Aromatherapy is the use of aromatic plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical wellbeing. Aromatherapists blend therapeutic essential oils especially for each person and suggest methods of use such as topical application, massage, inhalation, or water immersion to stimulate the desired responses. The different smells (aromas), and the chemical constituents of the oils, can produce different emotional and physiological reactions.
Humans have used aromatherapy for thousands of years. Ancient cultures in China, India, Egypt, and elsewhere incorporated aromatic plant components in resins, balms, and oils. These natural substances were used for medical and religious purposes. They were known to have both physical and psychological benefits.
Essential oils distillation is attributed to the Persians in the 10th century, though the practice may have been in use for a long time prior to this. Information about essential oil distillation was published in the 16th century in Germany. French physicians in the 19th century recognised the potential of essential oils in treating disease.
What are the benefits Aromatherapy?
The theory behind aromatherapy is that each essential oil has properties that give health benefits. Some essential oils are thought to have an anti-inflammatory effect which may help with arthritis and muscular pain and help to fight off infection.
Others may help to manage pain, improve sleep quality, reduce stress, agitation and anxiety, soothe sore joints, or treat headaches and migraines. Some may alleviate side effects of chemotherapy, ease discomforts of labour, fight bacteria, virus, or fungus. While others may improve digestion, boost immunity, or improve hospice and palliative care, all depending on the properties of the oil used.
What does a typical Aromatherapy session look like?
In an aromatherapy session, the aromatherapist will work with you to ascertain your requirements and develop a blend of essential oils. The essential oils chosen are to address your particular complaints. For example, if you complain of headache, the aromatherapist will develop suitable blend of oils to relive your headache. The suitable blend of essential oils will also try to address the root causes of your headache.
You are required to lie on the massage table and only the area being treated will be exposed to your massage therapist. The therapist might ask you to stand up and walk around to determine the exact problem.
If you have an aversion to facial massage and head massage, you could always inform your therapist. The therapist is a professional and will adapt to your requirements.
How do I find an Aromatherapist that suits me?
You may wish to meet with a certified Aromatherapist, especially when you are first getting started with aromatherapy or if you have specific issues you would like to address.
During a consultation with an aromatherapist, you’ll answer questions and talk about your lifestyle and health. Together, you can come up with an individual treatment plan to meet your goals and manage your symptoms.
You may have a few sessions with your aromatherapist, or you could decide to have ongoing sessions for a longer period.
Since aromatherapy is a complementary therapy, you should talk to your doctor before starting your sessions. That way your essential oil therapy can be tailored to work together with any medical care or treatment you are receiving.