Benefits Of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy uses essential oils extracted from plant sources, for example flowers, leaves, trees and fruits. We use aromatherapy in our every day lives, mostly in synthetic form in perfumes, soaps, deodorants, cleaning products, room fragrances etc.
You can enhance your standard massage treatment by choosing beautiful essential oils to create a scent which can help you to relax and switch off or energise. A smell is an important sense for most of us and it can transport us in space and time. Aromatherapy can be very powerful, especially from psychological point of view, triggering memories, feeling and emotions
History Of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy has been used in many forms along side herbal medicine for thousands of years. Flowers and herbs were placed in burials and burning of fragrant woods, leaves, needles, and tree gums were a practice at ancient times. Plants were used as medicine and burnt in rituals for protection. We still use incense in churches around the world, most commonly frankincense.
Aromatherapy has played an important part in Ayurvedic practices in India and Egyptians are well known for their use of aromatherapy in embalming process of the mummies as well as rituals, cosmetics and perfumes. Most commonly known plants used were frankincense, myyrh, cedarwood and spices. Chinese also have a long history of using herbs and plants as part of their traditions and medical practices.
Modern Day Aromatherapy
Coming closer to the modern world, Greeks and Romans are known to have used plants and herbs in their baths and for medicinal purposes. They also developed techniques to extract oils from the plants, but mostly for use of aromatic waters.
In the 1300s when the pharmaceutical industry started developing the distillation of essential oils became more commonly used for relaxation and perfumery. Later in the 1600-1700s perfumery had developed into an art form. The modern day Aromatherapy was developed in France, the land of perfumery, around 1930s. More techniques were developed and aromatherapy became a part of cosmetic industry. Most synthetic perfumes are still developed emulating natural flower and plant fragrances.
Nowadays aromatherapy is used around the world in holistic practices, cosmetics and natural products like soaps and room fragrances. Even though the essential oils are natural, it is good to keep in mind the are the essence of the plants and very potent, so care should be used when working with them.
Aromatherapy and Massage
Aromatherapy can support your massage treatment as the oils also have many physiological benefits. You can choose essential oils which are good for different problems, like aches, anxiety or lack of sleep. There are some scents that are stimulating and some more relaxing. There are oils that are energising and some that are more meditative and calming for the mind, some are even natural painkillers. Your aromatherapist is be able to blend oils to suit your needs for your massage treatment.
Aromatherapy at Home
Aromatherapy can be used in many other ways in addition to massage. The oils are fantastic in skincare and body products. You can easily make your personalised scent for soaps, bath products or use the essential oils on their own in a diffusers or burners. You may find them helpful when studying or working to enhance your focus and memory. Or you can use them on pillow to aid your sleep and relaxation. You can even use aromatherapy in your cleaning products. They are great insect repellents as well and peppermint works wonders when tackling ants in your house.
Make sure you read the labels for safe use if you are making your blends yourself or seek professional advice if unsure. Remember essential oils are pure plant essences, so should be used in small quantities. A few drops goes a long way.