How does Aromatherapy work? Featured Blog post image

How Aromatherapy Works and Different Types of Aromatherapy

One type of aromatherapy uses massage and is often confused with normal massages, but the two do not necessarily always come together. There are other types of aromatherapy as well, such as cosmetic aromatherapy, medical aromatherapy, olfactory aromatherapy, and psycho-aromatherapy. Here, we will talk about the three common types of aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is a combination of the two words; aroma and therapy. The word aroma means fragrance or scent, and therapy means treatment.

This remedy is a natural way of healing a person's mind, body and soul, and has been used to lighten various complications and conditions. However, do note that this treatment is NOT a substitute for medical treatment, and it is always recommended to consult a doctor before applying any methods you read online on yourself or your loved ones.

 olfaction, cosmetic, and Psycho aromatherapy

What is Essential Oil Aromatherapy?

We cannot talk about aromatherapy without mentioning essential oils. Aromatherapy is a therapy that uses essential oils as the primary agent to help with mind or physical conditions. We extract oils from flowers, barks, stems, leaves, roots, fruits and other parts of the plant by various processes.

The value essential oils provide in therapeutic, cosmetic, aromatic, fragrant and spiritual uses has gained attention. There are various methods like inhalation, massage or simple applications on the skin surface. There is an increasing trend nowadays to use this therapy in the treatment of cancer and sleep disorders as well.

The mechanism of how essential oils influence our brain is as such.

First, our nose's receptor cells will send signals when we inhale essential oils. After that, the signal from the olfactory bulb will cause the brain to release neuro messengers such as serotonin, endorphin and noradrenalin, which create a feeling of satisfaction, happiness, and relief. 

 massage - topical application

So, what are the different types of aromatherapy, and how do they benefit us?

How is Aromatherapy Used in Massage Therapy: Topical Application

To enhance healing, pure fruits or vegetable oil are often used during massage aromatherapy. This method gained popularity because of its benefits, such as relieving pain, improving mood, and simply relaxing. Many massage spas add essential oils to the lotion and apply them directly for skin absorption, and we should note that the amount of the diluted oil used should be minimum. 

However, depending on your skin sensitivity, the topical application of mixed essential oils lotion might cause rashes, redness, or itchiness. So it is best to do a patch test at home before going for an aromatherapy massage. You know yourself better.


 cosmetic - Skin & haircare

What is Cosmetic Aromatherapy?

Cosmetic aromatherapy is a trendy term used in many cosmetic products which use essential oils as parts of the ingredients. For example, a hair care product may use cedarwood essential oil in its product to stimulate the scalp and promotes hair growth. For personal use, cosmetic aromatherapy includes a foot bath with a few drops of essential oils or a full-body bath using skin-safe essential oils. 

Hot day? Peppermint essential oil works perfectly for this type of aromatherapy! Try this.

  1. Refreshing foot bath: Mix a few drops of peppermint essential oil with Epsom salts and put them in cooling water.
  2. Soothe a sunburn: Mix a bit of peppermint and lavender essential oil to aloe vera.
  3. Simply diffuse peppermint essential oil: The menthol scent of peppermint is enough to trick your brain into thinking it "feels cooler!" because menthol will activate the same receptors on nerve ending that sense cold.


Scents and emotions are stored as one memory - olfactory cortex

What is Olfactory Aromatherapy?

  • Effects on Mental Wellness

When inhaling diffused aromatherapy essential oil, the scent molecules travel from the olfactory nerves to the brain's emotional centre. This is why essential oils can impact our emotions, and effective scents can boost feelings of relaxation, enhance mental wellness, and calm our minds. In a medical context, some places put an essential oil diffuser in the room to alleviate side effects of major illnesses

  • Effects on Body

The aroma molecules in essential oils are rich organic plant chemicals that free the surroundings from disease, bacteria, viruses and fungus. Many scientists documented their versatile qualities of antifungal, potent antiviral, antiseptic nature and immune booster body with hormonal, glandular, emotional, circulatory, calming effect, memory and alertness enhancer.


 fragrance - sense of smell - olfaction

Can I Use Essential Oils for Symptoms of Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes the patient hard to breathe. One of the causes of asthma is stress, which may be softened by therapy. Though many articles and research online support the usage of essential oils for asthma, they might not have a fair result considering the placebo effect that people might already have regarding "essential oil aromatherapy". 

Also, because asthma is a disease caused by inhaling different substances in the air, using essential oils might be a trigger instead. Note that essential oil aromatherapy may be something that can help with stress-induced asthma, but it is not a replacement for treatment. If your condition is caused mainly by stress, one way to prevent this is to reduce your stress level. For this, essential oils may help. 

In one researchessential oils for common problems are listed with citations from several studies. 

Here, we will list the essential oils you can get from our website at SHIORA

For conditions like anxiety, agitation, and stress, you can try:

End-of-life agitation



Mental exhaustion, burnout, memory lost

Pain Management



What is Psycho Aromatherapy?

Psycho-aromatherapy is strongly related to Aromachology, a study of scents' effects on human behaviour and the relationships between smell and emotions. This type of therapy diffuses natural or synthetic aromas in the patient's room to influence their moods and emotions. The oils used to diffuse should give them the pleasure of relaxation, invigoration, or a pleasant memory. 

We hope this was useful for you.


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