Many don’t realise we use various forms of aromatherapy in everyday life from the smell of fresh coffee, the fragrance created when cooking with herbs such as basil and lemongrass or even the aroma of freshly cut grass. Something as simple as slicing a lemon or orange can leave and an uplifting and refreshing effect on the body. It’s all aromatherapy in its simplest form!
Aromatherapy is both science and art, which uses essential oils to create blends to be used in a variety of ways. For example, in skin care products, lip balms, perfumes, hair products, candles, diffusers and treatment baths.
Essential oils are sourced from plant materials including flowers, leaves, roots, woods, resins, buds and berries. They are all highly concentrated, for example to produce one drop of rose oil, 20 kilos of rose petals are needed! They are essentially the concentrated essence of the plant material.
Essential oils can help with a variety of ailments such as headaches, coughs, colds, acne, eczema, psoriasis, hormone imbalance, muscle aches and pains, indigestion, asthma, insomnia, anxiety and depression.
Aromatherapy in relation to complementary therapies is designed to treat the whole person using essential oils to help the body balance the emotions and improve general health and wellbeing. Benefits can include:
- Alleviation of stress and tension
- Induce a sense of deep relaxation
- Renewed energy levels
- Enhanced psychological and physical well-being
- Pain relief
- Mood enhancer
- Increased cognitive function
- Promotes positive emotions
- Improves self esteem
There are numerous preblended aromatherapy products available on the market, but due to its popularity, more and more people are experimenting with essential oils. The potency of these oils and the potential dangers they bring, if not used correctly, is not widely understood amongst non-practitioners. If you are unsure, please seek advice from a qualified Aromatherapist. Here at Serenity Station, we are all happy to guide and advise as fully qualified, insured and FHT accredited Aromatherapists.
Top tips for using essential oils:
- If you are considering a personalised aromatherapy treatment, please ensure your therapist is both qualified and insured. Most therapists show which association they belong to along with links to check for yourself.
- DO NOT use essential oils undiluted on the skin. The only exceptions are lavender commonly used on the temples for headaches or pulse points for relaxation and tea tree which can be applied directly to pimples, blocked pores, acne, warts and verruca’s.
- DO NOT ingest essential oils under any circumstances.
- Ensure that the essential oils are pure, most will show not only the common name but the Latin name also, for example Lavender which is known as Lavandula in Latin. Do not use fragrance oils as these contain unnatural chemicals that do not provide the therapeutic benefits of essential oils.
If you choose to have a massage treatment, a qualified Aromatherapist will take a case history and through discussion with you, will decide on the most appropriate blend of essential oils to use. These are then added to a carrier oil and applied to the skin through massage. The oils are absorbed in minute and safe quantities and thus have a direct effect on the body. An individual session can be very beneficial but for help with specific problems, or as a preventative treatment, regular sessions are usually recommended.