Aromatherapy and Essential Oils

What are essential oils used for

Aromatherapy (the use of essential oils) can be administered via massage, bathing, inhalation, compresses, tonics, creams, oils & lotions, flower waters, mouthwashes and gargles. Some oils can also be applied neat or used internally when under the supervision of a trained practitioner, although this method is restricted to France where Aromatherapists are also doctors. Inhalation is thought to be the most direct and rapid means of treatment as the molecules of the volatile oil act directly on the olfactory organs and are immediately perceived by the brain. Application and bathing are the other two most popular methods as the oils permeate the skin pores and hair follicles and readily pass into the capillaries, which transport them around the body.

Aromatherapy is adaptable and easily incorporated into other non-conventional forms of therapy such as massage and Reflexology. Noted by the Greek physician Hippocrates as the best way of achieving good health,[1] it seeks to achieve equilibrium of Mind, Body and Soul by treating the individual client as a whole. It can help the physical body by aiding the healing of wounds, boosting blood circulation and lymph drainage which encourages the removal of toxins, easing muscular aches and pains, increasing energy and stamina, treating skin conditions, digestive disorders and hormonal imbalances. Benefits on the mind include increased concentration, memory and productivity, reduction of insomnia, mental fatigue, stress, phobias and mental blocks. There is also a long history of essential oil use by shamans and priests to raise consciousness and help connection to the higher planes. This is reflected in the abundance of modern oils commonly used to aid meditation[2].

Aromatherapy can be defined as the controlled use of essential oils to bring about and maintain Mind, Body, Spirit equilibrium. Suitable for all age groups and especially beneficial for long-term chronic conditions, it links two potent forces – the healing ability of the oils themselves, otherwise known as the ‘soul’ of the plant, and the receptivity of the human skin and sense of smell. It is a gentle, non-invasive form of therapy which is both a preventative approach as well as an active treatment.

[1] McGuiness, Pg. 2
[2] Sunflower Studios, Aromatherapy Benefits

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