Most of us associate 'Aromatherapy' with perfumed shampoos, soaps, and luxurious lotions, or essential oils for sensuous massage; but, there is much more to this age-old therapy that has recently become one of the fastest growing and recognized rejuvenating and healing therapies.
Aromatherapy is literally aroma, meaning fragrance, and therapy, entailing a treatment. Its use has first been documented in early Egypt, where the ancient civilization mastered the process of extracting oils from plants, barks of trees, spices, herbs and even some weeds; they acknowledged the use of these oils for cosmetic reasons and for use in massage, and recognized the medicinal properties while using them during the process of mummification.
The ancient Greeks and Romans exploited these essential oils in similar ways. But, it wasn't till the 1940's when Dr. Gattefosse conducted scientific research into the healing powers of these extracts, did the world become aware of their therapeutic value for both, physiological and psychological ailments. Gattefosse's research was taken a step forward by Dr. Valnet and Dr. Maury, and Dr. Arcier, who created the form of Aromatherapy, as it is practiced throughout the world today.
More than Just Smelling Good !!
Simply stated, Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils to enhance the well-being of the entire body, mind and spirit. Today, it is categorized as an alternative method of treatment, where the oils are either massaged into the skin after mixing with carrier oil, or inhaled in. When the oil is inhaled, it penetrates into the brain directly, thereby regulating the sensory motor activities that control our conduct, emotions, moods, memories and sexual behavior. As this limbic system is not under our conscious control, this therapy is especially beneficial in treating psychological disorders.
Aromatherapy has also been tried, tested and proven to aid in boosting the immune, respiratory and circulatory systems.
some common and safe oils:
Aromatherapy can be a good self-help technique but one must always consult with a professional before engaging in it for the first time. One must be absolutely sure of the oil's purity and never take it internally. The oil must be always diluted in a carrier oil, unless otherwise stated, before application onto the skin. Be sure to check with a physician if pregnant or epileptic.
|Eucalyptus||Stimulating smell good for congestion; eases headache, stress, depression and mental fatigue.|
|Lavender||Most useful and versatile of all oils; excellent effect on burns and headaches.|
|Lemon||Light and refreshing; diuretic; good for detoxification.|
|Rosemary||Fresh smell for a powerful mental and physical boost; good for muscular pains and arthritis.|
|Tea Tree Oil||Widely used in skin products for its antibacterial properties good for combating acne, warts and other skin infections; also added in shampoos as a lice or flea repellant.|