Self Care for aromatherapy is widely used. It is important to read the instruction of use for the essential and carrier oils to ensure you can use the oils safely, with no contraindications to your health and that you will not incur an allergic reaction or sensitivity.
These are some Self Care actions:
- Aromatic Baths
- Hand and Foot Baths
- Steam Inhalations
- Burners, Diffusers and Vapourisers
- Blending Creams, Lotions, Hydrolats, Sprays and Gels.
Aromatic Baths can be administered by the client themselves. This is the ultimate method of relaxation. This method is particularly beneficial for nervous tension, insomnia and sore muscles.
Six drops of essential oil is a safe dilution to a bath. (restrict two drops for peppermint or lemon as adverse skin reactions could occur. (Cinnamon and clove are unsuitable for bathing in as they are skin irritants.)
Therapeutic dilution for a client = 2% essential oil to carrier oil. Treatment time 15 – 20 minutes. Other recommendation; 4 – 6 drops Adult, 3 – 5 Teen, 1 – 3 drops child, 1 drop for infant. NEVER use undiluted oils in the bath for babies, young or clients with sensitive skin.
Hand and Foot Bath; suitable for clients where massage is unsuitable or not possible owing to certain injuries. These areas of the body are highly penetrative. Seek suitable choice of treatment to ensure oils are absorbed into the bloodstream for therapeutic benefit.
2 – 4 drops for hands, 2 – 6 for feet.
Steam Inhalation; particularly suitable for bronchial conditions, sinus, throat, colds, influenza and chest infections. Add to oils to a bowl of boiled water. Place a town over your head and place your head over the bowl to enable the trapping of steam inside the town and inhalation of steam to take place. Care should be taken for skin not to come into contact with the boiled water, burning is highly likely!
A single drop may be sufficient but place a maximum of up to four. Asthma and allergy sufferers should take care when inhaling, tolerance needs to be built up. Take less than a minute on first treatment, increase as tolerated. Use 2 – 5 minutes at any one time. Other recommendations 7 – 12 drops per 2 litres bowl.
Compress; Compress can be hot or cold depending on the therapeutic benefit to a condition. Examples of indication; sprains and strains require cold compresses for the first 72 hours to alleviate any inflammation which may occur.
Cold compresses are generally used for buses, swellings, headaches and varicose veins.
Hot compresses are applied to backaches, toothaches, earache, rheumatic pain, assesses and period pains. (Search for specific conditions on the NHS website; Viewed: 22/01/2017)
Recommendation; 3 – 5 drops f essential oil in a pint of warm or cold water as required. Place flannel in water then wring out (care on not to cause harm to hands in water). Place compression on the affected area from 5 – 20 minutes.
Burners, Diffusers and Vapourisers; this is where essential oils are vaporised into a room. Any amount from 5 – 20 drops in total may be added to a burner of 10 – 20 mrs of water. The burner, diffuser, vaporiser will eminate the vapours of the essential oil into the atmosphere and the benefits of the essential oil are taken in on inhalation.
Excellent as a mood enhancer, relaxant and uplifter. (care with burners when naked flame in use. Burners, diffusers or vaporisers should not be left unattended.
Blending creams, Lotions, Hydrolats, Sprays and Gels: these products are base creams, unperformed, lotions, hydrolats, sprays and gels. This may be easier to apply home care treatment. Pure and natural plant substances should be bought from a reputable supplier. Follow suppliers instruction on mixing products.
This method treats skin conditions; low doses for sensitive and inflamed skin higher for bruises, sprains and even chest ointment.
(Always seek medical advise if you are unsure on the use of any products for yourself or using on others. Holistic Therapy at Captain’s Den does not accept any responsibility for individuals using aromatherapy for self care use. The above information is for guidelines and individuals should seek specific guidance for their own level of health. Always read instructions and follow manufacturers instruction.)
Gould, F. (2003) Aromatherapy for Holistic Therapist. Cheltenham. Nelson Thornes Ltd.
McGuinness, H. (2003) Aromatherapy; Therapy Basics. Second Ed. Hodder & Stoughton.
Price, L & Price, S. (1999) Carrier Oils: For Aromatherapy and Massage. Stratford Upon Avon.
Smith, J. (2011) Stafford Beauty Academy Lecture Notes.
Copyrights to Holistic Therapy at Captain's Den. UC30327. VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Aromatherapy. 13 December 2011.