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What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a type of alternative medicine that uses essential oils derived from plants for healing diseases. From the name “aroma” itself, we can see that it relates to some kind of inhalation of smell. However, the truth is that aromatherapy is not about inhalation of smell. Essential oils are massaged into the skin or rarely taken orally, only under the guidance of trained professionals.
Origin and History of Aromatherapy
The use of essential oils for healing purposes has been around for 6000 years. Greeks, Chinese, Egyptians, Indians and Romans used it for making perfumes, drugs and cosmetics.
The story of aromatherapy starts with Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, a chemist from France, who used essential oil from lavender to treat the burns he suffered on his hand from an explosion in the laboratory.
Upon getting positive results, he started analyzing the chemical properties of different essential oils and found how they were used during World War 1 to treat skin infections, burns, wounds and gangrene on soldiers. The rise of aromatherapy in United States started only after the 1980s.
Interesting facts on aromatherapy
1. Aromatherapy deals with essential oils to bring about emotional and psychological changes.
2. Do not consume or apply plant oils undiluted to the skin.
What are the health benefits of aromatherapy?
In general, aromatherapy helps you feel relaxed, good and comfortable. According to the researches done, it is found that:
• Aromatherapy reduces stress
A study done by Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (N.Y) showed that people who used the aroma of lavender had lower stress level during a stressful situation. Another study shows that the quality of life of cancer patients increased drastically and had much reduced stress levels after they had themselves treated to aromatherapy.
• Aromatherapy fights depression
A study from 2000 to 2008 shows that aromatherapy, especially having citrus aromas, uplifts the mood and reduces depression. Many cancer patients and depression patients got positive results using this alternative treatment. Get a massage with citrus smelling essential oil and see the difference in your mood.
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• Aromatherapy relieves pain
Lavender oil, Clary Sage and Marjoram are three essential oils mixed in the ratio 2:1:1 and diluted with unscented cream concentrated at 3%. This essential oil, if massaged daily on your lower abdomen, relieves you from menstrual pain.
• Aromatherapy improves blood pressure
Studies have shown that blended oils of bergamot, lavender and ylangylang helped in lowering blood pressure, pulse stress levels and anxiety levels.
So, if you are a patient of hypertension, get yourself treated to this alternative medicine.
This treatment is also helpful in treating alopecia, insomnia, Psoriasis, constipation, digestive problems and eczema.
How to find an aromatherapist?
Till now, there are no boards that certify aromatherapists of the US, but you can contact professional organizations such as National Association of Holistic Therapy to find a qualified professional aromatherapist in your area.Tags: aromatherapy, essential oil, health, health benefits, insomnia, lavender, lavender oil, menstrual pain