Aromatherapy


Would you like to have a bath or get a massage that leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated? Your friend has, probably, suggested that if you use a few drops of lavender oil in your bath daily, your skin will start glowing and you will start feeling younger. If you have started following her advice, you have already started on your own “home version” of aromatherapy.

In case you haven’t tried aromatherapy already we suggest that you try it out. It is, apparently, a new treatment but you may be surprised to know that it has been in existence for more than six thousand years. Talk of a “time-tested” therapy! Aromatherapy oils were used by the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans. Use of aromatherapy oils have been known to have a rejuvenating effect on the body. “Lavender” is, in fact, one very popular ingredient in aromatherapy oils. Aromatherapy is gaining increasing popularity in the US and if not anything else “aromatherapy” has a very high “feel good” factor to it.

What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a branch of alternative medicine that utilizes naturally extracted fragrant essences from plants to provide a complete rejuvenation of the mind, body and spirit.

These essences can be volatile plant materials or essential oils and other “redolent” (strong smelling) compounds extracted from certain special plants. Aromatherapy is a generic term used to indicate any of the practices that make use of essential oils. Aromatherapy offers a holistic treatment which means that it heals the entire body and is a popular concept in the West.

Each of these essential oils has their own natural scent, which have their unique healing actions on the human body. The various conditions, for which aromatherapy treatments can be used, include respiratory and digestive disorders, muscle pains, infections and bowel problems. Aromatherapy can boost immune systems, improve circulation, help in reliving stress and be used in beauty and hair products.

Where did it originate?

Aromatherapy dates back to more than 6000 years. Aromatherapy oils were widely used by Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Imhotep, the ancient Egyptian physician had advocated the use of perfumed oils in baths and massages, more than 6000 years back. The father of modern medicine-Hippocrates, also used scented fumes to rid the city of Athens of plague. But the term “aromatherapy” as we use it today was first coined by French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé in 1928.

Is aromatherapy a licensed medicinal practice?

Aromatherapy is not a licensed medical practice in the US. There are no state regulations for it, nor does it have state licensure or laws that apply to the practice of aromatherapy. In other words, it cannot be used as a mode of treatment on its own. Usually aromatherapy practitioners integrate it with the profession in which they actually have a license. A massage therapist or a naturopath physician may use aromatherapy as a part of the overall treatment. If anyone wants to provide aromatherapy services on its own, they can only do so within the limits of the codes and ethics of the “National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.” An aromatherapist will not be able to diagnose or prescribe treatments but can act as a consultant and make suggestions. For more information on this, we suggest you take a look at the “FAQ” section of www.naha.org