more than good scents
These days more and more products are
appearing on shop shelves offering the benefits of aromatherapy.
But what is true aromatherapy about?
Aromatherapy is the use of essential
oils for therapeutic purposes. The essential oils are extracted
from the leaves, flowers, bark, seeds, peel, or resin of plants.
They enter the bloodstream either by absorption through the skin
or by inhalation through the nasal passages. Each essential oil
has its own specific therapeutic properties, and when used well
help the body to return to a balanced state. Lavender, for example,
is an antidepressant, but has many other uses in aromatherapy.
Essential oils should never be applied
directly to the skin. They can be used in a number of ways, such
as in a bath or vapouriser, but the most common method used by an
aromatherapist is massage, diluting the essential oils in a carrier
oil. A typical treatment session will involve the aromatherapist
asking questions about your general health and lifestyle, and discussing
what you can expect from the treatment, before you receive a massage.
Further treatments are your choice, with many people finding that
regular treatments help them to cope with stress and stay "on top"
One of the main areas where aromatherapy
is effective is in aiding relaxation and the reduction of stress.
But it is also valuable in the treatment of depression, menstrual
problems, muscle and circulation problems, headaches and migraines,
as well as uses in skin care and pregnancy, to name just a few.
Aromatherapy is a holistic therapy,
in that an aromatherapist looks at your whole lifestyle in selecting
and blending the essential oils for you.
The Guardian, August 27 1998.