Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to promote wellness and health. Aromatic plant materials have been used in rituals and medicines since ancient times and modern aromatherapy continues this tradition. Natural essential oils are used to promote emotional and physical health and wellbeing. Oils can be used in many ways; they can be vaporised, used in massage, in a bath, in creams and lotions, to mention just a few.
Aromatherapy is used in a wide range of settings, from health spas to hospitals to treat a variety of conditions. Research has identified that aromatherapy is particularly effective at aiding relaxation, thus giving deeper and more restful sleep. Yet it’s benefits don’t stop there; among many more benefits aromatherapy helps to relieve pain and improve mood. Oils such as lavender, rose, orange, bergamot, lemon and sandalwood have shown to relieve anxiety, stress and depression.
Several clinical studies suggest that when essential oils (particularly rose, lavender, and frankincense) were used by qualified midwives, pregnant women felt less anxiety and fear, had a stronger sense of well being and had less need for pain medications during delivery. Many women also report that peppermint oil relieves nausea and vomiting during labour as well as during the first trimester.
Essential oils can be used in many ways with babies and children as well as adults. Some of the methods of use include use in baths, on tissues, through diffusion as well as through massage, to mention just a few.
However, it is very important to remember that essential oils are extremely concentrated and very powerful. They should only be used under the instruction of a fully qualified clinical aromatherapist.