Aromatherapy, also known as Essential oil therapy, is the art and science of using natural aroma or fragrant essential oils collected from fruits and flowers for therapeutic purposes. In this therapy, the aromatic plant extracts and oils are used to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It attempts to combine physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual's innate healing process.
French perfumer and chemist, Rene- Maurice Gattefosse, coined the term “aromatherapie” in 1937 in his book named Gattefosse's Aromatherapy where he expressed the early clinical findings for using aroma for mental relief or psychological stress
Essential Oils – The heart and backbone of Aromatherapy:
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts. Although they are called oils, they are not oily like other vegetable oils like soybean, sunflower or olive oil. Some are viscous while some are solid and watery. Lavender, lemon, and Eucalyptus oils are watery. It may contain vitamins, hormones, antibiotics and antiseptics. It also contains the hormones of the plant and roots from where they are extracted.
How it work in the Aromatherapy:
Aromatherapy offers an immediate positive impact on the client when they experience the therapy. In the aromatherapy, essential oils work in two basic ways: through the skin and the nose.
The oils can quickly evaporate into the air. They are volatile and easily disperse in the air and float around and reach the rose. The aromatic molecules float and enter into the nostrils and nasal cavity. When these molecules hit receptors of the nasal cavity and nerve-rich patches, it sets off direct reactions that result in brain activity. On the other hand, the aromatic molecules can also enter to the mouth and reach the bloodstream through the mucus membrane of the nasal cavity.
It can also enter into the body through the skin. You can trace the presence of the essential oils by analyzing the excretion perspiration, feces, urine, breath after a certain time of experiencing the essential oils.
Whether you are using it in the massage time or the bath, it enters the body in the above two ways and helps to heal the body and mind. As it is easily absorb and enter the body easily, it increases blood circulation. It also relieves local inflammation by releasing mediators in the body which causes the blood vessels to expand so that the blood can move more quickly. Studies have shown that specific essential oils used in the aromatherapy can heal stress and tension and can bring peace of mind and sound sleep.
Some of the common types used in the aromatherapy are:
- Bay Leaf
- Black Pepper
- Lemon or Yuzu
- Clary Sage
- Jasmine oils
- Carrot Seed
- Virginia Cedar wood oil, etc.