Aromatherapy as an Healing Art

Posted on June 29 2016

Aromatherapy is a type of complementary medicine that uses essential oils and other aromatic plant compounds which are aimed at improving a person's health or mood.

What is aromatherapy?

The english word ‘aromatherapy’ is derived from the French word ‘aromatherapie’, which was first coined by French chemist Gattefosse in the 1930s. He developed aromatherapy as a medically based therapy utilising essentials oils. The properties of essential oils were proven and researched and could be seen as equal to conventional drugs of the time.

Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being.

Aromatherapy, also referred to as Essential Oil therapy, can be defined as the art and science of utilising naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonises and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.  It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.

As a holistic practice, Aromatherapy is both a preventative approach as well as an active method to employ during acute and chronic stages of illness or 'dis'-ease.

How does aromatherapy work?

Aromatherapy works on a holistic level by addressing the:

  • Physical body
  • Mind
  • Soul

A holistic aromatherapy treatment aims at treating the whole person. A holistic approach  may include identification and treatment of the disease  but it does not focus exclusively on symptoms. It focuses, instead, on the development of   

The inhaled aroma from these "essential" oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing.

Application of aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is generally applied in one of three ways:

Aerial diffusion - the oils evaporate into the air. The aim is to give the air a specific fragrance or to disinfect it.

Direct inhalation - the person breaths the evaporating oils straight in. This is commonly used for respiratory disinfection, decongestion, as well as for psychological benefits.

Topical applications - applied onto the skin. Commonly used for massage, baths, and therapeutic skin care.

What can aromatherapy be used for?

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Insomnia
  • Muscular aches
  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Circulation problems
  • Digestive problems
  • Menstrual problems
  • Menopausal problems


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