The use of essential oils is based in a practice called aromatherapy. Aromatherapy uses volatile (quick to evaporate) aromatic plant oils to bring about spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. Essential oils provide healing in many ways including:
- Strengthening the immune system
- Penetrating cell walls to deliver nutrients and oxygen
- Neutralizing free radicals with antioxidant properties
- Killing bacteria, viruses and fungi
- Detoxifying cells in the body
- Passing the blood-brain barrier to treat neurological issues
- Increasing ozone and negative ions in the air
- Raising the frequency of the human body. This fights disease and brings balance the physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
- Acting on the central nervous system. Oils can relieve depression, anxiety, and stress and also bring focus and alertness.
- Bringing relief to pain and inflammation
Essential oils are not the same as fragrance or perfume. They are naturally potent medicines with constituents based in chemistry. Made of hydrocarbons and oxygenated compounds, essential oils have the potential to be as powerful as pharmaceutical drugs. This is why safely using these powerful and effective oils is so important!
There are three primary and safe methods of essential oil use:
Inhalation of Essential Oils
The inhalation of oils is most effective on the central nervous system. When inhaling essential oils, the volatile molecules become a vapor. This vapor travels to the top of the nasal cavity and meet the olfactory mucous membrane. The olfactory membrane has thousands of sensory receptors to:
- Identify the smell.
- Convert the smell to an electrical charge.
- Send the frequency to the olfactory bulb.
The olfactory bulb then sends those charged impulses to different parts of the brain, including the limbic system.
The limbic system includes parts of the brain that control emotional and psychological responses. Once the charge reaches the limbic region, it stimulates the hypothalamus and continues to the autonomic nervous system or pituitary gland. Once the charge reaches the autonomic nervous system, it can affect body functions such as heart rate and digestion. Its effects on the pituitary gland can initiate hormonal activity in the body.
Through the process of inhalation, essential oils have the capacity to:
- Heal emotional trauma
- Stimulate memory
- Enhance focus and learning
- Decrease stress levels
- Balance hormones
- And much more!
The entire process from inhalation to response from the brain takes place in a matter of seconds! The oils also reach the bloodstream during inhalation via the nasal mucosa and the alveoli in the lungs. Certain oils, eucalyptus for example, can also have a direct effect on the lungs.
Inhalation can be performed using an essential oil diffuser or an inhaler. Another way that essential oils enter the body is inhalation through the nose or mouth. Diffusers are also an excellent way:
- To neutralize odors
- Kill airborne bacteria and viruses
- Increase ozone in the air
I recommend using ultrasonic diffusers. They are the most effective at creating a fine mist of aromatic molecules. This inexpensive diffuser from NOW is a great introductory diffuser for a great price!
Applying diluted essential oil to the skin through a body oil or lotion is also a great way to incorporate the benefits of both inhalation and topical application.
Topical Use of Essential Oils
Topical application quickly gets the oils into the bloodstream by bypassing the digestive system. When applied to the skin, essential oil molecules pass through dermis of the skin, into the capillaries and then into the bloodstream.
Essential oils can be quickly absorbed through the feet. The feet contain bundles of nerve endings. These nerve endings act as neuroelectrical pathways to different organs throughout the body. Applying oils to the corresponding points on the feet allows healing to reach the particular affected organ.
For example, if you are nauseous, then apply peppermint to the stomach and intestinal locations on the feet.
Applying certain essential oils, such as peppermint, close to the chest or face of a small child is strongly discouraged due to risk of bronchospasm. Applying essential oils (always diluted) to their feet instead is a great, safer way for small children to get the topical benefits of essential oils.
Using a reflexology or vita flex chart gives you a visual mapping of where to apply the oils on the feet to treat a particular organ. Other great application points are:
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