Bottles of essential oils

From Sharp Health News, a publication of Sharp HealthCare

For generations, essential oils have been used to support emotional and physical well-being. From bergamot to ylang-ylang, essential oils can ease tension and promote calmness, as well as help with physical ailments.

Try one of these four simple aromatherapy practices:

1. In a soothing bath to relax tense muscles

Dilute 5 to 10 drops of essential oil in a fatty carrier oil. Carrier oils dilute concentrated essential oils so that you can apply them to the skin without experiencing side effects. Some examples of carrier oils are sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil or jojoba oil. Try mixing with Roman chamomile essential oil or sweet marjoram essential oil, then swish the mixture into a warm bath.

2. In a steam treatment to help clear blocked nasal passages

Put two drops of a selected oil into a bowl of hot water and inhale with a thick towel over your head. Try rosemary, eucalyptus or grand fir oil.

3. In a diffuser to help with sleep

Check the diffuser’s instruction manual to find the lowest recommended amount of oil — you can always add an extra drop if the aroma is not intense enough for you. Try lavender, Roman chamomile or neroli oil. Get more suggestions from VEBA’s Holistic Practitioner, Dr. V, in her blog, “Essential Oils for Changing Seasons.”

4. In a carrier oil for aromatherapy massage

Blend 5 to 10 drops of essential oil per 10 milliliters of carrier oil or unscented lotion (a 2.5- to 5-percent dilution) and use it on sore, achy muscles. Try a combination of rosemary and sweet marjoram oils.

Remember: If applying essential oil to skin, always perform a small patch test to your forearm with the diluted oil in an appropriate carrier. Wait 15 minutes and if redness, itching or burning occurs, dilute the area with a carrier lotion or oil, then wash with soap and water and discontinue use of that particular oil.

The VEBA Resource Center offers Energy Healing Classes. Join this interactive stress reduction class to learn about different forms of energy and how to use energy to move towards wholeness. This class incorporates the use of singing bowls and aromatherapy to promote deep relaxation. Check out our calendar to sign up for an upcoming class.