There are many forms of alternative medicine in which people have believed, researched, experimented and administered through the ages. Aroma Therapy is one of them. It is believed to aid in the healing of various ailments as well as soothing several skin, mental and physical conditions. The benefits of aroma therapy may not be proven scientifically till date, given the lack of research in its favor, but it continuous to be administered and strongly believed in and recommended.
What is Aroma Therapy?
Ancient time saw the origin of this therapy executed by means of imparted aromatic oils, created by means of crushing desiccated foliage in oil fats, which is then heated and filtered. Believed to have healing properties, since the early nineteenth century, French Chemist like Gattefosse’ and Jean Valnet a surgeon, experimented with this therapy, where Gattefosse’, treated burns by means of Lavender oil, later documenting his research in the form of a book christened, Aromathérapie: Les Huiles Essentielles, Hormones Végétales. Jean Valnet, used this therapy to cure soldiers wounded in the second World War.
It is still debated that before the therapy appeared in print by means of Grattefosse’s book in 1937, it was discovered by a handful of scientist situated in Europe in 1907.
Who should go for Aroma Therapy?
- Aroma therapy is suggestive for a person suffering from Fibromyalgia, which is a soft tissue pain, followed by weakness, tiredness, and sleep disorders.
- As the oil in the therapy do not directly affect the immunity of a person it can be used as a non medical treatment, in addition, to help the body of a cancer patient to combat infections.
- It can help drain excessive lymphatic fluids that could cause, elephantiasis, cancer, tumors and paralysis, occurring on account of accumulation of excessive of lymph fluids.
- Aroma therapy helps combat anxiety, nausea and sleep disturbance.
- It also is beneficial in general relaxation and sharpening the memory as well as in skin treatment.
- Aroma therapy also aids weight loss.
- Aroma therapy can also be administered to infants and children, in a highly diluted form.
Who should not go for Aroma Therapy?
- Aroma therapy uses a wide range of oils, and as particular oils may help people recover from certain problems, in the same way these array of oils may harm people suffering from a particular condition like;
- A person suffering from high blood pressure should refrain from oils like, hyssop, thyme, rosemary and sage.
- A person with a diabetic condition should shun angelica oil.
- Women, pregnant or lactating, should avoid uterus stimulating oils like, juniper, star anise and Basil, using with caution, rosemary, rose and peppermint if indulging in the treatment for the first time.
- These oils sold by a medical store or beauty related product stores, may have chemicals that can have an effect on the brain and may penetrate to the bloodstream, may be lethal for cancer patients, who have been under regular cancer treatment such as radiation and chemotherapy therapy.
Aroma Therapy technique:
The professed effects of this therapy are explained in two ways, the first being the effect of aroma on the brain, as well as the limbic structure by means of the sensory system. The other means being the pharmacological outcome of these essential oils. However, aroma therapy when combined with other form of regular medical treatments may yield positive results.
There are three modes of usage of aroma therapy namely:
- Direct application by means of inhalation, this is usually used to improve a respiratory condition as also for psychological condition.
- Aerial transmission, used to disinfect, fragrance or cleanse the environment.
- Tropical usage is the general application of the therapy for massage, baths and skin care.
The main ingredients required for aroma therapy:
- The chieftain in aroma therapy is the oils, referred to as the Essential oils, created by means of steam distillation of plants, usually aromatic.
- The oils extracted from flowers or fragile tissues of the plant called the Absolutes, forms the other major ingredient.
- The other called Herbal distillates, are actually just the byproducts of distillation, but are highly essential as they have medicinal properties and are fortifying in skin care.
- Another important ingredient being the Infusions is the aquatic extractions from the foliage.
- Organic compounds, scientifically known as Phytoncides, are basically found in plants and kill microbes. They are used scarcely due to their foul fragrance.
- Importantly the medium for dilution of these oils, called the Carriers.
- And finally, the Vaporizer which is important for direct inhalation.
Benefits of Aroma Therapy
The aroma of these oils is advantageous in the stimulation of the brain and is believed to increase memory retention. As these essential oils are absorbed by the skin and commute by means of the blood stream, they can aid in the healing of several body ailments. The vast arena of the number of these available oils, if blended with each other in the right way, can cure pain, uplift the senses, relax the body and douse several skin conditions, being especially beneficial in treatment of minor burns and acne.
Aroma therapy can also help people suffering from cancer and can be used as a supplement in addition to help them cope with the disease.
It is necessary that aroma therapy is conducted under the supervision of a certified therapist, as if not administered in the right way the therapy may cause various side effects, including skin irritation, anxiety and so on. Importantly seek advice by your physician in case you are already under medication as the therapy may react with your existent treatment.
Further on Aroma Therapy
Each individual’s reaction to aroma therapy and their level of nasal sensitivity to aromas, as well as the rates of absorption in the skin differs immensely, so the administration of this treatment is a huge challenge as also creating a universal remedy. Scientist are working on the use of this therapy in the treatment of burns, given its healing properties, as well as further exploring its soothing property in cancer , for the survivors to cope with problems like memory loss and anxiety.