Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils, often through massage. Individual blends are prepared by the practitioner, in a base of cold pressed oil and then applied to the patient's skin through a remedial or relaxing massage. It is important that they are not used directly on the skin, as burning or rashes could occur.
As a holistic treatment, aromatherapy can have a profound effect on physical and psychological well-being. There exists the belief that scent, as the most enduring of our senses, has the power to transform our emotions, and heal our bodies.
The essential oils used in aromatherapy are extracted from plants and herbs to treat conditions ranging from infections and skin disorders to immune deficiencies and stress. When aromas are detected in the nasal cavity, impressions associated with previous experiences and emotions are created. Combining this with the fact that the parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and hormone balance are also related to the nasal cavity, it is evident that the use of essential oils contributes to and achieves many physiological or psychological effects.
Some common oils and their uses include:
The benefits of essential oils can be obtained through inhalation or by external application. Aromatherapy is easy to practice, readily available, and effective as a therapy, but should be used with care.
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