Aromatherapy (Essential Oils Therapy)
WHAT IS AROMATHERAPY?
Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils to promote and maintain health and vitality. These essences are extracted from aromatic plants, flowers and trees. The properties of these oils, and their lack of side-effects when used correctly, make aromatherapy a viable alternative and addition to orthodox treatment for many conditions.
The oils are used in many forms: massage, inhalations, aromatic baths, compresses, cosmetic preparations and many other specific applications. Due to the extreme concentration of plant material in each essential oil droplet, essential oils are invariably diluted before use, and must be used with great care.
HOW DO THE OILS WORK?
Scientific research is constantly producing more information on the action of essential oils, and many more wonderful secrets are undoubtedly awaiting discovery. We know that there are three basic routes by which the oils are absorbed into the system.
During inhalations and massage the vapours are inhaled. The lungs are lined with a rich blood supply which readily absorbs the essential oil molecules. These then travel around the body for several hours before they are eliminated. The skin also absorbs the essences. During massage, the diluted blend of essence and vegetable oil is absorbed into the blood stream through the pores in the skin. A uniform absorption takes place during a full body massage as the essences travel into the interstitial fluid between each cell.
The actions of the essences then vary according to their constituents. Some stimulate our circulation, increasing the rate of elimination of toxic substances such as uric acid. Other oils act on specific organs, increasing their secretions of body chemicals such as the production of bile by the liver, or oestrogen by the ovaries. The majority are highly antiseptic, and thus extremely useful in the treatment of infections. Many essences also have an analgesic effect, and the aromatherapy treatment can stimulate the release of endorphins – body chemicals which have a pain killing and anti-depressant effect.
Most essential oils have a specific effect on the emotional as well as the physical level. As the vapours are inhaled impulses pass along the olfactory nerve from the nasal cavity, which is connected to the limbic system in the brain. This is the part of the brain that deals with memory and emotion. Certain oils then stimulate specific neuro-chemicals within the nervous system. Sedative oils such as lavender and marjoram stimulate the neuro chemical serotonin, which induces sleep. These oils therefore have a calming, sedating effect and can, for instance, be used to treat tension and insomnia.
These examples demonstrate how the diverse actions of the essences have far-reaching and wide-ranging actions. Holistic aromatherapy, by restoring and promoting the balance between body and mind, can help prevent illness. If illness or mechanical damage occur, aromatherapy then stimulates the body’s ability to help itself.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF AROMATHERAPY
Although essential oils have been used for at least five thousand years, aromatherapy today is still undergoing the process of rediscovery and evolution. I myself promote the use of the oils in a holistic fashion, and underline the necessity for adequate knowledge of these powerful substances, to prevent misuse.
The following categories outline the basic forms of aromatherapy:
1 Clinical aromatherapy
This involves using the oils internally, taking tiny prescribed dilutions orally. Some French doctors trained in aromatherapy practise this method but it is not recommended for home use.
WARNING: Do not take any essential oils orally without qualified medical supervision.
2 Holistic aromatherapy
This form of treatment should be practised by well-trained practitioners (see IFA Accredited Schools). The initial consultation should involve talking through medical history, diet, exercise, general life-style and any problems encountered. The whole person should be taken into account, specific symptom.
3 Aromatherapy and (aesthetic aromatherapy) beauticians
Many therapists now include essences in treatment oils, creams lotions, to be used a superficial level, primarily for skin treatment. Many the essences have extremely action the and this form treatment be both pleasant rewarding. The knowledge involved should however confused with the holistic healing treatment. people mistakenly believe that basically a aromatherapy treatment
Why aromatherapy recently become popular? There has been general upsurge interest in holistic of different types. Herbalism, acupuncture, homoeopathy; these therapies others aim treating person using remedies which free harmful side-effects, and help prevent symptoms of
Holistic aromatherapy combines both an extremely enjoyable treatment and self-help’ advice which constitutes an effective therapy in own The many factors that combine to quality of life and ultimately our health, can often be tackled holistic aromatherapy, rebalancing the system and restoring homoeostasis.
Obviously diagram an over simplification of what leads Aromatherapy not ‘cure all’ either! But the illustration generally appropriate for most people and the majority of diseases. The vicious circle that leads to illness be identified us It no coincidence that get a cold when can afford the time or energy with Neither it surprising that when we are ‘down’ emotionally, everything seems go wrong, for this is the time when our immune system becomes less effective, and we are more open to the adverse effects of our environment and life-style.
We are sensitive tactile creatures; we need human contact .Massage is an instinctive reaction .When we bang ourselves, we rub the area to ease the pain; we comfort a child by a hug and a cuddle. As we mature, the physical contact diminishes, and yet general pressures often increase. The compassionate impartial massage relieves muscular spasm, re educating the muscles, enabling us to achieve a more relaxed posture. The circulation is stimulated, increasing the rate of toxin removal. Problems may be shared, and pressures eased. General peace of mind is promoted.