What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy (*) uses plant materials and aromatic plant oils, including essential oils, and other aroma compounds, with claims for improving psychological or physical well-being. It is offered as a complementary therapy or as a form of alternative medicine, the first meaning alongside standard treatments, the second instead of conventional, evidence-based treatments. “Aroma” derives from the Greek word for spice and “therapy” means treatment. Aromatherapy massage literally means curative treatment by the use of scent.
Aromatherapy in History
Many powers have been attributed to fragrant plants, and they have been used throughout history in the pursuit of happiness and health as part of medicine, religion, magic and cosmetics. In early civilizations, scented woods and oils were burned to communicate with gods or to exorcize demos, and incense still features in religious ceremonies. Massage with aromatic oils has also been used to soften and perfume the skin and to promote healing. (**)
Using Massage oil
Oil helps the hands glide smoothly over the body. For a full body massage, you will need about 20 ml of carrier oil, to which you can add a few drops of essential oil. The amount of oil you use will depend on the dryness of the skin.
Top 5 fragrances
- Chamomile – One of the gentlest of oils, chamomile has a very soothing effect and is well suited to treating children. It was revered by the Ancient Egyptians and has long been associated with herbal medicine.
- Orange – Native to asia, the better, or Seville, orangetree is thought to have been introduced to Europe along Arab trade routes around AD 1200. The tree gained popularity in Spain under Moorish rule, bue as oranges were scarce and expansive, they were not greatly used in European herbal medicine util the late 17th century. By the 18th century, they were being recommended for an enormous variety of complaints, ranging from melancholia to heart problems and colic. The tree yields three essential citrus oils: orange, neroli, and petitgram. Today all are used to calm the nerves and combat insomnia.
- Bergamot – widely used in Italian folk medicine, bergamot takes its name from an Italian village where it was used traditionally for reducing fevers. The delighful perfume is an important ingredient in Eau de Cologne and the citrus oil is used to flavour Earl Grey tea. Bergamot oil has an uplifting effect that seems to help allay depression, and nearly everyone likes its fresh, citrus-like aroma.
- Eucalyptus – Easily recognized by its camphor-like vapour, eucalyptus is the classic remedy for respiratory problems and is contained in many commercial products for colds and sinus congestion. It is also used for chest complaints, musculo-skeletal problems, and to purify the air. Originally from Australia, the tree was introduced to Europe in the late 18th century, and distilled commercially in the 1850s.
- Lavander – is probably the most versatile and widely used essential oil. Deriving its name from the Latin lavare, to wash, it may have been used by the Romans in bath water. Due to its sedative nature, lavander has long been recommended as a folk remedy for insomnia, for example in herbal pillows. Recently it has been employed in many hospitals to help patients relax and sleep better.
Aromatherapy massage is an art that operates through the empathy between the person giving the massage, the person receiving it and the aroma of the oils. each blend of oils is individual, determinated by the scents the recipient prefers and by their desired effect, wheter it is to relieve minor ailments, to pamper with an aromatic beauty treatment, or simply to ease tension with a full body massage.
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* Wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aromatherapy
**Book: “Clare Maxwell-Hudson’s” – Aromatheraphy massage book – Dorling Kindersley