Aromatherapy is the practice of using aromatic pure essential oils therapeutically to relax, enliven or balance both mind and body. Plant oils have been used as therapy and cosmetics for thousands of years with records going back to ancient Egypt, China and India.
The essential oils that aromatherapists use to treat conditions are complex substances containing many chemical components. The oils aren't concentrated from whole plant parts – unlike most herbal medicines – but are extracted from flowers, leaves, roots, peel, resin or bark.
Here is the science bit!
When you inhale essential oils, this stimulates your olfactory system – the part of your brain that is connected to smell. A signal is transferred to your brain's limbic system that controls emotions and stores and retrieves learned memories. This triggers chemicals to be released. These are thought to have different effects, causing you to feel relaxed or stimulated. In addition, the gentle massage used to apply oils to your skin has a relaxing effect.
Aromatherapy can be used for many conditions including:
- Pain relief
- Digestive problems
- Menstrual or menopausal problems
Here is the amazing bit!
Different aromatic oils have different qualities and offer a plethora of health benefits.
Here are some examples:
- Boost immune system
- Balance emotions
- Calm and balance the mind
- Relax and aid sleep
- Nourish skin
- Reduce aches and pains
- Soothe aching limbs
- Produce a sense of well being