Aromatherapy stands for aroma “fragrance” and therapy “treatment”. Although this description is spot on, we also need to understand the smaller details in order to fully understand Aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is a natural therapy where we use volatile plant materials, known as essential oil. When using a plant we can use anything from the berries, bark, nuts, and roots, to the leaves and even the flowers to derive these oils from.
With essential oils, as with most things in life, the purer the better. This means that the oil taken from the plant is not pre-mixed as to dilute the oil and that the oil comes from fresh plant materials. The smell of these oil are not necessarily more potent, but even the subtlest of smell will do the trick. When mixing these oils you will need only a view drops.
Now although we immediately think of massage when it comes to fragrance treatments, it can also be used on its own, by burning the oil in a burner for instance.
The idea is for the senses to do the work. What makes aromatherapy so effective is combining the power of smell with the power of touch.
How it works
By inhaling an essential oil, it gets absorbs through the olfactory system and send to the Limbic Brain, which is the emotional center of the brain. This in return stimulates a specific emotion, depending on the oil you used. Therefore we can state that Aromatherapy also has a psychological effect.
When applied on the skin, it gets absorbed through the hair follicle or the sweat glands. From there the molecule finds its way from the epidermis to the dermis and into the blood capillaries (arteries and veins). It is from here that they move to the right cell receptors, in order to regenerate and balance the affected organ. Depending on the size of the molecule, this effect can last anything from 4 to 24hours after you received your treatment.
It is a softer treatment, as we allow the oil to work and stimulate the blood flow instead of the muscle. Our capillaries are closer to the skin surface and a gentle stroking, flowing movement is just the thing you need to stimulate it. Combined with the fragrant smell of the oils and some soft back round music, you are bound to feel like a new person after your treatment and afterwards, for hours to come…