Aromatherapy is the use of Pure Essential Oils in a therapeutic way to treat the whole body. Massage is the best known method. Others are baths, inhalation, compresses, rinses, the list goes on. With a little imagination you can tailor aromatherapy to help with just about any condition, not just taking into account one aspect of an illness or situation but looking at the surrounding causes and treating them too. It is a combination of art and science.
Art because it allows you to express yourself. So long as you respect essential oils and use them carefully you can choose from a limitless array, using them to treat ailments or just for pure pleasure. They are like a paint pallet. You mix them together and get a different colour every time.
Science because essential oils have many physiological effects and contain hundreds of chemical constituents. There is still a huge amount to be learnt from essential oils and a great deal of scientific research is taking place.
If you go for an Aromatherapy treatment you will receive an in depth consultation about your life style. From this information your Aromatherapist will select between 2 and 5 essential oils which will then be mixed with a vegetable carrier oil. This mixture known as a blend will then be used for massage.
The vegetable oil moisturizes and conditions the skin but the essential oils which have tiny molecules are absorbed into the blood stream via the pores and the small capillaries just below the surface of the skin. The massage will promote deep breathing which will also allow the molecules of essential oils in the air to enter the body through the nose and into the lungs where again capillaries absorb them. The nose is also the only direct pathway to the brain and the olfactory center where fragrance can effects mood and hormonal secretion.
So you see Aromatherapy can be very effective. In fact it has been proven that more essential oils are in the blood stream after a massage with essential oils than if they are taken internally
In this country aromatherapists are not trained to recommend essential oils to be taken internally. In France however they are. There, many doctors prescribe essential oils, often internally. I strongly recommend you never try it though. Apart from obvious dangers, (They can corrode the delicate lining of the stomach and intestinal walls.) they taste disgusting!
So why all the fuss about getting them into the blood stream? Well they have many properties such as being anti bacterial, anti viral, anti spasmodic, diuretic, analgesic, rubefacient, stimulating, relaxing to name but a few and in getting them into the blood stream they can be transported all around the body. Every oil differs in its properties, fragrance and effect.
It is wonderful to have an holistic aromatherapy treatment from an experienced practitioner but there is so much that you can do for yourself on a day to day basis.