What are Aromatherapy Treatments?

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils, extracted from plants, to help emotional, mental and physical disorders.

Essential oils not only give the aroma to the plant, but they also contain dozens of complex chemicals that can do anything from beautifying skin or speeding the healing process to making you sleep better or numbing a headache.

The chemical make-up of the essential oil will determine the affect that it will have on a person. This explains why some oils stimulate, whilst others have a calming effect. As well as affecting us emotionally some oils have physical properties and are natural healers such as antiseptics, antifungal or antinflammatory.

Why do essential oils have such a dramatic effect?

To explain how essential oils can affect us you need to examine the connection between the sense of smell and the brain.

Smell is the only sense in which the receptor nerve endings are in direct contact with the outside world. This means that Aromatherapy goes straight to the brain through the olfactory system. In turn, this means that when inhaled, essential oils may have the following effects:

  • stimulating memory associations
  • altering mood and feelings
  • influencing hormonal responses
  • stimulating the cortical areas of the brain associated with memory and learning.
Aromatherapy and massage

There are various ways that you can use essential oils, however massage is the most common. It is also the most therapeutic method as the essential oils are diluted in carrier oils and rubbed directly into the skin.

Since massage combines the senses of smell and touch it has instant physical and mental benefits. The warmth created by the skin-on-skin friction results in the oils being absorbed quicker and makes them more aromatic. At the same time massage increases blood circulation, stimulates the immune system, relaxes muscles, relieves pain, lowers blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels.

Aromatherapy massage can:
  • increase nutrient supply and relieve muscle spasm
  • stimulate blood circulation
  • provide pain relief
  • stimulate lymph circulation
  • improve secretory functions of glands
  • increase mobility
  • assist in relaxation, stress management and psychological well-being
  • Aromatherapy can be used to treat a thousand and one different ailments from Irritable Bowel Syndrome to Depression and Travel Sickness to Stress.
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