What is Aromatherapy?
It is the practice of using essential oils therapeutically. Plant oils have been used for 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.
Essential oils are either absorbed through your skin using massage or through a cream, lotion or compress to which they have been added. Some people claim this may act as an antiseptic or a painkiller, although there is limited evidence for this. Alternatively the oils can be inhaled and some of the oil components enter your body. It’s not known exactly how aromatherapy works – in particular, whether the massage or the smell (or both) has an effect. When you inhale essential oils, this stimulates your olfactory system – the part of the brain 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 often used to apply the diluted oils to your skin is likely to have a relaxing effect.
Who it is good for?
Anyone suffering from anxiety, stress or insomnia
Muscular aches and pains
Menstrual or menopausal problems
Benefits of aromatherapy
Each of the individual oils has its own unique qualities and benefits, but an aromatherapy treatment can:
- Improve skin tone
- Relax muscles
- Regulate hormones
- Reduce inflammation
- Relieve menstrual cramps
- Improve sleep
- Stimulate the immune system
- Kill fungal & bacterial infections
- Decrease sinus & lung congestion
- Aid digestion
- Relieve tension headaches
- Aid blood circulation.
In order to gain maximum benefit from your Aromatherapy Treatment, it is advisable as part of your aftercare routine, that you:
- Drink plenty of water and herbal infusions to help flush out toxins; massage aids the removal of toxins from the body.
You may feel relaxed and tired after a massage. Take care if driving or working.
- Rest as much as possible in order to assist the healing process. Many clients experience a feeling of tiredness or fatigue following massage, occasionally headache, feeling emotional or experience flu-like symptoms, but these will only be temporary, and will be replaced by a feeling of vitality and well being.
- Don’t drink alcohol or smoke for the next 24 hours; massage aims to detoxify the body – alcohol and smoking are counter-productive as they increase the levels of toxins within the body. Some oils will enhance the effect of alcohol so care must be taken if driving or working – your Therapist will advise you if this is the case
- Avoid heavy meals, eat a light and natural diet, as refined and processed foods add to the toxicity levels within the body and hinder the natural healing process.
- Do not shower or bathe directly after an aromatherapy treatment for at least 6 – 8 hours, as the essential oil needs to penetrate the skin in order to be absorbed into the system to achieve optimum results.
- Avoid direct exposure to strong sunlight, and do not use sun beds following the use of any photo-toxic oils, your therapist will already have advised you if phototoxic oils have been incorporated into your Aromatherapy treatment.
Occasionally some people experience nausea and /or headaches after treatment. This is part of the detoxifying process and will pass. Drinking plenty of water and resting will help.
Aromatherapy can be continued at home by using a specific bath blend or certain oils in an aromatherapy oil burner. Please ask for advice.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any queries or wish to discuss something.