Prior to trying out aromatherapy meditation, it’s worth learning a little more about the benefits of both practices, as well as the main types of both aromatherapy and meditation. This post will cover both of those topics in detail, followed by an explanation of exactly what to do to try aromatherapy meditation for the first time:
Benefits of Aromatherapy
In surveys, people who have engaged in aromatherapy have reported a wide range of benefits that they feel they gained from the practice. According to the Mayo Clinic, the benefits most commonly agreed on by the medical community are relief from depression and anxiety, as well as an improved quality of life. The latter is especially true for people dealing with one or more chronic health conditions.
Benefits of Meditation
In a story that compiled research from many sources, Rodale News found that there are quite a few notable benefits of meditation. They include increased productivity, improved mood among teenagers dealing with hormonal changes, reduction in pain, increased overall happiness, ability to better deal with hot flashes and better cardiovascular health. According to their story, “in a study presented at a previous American Heart Association annual meeting, transcendental meditation produced lower rates of heart attacks and strokes by 50 percent.”
The Three Main Types of Aromatherapy
There are three main types of aromatherapy. They are cosmetic, massage and olfactory. The first refers to using essential oils in body, facial, hair and skin care products. The second type of aromatherapy is focused on enhancing the already beneficial nature of massage by adding essential oils to the process. The third type is olfactory aromatherapy. This option harnesses the benefits of aromatherapy by making it possible to inhale essential oils through a process like diffusion.
With the first two types of aromatherapy, the essential oils used are applied directly to the body. For cosmetic, people can apply products based around essential oils to their own body. And for massage, a masseuse takes care of this task. Since the third type of aromatherapy is a little different, it requires a different delivery method. Vaporizers are a great option for diffusing essential oils and allowing them to be inhaled. Thanks to the highly efficient delivery that a vaporizer provides, it helps to maximize the longevity and impact of the herbs used for essential oils.
The Eight Main Types of Meditation
Since meditation has roots that can be traced all the way back to prehistoric times, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are many different forms of this practice. Two of the most common are mindfulness and Zazen. Mindfulness meditation focuses on being present, while simply existing by sitting is the primary goal of Zazen. Transcendental and Kundalini are the next two types of meditation. Both practices stem from Vedanta, which is the meditative tradition within Hinduism.
Qi gong and guided visualization are the fifth and sixth most popular forms of meditation. Qi gong uses breathing as a way to circulate energy throughout the body, while guided visualization requires people practicing it to focus on very specific imagery. The final two types are trance-based and heart rhythm meditation. While these may be the least two common, they still have passionate groups of people who practice them.
How to Get Started with Aromatherapy Meditation
Now that you know more about both aromatherapy and meditation, if you’re ready to try out combining the two, you’ll be happy to learn that it’s fairly easy to get started. Since this a process that you’ll learn the most from by actually doing, the best way to really get a feel for it is to try it out for yourself.
One of the great things about aromatherapy meditation is there’s not a specific rule about which type of meditation you need to follow. You’re free to experiment with different ones and find out which type works best for your personal goals. Since they’re the two most common, mindfulness or Zazen are both great options for your first time.
Once you choose your preferred form of meditation, the only other two things you’ll need are a diffuser and essential oils. As previously mentioned, vaporizers ranging from the Volcano to the Pax vaporizer work great as diffusers. And in terms of essential oils, popular choices include sage, peppermint and lavender. Most experts recommend limiting your first session to ten to fifteen minutes. Although that may seem short, once you do it, you’ll realize that it feels much longer. If you enjoy your first aromatherapy meditation session, you can continue doing it and gradually increasing the length of your sessions.
Jason Buckenheim is a college student that is currently studying for his BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degree. His hobbies include holistic healing, meditation, health, wellness and generally living a healthy lifestyle.