What is Aromatherapy
The word aromatherapy translates to treatment using scents. It points to a particular branch of herbal medicine that uses concentrated, or essential, plant oils to improve physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual health by lending support and restoring balance to the whole body.
How Aromatherapy Works
The practice of aromatherapy involves using more than just the aroma of certain plant oils to treat mind, body, and spirit; however aroma is important. Inhalation can reinforce the effects of oils applied to the skin, and it is a safe way to benefit from the healing properties of oils that could otherwise cause irritation when applied neatly, directly to the skin.
The essential oils utilized in aromatherapy stimulate our olfactory system, the part of the brain responsible for processing smell. The receptors of this system, located in our nose, convert smells into electrical impulses which are transmitted to the limbic system of the brain. Smells reaching the limbic system can directly affect our moods and emotions, and improve mental alertness and concentration. Since the sense of smell is so closely tied to memory and stress-response centers of our brain; the aromas of essential oils can have a profound impact on these areas of our lives. This use of essential oils is known as aromatherapy and is included in each and every signature HomeRoma Therapy service, our residential cleansing and organizing, granted by Life Enhancement by Genies.
However, in more recent times it has become known that many essential oils can do far more than just tickle our little noses. Besides the aromatic constituents, a single essential oil can actually be a complex mixture of literally hundreds of different chemical constituents, including various terpenes, esters, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, phenols, and oxides. Many of these chemical constituents have demonstrated properties in scientific research studies ranging from:
- antibacterial to anti cancerous
- antioxidant to stress-relieving
- anti-inflammatory… and the list will go on and on
Because of these many different properties, essential oils are being used not only aromatically but also topically and internally as well as a subtle and effective treatment when used correctly and given time to work.
Topical application of essential oils in aromatherapy work is concerned with getting the essential oils into the body in order to alter body chemistry, support body systems, and once again; improve moods and emotions because we can always use some more of that. This is most effectively done by… you guessed it… hot oil massage. Manipulating the soft tissues of the body has been shown to release emotional and physical tension, relieve pain, promote healthy circulation, and restore the whole person to a balanced state of health. When applied neat, the molecules of the oil are so small that they are able to be absorbed instantly through the pores of the skin and enter into the bloodstream to begin working instantly on body tissues.
The preferred method for professional aromatherapists is massage backed by diffusion. However, If you can’t quite reach that spot yourself and haven’t a friend or professional to lend a you can still benefit from some self love. Try incorporating the oils into your bathwater or simply applied to a hot or cold compress placed on the area needing attention. Some other essential oil aromatherapy application methods and treatment therapies include reflexology, acupuncture, and auricular.
But remember, aromatherapy is very effective yet subtle. Stick with it and give it time to work. One treatment may prove immediately relaxing or reviving but the effects tend to be short lived. Make aromatherapy a part of your regular wellness routine as regular treatments is what is needed to restore balance to body systems. If you have been stressed or ill, it could take several weeks before noticing marked improvement, but you’ll know it’s work has begun.
Benefits of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy benefits people rather than illnesses. It is gentle enough to be used by people of all ages and states of health. it is nurturing for babies and children, and offers comfort and care to the elderly. Pregnant women and even seriously ill patients with cancer or AIDS can benefit from professional treatment. Aromatherapy is not at all recommended as a cure for any disease. Its most potent effect is that it relaxes mind and body, relieves pain, and restores body systems to a state of balance in which healing can best take place, by allowing you to focus and eliminate the true source of the dis-ease.
Essential oil aromatherapy is also found most effective when used a preventive measure or to alleviate symptoms before they escalate into the disease. Aromatherapy has been found particularly helpful in preventing and treating:
- stress and anxiety disorders
- muscular and rheumatic pains
- digestive problems
- menstrual irregularities
- menopausal complaints