Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy makes a great addition to any massage.  Essential oil extracts can be applied directly to the skin or used in a diffuser to enhance the massage experience.  In addition to the many medicinal benefits of aromatherapy, it promotes relaxation and helps to relieve stress.

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy, as the name suggests, is the therapeutic application of aroma, usually in the form of naturally extracted essential oils, to promote both physical and emotional well-being. It is both an art and a science. The whole premise behind aromatherapy is that our bodies respond to natural plant extracts in a way that promotes healing without the use of harsh chemicals or drugs. It represents a much less invasive approach than traditional medicine, and at the very least should be considered, as a treatment of first resort.

Aromatherapy utilizes the healing properties of essential oil extracts

Why is it called Aromatherapy?

The actual term “aromatherapy” was coined by the French chemist and perfumer René-Maurice Gattefossé in the 1930’s. He used the term “aromatherapie” presumably with the intent to distinguish its medicinal application from its application in cosmetic perfumes. In his early clinical findings, he discovered that Lavender helped accelerate the healing process of burns. Over the years, aromatherapy has developed into an art and science where essential oils are used to treat a plethora of physiological and psychological illnesses from headaches to irritable bowel syndrome, to everyday stress.

What are the Benefits of Aromatherapy?

It has been suggested that Aromatherapy has been effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, headaches, inflammation, bacterial infections, stress, and anxiety.

Aromatherapy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

Peppermint oil was found to be a superior treatment to typical anticholinergics for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome as well as children who experience recurrent abdominal pain.  In fact, it was concluded that peppermint oil “may be the drug of first choice in IBS patients with non-serious constipation or diarrhea.”

Aromatherapy for Insomnia

The finding from several studies were examined and it was determined that essential oils had a positive effect on sleep.  Lavender was the most studied essential oil and thus bore the most positive results.

Aromatherapy for Headaches

Peppermint was shown to significantly reduce and even alleviate the pain associated with tension headaches.  In fact, peppermint was determined to be just as effective as a 1,000 mg dose of acetaminophen with no adverse side effects.

Aromatherapy for Inflammation

Study indicated that the anti-inflammatory effects of essential oils was significant and may be valuable in the development of new therapies for osteoarthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Aromatherapy for Bacterial Infections

Essential oils of coriander and cumin seeds were found to be a potential source of safe and effective antimicrobial and antioxidant agents in both the pharmaceutical and food industries.

Aromatherapy for Stress and Anxiety

Study indicated that there was an acute anxiolytic reaction when patients were subjected to sweet orange aroma, supporting its use as a tranquilizer by aromatherapists.
Undoubtedly, there are benefits to aromatherapy and essential oil extracts that have yet to be discovered.  As with any alternative therapy, it’s important to consult with a doctor before using essential oils to treat any known or suspected medical condition.

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