Many reflexologists like to include essential oils in their practices – in a number of ways and for a variety of reasons.
Oils are absorbed into the body through our capillaries, lymph ducts and/or the lungs. It is essential (pun intended) that the scents actually be plant essential oils, not fragrances, and be pure and unadulterated. There are many other points to take into consideration if you wish to work with essential oils that will be provided through a quality aromatherapy training.
Smart oils to add in right now would be ones that support the respiratory system (Eucalyptus, Fragonia, the firs and/or pines) and the immune system (Tea tree, Lemon, Ravintsara, Lavender, or Douglas fir).
Easy Routes to the Inside
One pleasant way to introduce aromatherapy is through the respiratory channels. Adding oil to a steam diffuser is the most common way. Burning what are marketed as essential oil candles is not considered as advantageous. First off, the scent is usually from a fragrance and not an essential oil, and once burned to a high temperature an essential oil would lose its therapeutic value anyway. Burning candles in a small enclosed room also robs the space of valuable oxygen.
Adding a 2% solution (10 to 12 drops per ounce) of an essential oil to your foot butter or hand lotion is another wonderful way to introduce the benefits of essential oils to your clients.
All oils are primarily lipid (fat) soluble so they penetrate quickly through the skin and into the bloodstream. Guess where the majority of skin capillaries are located in the body? Yes, your feet and hands!
I remember years ago teaching a hydrotherapy workshop with another instructor who decided to demonstrate this to the students. To whoever was agreeable, she rubbed a garlic clove on the bottom of their feet. To everyone’s surprise, those people’s breath all smelled of garlic within about 30 to 40 minutes! Point made.
Once applied to the skin or inhaled, the body generally takes about 30 – 90 minutes to entirely absorb the essential oils. Strong blood circulation increases the absorption rate. Once again, what increases circulation? Reflexology.
Reflexology and essential oils – a marriage made in heaven!