How does Aromatherapy work?
Aromatherapy uses the concentrated essential oils of various plants for therapeutic purposes. While commonly associated with pleasant applications for beauty and general relaxation, essential oils have complex chemical components that, like herbs, have medicinal properties that affect the body in a variety of ways. Essential oils are made up of very small molecules, which means they can easily bring their unique healing properties to every cell of the body. They are traditionally used to help ease muscular aches and pains, improve circulation, ease sinus congestion, alleviate tension and fatigue and invigorate the entire body. They also have a positive effect on the skin, penetrating into the deeper layers to encourage the process of cellular renewal, enhance blood circulation and help problems such as acne, eczema and ageing skin.
As well as affecting the body, ancient and modern aromatherapists also consider that the mind is also treated with positive results. Linked to the areas of the brain governing instinct, memory and emotion, our sense of smell is the most primitive of our senses. Through the pathways between smell and the deep centres of the brain, essential oils can have a dynamic effect on our emotional state. They can help transform our moods and move us from one state of mind to another by working on the brain and nervous system through stimulation of the olfactory nerves.
What to expect
After discussions on your initial visit your medical history and lifestyle is noted and the treatment designed around your specific needs and goals. In some cases it may be necessary to obtain your doctor’s permission prior to starting treatment. (All client records are stored securely). The varieties and properties of essential oils will be explained and the specific blend chosen; it may be necessary to carry out a skin test for allergic reaction. You will then be left to disrobe, lie on the massage couch and cover as appropriate with the towels provided (the therapist uncovers only the part of the body being worked on). Meanwhile selected essential oils will be blended with a carrier oil. Soothing music plays and fragrant candles are used for relaxation. After applying the blend to your body, massage strokes are performed in a sequence determined by your particular needs.The type of massage strokes and amount of pressure applied is specific to each client’s needs, and are similar to two used in Swedish Massage, effleurage (sliding) and petrissage (kneading).
Aromatherapy is considered safe for teenagers through to the elderly. However, unlike most other forms of therapy, aromatherapy is unsuitable for babies and young children. Children differ from adults in how they respond to essential oils. Their immune systems have not fully developed and they are overall less able to deal with any adverse effects; children are also more sensitive to aromas and as their bodies are smaller than an adult’s they don’t need the same amount of oil, reduced dilution rates are necessary. Children may also be allergic to some oils, for example Peppermint should not be used for children under age 6, and Eucalyptus is to be avoided on or around children under age 10.
Aromatherapy is a holistic therapy that treats the whole person and results in many health benefits –
- lowered anxiety
- eased depression
- higher energy levels
- faster healing
- fewer if any headaches
- better sleep
- less pain
- strengthened immune system
- improved digestion
- increased circulation.
Women benefit from positive effects on the endocrine system in addition to the above. hormone production by the endocrine system.
Following an aromatherapy session most clients report a general feeling of well-being and enhanced mood.
Are there any side effects?
Aromatherapy can produce side effects in some people but most of them are positive, it varies between individuals and of course according to the condition under treatment. You should feel relaxed and possibly a bit tired, but enjoy the overall experience.
Following your session, you will be given water, continue drinking lots of water as this flushes out toxins. Wait 10 minutes before driving or operating machinery. Avoid alcohol and caffeine intake as they dehydrate the tissues and add toxin. Avoid strenuous exercise and do not eat a heavy meal, rest to allow your body time to rebalance. Leave oils on for up to 8 hours and avoid bath/shower/steam rooms/swimming/sunbathing for up to 24 hours to prolong treatment effects. Comprehensive After-care information will be given and explained to you after your session.
If you have any concerns after treatment or between sessions do not hesitate to contact me right away.