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The Healing Power of Common Scents

Aug 17, 2007
Aromatherapy has become one of the most popular healing traditions used in many cultures around the world. Its all-natural elements have been passed down from one generation to the next so the traditions will continue to carry on over time. Because it is considered safer, it is often preferred over other methods of healing. Various scents have been used over time to help rid the body of a number of ailments and conditions, therefore, making aromatherapy a desirable alternative to certain aspects of modern medicine.

Aromatherapy has also been shown to relieve stress, a factor that is very important in today's society where many people seemingly never stop moving. There are many scents that have proven to be quite relaxing at the end of a long, hard day. Whether acquired through oil added to a bath, used during a massage, or experienced by a scented candle, aromatherapy is everywhere, making the possibilities both endless and enticing.

The beauty of aromatherapy is that it is organic. The essential oils used in baths and for massage purposes are taken from plants and herbs, and are able to perform their magic without the additives many synthetic products contain. They are often preferred over such products because they are more concentrated. Use a certain oil for a specific symptom or condition, or combine them to treat several at once.

Essential oils are often used in a bath for relaxation purposes, as well as treat ailments. For example, jasmine is often used to have a calming effect, and is recommended for use at the end of a very long day. One user shared her comments about its stress-relieving qualities. I always use jasmine in a bath at the end of a long day. It both sooths and calms me, and I can think of nothing better or more appropriate.

There are many oils that are useful while in the bath. Certain scents are designed to evoke certain moods and are also used for different purposes. In fact, the pure aromas of natural oils are said to promote a sense of well-being by centering, harmonizing, and energizing. On another site that sells these products, a user commented, I am just starting out using essential oils and love their therapeutic value.

Another visitor said she used frankincense and lavender in a bath to help calm her baby. After following the directions, the effects were very positive. After mixing these two oils together as instructed, I found them to be very satisfying and pleasant.

If you do not wish to use essential oils in a bath, but would still like to reap the benefits of their fragrant aroma, consider using a diffuser to vaporize them into a single room. One of the most popular ways to do this is through a pottery diffuser. Here, a basin is filled with water, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil is used. A tea-light is lit at the base, which allows the aroma to be vaporized throughout the room.

You may also want to combine various oils in order to achieve a desired effect. For example, use Geranium, Juniper, and Basil at the end of a long day to help alleviate stress. Geranium will help balance, while basil is used to strengthen the mind. The overall effect will prove both calming and relaxing.

There are many scents that can be used for a variety of purposes, from relaxation to concentration, promoting sleep to lifting your mood. It can even help to place a diffuser in each room of your house, though you may not want to use them all at the same time, as mixing all the scents could have an undesirable effect.

Candles are another way of enjoying various scents. Use them in your home to replace unwanted odors, or for illumination while bathing. The scent will also permeate your consciousness and can prove to be very soothing. There are, in fact, several relaxation techniques that use candles.

Here, almost any candle will work, whether it is made of paraffin or beeswax. You can use candles that are unscented, but scented ones will further promote relaxation, so they are actually preferable. The particular scent or scents you choose will depend on your likes and dislikes. Scents that relax some people make others want to run for higher ground, so when choosing, choose carefully.

You may also decide to use candles throughout your home to give it that fresh, clean scent. One user's testimonial stated by using candles, both tasks can be accomplished at once. I use candles as air fresheners throughout my home, but have also found the scents I have chosen to be very relaxing. I place them in different rooms for different effects, and they really do work.

Incense provides another form of fragrance and relaxation. It is widely used in many cultures to serve an array of purposes. In the Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian burning incense can be a way to make offerings of gratitude through scents. For the Buddhist and Hindu practitioner, offering scent to everyone is a way to purify karma and release the tendency to grasp one's ego by simply giving away a beautiful scent that will serve for the welfare and pleasure of all. While this tradition still exists, many people have now chosen to burn incense simply to enjoy the aroma.

Still, scent through incense is said to be a way of bringing back good memories, or cultivating good thoughts or feelings in the present. It is very powerful, and is still widely used for a wide variety of purposes and to meet many needs. Burn your favorite incense to relax after a long, hard day, or when you need to make an important decision and need to get into a specific mode to do it. One user shared her feelings on this. When I need to think carefully about something, I always burn incense. The scent and just the ritual alone makes it easier for me to concentrate, and I always feel more at peace after doing it.

No matter how you acquire and use your scent, whether though essential oils in a bath, oils diffused throughout a room, burning candles, or using incense, there are four main modes of action. While this pertains mainly to the use of essential oils, it can work in other situations as well.

The four modes of action help the oils penetrate and interact with your body in order to promote positive results. First, there are chemical changes that take place whenever an essential oil enters the bloodstream. Here, it reacts with hormones, enzymes, and other chemicals to help reach the desired result. The next mode is the way an essential oil affects the bodily systems. This will determine whether you are sedated or stimulated, which depends on the particular oil you choose.

There is also a psychological effect that evokes the response to the use of that particular essential oil. This is very individual, and can depend greatly on mood. The last mode is the body's overall response to the essential oil. This includes, but is not limited to the responses listed above. Though there are many scents that are used to evoke a specific mood or mode, they may not work on everyone. They may also differ from one person to another. What relaxes your neighbor may make you jumpy, and so forth. The trick is to find what works for you in evoking various moods and states of being, and go with that. After all, that is why it is called aromatherapy.
About the Author
Saffron Rouge provides certified organic, 100% Natural Aromatherapy products, including essential oils, massage oils, and more. Never tested on animals.
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