What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy has been around for more than 6000 years and is considered to be an ancient, yet still applicable, healing therapy.
In an aromatherapy session, the aromatherapist will mix pure essential oils (fragrant plant extracts) in various ways to treat a range of ailments. He or she may apply the oils topically, through inhalation or as incense, and may incorporate the oils with massage, reflexology or another body therapy to promote wellbeing and healing.
Essential oils are never applied directly to the skin, as it could cause irritation, burning and rashes.
How an Aromatherapist May Help You
Given that aromatherapy is such an accessible therapy, you could visit an aromatherapist for a wide range of conditions. Below is a list of common ailments and the essential oils that may help:
- Colds and flu: eucalyptus
- Headaches and migraines: basil (for the ache), helichrysum (for inflammation), peppermint (for associated nausea), lavender or chamomile (to relax)
- Insomnia and nightmares: frankincense
- Nausea: peppermint
- Skin conditions: sandalwood (for dry skin)
- Low energy: peppermint
- Poor digestion: sandalwood
- Stress and anxiety: lavender, sandalwood, chamomile, clary sage
- Hormonal issues such as premenstrual syndrome and menopause: geranium
- Childbirth contractions: rose
It’s important to remember that while aromatherapy may help manage symptoms, it has not been proven as a cure. It’s worth consulting with a health professional before using essential oils, to ensure aromatherapy will complement your course of treatment.
Feel Good With Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy isn’t just effective for the aforementioned conditions; it also makes you feel good. A 2008 study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology found that lemon oil is a natural mood enhancer.
Interestingly, the study’s lead researcher William Malarkey said, “If an individual uses these oils and feels better, there’s no way we can prove it doesn’t improve that person’s health”.
So the message is clear: give aromatherapy a go and see how you feel. You might just emerge from the session feeling healthier and happier.