatic plants through the process of photosynthesis that combines nutrients from the earth, air, water and sunshine together with the plant's own unique properties. This combination of elements carries the life force of the plant and is stored in tiny pockets between the plant's cell walls. Similar to our own immune system, plants draw upon this vital force to protect and sustain their life.

Effects of Aromas and The Limbic System
Essential oils are a potent form of the plants healing power. One drop of essential oil can have as much medicinal quality as over an ounce of the dry herb. The oils are most effective used externally and are not recommended for internal use. For inhalation, simply put a drop or two on a cloth and hold under the nose. Inhalation energizes the olfactory nerves which in turn stimulates the limbic system. The limbic system is the seat of emotions and memory. This is why aromas are often described by what they remind us of. Through the limbic system, aromas affect the hypothalamus and pituitary gland helping to regulate bodily functions and the chemical balance within the body. Recent research has shown that aromas in the workplace can reduce error rates and workers comment that they like the aroma and "feel better."

Body Work and Essential Oils
Essential oils are also able to penetrate the skin and nourish the blood stream and other parts of the body more directly than simple inhalation. This is exciting for body workers. It is an easy step to add a few drops of essential oil to carrier oils such as sweet almond, sesame or sunflower and open a whole new world of healing possibilities. While the oils are relatively safe to use, please note that some should be avoided during pregnancy or by those with epilepsy. Good references are becoming available and should be used by those who begin exploring the amazing world of essential oils.

Copyright 1993-1997, Joint Adventure. Brian Skinnis is the founder of Joint Adventure. Their catalog of fine Aromatherapy products appears on our site. You can contact him via e-mail.

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