WellnessHow to embrace aromatherapy

Soothing scents and essential oils feature in a number of treatments at Jumeirah spas around the world

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An important element of holistic healing, aromatherapy is a complementary therapy that uses essential oils sourced from plants and flowers. These essential oils are combined with a carrier oil, and then inhaled during a treatment or applied to the skin as part of a relaxing ritual, such as a body massage or facial cleanse. Nomfundo Mlambo, Assistant Manager at the Talise Spa in Jumeirah Al Qasr in Dubai, explains “An essential oil can be used on its own, or several can be blended together to enhance physical and emotional health.”

From reducing stress to treating migraines and headaches, Afrah Hamdy, Director of Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, talks about how aromatherapy has numerous health and wellness benefits. “It can reduce muscle pain, promote better sleep, improve digestion and boost immunity,” she says. As a result, it can help to know how you might like to feel following an aromatherapy treatment, as this can help you and your therapist select the right scent.

 

Lavender essential oil

 

“All our signature massages feature aromatherapy oils,” says Nomfundo. “A thorough consultation is done to ascertain the needs of the guest before we test out a few potential oils. The oil that the guest is most attracted to is the one we use in the treatment. This is because the aroma of the oil ignites our senses, and what we perceive to be the most pleasing is often the essence that our body and mind needs.”

 

Selecting your scent

The same method of selection can also be applied at home, says Julanda Marais, who is our Regional Director of Spa. “Essential oils are extracted from leaves, flowers and bark – often by steam distillation – to capture a plant’s characteristic scent. Each fragrance has a different benefit, therefore it all depends on the physical and emotional state of the person enjoying the aromatherapy treatment. The following conditions are most commonly treated with these oils:

• To reduce stress and anxiety – lavender, orange, rose, ylang ylang, chamomile
• To be uplifted and to increase energy – lemon, peppermint, rosemary, bergamot grapefruit
• To boost immunity – lemon, lavender, tea tree, thyme, eucalyptus

Nomfundo says she regularly reaches for lavender essential oil because it’s so versatile. “It is found in a number of facial and body products due to it benefits, which include promoting restful sleep and reducing the heart rate. I really love the smell and it helps me to relax if I happen to be feeling stressed.” While Afrah prizes rose essential oil thanks to its ability to soothe the skin and counter signs of ageing. “Our natural and organic facials also use essential oils to help with treating skin conditions while giving a feeling of overall wellness and relaxation,” she says, recommending guests at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray’s Talise Ottoman Spa try a luxurious rose facial.

 

Bringing aromatherapy to your home

As we encourage people to #StaySafeWithJumeirah, there are several ways you can enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy at home. “Trying aromatherapy at home can either be done by applying the oil to the skin, especially after a shower, pouring some into a hot bath, or by inhaling it through an aroma burner or diffuser,” says Julanda.

Aromatherapy diffuser

 

As essential oils have a high concentration, they are not to be applied directly to the skin and should instead be used with a neutral carrier oil – a few drops of essential oil will impart plenty of fragrance. “Pre-mixed aromatherapy oils are great but if you would like to create your own at home, it’s very important to explore the characteristics of each essential oil and to consider how they work when they are blended together,” says Nomfundo. “The best carrier oils to use are jojoba, sweet almond or grapeseed oil.”

Nelsa Sumayo, a therapist at Talise Spa in Jumeirah Emirates Towers shares a few helpful hints for how you might get started with your at-home aromatherapy experience. “Lavender is so good for your skin, especially skin that’s prone to outbreaks, so you can simply dilute a few drops of essential oil into coconut oil and apply it to your skin after cleansing your face.” It’s also worth adding a few drops to a bowl of warm water and soaking your feet each night before going to bed, as it will offer instant stress relief and help you fall asleep faster.

Jumeirah Vittaveli bathroom

 

“In addition, I enjoy working with eucalyptus essential oil,” says Nelsa. “It’s purifying and can clarify your respiratory system and boost your immune system. Placing a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil in an aroma burner or diffuser can help clear sinuses and relieve colds and headaches.”