What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is holistic in nature and can be defined as the art and science of using natural distilled extracts from aromatic plants in healing the mind, body and spirit." It employs the use of essential oils in direct inhalation, massage as well as in a myriad of other applications to achieve this. Although it was not called aromatherapy at the time, the use of essential oils in healing started thousands of years ago when ancient civilizations utilized them for various purposes, such as to protect against disease and evil, to treat physical ailments and to invoke spiritual healing. Its popularity spread throughout the world as various nations came in contact with one another and shared these oils and their uses. It was not until the early 20th century when the term "aromatherapy" was coined and it became recognized as a healing discipline, and one that is practiced world-wide today.

How It Is Practiced:

Aromatherapy is practiced in differing ways, and seems to vary from region to region. For example, massage is the key application of aromatherapy in England.
Aromatherapy schools there train in massage, reflexology, kinesiology and other helpful modalities. This form of aromatherapy is based on the idea that essential oils absorb readily through the skin, gaining access to the blood system and thus, the internal organism when they are applied topically. It also allows the client to inhale the aroma molecules. Nurses are beginning to administer massage with essential oils to their patients in hospitals and with great results! Medical aromatherapy is widely practiced in Europe, namely in France where doctors prescribe essential oils quite readily for a variety of physical ailments. It is based on the antiseptic, antibacterial, antibiotic nature of essential oils in the treatment of disease. This most often involves internal use. Aromatherapy consultations are another very effective way of employing essential oils for healing.

The Aromatherapist in this instance takes a client history, assesses their needs and puts essential oil blends together to help alleviate and ease the presenting issues. This might encompass emotional difficulties like transitions, grieving work, nervous disorders, or it could be physical or metaphysical. An Aromatherapist may refer the client to a massage therapist with a particular blend to use, and may prescribe balneotherapy and inhalation therapy Essential oils are also being used by many aromatherapists for skin care: help disinfect and heal wounds, regenerate cells, clean and tighten pores, soothe burns and sensitive skin, eliminate toxins, regulate our oil glands, stimulate hair growth, and help retain moisture, to name a few.

Of course, many energy healers are incorporating aromatherapy in their practices as a nice complement --- The vibrational and energy healing aspects of essential oils have been known about forever, and it is something that is coming back into the forefront. They are being used in Reiki, Chakra therapy, meditation, etc. Essential oils really do help break down blocks and open doors to spiritual healing.

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