May your life be a rose that speaks silently in the language of the heart.

Woman inhaling lavender aromatherapy, MASSAGE Magazine Self-Care Tip

The art of aromatherapy utilizes naturally extracted aromatic essences, known as essential oils, from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.

Aromatherapy is a natural therapy using various essential oils gathered from fragrant plants. Aromas emanating from certain plants have the ability to aid us both physically and psychologically. These fragrances are potent, volatile essences hidden within the plant.

Essential oils can be used alone or in combinations to create a desired effect. Most essential oils must be diluted with a carrier oil before applying them directly to skin. Other essential oils, such as lavender, may be used full strength. Essential oils are found in different parts of the plant: the flowers, twigs, leaves, root, wood, bark or in the rind of fruit. In lavender, it is in the flowers; in basil, it is in the leaves; in sandalwood, it is in the root and the bark; and in lemon, it is in the rind.

Botanical essential oils are not only inhaled, but they are also absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream.  They affect the nervous system, as well as all other systems of the body.  Essential oils are healing, nourishing and rejuvenating to the skin and to the soul. The synergistic natural healing benefits of massage combined with aromatic essential oils are profound.

Flowers leave their fragrance in the hand that bestows them. As we care for others, we are simultaneously caring for ourselves.

Ariana Vincent, Massage Therapist Self-Care TipAriana Vincent, L.M.T., M.T.I., N.C.T.M.B., is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapy Instructor and workshop leader based in Austin, Texas. Learn more about her at www.arianavincent.com.

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