What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy encompasses the treatment of different conditions, both emotional and physical, using essential oils. As the practice of aromatherapy developed it has adopted a holistic approach which can support body, mind and spirit, and assists to balance the body’s energy systems.
As a holistic therapy, aromatherapy offers both a preventative approach as well as an active method of healing during both acute and chronic stages of illness or disease.
Aromatherapy can be defined as the art and the science of utilising naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonise and promote wellbeing and health.
Application of essential oils in aromatherapy can include massage, inhalation, baths, ointments and creams.
How can an aromatherapist help you?
The essential oils used in aromatherapy are distilled from plants which are specifically selected for their medicinal properties. These essential oils carry a variety of health benefits ranging from assisting with headaches, respiratory ailments, skin disorders, muscular and joint pain, insomnia and poor sleep quality and mood, to name just a few.
Studies have shown that aromatherapy promotes the release of our four neurotransmitter chemicals – Serotonin, Dopamine, Oxytocin and Endorphins, better known as our ‘happy/feel good chemicals’. Serotonin is our natural mood stabiliser as well as the chemical that helps our sleep and digestion. Dopamine is released when a pleasurable event is happening, such as eating desired foods or receiving a massage. Oxytocin is released by touch. Several studies have shown that through touch, as in massage, this not only increases Oxytocin but can also reduce cardiovascular stress and improve the immune system. Endorphins are chemicals produced by the body and they can relieve pain and stress.
Why might you visit an aromatherapist?
Aromatherapy works through the sense of smell and skin absorption using products such as diffusers, inhalers, clays and masks. The most effective and beneficial method is through skin absorption by way of massage using carrier oils, balms, salves and creams, all of which incorporate essential oils.
Aromatherapy blends can be designed based on season. By using the combined techniques of lymphatic drainage with aromatherapy and remedial massage as required, it is possible to stimulate the vital functions of the skin tissue and internal organs as well as eliminating cellular waste and toxins.