What is Aromatherapy?
The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) defines aromatherapy as “the therapeutic application or the medicinal use of aromatic substances (essential oils) for holistic healing.” It is a non invasive, holistic modality, to be used in conjunction with other medical treatments.
What to expect when coming in for an Aromatherapy session:
An aromatherapy session begins with an analysis and examination with your aromatherapist. You will be asked to fill out paper work prior to your session gathering information about your existing body condition, current ailments, current treatments, any previous treatment through aromatherapy, your sensitivities & vulnerabilities, allergies and the root cause of your problem.
After thorough examination, the aromatherapist will check which essential oils have a positive effect on you and to which scents you respond well.
Based on the above analysis, your aromatherapist will choose one to five essential oils and will blend them together appropriately. Then, the oil blend is placed on specific parts of the body to stimulate a positive effect. It can also be used as an inhalant. If your body responds well, you will notice a relaxing effect and a pleasant feeling.
The duration of sessions and the number of sessions to be carried out may vary depending on the ailment addressed. If you find relief in the very first session, you may not have to go in for more sessions. Generally, it is considered best to do more than one session over a period of time to alleviate the symptoms of any ailment.
How do I prepare for an Aromatherapy session?
Wear comfortable clothing and free yourself from regular chores on the day of your session. Take time to rest after your session. You should not travel or take a bath. This is because the essential oils applied will take about four hours to be absorbed into your body. Since the absorption time varies with several blends, it is better to leave a gap of four hours of rest after the session.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are the essence of a plant, inside many plants—hidden in roots, seeds, flowers, bark—are concentrated, highly potent chemical compounds.
These natural compounds are essential oils.
Essential oils give a plant its scent, protect it from hazardous environmental conditions, and even assist it with pollination, among other important functions and benefits.
Why use essential oils?
Pure essential oils offer an alternative to synthetic products.
(So many of the products we use in our day-to-day lives are filled with synthetic chemicals. These unnatural products can weigh us down and even negatively influence the way we think, feel, and live.)
Every essential oil varies in its natural makeup, so aromas and benefits are also unique.
(For example, Lavender oil includes elements that make it effective for soothing skin irritations, reducing anxiousness and feelings of tension, and promoting a restful environment for sleep.)
How are essential oils created?
Extracted through careful steam distillation, resin tapping, and cold pressing, the purest essential oils are far more powerful than the botanicals from which they come.
What are essential oils used for?
Historically, (6000 plus years) essential oils have been used as part of cultural practices and traditions. However, we now have increasing scientific evidence and research showing that essential oils can be effectively and safely used in a wider range of day-to-day practices and routines for amazing natural health benefits. Today, essential oils can be used for cooking, household cleaning, personal hygiene, sleep, boosting immunity, emotional health, weight management, and much more.
Benefits of Aromatherapy:
decreases anxiety, agitation
decreases nausea and stomach discomfort, aids in digestion
decreases pain, headaches, muscular discomfort and body aches
improves Fatigue and insomnia
Alopecia, or hair loss
improve skin rashes and disorders such as psoriasis
How are essential oils used in an Aromatherapy session?
Through inhalation (the oils evaporate into the air using a diffuser container, spray, or oil droplets, or breathed in) or as a topical application (applied to affected areas or specific pressure point).
How do essential oils work?
Inhaling of essential oils: stimulates the olfactory system, the part of the brain connected to smell. Molecules that enter the nose or mouth pass to the lungs, and from there, to other parts of the body.
As the molecules reach the brain, they affect the limbic system. The limbic system is linked to the emotions, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress, hormone balance, learning, appetite, and sex drive. Inhaling essential oils stimulates different bodily responses, such as breathing patterns, blood pressure, and heart rate.
Topical applications: the oil is absorbed through the skin. Massaging the area where the oil is to be applied can boost circulation and increase absorption.
Users should be aware that “natural” products are also chemicals, and they can be hazardous if used in the wrong way. It is important to follow the advice of a trained professional when using essential oils.
A trained professional can recommend and teach how to use each product, giving proper instructions on application or dilution.
Consumers should also be aware that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not monitor aromatherapy products, so it can be difficult to know whether or not a product is pure or if it is contaminated or synthetic.
Some beauty and household products, such as lotions, make-up, and candles contain products that may appear to be essential oils, but they are really synthetic fragrances.