Aromatherapy is the use of oils distilled from plants. This can be from either the root, stem, leaves, twigs, bark, peel or flowers of plants. The resulting oil is known as an essential oil and a pure essential oil will contain the oil from one part of a particular plant. Blending these individual oils together in harmonious and synergistic ways is Aromatherapy.
Essential oils have been distilled and used for thousands of years and some common names for these oils relate to their previous therapeutic uses. Benzoin, for example, is also known as Friar’s Balsam having been used to soothe sore throats*.
Various plants and different parts of plants that are distilled present different physiological and psychological impacts upon mind and body. Essential oils have been used in traditional healing as well as religious practices the world over and can be found in use in various forms such as: inhalations, burners, baths, compresses and massage.
Aromas are powerful, evoking a variety of feelings and emotions, some can give a zesty, uplifting sensation such as Lemon. Other heavier, more woody smelling oils can promote a calming sensation, for example Frankincense and Sandalwood are used in meditative and religious ceremonies. Smells can also remind us of past experience. Each person has an individual preference and feeling towards the oils. It is often said that the oils we are most attracted to are the oils we need at that point in time. This is why a thorough consultation is important as it enables you to pinpoint what you want from your blend as well as giving time for you to smell a few combinations of oils to see what it is you like the smell of. Once at my clinic in Leeds, I created a blend for someone which reminded them of a culinary delight their mum used to create. Although this was a lovely memory it wasn’t something they wanted to be smelling during and after the massage. The second blend was much more successful! Because of the importance of the consultation I offer Aromatherapy Massage in Leeds at 75 or 90 minute sessions.
Essential oils can be used at home in a oil burner when added to water. Essential oils are readily available from local health food shops or online and most places have detailed information about the properties of each individual oil. If you’ve had a blend created by a qualified aromatherapist and mixed with a base oil it can be used in your bath or directly on your body. Neat essential oils shouldn’t be applied directly to the body/skin*.
What is Aromatherapy Massage?
Traditionally, an Aromatherapy Massage is quite gentle and flowing, my local hospice has such therapies on offer to patients and their family members. However, it is possible to combine deeper massage techniques with the wonderful properties of essential oils, indeed some oils can complement such therapy. Again, at the consultation stage we ascertain which massage style best suits your needs.
Although recent medicine has had little use for aromatherapy there are studies popping up showing its benefits in various settings; a quick search on Google Scholar unearths plenty of information. This is why it has stood the test of time and is still readily available. It is frequently used in holistic therapies and religious ceremonies across the globe.
If you are interested in learning more about specific oils I found this website contains very detailed information.
For more information on my the treatment I offer, please see Aromatherapy Massage Leeds.
*Please note the information in this blog comes from personal experience. It is not to be used for any other purpose than a general information guide about aromatherapy. Essential oils are concentrated and potent and should not be used directly on the skin. Always consult a qualified aromatherapist before using essential oils. Certain conditions, and medications may restrict the use of essential oils so always seek the advice of a doctor before use. Thank you!