Aromatherapy has become more popular over recent years, especially with the re-introduction of essential oils as plant-based medicine. Like many little girls, I’ve happy memories of making magic healing potions and rose petal perfume for my Mum and proudly presenting it to her when I was 5 years old!
There is a complexity to aromatherapy where colleagues around the world have different approaches to it because essential oils are versatile and can be used in many ways. Aromatherapists, medical practitioners, nurses, counselors and psychologists, massage therapists, medical herbalists, natural therapists, beauty therapists and perfumers all use them for different purposes.
If there was one “aromatherapy” that incorporates all of the aforementioned it would be holistic aromatherapy where the pharmacological, psychotherapeutic and the metaphysical activities of the essential oil are all incorporated. This is exactly where I sit. When I listen to anyone talking about what they’ve got going on, these are the angles I’m considering when selecting oils to suggest for use because for me, it is a “healing art”.
Often the benefits of an aromatherapy treatment come from the pleasant fragrance of the essential oils which have a predominantly psychological effect. The essential oils are usually administered by massage, in an oil diffuser or added to baths and creams. Used in these ways, they add a sense of luxury to the treatment and have a relaxing effect. Some people view natural therapies such as aromatherapy as using “magic potions”, however you cannot expect to just “zap” people with the oils and for them to get better overnight ( – although it can and I’ve seen it happen many times!).
A holistic treatment is also to do with having somebody to talk to, somebody to listen and respond to you, it’s about having a hands-on treatment and receiving their full attention. There is more to holistic aromatherapy than essential oils and massage – it is a healing process.
I believe it’s a popular therapy because it makes use of two close range senses; touch and smell. It is also pleasant with medicinal applications. Some essential oils have powerful anti-bacterial properties, rivaling antibiotic drugs in their effectiveness (such as oregano). Other essential oils have psychotherapeutic applications, relieving stress, depression, insomnia and pre-menstrual syndrome. I know its popularity will continue to increase as more and more proof emerges of its real clinical value (check out www.aromaticscience.com if you want to see some research).
Many people express nothing less than sheer delight (and surprise) at the way in which their treatment has helped them sort out problems that otherwise weren’t improved with conventional medical treatment. Natural therapies are often the last resort but for me they’re my starting point. I believe both allopathic and natural medicines have a place in health and wellbeing; I’d just rather take care of myself naturally wherever possible. I wonder if it’s possible for us to ever be like China; an acupuncturist who treated me for a while told me as part of his training he had to work in a hospital in China where one side of the ward was for Western medicine and the other side was for Eastern medicine which meant patients were treated by both.
As “VIP Therapies” when I’m giving a reflexology treatment or a massage directly on the skin, the properties of the oils will be effecting a person’s emotions too; conversely, with the more energy healing-type treatments such as Reiki and chakra balancing, whilst working on the metaphysical the physical body is also effected by the absorption of the oil molecules through the olfactory system (the nose/limbic brain). So I know that by working with a client using essential oils their treatment helps them on all levels (holistically) so it’s a win-win for them!
The treatments I give that specifically use essential oils are:
- AromaTouch Technique
- Aromatherapy massage
- Aroma-flexology (reflexology with essential oils)
- Indian head massage
- Ear candling
- Reiki healing
- Chakra balancing
…at the very least the diffuser is permanently on diffusing essential oils into the atmosphere keeping the air clean, as well as opening up our airways, uplifting or balancing the mind.
If you’d like to find out more about essential oils, why not attend a class or have a treatment? Please contact me for more information.