Essential oils and aromatherapy can be a valuable addition to a treatment plan to alleviate the symptoms of a broad range of health concerns, from pain and side effects of chronic ailments to the pain brought about by injuries and wounds. These oils can help support cell regeneration and improved cardiovascular function which helps one improve their mood and help them relax which is pivotal to an improved healing process.

Depending on the specific symptoms you want to help alleviate, you’ll need to choose the right kind of essential oil. Be sure you purchase pure, therapeutic grade oils to achieve the greatest benefit.

Now you’ll need to know how to use essential oils. Some oils will have restrictions on how they can be used or applied, but this guide will cover the basic applications that will work with most essential oils.

Inhaling essential oils

Direct inhalation is one of the quickest ways to use essential oils. You can inhale the soothing aroma right from the bottle, or use one of the following application methods to make the scent last throughout the day. This method is more commonly used to help relieve emotional distress, or to improve respiratory function.

Diffusion

Follow the directions on your diffuser to use the right ratio of oil to water, and enjoy the soothing release of aromatherapy as the oil warms and evaporates. Be sure the diffuser doesn’t get hot enough to burn the oil, as this will dramatically change the oil’s chemical structure and may prevent you from achieving the health benefits you’re looking for.

Dry evaporation

This method is great for extended relief. Put a few drops of oil on a cotton ball or a tissue, or even on your pillow case before you go to sleep. For a more intense experience, you can inhale directly from the cotton ball, or just keep it next to you for subtler, prolonged exposure.

Steam

Heat a bowl of water and add a few drops of the essential oil of your choosing. The steam from the hot water will vaporize the oil immediately, so quickly place a towel over your head and breathe in the aromatherapy steam. Using essential oils in this manner can be very beneficial for those suffering from respiratory or sinus infections.

Keep in mind that this is a very potent way to use essential oils, so keep your eyes closed and be sure to not use more than one or two drops. It is also not recommended for younger users.

Spray

Fill a spray bottle with water and add a few drops of essential oil. Shake the bottle well and spray the scent into the air. This is a great way to enhance a particular mood or to enjoy a lasting sensation of relaxation in your home or office.

Topical applications

Oils can also be applied to the skin, which is most effective when treating an acute injury or wound, or to relieve specific physical symptoms. Most essential oils cannot be applied directly to the skin, however – you will need to blend the essential oil with a carrier substance to dilute it before applying.

This can be done with water or with another oil like almond oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil. Try to choose an oil that doesn’t have a strong smell of its own to fully benefit from the aromatherapy.

Compress

Once diluted, apply the oil to a dressing or even directly to the affected area of the body. After applying the oil, you can also use heat or cold therapy to enhance the healing effect of the essential oil.

Gargle

To soothe a sore throat or to freshen your breath, you can add a drop or two of essential oil to water. Mix well, then gargle with the solution before spitting it out. It is important that you do not swallow the oil – ingestion of essential oils is not recommended unless under the guidance of a professional health care provider.

Bath

While running a warm bath, add a few drops of the essential oil of your choice to disperse it throughout the bathwater. As you relax in the rub, your skin will absorb the therapeutic oil – and you’ll also be able to inhale its soothing aroma through the steam. This is a great way to use essential oils for both physical and emotional healing.

Massage

Using a carrier oil, essential oils can be rubbed directly into the skin to provide soothing, healing effects. Depending on the specific effect you hope to achieve, different oils can be used with massage techniques. This is particularly effective as a chest rub to assist in soothing the respiratory system.

Be sure to read up on the various kinds of essential oils that are available, so you can choose the oils that will suit your health and wellness needs. Once you know how to use essential oils, they should be able to provide you with relief from a number of ailments.

Keep in mind that if you have a chronic condition that doesn’t get better or even worsens after you know how to use essential oils, you might need to see a health care professional to address the potential underlying cause of your ongoing symptoms.

This article was written by Nina Wells from Steam and Shower UK. Nina has been writing articles for over 10 years and is a commanding voice in the health and fitness community with her articles high in demand.