Aromatherapy means "treatment using scents". It
is a holistic treatment of caring for the body with pleasant smelling botanical oils such
as rose, lemon, lavender and peppermint. The essential oils are added to the bath or
massaged into the skin, inhaled directly or diffused to scent an entire room. Aromatherapy
is used for the relief of pain, care for the skin, alleviate tension and fatigue and
invigorate the entire body. Essential oils can affect the mood, alleviate fatigue, reduce
anxiety and promote relaxation. When inhaled, they work on the brain and nervous system
through stimulation of the olfactory nerves.
The essential oils are aromatic essences extracted from
plants, flowers, trees, fruits, bark, grasses and seeds with distinctive therapeutic,
psychological, and physiological properties, which improve and prevent illness. There are
about 150 essential oils. Most of these oils have antiseptic properties; some are
antiviral, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antidepressant and expectorant. Other
properties of the essential oils which are taken advantage of in aromatherapy are their
stimulation, relaxation, digestion improvement, and diuretic properties. To get the
maximum benefit from essential oils, it should be made from natural, pure raw materials.
Synthetically made oils do not work.
Aromatherapy is one of the fastest growing fields in
alternative medicine. It is widely used at home, clinics and hospitals for a variety of
applications such as pain relief for women in labor pain, relieving pain caused by the
side effects of the chemotherapy undergone by the cancer patients, and rehabilitation of
Aromatherapy is already slowly getting into the mainstream.
In Japan, engineers are incorporating aroma systems into new buildings. In one such
application, the scent of lavender and rosemary is pumped into the customer area to calm
down the waiting customers, while the perfumes from lemon and eucalyptus are used in the
bank teller counters to keep the staff alert.
Next Topic: History of Aromatherapy
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