Aromatherapy dates back to ancient Egypt, where plants and flowers were
distilled to extract their essential oils.
Using essential oils as an integral part of healing massage.
Human beings can distinguish up to 10,000 different smells – some
delightful and others nauseating. It is believed that smells enter through the
cilla – the fine hairs which line the nose – and then go on to the limbic
system, the part of the brain that controls our moods, emotions, memory
Each essential oil from a flower, plant, root, leaf or piece of bark contains up
to one hundred different chemical components (including esters, ketones,
aldehydes and terpenes) which can have a strong effect on the whole
person. For example, research has shown that the smell of lavender
increases alpha waves in the back of the head, producing relaxation. The
smell of jasmine increases beta waves in the front of the head, producing
sensations of being more alert.
The use of volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and
physical wellbeing. Aromatherapy is based on the theory that organic matter
can have healing properties. The preparations must be true essential oils
and not synthetic; otherwise they are useless. In addition to their effect on
mood, essential oils have healing properties for the skin.
Aromatherapy works on the basis that the smell of the essential oils trigger
the limbic system - the part of the brain that seems to be linked with
emotion. This is why it can affect how you feel, and help you relax. Massage
helps your skin to absorb warmed essential oils; these oils improve the
effectiveness of the massage in treating specific physical problems.
Aromatherapy is used in a number of ways, including:
* relieving stress and anxiety; it is used with older people with dementia to
* helping you to sleep better; whether you have problems getting to sleep
(insomnia) or staying asleep
* helping you relax
* relieving tiredness or aching muscles
* improving flexibility
* soothing chronic pain
* improving skin tone
* aiding concentration
* calming bad temper.
Aromatherapy massage can have short-term benefits on psychological well-
being and a positive effect in reducing anxiety. Evidence is mixed as to
whether aromatherapy enhances the effects of massage.
The process of having a gentle massage with aromatherapy oils is a
wonderfully relaxing and soothing experience. Depending on an individual’s
needs, essential oils can be used to soothe, uplift, energise, relax or
Aromatherapy can be used for a variety of physical and emotional problems
including stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, pain, insomnia, coughs and
colds, burns, scar tissue, digestive problems and skin disorders.