Aromatherapy encompasses a wide range of homeopathic practices designed to treat ailments using essential oils and other aromatic plant compounds. The use of scent is the main focus of the treatment because the belief is that different aromas can incite different emotions. This can be done by warming the oils to release the scent in the room or using them in massage oils and incorporating them with other alternative treatments, like massage, acupressure, acupuncture, Reiki, reflexology and others.
Aromatherapy can be a beneficial part of your overall treatment program, decreasing your levels of stress and helping you to feel calmer. Contact us today to learn more about aromatherapy sessions or to find a mental health treatment program that can incorporate aromatherapy into your treatment plan.
*Disorders That May Benefit From Aromatherapy Treatment
Aromatherapy is most effective in treating mental health issues and physical ailments that are related to or caused by high emotions. Some disorders that may benefit from aromatherapy treatment include:
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Body aches and pains
- Premenstrual symptoms
The immune system, memory and blood pressure may also benefit positively from aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy Essential Oils
Unlike other oils that are scented (e.g., household air fresheners, perfumes, colognes), essential oils used for aromatherapy are distilled for highest potency and there are no added chemicals. According to Medical News Today, aromatherapy makes use of the lighter phytomolecules in the plant, and it is believed that inhaling the scent stimulates the olfactory system, which sends a message to the part of the brain that controls emotion. The scent of different oils may make you feel relaxed, happy or stimulated.
*Is Aromatherapy Scientifically Proven to Work?
There have been few studies done on the efficacy of aromatherapy in the treatment of specific physical or mental ailments, but there have been studies to show beneficial effects in patients in overall feelings of relaxation, stress relief, and relief of depression and grief through the use of aromatherapy.
Different scents are believed to incite different emotions in the person who smells them. Some of the most common include:
- Rosemary: Increased energy
- Lavender: Lowered stress
- Ylang ylang: Increased mood
- Peppermint: Increased energy
- Jasmine: Increased relaxation
- Chamomile: Aids in sleep
Precautions for Aromatherapy
There are few precautions for the use of aromatherapy scents unless they are incorporated into oils and used for massage. It is important to:
- Have a professional create aromatherapy oils so the right proportion of oil is used.
- Discontinue the use of any oils if you notice a skin reaction of any kind.
- Let your aromatherapist know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding as some plants and essential oils are contraindicated.
- Avoid open wounds or skin rashes when applying essential oils.
What to Expect During an Aromatherapy Session
If you incorporate aromatherapy scents into another alternative healing session, you may be asked to pick a scent that soothes you before you begin. Your therapist will simply allow the scent to fill the room while he or she performs the alternative therapy. If aromatherapy massage is the focus, then essential oils added to the lotion will be applied to the areas of the body where you will be massaged.