Aromatherapy is an ancient therapeutic treatment that enhances well being, relieves stress and helps in the rejuvenation and regeneration of the human body. It has been used throughout history in the traditional medical practices of the world's greatest civilisations. Nowadays, Aromatherapy is widely accepted by orthodox and complementary practitioners as one of the most comprehensive ofthe natural therapies.
Aromatherapy oils are pure essences extracted ordistilled from plants. Flowers, leaves, roots, resins, seeds andfruits of many herbs, shrubs and trees are used to provide aromatic oils, each with their own unique healing properties. Some oils are used for their balancing effects on the nervous and hormonal systems, some for their ability to improve the function of bodily systems. Many oils have a powerful antiseptic action, while others act as natural painkillers. Rosemary essential oil has a stimulating effect; Lavender is used for its ability to calm and sedate.
Aromatherapy can be defined as the systematic use ofessential oils in holistic treatments to help to improve physical and emotional well-being.
The use of aromaticoils dates back as far as 3000 BC when the Egyptians extracted oils by a methodof infusion. These extracts were used in various ways: for religious ceremonies, cosmetics, food preservation and for mummification. From China, India and Egypt the art of aromatherapy spread to Ancient Greek and Rome where the oils were used in daily baths and massage. The earliest written record of the use of aromatic oils in Europe was in the thirteenth century. In 1652 Nicholas Culpepper wrote "A Book of Herbs" which described the medicinalproperties of hundreds of herbs.
During the 1920s A French chemist called Gattefosse began tostudy the therapeutic properties of essential oils. He discovered the healingpowers of lavender by accident when he burnt his arm during an experiment in the laboratory.Dr Jean Valnet used essential oils to treat burns and battleinjuries, in the absence of medical supplies.
In the 1950s aromatherapy was reintroduced into Britain by Marguerite Maury, who was a student of Gattefosse who developed specialised aromatherapy massage techniques and proposed the holistic approach of an 'individual prescription" to select and blend oils to suit the individual needs of the client.
How Aromatherapy Works
Aromatherapy is thetherapeutic use of plant-derived aromatic essential oils to promote andmaintain physical,emotional and spiritual well-being. The essential oils can bediluted in a carrier oil and applied to the body in the form of massage.
The Benefits Include:
- Stimulates the body's natural immune system
- Induces relaxation
- Promotes a general state of well-being
- Improved sleep pattern
- Enhances lymphatic drainage
Find a therapist near you:
AAPA - Aromatherapy and Allied Practitioners" Association
CNHC - Complementary & National Healthcare Council
FHT - Federation of Holistic Therapists
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