Expert's Opinion

Aromatherapy for a Stress-Free Life

By Adora Winquist, aromatherapist and owner of Opus Gaia, Trinity Spa Essentials and Rhiamon Energy Essentials | April 26, 2012

Aromatherapist Adora Winquist shares some fragrant tips.

We see it every day. The rising demand of expectation from workplace, home and family can take its toll on health, vitality and experiencing the simple pleasures that these areas of life have to offer.Rising insurance premiums and claims as well as dependence on the pharmaceutical industry for medications addressing depression, anxiety, irregular digestion may indicate that we are experiencing a higher level of stress and stress related dis-eases than ever before.

Aromatherapy is perhaps one of the most effective ways to manage stress. It provides the user with a gentle treatment and a feeling of control over our own well-being offering a sense of self empowerment and a deeper connection to our true nature. The available methods vary, ranging from bath products, body oils, room sprays, creams, and diffusers. Managing stress requires, however, more than simply the purchase and application of a product. Choosing to be responsible for our own health requires us to listen to the best guide we have on hand - ourselves. This responsibility asksus to listen to our own body, becoming accustomed to its signals and needs. Diet and nutrition are critical components to this process as are the needs for emotional balance and support, we must make the time for the relationships and experiences that nourish and support our optimum selves.

True Aromatherapy
Aromatics have been prized for centuries for their therapeutic, spiritual, and aesthetic benefits. One popular Ancient Egyptian blend called Kyphi, was formulated with over 15 different aromatics, including frankincense, juniper, and cardamom. This blend was used medicinally, ceremonially, and as perfume. The Greek philosopher Plutarch had the following to say about Kyphi: “Its aromatic substances lull to sleep, allay anxieties, and brighten dreams. It is made of things that delight most in the night.”

Today, one need not search far for an array of products offering the benefits of aromatherapy. Aromatherapy has become a popular trend among alternative medicine practitioners, holistic health advocates, and the trend of DIY (do it yourself). True aromatherapy is the art and science of using pure extracts from aromatic plant materials, termed essential oils, to attend to specific health and wellness needs while utilizing a holistic framework. Through education and practice we can explore scent combinations that can help to naturally induce a state of balance in our lives and reconnect us with various aspects of our human experience. The focus areas for which we use aromatherapy to foster a healthy lifestyle are our physiology, our psychology (including our emotions), and of course our spirituality.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia), is an excellent example of an aromatic plant that demonstrates the holistic framework of aromatherapy. Lavender is well known for its ability to soothe many of the bodily systems (e.g. digestive, muscular, and respiratory), calm the mind, and serve as a means to strengthen the energy centers (chakras) that communicate between the physical and non-physical bodies.

Aromatherapy, as a complete practice, draws on combining a variety of these aromatic substances into single fragrances known as synergies. In its truest expression, aromatherapy is the practice of creating particular blends to address an individual’s specific healing needs and facilitate the body’s innate ability to heal itself.


30 drops frankincense (Boswellia carteri)
18 drops patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
9 drops sandalwood (Santalum album)
Stress Free
35 drops lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
20 drops rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora)
15 drops clary sage (Salvia sclarea)
30drops rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis)
25 drops juniper (Juniperus communis)
15 drops lemon (Citrus limon)

After the synergies are made they can be used in a number of ways. Remember to bottle in coloured glass with an orifice reducer. Make your blend more effective, add the power of your personal intention. Essential oils are extremely malleable, take the time to put your personal wishes for health, vitality and anything you want to create in your life right now!

Inhalation: Add 1 drops to the palm of your hand, gently rub together and inhale. Elevate how you feel in the NOW.

Bath: Add 5-7 drops of your chosen synergy into warm water and let the stress wash away.

Room Spray: Add 20-25 drops of synergy to 2 oz of distilled water and shake well. Use in the home, office or car.

Massage Oil: Add 10-12 drops of synergy to 1 ounce ofyour chosen carrier like organic jojoba. And massage into pressure point or use after the shower.

Diffusers: Add as directed with specific type.
Study Up Safety
These are but a few areas to consider.
-Keep out of reach of children
-Do not use essential oils internally
-Some essential oils can cause skin irritation or sensitization-dilute prior to use.
Due to the increasing methodology available for adulteration (the alteration of pure essential oil using many different techniques), I passionately advocate the use of therapeutic grade essential oils, specifically organic and bio dynamic when possible, from trustworthy and knowledgeable sources, creating a demand for efficacious and superior quality essential oils. When purchasing, look for the common and latin name, the part of plant and the method of distillation as well as the country of origin.

In the words of Dr. Edward Bach, author of "Heal Thyself", “As long as our souls and personalities are in harmony, all is joy and peace, happiness and health. It is when our personalities are led astray from the path laid down by the soul, either by our worldly desires or the persuasion of others, then conflict arises. This conflict is the root cause of disease and unhappiness."

About the Author
Adora Winquist is the founder and owner of Opus Gaia, as well as Trinity Spa Essentials and Rhiamon Energy Essentials. Her products are sold at Whole Foods stores and online.

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