Aromatherapy, like all new age practices, is riding the wave of success.
Everyone wants to try some yoga or have a massage with scents that will relax not only your body but also your soul.
But along with its increasing popularity is the increasing number of questions about the process. What is it about? What makes it work? Is it safe? Does it really calm the nerves and relax the muscles?
Aromatherapy is the practice or use of oil extracts from plants for their medicinal and aromatic benefits in order to improve psychological, spiritual and physical wellbeing. True aromatherapy does not include the use of oils that are only used for fragrance. These are considered unnatural products because they have been tampered with already in the laboratories.
Most think that aromatherapy is a new discovery but the truth is, the practice of using essential oils for medicinal and aromatic purposes has been going on for centuries. It started with the Greeks and the Egyptians, who used a crude distillation process to extract oils from the plants and flowers in the area.
One of the primary benefits of aromatherapy is in the improvement of a person’s psychological and mental state. Aromatherapy, they claim, can help relax the mind and get rid of the everyday stress that people suffer from. It can lighten the mood and alleviate stress symptoms such as feelings of depression, heaviness, and sadness. Of course, it cannot cure an actual psychological problem. Aromatherapy only helps to alleviate the surface effects of stress but not the underlying causes and psychological problems.
There are also claims that aromatherapy has medicinal purposes and it has but it does not directly cure an illness. It only serves to strengthen the bodies of the person and calm their fears so that they can better cope with the disease. Aromatherapy can also in easing the feelings of nausea when having an illness. This is especially true for people who are undergoing chemotherapy.
Aromatherapy can also improve one’s immune system, which is a big plus in fighting off diseases and illness. Like with the claims of psychological wellbeing, aromatherapy cannot cure a disease. People who claim otherwise should not be trusted. Aromatherapy indirectly helps but it does not directly cure the problem.
Another benefit that aromatherapy provides is the improvement in common ailments such as indigestion, acne and other skin problems, and PMS and menstruation. The therapy has been known to help stop dysmenorrhea, a condition wherein a person feels pain in the abdominal area due to menstruation.
Essential oils are used and combined with some hair care formulas because they have been known to keep the hair healthy and shiny. The same goes for skin care.
Aromatherapy can also help in coping and dealing with various emotions. In fact, there are special plant extracts that can be used for this very purpose.
Anger can be alleviated by Jasmine, Orange, Roman Chamomile, Rose and Ylang Ylang.
Anxiety can be dealt with extracts from plants such as Bergamot, Geranium, Cedarwood, Mandarin, and Lavender. Confidence can be improved with a touch of Cypress, Bay Laurel, and Rosemary.
Depression can be alleviated by Clary Sage, Helichrysum, Neroli, Sandalwood, Frankincense and Mandarin.