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Losing fat with fragrance

Worried about those extra kilos? If yes, then aromatherapy could be the answer, suggests Dr Naresh Arora.

health and fitness Updated: Jul 11, 2008 12:42 IST
Dr Naresh Arora

In a world where thin is in, everyone longs to lose weight. Whether the problem is hereditary or a consequence of bad eating habits, it is essential that you don't ignore weight gain or take it lightly because it could lead to fatal diseases later in life.

You might consider some of the ‘conventional' ways of losing weight, but if you are among the ones who chant the ‘go natural' mantra, then aromatherapy might just be helpful.

Certain aroma oils like birch, grapefruit, juniper, lemon, orange, tangerine and fennel often do the needful. Combine these with base oils like sweet almond and massage over the areas where fat has accumulated. Essential oils like the ones mentioned above not only smell sweet but also help improve the digestive system.

Deal with cellulite
Cellulite can be regarded as the mother of obesity. This problem starts when water and fat cellular waste form a mass and are trapped in the tissues below the surface of the skin. As a result of this your hips, thighs, legs, butt and stomach often bulge out. It mostly affects women because of their large chambers of fat cells which are arranged and separated by connective tissues. Men are not prone to this problem due to their small fat cell chambers and thick skin, which makes the structure more tight.

Aromatherapy oils that help you deal with the cellulite are geranium, juniper, lemon, clary sage, grapefruit and fennel. Massage gently in a circular motion, but mix essential oils with carrier or fragrance oil before massaging. Even skin cream without lanolin can be used as the base. Bathing with essential oil has a calming effect.

Oils mainly help in maintaining circulation, removal of waste and toxins, and reinstate balance in the body. However, it's also important to ensure that the essential oils used are pure. Only pure essential oils can produce genuine results as they facilitate cell renewal through better circulation, hydration and removal of toxins from the body.

Ayurveda has unique and diverse ways of identifying the essential oils best suited to you, depending on factors such as your specific mind/body type.

If you are a vata type (typically susceptible to headaches, dry skin, constipation, nervous anxiety, hypersensitivity, insomnia), avoid sharp or strongly perfumed essential oils. You would benefit from warm, energising oils such as camphor, cinnamon and cypress, combined with the stabilising, calming oils such as sandalwood, jasmine or rose, blended in sesame oil, a carrier oil generally regarded as incomparable in its ability to penetrate the skin.

A pitta type (typically prone to ulcers, fevers, inflammatory skin diseases, acidity, agitation, anger) would benefit from cooling, calming oils, flowery fragrances such as gardenia, jasmine, mint, rose, sandalwood blended in a cooling carrier like coconut oil.

A kapha type (predisposed to respiratory ailments) will benefit from the use of warm, light, stimulating oils such as sage, basil, cedar, pine, myrrh in very light carrier oils. The use of sharp, stimulating fragrances is beneficial for the kapha type.