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Essential Wellness

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Aromatherapy: It's Far More than Just the Smell

The therapeutic application of aromatic compounds — the chemistry of essential oils

Dropping essential oils along the spine: an aromatherapy aplication

Aromatherapy: It's more than you may think

You come home from work feeling like road kill.  So, you light your scented candle or slip into a fragrant bubble bath.  Maybe you do both.  You lay back, close your eyes and listen to a little Mozart.  Or, you have a massage with an aromatic massage oil, with Pachelbel's Kanon in D caressing your soul.

Ah!  Aromatherapy.  What a great stress-buster.

But, is this all there is to aromatherapy?  It's not even close.

What's commonly viewed as aromatherapy emphasizes fragrancing — it is aromatherapy, after all.  It's primary goal is relaxation or stress reduction through the soothing effects of fragrance — and the emotional response it generates.

And, while it's true that aroma can reach deep down inside of us, and influence us in profound ways, true aromatherapy is far more than just the stress-busting effects of fragrancing.  It offers a holistic approach to supporting health and wellness, through the powerful therapeutic properties of the aromatic molecules found in pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils.

Aromatherapy is so much more than just the smell.

So, what is aromatherapy, really?

In its most basic terms, aromatherapy is all about the chemistry. 

It's all about the chemistry; it's about the infusion of aromatic molecules into your body systems, through the application of pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils, to support wellness.  This can be accomplished either by diffusion or direct inhalation, topical application of the oils (such as anointing or massage) or by ingestion.  (Note: It cannot be accomplished through scented candles.)

For this reason, I prefer the term aromatics therapy.  This seems to convey the idea better.  (After all, the man who coined the term we know as "aromatherapy" was a Frenchman.  Dr. René-Maurice Gattefossé called it "aromathérapie": the therapeutic use of aromatics.  His use of lavender oil had little to do with its fragrance, but everything to do with its chemistry — the therapeutic properties of the oil's chemical constituents.)

Aromatherapy, then, is about much more than just the smell.

Three Models of Aromatherapy

There are three models — or schools of thought — in aromatherapy: French, German and English.

Learn practical aromatherapy in the Science & Application of Essential Oils DVD.

Each of these models has its benefits; and, together, they show how versatile and powerful aromatherapy — the therapeutic use of essential oils — can be.

Fortunately, we don't have to choose one model; we have the opportunity to blend these models together into an integrated approach to aromatherapy, together with the Vita Flex Technique, the auricular technique and the AromaTouch® Technique, giving you the best possible results from your aromatherapy experience.

How does aromatherapy work?

The ability of the chemical constituents of essential oils to act on both the mind and the body, makes them truly unique therapeutic agents.

Three qualities of the oils, working in harmony, give aromatherapy a wide array of unique health benefits: emotionally, physically and mentally.  Pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils are powerful agents for the support of natural health and wellness because of their:

And, while the general understanding of aromatherapy emphasizes only the fragrance of the oils, if your oils don't provide you with each of these, you're not getting all you can from your aromatherapy experience.

How to use your essential oils to their fullest advantage

Two of the most powerful aromatherapy application methods are cold-air or ultra-sonic diffusing and neat (or undiluted) topical application.

Two of the most effective methods for the direct application of essential oils are the AromaTouch and the Vita-Flex Techniques.

Another method, closely related to diffusing, is direct inhalation.  Just place a few drops of a therapeutic-grade essential oil into the palm of one hand, rub your palms together clock-wise (which increases the frequency of the oil and helps to harmonize it with your body's energies), cup your hands over your nose and mouth and inhale deeply several times.  An alternate method is to apply oils to a handkerchief or tissue and inhale (think in terms of those French dandies in Louis' court).  Essential oils may also be dropped on your pillow at night, to create a very pleasing — and therapeutic — sleeping environment.

Other ways to use essential oils:

Essential oils as a boost to other healing modalities

Clinical research has demonstrated that aromatherapy has powerful beneficial effects, when supporting other healing modalities..  Essential oils can be used in conjunction with:


As you can see, aromatherapy involves a lot more than scented candles to help you relax.  My use of essential oils has enhanced every aspect of my life.  The FDA won't let me go into detail here, but I simply can't imagine my life without them.  They have literally re-defined for me the meaning of "health".  I've come to accept these aromatic miracles with great thankfulness; as treasured gifts from God.

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