Aromatherapy can promote healthy functioning of all mind-body systems. Choosing inhalation or skin application depends on what we want to support: respiratory and immune health, relaxation and restful sleep, tight or achy muscles, digestive issues, or skin conditions.
Benefits of inhaling essential oils
Inhalation, such as with a diffuser or aromastick/inhaler, is often the most effective way to use aromatherapy. When we inhale, essential oil molecules quickly enter our lungs and bloodstream. Inhaled essential oils also enhance activity in the parts of our brain that moderate our response to stress. Choose inhalation when you want support for respiratory issues such as colds or allergies, when you want to feel calmer or more balanced, and for help with a good night’s sleep.
Benefits of applying essential oils to your skin
Applying diluted essential oils to the skin is appropriate if you have achy, stiff muscles or minor skin imbalances. Essential oils deliver benefits primarily to the uppermost layers of the skin. Only a small percentage of the essential oil applied to your skin will penetrate more deeply and enter the bloodstream.
Properly diluted essential oil blends can be applied to the skin for benefits to our subtle energy system, or as part of a spiritual practice, making care of the body a sacred act.
Of course, when you apply an aromatherapy blend, you receive the benefits of inhalation at the same time.
Proper essential oil dilution
When applying essential oils to the skin, always dilute! Use 1-2 drops of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, unscented lotion, or aloe vera gel.
A friendly reminder: Inform your doctor that you are using essential oils to support your health, as aromatherapy is not a replacement for medical care.
About Michelle: Michelle Gilbert, BS, CA, APAIA is a holistic life coach and certified aromatherapist based in Ohio. Michelle’s background and approach is broad, ranging from the scientific to the esoteric. She is fascinated by the meeting point of science and spirit, modern and ancient, inner nature and outer expression. Her work emphasizes a balanced approach to exploring all of these realms as a path to wholeness and integration.
In addition to providing consultations, custom formulation services, and business consulting, Michelle is an instructor at Aromahead Institute, School of Essential Oil Studies. She also serves on the Board of Directors at Orenda Healing International and the Education Committee of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists.