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Change Your Mood with Aromatherapy
Contemporary healers, therapists, and marketing gurus are grabbing hold of a phenomenon that insects and animals instinctively understand: the power of aroma.
Scientists pursue aromachology (the study of scent and its ability to change human behavior) for its role in everything from medicine to marketing, migraines to memory loss, and relaxation to revitalization.
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to treat ailments. These conditions range from physical conditions to emotional problems. The essential oils of aromatherapy are extracted from aromatic plants and herbs--from the flower, bark, root, twig, seed, berry, rhizome, or leaves--generally through a process of steam distillation. These oils may be inhaled or massaged into the skin, after combining with a vegetable, nut or seed oil.
Massage with essential oils is most commonly used to alleviate skin ailments and muscle pain or tension. Lavender, orange, marjoram, and chamomile are particularly effective aromas in the use of massage.
Essential oils can be inhaled with the help of a vaporizer, an electric diffuser or an aroma lamp.
-->How does it work?
Our sense of smell is more complex than you might think. Your nose contain thousands of olfactory nerves. While your tongue has the ability to taste sweet, sour, salt, and bitter, it is your sense of smell that creates all the delightful flavors you experience. The olfactory bulb is part of your brain's limbic system, which is not under conscious control. The limbic system controls digestion, libido, and emotions.
So, it's not your imagination that scents evoke emotion. Aromas actually trigger the release of chemicals in the brain that create a feeling of well-being. Scientists say your body's response to an aroma takes just four seconds.
-->Which Essential Oils are Right for You?
Essential oils are available in natural and synthetic forms. Natural essential oils are not oils but non-oily, non-water-soluble substances, which dissolve in alcohol and combine with true oils. Pure, natural essential oils may be as much as 70 times more potent than the plant source itself.
Some synthetics are derived from natural products. The exact formulation of an essential oil is virtually impossible to reproduce in the laboratory. Even the smallest variation can produce significant changes in the oil's effect. Some synthetic oils fall into the category of artificial fragrances, entirely made of petroleum products. These products generally do not produce the same therapeutic effects as essential oils.
Each essential oil is comprised of different hormones and vitamins, which combine to create different effects. Furthermore, the effects of each essential oil can vary depending on the botanical species and where it is grown. The effects of particular aromas also vary among cultures and individuals, so the results of aromatherapy are not universal. Still, aromatherapists have developed a roster of scents with relatively predictable effects:
Jasmine, ylang ylang, patchouli
lemon, basil, bergamot, sweet orange, peppermint, eucalyptus,
(dry hair) cedarwood
(normal hair) lavender, ylang ylang
(oily hair) rosemary, lemongrass
cedarwood, clary sage, fennel, geranium, nerali, Roman chamomile
lavender, myrrh, cardamom, cedarwood, German chamomile, clary sage,
(all skin types) Lavender, geranium, ylang ylang
(dry skin) rosemary, rosewood, carrot seed, sandalwood, peppermint,
(oily skin) basil, eucalyptus, cedarwood, cypress, lemongrass,
ylang ylang, sage
About the Author: Susie Cortright is the founder of http://www.momscape.com and Momscape's Natural & Organic Living Channel. She is also the creator of Free-Article-Bank.com, featuring free, quality articles for your website, ezine, newsletter, or blog.