The most common interpretation of the word “Aromatherapy” would be to define it as therapy which uses aroma or scent.
While this seems to be the main philosophy, in reality, it is not simply the aroma, or psychological effect of the aroma, but also the pharmacological and physiological effects that only the pure Essential Oil can induce within the body systems that makes it therapeutic.
Many products are sold today as “aromatherapy” when in reality they are just products with fragrance added to enhance the senses.
Fragrance oils are synthetic and have no therapeutic value although their odor can affect the emotions through olfaction.
Essential Oils on the other hand affect not only the senses but also the body system as a whole bringing balance and harmony to the body through various applications of the oil.
Pure Essential Oils are the pure, unadulterated oil that is extracted from the plant, tree, roots, stem, etc. of the living plant through various methods of distillation.
Essential Oils are the life “essence” of the plant and therefore have the natural, healing properties contained within them.
These volatile, concentrated essences are contained in the glands, glandular hairs, sacs or veins of the different plant parts. They contain hundreds of organic constituents, including hormones, vitamins, and other natural elements which are produced in the chloroplasts of the leaves (the place where light and matter are combined through photosynthesis.) Plant sugars help to move the chloroplast to different parts of the plant. These oils help to attract or repel insects etc and their antiseptic properties guard them against fungi and bacteria.
Essential Oils are phytochemicals with specific biological properties such as anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, etc. Essential Oils are used for various purposes. They can eliminate or sedate, relieve anxiety and stress, boost the immune system, relax muscles, stimulate circulation etc. They have antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic properties that aid in the healing process but are less toxic than synthetic antibiotics.
The purpose of aromatherapy is to enhance, restore and heal the body on all levels, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Health can be defined as having all body systems in balance. Diseases occurs when the body stops functioning in a balanced way.
Aromatherapy helps to strengthen the body systems and assists in the self-healing process bringing the body back into balance or harmony.
There are many websites on the Internet that talk about Aromatherapy and how to use aromatherapy but many of them can be misleading, or in some cases downright dangerous. There are some people who will even advise using essential oils directly on the skin without diluting it first in a suitable carrier oil. This can be extremely dangerous and cause toxicity to enter the body and lead to sensitization.
The best way to learn about what aromatherapy is, is to take a good aromatherapy course that will teach you how to use aromatherapy treatments safely and effectively. Aromatherapy Courses can really vary in price so be sure to find one that is affordable and informative. Check out the syllabus of any of the aromatherapy courses you are thinking of taking before making your final decision.
Although the Internet is called the “Information Highway” it is sadly riddled with misinformation. This is why we need guidance to be able to sort the chaff from the wheat.