What Is Aromatherapy ?
Aromatherapy is an alternative healing practice that uses the aromatic properties of essential oils to improve physical and psychological well being.
Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment which utilizes naturally derived plant extracts (essential oils).
How long has aromatherapy been around?
Aromatherapy has been around since the ancient times but it has only recently come back into fashion. Essential oils have been used for nearly 6000 years. Ancient societies in Greece, China, India and Egypt have incorporated aromatic plant extracts in oils, cosmetic products and medicinal healing.
Many ancient Greek physicians tested the healing powers of essential oils including Asclepius (1200 BC),the first known clinician to use essentials oils in surgery and Hippocrates, he is widely considered the father of medicine.
The Ancient Egyptian civilisation have been known to have applied essential oils for relaxation, cosmetic and healing purposes. As the Egyptian empire collapsed around 300 BC, Europe became the hub of empirical medicine, where new methods were evolving into a more scientifically based system of healing.
Avicenna, a 10th century Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, thinkers and writers of the islamic golden age and the father of early modern medicine is credited with the development of steam distillation of Rose Essential oil. Avicenna used this process to distill Rose essence, steam distillation is the very foundation of armomatherraoy and is currently the most used method of distillation today.
During the Renaissance, physicians, pharmacies and chemists published books in Europe about aromatic remedies and the use of aromatherapy and essential oils for pharmaceutical purposes and relaxation. By this point, aromatherapy had cemented its place in European society.
How does Aromatherapy treatment work?
Essential oils are inhaled through the nose, they can be also applied directly to the skin through massage or a compress and also added to baths.
Essential oils work through the absorption of aromatic molecules through nasal and skin cells. Aromatherapy is believed to impact the nasal canal by stimulating smell receptors, which then sends signals through the nervous system to the limbic system; the part of the brain that controls emotions, instincts and survival.
Scientists believe the activity of the nerve signal passing through this region of the brain causes mood changes by modifying brain chemistry.Through inhalation, aromatic molecules travel internally through the body and are absorbed through blood vessels. Whereas, topically, essential oil molecules travel through the epidermis (the top layer of the skin),reaching the dermis (deeper layer of the skin)and to the blood vessels allowing them to flow throughout the body.
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