Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Aromatherapy as Medicine

This is a bit of read but really helps to explain what an Aromatherapist is and how it works…

The ancient Greeks may have been the first to consider yarrow a medicine. It was initially used to treat digestive problems. However, it can also be used to heal wounds, especially moderate burns. Likewise, goldenrod (with its anti-inflammatory qualities) and calendula (that increases blood flow) must be added to the list of plants as medicines. This is the area of Naturopaths and Homeopaths, a form of Holistic healing.

Nowadays, use of alternative and complementary therapies with mainstream medicine has gained the momentum. Aromatherapy is one of the complementary therapies, which use essential oils as the major therapeutic agents to treat several diseases. The essential or volatile oils are extracted from the flowers, barks, stem, leaves, roots, fruits and other parts of the plant by various methods. It came into existence after the scientists deciphered the antiseptic and skin permeability properties of essential oils.

Aromatherapy derived its name from the word aroma, which means fragrance or smell and therapy, which means treatment. This therapy is a natural way of healing a person’s mind, body and soul. Many ancient civilisations like Egypt, China and India have used this as a popular complementary and alternative therapy from at least 6000 years. Aromatherapy has established itself for the treatment of various arrays of complications and conditions. Literature survey reveals that this therapy has gained a lot of attention in the late 20th century and is very popular in the 21st century too, and due to its importance, popularity and widespread use, it is recognised as aroma science therapy.

There are various methods by which they are administered in small quantity like inhalation, massage or simple applications on the skin surface and rarely, they are taken internally. Inhalation and the external application of these oils for the treatment of mental and physical balance are the very basics of aromatherapy. The therapy of these oils is known to relieve the stress, rejuvenate and regenerate the individual for a next day’s work. Olfactory nerves from nose to the brain are the site of action for these essential oils. These oils have well proven antibacterial, antibiotic, and antiviral properties and many published reports elsewhere as well as folkloric practitioners have suggested them to be useful in many other diseases like Alzheimer, cardiovascular, cancer and labour pain in pregnancy etc.

The use of aromatherapy in holistic medicine has taken a long leap within a couple of years. A number of studies have been carried out to study the effects of this therapy on human brain and its emotions. Its role in mood, alertness, and mental stress in healthy subjects was a topic of hot discussion among scientific community recently. Some researchers tried to investigate the effects on work ability, reaction time, and some spontaneous actions on the brain through electroencephalograph patterns and functional imaging studies. This therapy was found to be superior when compared to synthetic odours. Synthetic fragrances generally contain irritants, like solvents and propellants causing irritation in some people.

How does it work?

For centuries, the essential oils have found their importance as a fragrance with a curative potential on the body, mind and spirit. These aroma molecules are very potent organic plant chemicals that make the surroundings free from disease, bacteria, virus and fungus. Their versatile character of antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory nature along with immune booster body with hormonal, glandular, emotional, circulatory, calming effect, memory and alertness enhancer, is well documented by many scientists, These oils are known for their energy specific character, as their potency is not lost with time and age. The stimulation properties of these oils lay in their structure which are closely in resemblance with actual hormones. Their effects are also complex and subtle due to their complex structure and chemical properties. The mechanism of their action involves integration of essential oils into a biological signal of the receptor cells in the nose when inhaled. The signal is transmitted to limbic and hypothalamus parts of the brain via olfactory bulb. These signals cause brain to release neuro messengers like serotonin, endorphin etc., to link our nervous and other body systems assuring a desired change and to provide a feeling of relief. Serotonin, endorphin and noradrenalin are released from calming oil, euphoric, and stimulating oil respectively to give expected effect on mind and body.

Medical doctors became more established in the 19th century and focused on using chemical drugs. However, the French and German doctors still recognised the role of natural botanicals in treating illness.

The term “aromatherapy” was coined by a French perfumer and chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé, in a book he wrote on the topic that was published in 1937. He had previously discovered the healing potential of lavender in treating burns.

You may wish to meet with a certified aromatherapist, like myself, especially when you’re first getting started with aromatherapy or if you have specific issues you’d like to address.

During a consultation with an aromatherapist, you’ll answer questions and talk about your lifestyle and health. Together, you can come up with an individual treatment plan to meet your goals and manage your symptoms. You may have a few sessions with your aromatherapist, or you could decide to have ongoing sessions for a longer period of time.

Since aromatherapy is a complementary therapy, you should talk to your doctor before starting your sessions. That way your essential oil therapy can be tailored to work together with any medical care or treatment you’re receiving.

Consultations with an aromatherapist will vary depending on several factors, including where you live. You can expect to pay up to $100 for an initial consultation and up to $50 for follow-up consultations. In my case I offer first consultation for $88.00 and $50 for follow up’s.

Glenda Bell – Aromatherapist, Essentially Basics
Phone: 0423 659 425
Facebook: Essentially Basics
Instagram: essentiallybasics