The second part of the word aromatherapy identifies with a type of action. In which way do we apply these natural fragrances? Essential oils can enter the body in two different ways. First via respiration and the lungs. We just described the sense of smell through the nose but we also breathe through our mouth. Essential oils are inhaled through the mouth and respiratory tract to the lungs. A good example is the stimulating scent of Eucalyptus, which opens up the airways, stimulates breathing and mobilizes mucus in order to cough.
The second way is through skin. Our skin has many layers: the cells lying at the surface overlap each other like small microscopic rooftiles and the deeper layers are generously provided with blood vessels, nerves, sweat- and oil glands. Both in massages and bathing the essential oils come in close contact with your skin. By the temperature of the bathwater or frictional heat caused by the massage, miniscule essential oil molecules penetrate through top skin layer in the blood stream. From there the body absorbs the oil wherever it’s required and excretes the oil through the kidneys. A massage with Rosemary for your painful back stimulates the blood supply, warms up the muscles, and relieves stiffness.
Essential oils can be divided into different groups depending on their therapeutic action. Calming oils like lavender and orange blossom help to relieve physical pain, muscle pain, headache and have calming influences on the body and mind. Stimulating oils like cardemon or black pepper enhances energy, warms up a poor circulation and make you feel physically fit. Refreshing oils like peppermint or rosemary are stimulating, cleanse the body, eliminate toxins and increases your concentration levels. Citrus oils like lemon or mandarin stimulates digestion, makes the body resilient and helps to overcome depression.