Scent is powerful and evocative. It can bring up memories, change your mood, and calm your body, mind, and spirit. The sense of smell connects with memory centers of the brain. Think of the aroma of grass and earth when you played as a child. Or how the burst of lemon enlivens you. Or maybe comforting smells — cookies baking, a wood-burning fireplace, or freshly-washed sheets. Aromatherapy uses fragrant substances to affect mood and support health, and there are many easy ways to incorporate it into your day. Here are a few.
Face and Body Care
Whether you’re using lavender hand cream or adding a few drops of essential oil to your face lotion, aromatherapy can soothe your skin and your psyche. You can even buy unscented oils, creams, and butters, adding essential oils to suit your mood and needs. Even your scalp can benefit from the infusion of scent into the serums you use. Do your research and read labels carefully to make sure that the ingredients are safe and appropriate for intended use.
There’s nothing quite like getting (or giving!) a massage with the incorporation of aromatherapy. Massage oils and creams are well-suited for the addition of aromatic oils — and the benefits are even more powerful when you’re in such a receptive position. It’s a time for deep rest and restoration. Try a few different types of scents to find out what’s best for you. Cedarwood, frankincense, cinnamon leaf, ylang-ylang, rose, and eucalyptus oils are quite different from each other, but all can aid in bringing you a profound sense of relaxation.
Buying a diffuser is a great investment if you love having the benefits of aromatherapy throughout your home. Most work like a nebulizer, which creates a thin stream of airborne particles. There are several other types, too. The best ones release scent gently, so it’s perceptible but not overbearing in any way. Using a diffuser is a great way to follow the change of seasons, bringing in lovely outdoor aromas into your home. Car diffusers are also wonderful — they make traveling a much more pleasurable experience. If you have pets, be sure to do an online search to determine what types of diffusers might be the safest to use.
The combination of steam and scent elevates the benefits of each. Here are two easy ways to make it happen at home: Fill a sink with steaming hot water, and add some scented oil — or, add a few drops of essential oil to the shower floor or the foot of your tub, and blast the hot water on it. Enjoy! Depending on the time of day and your mental/emotional state, you can switch it up. Of course, the time-honored tradition of scented oils in a bath never goes out of style, either.
It’s so simple: Rub some aromatic oil or cream into your palms letting the warmth intensify the scent, place your palms lightly over your face, and inhale deeply. Or touch a bit (using carrier oil if needed) on the outside of your nostrils or the tips of your earlobes. Even opening a bottle and inhaling directly from it can give you a welcome boost of scent and a feeling of well-being. Keep a few favorites with you so you can reach for one wherever you go.
In recent years, there’s been a rapid expansion of the type of aromatherapy jewelry you can purchase. Necklaces, bracelets, and earrings use materials like wood, leather, or clay to absorb scent. Some provide a way to carry a little vial of oil with you. They come in numerous styles and at every price point. If you’re a crafty type, making aromatherapy jewelry is a great option, too.
Incorporating the relaxing benefits of aromatherapy into your day is a simple, gratifying process. Try these ideas to get started!