Aromatherapy is an alternative medicine practice involving the use of essential oils derived from various plants, such as herbs, and some flowers, that have medicinal properties. The therapies involve either inhaling the fumes of the oil, as they are diffused in the patient’s environment, or sometimes applying them to the skin, especially in specific areas of the body that allow for high absorption rates.
One of the primary benefits of aromatherapy is one that most people will recognise. Pleasant aromas are a known method for relaxing the mind and body. Many home practitioners use aromatherapy for stress relief in their bathing, or through the use of home diffusers. Lemon, lavender, and peppermint are three of the best known scents for stress relief.
Aromatherapy is also commonly used to combat the feelings of mild depression. The same mood boosting properties that help to reduce stress can also be beneficial in reducing depression symptoms. Aromatherapy is generally considered a companion therapy with counselling.
Most people recognise the strong connection between scent and memory, with some scents bringing back vivid memories of places, or people from our pasts. Sage oil, among others, is commonly used as an alternative therapy in persons suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Various natural substances are known to enhance energy, and essential oils are a great way to get more energy without the inherent risks of chemical stimulants. One thing that essential oils are known to do, that can increase energy, is to improve circulation and blood flow.
The stimulant properties of essential oils, makes them a natural for use in healing from injury, or medical procedures. Skin and muscle both react well to certain essential oils. Lavender, for example, is a great oil for reducing bruises and speeding healing.
If you’d like to learn more about essential oils in your own health regimen, be sure to seek out a skilled practitioner and consult your doctor before stopping or starting medications, or using supplements.
If you’re interested in learning more about aromatherapy, or natural healthcare, contact us at Paramount College. We are one of the few universities in Western Australia offering degrees and courses in complementary therapies.