Aromatherapy is the art of using the essential oils of plants as a complete treatment for mental and physical health and beauty. The practice of Aromatherapy is thousands of years old and was probably first used systematically in China. The word, Aromatherapy, was coined by a French chemist, Gattefosse, in the early years of this century. He was the first European to discover the therapeutic powers of essential oils. The ancient Indian medical discipline, the Ayurveda, which is still very much alive today, has always employed plant essences in healing to combat infections, soothe inflammation and relieve tension and depression. Many Indian women attribute the flawless beauty of their skins to Aromatherapy.
What is Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is an ancient healing art that has been around since many centuries as today’s natural holistic healing. Marguerite maury, who explored the effects of aromatherapy on the mental and emotional state of her patients as well as using it in a cosmetic treatment for the skin. The individual nature of essential oil therapy is something that is recognized in all branches of holistic treatment and it is taken especially seriously in France, where only qualified doctors are allowed to practice aromatherapy. Aromatherapy works on the olfactory system, so natural inhalation can be used safely.
Essential oils have an analgesic neutralizing effect upon the chemicals carried by the sensory nerve endings in response to injury. It is commonly agreed that certain oils lift the sprits, while others calm them, and that some are particularly good for the skin, while others relieve aches and pains or heal wounds. Ylang-ylang, citrus, basil, patchouli and peppermint are especially recommended to lift depression; geranium, bergamot and lavender relieve anxiety. Rose, neroli, fennel and tangerine are good for the skin, peppermint soothes muscular and rheumatic pain and lavender oil may help to heal a wound.
Aromatherapy and essential oils are also able to re-establish homeostasis (harmony), and balance or ground a person to achieve a state of equilibrium, in addition to restoring well-being through the body and mind connections.
There is no doubt that essential oils are lovely to use and that they have a beneficial effect on the mind and body. One of the most popular applications for essential oils is in the field of aromatherapy. It is easy to enough to understand why certain aromatherapy oils smells, such as clean laundry, baking bread or the sweetness of fresh milk, have strong associations of warmth, comfort and nourishment and hence, perhaps of home and childhood. Once you’ve learned a little about the uses and benefits of essential oils, you’ll be amazed at how you can take control of your health, the air you breathe and the food you eat-all in a safe, chemical free manner.
How do Essential Oils work?
Essential oils are composed of different molecules. Some of these are terpenes, esters, ketones, aldehydes, alcohols and phenols. They are very volatile and some dissolve in both oil and water. As these highly volatile essences evaporate they are also inhaled, thus entering the body via the millions of sensitive cells that line the nasal passages. In minute water droplets released into the air they can be inhaled. At the top of the nose they are intercepted by the olfactory nerve cells. From there their messages are transmitted to the brain, where they activate responses in ways as yet not understood.