Aromatherapy Today – Living With Essential Oils

[ad]Introduction

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine
that uses volatile liquid plant materials, known
as essential oils, for psychological and physical
well-being. By inhaling natural scents, like
lavender or rose scent, affect a person’s mood
and health. Aromatherapy is said to restore or
enhance mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

The main branches of aromatherapy include home
aromatherapy (self treatment, perfume and
cosmetic use), clinical aromatherapy, and
aromachology (the psychology of odors and their
effects on the mind). Though aromatherapy has
become increasingly popular in recent years, it
is actually part of a tradition that began over
two thousand years ago.

Aromatherapy – The Beginning

Aromatherapy has roots in antiquity where
volatile plant oils, including essential oils
were used. the practice of using essential oils
taken from plants, flowers, roots, seeds, finally
became “Aromatherapy”, a term coined by French
chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse in the 1920’s.

Aromatherapy refers to the use of essential oils
extracted from herbs, trees and plants for
therapeutic purposes. While many consider
aromatherapy among the simple home remedies, it
is in fact both a specific science and a deeply
complex art. In addition, many unscrupulous
companies are currently producing “aromatherapy”
products using synthetic fragrances with no
thought (and sometimes little knowledge) of
current safety practices. Whilst it is wise to
consult safety guidelines before using any
aromatherapy product, there is also a clear need
for wider education in this area.

When seeking aromatherapy training, it is
important for students to know the background and
experience of the teacher. The National
Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) is a
non-profit educational organization dedicated to
the development of high standards of aromatherapy
teaching and practice and is a good resource for
ethical teachers and students. NAHA currently has
in place Suggested Guidelines for Aromatherapy
Education and Certification in an effort to
provide guidance for students and teachers.

Not All Essential Oils Are Created Equal

Essential oils are the pure “essence” of a plant.
They have been found to provide both
psychological and physical benefits when used
correctly and safely. Therapeutic-grade essential
oils are unadulterated, highly effective
essential oils. But only 2% of essential oils
produced are therapeutic-grade. They are a plant’
s life essence, and hence most valuable and
expensive to distil. To select essential oils for
health and wellbeing, only therapeutic-grade
essential oils should be considered.

Organic and wild harvested essential oils also
tend to be more expensive. However, a word of
caution is necessary. Many of the chemicals that
occur naturally in essential oils are
manufactured by the perfume industry and are used
to adulterate essential oils. The reason for
synthetic oils: They are cheap, and nobody can
know the difference between the natural and the
synthetic product unless extensive lab tests are
conducted. Therefore, you must find a company you
trust to buy your therapeutic-grade essential
oils from. Perfume oils and fragrances contain
unnatural chemicals and do not provide the
therapeutic benefits of essential oils. It is
important to note that perfume oils also known as
fragrance oils or “fragrances” are not the same
as essential oils.

Wellbeing Through The Life Essence Of A Plant

The term “aromatherapy” has been applied to such
a wide range of products today that many are
labelled “aromatherapy” products simply because
they contain essential oils, although they may
provide no therapeutic benefit. The benefit of
inhaling a therapeutic-grade essential oils into
the lungs is believed to offer both psychological
and physical benefits. Not only does the aroma of
the natural essential oil stimulate the brain to
trigger a reaction, but the natural constituents (
naturally occurring chemicals) of the essential
oil are drawn into the lungs and can also supply
physical benefit.

Combat Stress With Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a widely acknowledged, effective
way to relieve stress, including work-related
stress. A healthy working environment is
essential, both for health and for job
satisfaction. There are plenty of ways to relieve
stress outside the office, but ways of managing
stress in the work place are limited. Juggling
work and home life can mean finding a balance
between the two. Starting to manage stress at
work, some employers offer in-house massage and
Aromatherapy for a natural holistic approach to
stress relief in the workplace.

In addition, certain scents at the workplace have
shown to raise mental clarity and relieve stress.
In a Japanese study, lemon essential oil in vapor
form has been found to reduce stress in mice. The
inhalation of certain aromatherapy oils such as
lavender oil has been shown by research to have
immediate natural stress-relieving effects. From
combating stress, easing pain to alleviating
tension headaches, aromatherapy is a relatively
inexpensive, easy and enjoyable way to boost
health. .

Aromatherapy is a caring, hands-on therapy which
seeks to induce relaxation, to increase energy,
to reduce the effects of stress and to restore
lost balance to body, emotions and mind.
Aromatherapy is often used to relieve stress,
headaches, insomnia, tension and pain, and to aid
relaxation and general wellbeing. Inhaling the
appropriate fragrance can reduce stress, lift a
depression, hasten a good night’s sleep, soothe
your spirit, or give you more energy.

Conclusion

Aromatherapy is an ancient art that uses the
concept of healing with aromatic substances. The
practice has encompassed human pathology and the
treatment of different conditions (emotional and
physical) with essential oils. Nurses, doctors,
massage therapists, osteopaths and trained
aromatherapists are some of the people who
practice aromatherapy.

But for the aromatherapy connoisseur like you and
me, aromatherapy first of all offers pure
enjoyment. Taking a whiff of a spice in the
kitchen cabinet, or smelling a bouquet of flowers
is fundamental aromatherapy. Washing the hands
with the uplifting scent of germ-fighting
essential oils, massaging precious oils into the
skin, diffusing therapeutic-grade oils in the
home, or simply wearing an essential oil as
perfume are ways to benefit from the ancient but
ever so new and popular art of aromatherapy.

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