Aromatherapy explores how oils healthe body

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 1/20/98.

Robyn Block, Minneapolis, will be in Paynesville on Thursday, Jan. 29, to introduce aromatherapy to those attending a community education class at the high school.

The owner of Windmere Naturals, she first encountered aromatherapy while living in England. She has been doing aromatherapy for eight years. ďI was amazed at how long aromatherapy has been around, thousands of years,Ē she said. Aromatherapy uses natural oils from plants to treat ailments.

The Greeks became aware of the ancient practice and began using plant oils for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. The use of essential oils evolved into a science as Romans became interested and began experimenting with them.

Today the use of aromatherapy for healing the body and soothing the spirit has spread.

ďAromatherapy is used in many ways,Ē Block said. ďIt can be used to help keep colds away, or relax a person after a stressful day. It is a nonevasive way to take care of oneís self.Ē

An article in the Fargo Forum states: The actual oils themselves are basically the most important part. Synthetic fragrances will not have the same effect upon the body. The effect occurs after the oil or combination of oils comes in contact with a personís body. Contact can be made in several ways. The most common methods, include rubbing aromatherapy lotion or massage oils on the body; adding drops of an essential oil to a warm bath; or inhaling steam from a mixture of hot water and essential oil.

After the oil is inhaled into the lungs or absorbed through the skin, the oil circulates through the bloodstream and to the limbic region of the brainóthe area responsible for regulating body metabolism, caloric levels, insulin, stress, repulsion, arousal, sex drive and more, according to Jade Shutes, director of the Institute of Dynamic Aromatherapy in Seattle.

From there, the oil can create physical and emotional responses. Shutes uses the example of rosewood oil, which contains a high level of linalol, a sedative, in its chemical composition. Shutes says many people who have trouble sleeping will find relief by placing a few drops of rosewood on their pillow before they hit the sack. But she warns using more than a few drops of any oil may produce opposite effects.

Commonly used essential oils are: chamomile, eucalyptus, geranium, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, peppermint, rose, rosemary, sandalwood and ylang ylang.

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