What Aromatherapy Is?
Aromatherapy is a natural plant-based healing method, which dates back to ancient civilisations. In ancient Egypt, perfumes were offerings to Gods and used in religious healing ceremonies. In ancient Indian Ayurvedic medicine, oils such as Jasmine and Ginger were used to alleviate symptoms of illness. In the 1920s a French chemist named Rene Gattefosse experimented with essential oils and realised their great healing power. He was the first person to use the term ‘Aromatherapie’ in a scientific paper in 1928. Further research has showed that essential oils have great physical and emotional healing qualities. Aromatherapy as we know it today is a combination of the use of essential oils and intuitive massage techniques, and is practised as a complementary or holistic health-care approach.
What Essential Oils Are
Essential oils are concentrated liquids containing aroma compounds from plants. The term ‘essential’ is used to indicate that the oil carries a distinctive scent or essence of a particular plant. Aromatic plants produce their essential oils in secretary cells, using nutrients from the soil, water, warmth and light. This aroma produced is often referred to as the life force or energy of the plant. Aromatherapy uses botanically 100% pure essential oils. Essential oils are generally extracted from their plant by distillation, though other processes include expression or solvent extraction. Many essential oils are light, clear and non-greasy, although some are dark in colour. Essential oils will only dissolve in fatty oil and alcohol and are rarely used undiluted due to their concentrated power.
How Essential Oils Work
Essential oils are volatile, which means they evaporate as soon as they come into contact with the air. Therefore, the lungs will always inhale some of the essential oils when they are being used during Aromatherapy. Inside the lungs, oxygen and particles of the essential oil will be absorbed into the blood stream where they take therapeutic effect. During an Aromatherapy massage, the body will absorb the essential oils directly through the skin. Once inside the body, particles of essential oil circulate around the bloodstream and travel to different organs and body systems. Most essential oils have a therapeutic affinity with particular organs or body systems, this way they can take direct affect where needed. Inside the body, essential oils can increase cellular oxygen and can also bind to toxic materials to remove them from the system.
What an Aromatherapy Treatment Includes
The Aromatherapy treatment begins with a full facial, including cleansing and toning to completely clean the face and neck. During the consultation the holistic therapist, with the client, will decide which essential oils will be most beneficial and two individual blends of oils will be created, one for the client’s body and one for their face. Essential oils are blended and diluted with a carrier oil, such as sweet almond or grapeseed. This way the therapist can insure that the client is receiving a treatment personalised to suit their needs and their skin type. Using the essential oil blend, the client will receive a full body massage. This massage concentrates on warming the muscles and improving circulation and drainage. The client’s feet, legs, back, shoulders, neck, abdomen, arms, hands and chest will be gently massaged. To end, the holistic therapist will use the facial oil blend to perform a light face, scalp and hair massage. This really is a top-to-toe relaxing and soothing experience.
The Benefits of Aromatherapy
• Reduces stress
• Uplifts and Energises
• Stimulates the immune system and strengthens resistance to infection
• Improves circulation and lymphatic drainage to remove toxins from the body
• Optimises function of the respiratory system to help asthma, coughs, sinusitis and tonsillitis
• Ease symptoms of PMS, cramps and menopausal distress
• Aids digestions by easing constipation and abdominal spasm
• Soothes various skin problems including acne and eczema
• Combats insomnia and sleep problems
• Alleviate tension headaches and migraine
• Helps to deal with emotional problems such as depression, anxiety and grief
Total Contradictions to Aromatherapy
The following conditions cannot be treated with aromatherapy:
• Contagious or infectious disease
• Under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• Recent operations or acute injuries
• Skin diseases or open wounds
• During the first trimester of pregnancy
Medical Cautions to Aromatherapy
The following conditions can only be treated with aromatherapy once it has been approved prior to a treatment in writing by your GP:
• Severe circulatory problems, such as high or low blood pressure
• Recent haemorrhage or swellings
• Recent operations
• Receiving medical treatment or have a condition that might be affected by treatment, such as MS, epilepsy or cancer
Full Body Aromatherapy Massage (1 hour and 30 minutes)