Aromatherapy as a means of healing Body, Mind and Spirit 

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Aromatherapy is possibly the best known of all the massage disciplines in the Western world today. Unfortunately Aromatherapy is also practiced in many beauty parlours, often with scant knowledge by the beautician, which may result in a pleasant experience but is unlikely to deliver the therapeutic benefits of Aromatherapy that the true practitioners can.

It is claimed that aromatherapy was initiated by the Egyptians over six thousand years ago although there is also evidence that the use of Aromatherapy aromatic oils can also be traced that far back in the history of Ayurveda, from India, and many other races.

Aromatherapy combines the benefits of a gentle massage with the therapeutic benefit of specific oils for the treatment of anything from a vague sense of discomfort to very specific symptoms of ailments.

Smells, or aromas, are particular (i.e. our olfactory organs sense these smells by absorbing very small quantities of the substance itself from the air that we breathe). The application of Aromatherapy is therefore a combination of the soothing aspects that the aroma has on many of the senses, the effect of the trace elements absorbed by the olfactory organs and the absorption of the substance through the skin.

Essential Oils, the stock in trade of Aromatherapy, constituents are mostly Monoterpenes. Monoterpene molecules are very small and are easy to absorb through the skin but are often skin irritants.

Because of this a professional, practitioner of Aromatherapy will test for allergic reactions and other contraindications before embarking on an Aromatherapy course. Aromatherapy Massaging is only one of the methods of use, Aromatherapy bathing, Aromatherapy steam inhalation, Aromatherapy vaporising and Aromatherapy compresses are also used by Aromatherapy practitioners depending on the objective of the application or sometimes the preference of the client.

The Aromatherapy oils themselves are incredibly important. Any adulteration of the Aromatherapy oils used could fundamentally change the outcome of the therapy.  Method of extraction of the essential oil as well as different methods of procurement from different parts of the plant and even different aged plants changes not only the aroma of the end result but also its Aromatherapy therapeutic value and effect. 

In aromatherapy the consistent quality of the oils is very important. Over the last decade we have seen many boutique blenders succeed in the production of a restricted and high quality product as well as many others that specialise in producing high quality plant extracts. With this level of specialisation, the quality of the oils (often blended to a particular requirement) has improved dramatically allowing Aromatherapy practitioners to focus on the techniques of Aromatherapy application rather than the creation of the oils.

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