Aromatherapy

What is Aromatherapy?

In brief, aromatherapy is the use of volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being. A base oil is used and then infused with other oils to make either a massage oil, inhaler, bath oiler or other natural cosmetic.

History

Although the term aromatherapy was not used until the 20th Century, the use of aromatic botanicals and aromatic oils date back thousands of years. Distillation and the use of essential oils dates back nearly one thousand years. The Chinese may have been one of the first cultures to use aromatic plants for well-being. Their practices involved burning incense to help create harmony and balance. Later, the Egyptians invented a rudimentary distillation machine that allowed for the crude extraction of cedarwood oil. It is also thought by some that Persia and India may have also invented crude distillation machines, but very little is known.  

How does it work?

Essential oils are produced by steam or water distillation of the leaves, wood, petals, buds, needles, bark or roots of aromatic botanicals such as lavender, rosemary, cedarwood, rose, peppermint and cypress. While most essential oils are water or hydro distilled, citrus essential oils are either cold pressed or steam distilled from the rinds (peels) of citrus fruits.  Aromatic oils that are not specifically produced by either steam or hydro distillation (or cold pressed in the case of citrus rind oils) are not considered and should not be referred to as essential oils.

The natural composition and aroma of essential oils can provide valuable psychological and physical therapeutic benefits. These benefits are usually achieved through methods that include inhalation and topical application of the diluted essential oil to the skin.     

Benefits

Aromatherapy is a holistic therapy that treats the mind, body and spirit. When essential oils are applied to the body during a massage, the essential oils enter the skin through the hair follicles where they are absorbed in to the blood stream and circulated around the body. 

There are many benefits to Aromatherapy including:

  • Calm and relax
  • Destress
  • Soothe and balance
  • Stimulate and refresh
  • Energise and uplift
  • Maintain healthy joints and muscles
  • Create a tranquil, sensual and seductive ambience
  • Revive both mind and body

What does treatment involve?

At the start of a typical aromatherapy consultation, your therapist will ask about your medical history, general health, diet, sleep patterns and lifestyle. This is to help her decide which oils are most appropriate for you. After choosing your essential oils, the therapist will blend them with a "carrier" oil (such as grapeseed or almond), then gently warm the mixture. Adding heat to the oil helps your skin to absorb it more effectively.Depending on the treatment you're having, the therapist will massage the oil into your body. Your massage will be smooth and flowing, designed to instil a sense of relaxation and calm. Every session is tailored towards you, your health and your mood at the time, so every session is unique. Aromatherapy usually lasts for about an hour, although your initial consultation might take longer. Why not treat yourself to some essential oils to take home, too: use them for baths, in oil burners or for inhalation. 

FAQs

  • What if I don't like the smell of the oil?
  • Tell your therapist straight away, oils are chosen based on their healing properties. The smell will be tested at the consultation stage
  • I have sensitive skin, will the oil effect me?
  • Yes it might, a small patch test will be carried out before treatment to ensure there will be no adverse effects
  • Can I use oils myself?
  • Of course, but don't use NEAT, they are highly concentrated. we can supply you with a made up product specifically just for you. This can be used for massage, inhalation or in the bath etc
  • How can I use a product for inhalation?
  • Some essential oils are ideal for inhalation, because of their head-clearing and stimulating properties. Add 3-5 drops of essential oil to a bowl of very hot (not boiling) water and inhale the vapour for 5-10 minutes; the effect will be maximised by placing a towel over the head. If you are out and about, simply add 1-2 drops of essential oil to a tissue and inhale. 
  • Are all oils theraputic grade?
  • There is really no such thing, we use only 100% natural 'Essential Oils' they cannot be swallowed, eaten or used in cooking whatsoever. Be wary of those oils proclaiming to be aromatherapy oils, they will more often than not contain a synthetic chemical. An 'Essential Oil' is a 100% natural product
  • I like the idea of blending my own oils, but i'm worried about it?
  • Go for it, it can be lots of fun. However, if you are worried, either ask your therapist to make you a blend up to take away with you or ask for the recipe used during your treatment.