Aromatherapy has been recognized as a very efficient and effective treatment for various diseases and ailments. Aromatherapy can be defined as the application of aromatherapy to treat ailments and the reduction of symptoms. Aromatherapy helps in restoration, relaxation and relief from stress and strain, improves blood circulation, enhances physical fitness, enhances the functioning of the endocrine system, increases energy level, stimulates the nervous system etc. Thus aroma therapy can be considered as a form of alternative medicine. Aromatherapy oils are the most common source of aroma therapy.
Aromatherapy can be broadly classified into two types, namely, homeopathy and topical essential oils. Homeopathic remedies are prepared from diluted plant extracts of the same genus or species used in topical ointments or pessaries. These contain no preservatives and have no distinctive taste. Homeopathically prepared products are highly effective as they work faster than any commercial preparations. Homeopathy is based on the theory that like cures like.
Topical aromatherapy includes essential oils which are diluted with carrier oils. The dilutions can range from one to two percent. Generally, essential oils are blended with carrier oils in a ratio recommended by the practitioner. This ratio depends on the nature of the medicine, its intended use and its aroma.
Homeopathy is a method of therapeutic alternative medicine, which can be used as an alternative therapy for chronic diseases and physical disorders. Homeopathy is based on the principle that like cures like. Therefore, if you suffer from chronic pain, you may combine a dose of powerful essential oil with a small dose of a mild carrier oil. Homeopathy is highly effective as it has no known side effects.
Aroma therapies refers to therapeutic massage using organic or inorganic materials. It is gaining popularity as an alternative medicine for several ailments. It can be used as a complementary therapy to conventional treatments. It involves the use of selected natural essential oils or plants in combination with light or sound to stimulate the sense of smell and facilitate relaxation.
When aroma therapy is being used, it is usually the massage therapist who provides the aroma therapy. The client, who is lying down on a table, is usually required to inhale the aroma. A light to medium pressure is applied to the ear and upper neck area, either with the hands or a massage oil such as eucalyptus or lavender oil. The oil is then inhaled by the client while he or she is lying on the table under the influence of the massage oil. It is the massage therapist who provides the therapy by applying a slow massage to the client's body using their hands, elbows, or feet.
While aromatherapy uses the concept of using the fragrance of the oil to effect an alteration in a person's consciousness, it differs from other alternative medicine practices in that the person receiving the therapy is not made to swallow an herbal concoction nor does the person have to undergo any type of physical discomfort. In aromatherapy, the person receiving the therapy does not have to take medication or wear an apparatus that keeps the aroma in the air. The reason for this is that aromatherapy does not seek to cure, treat, or prevent a disease. The treatment is more along the lines of relaxing and calming one's mind and body. While it may be considered an alternative medicine, it is not considered to be an alternative to standard medicine.
Aromatherapy can be used by anyone regardless of his or her medical background. For example, a pregnant woman can give the essential oils of lavender and rose to her unborn child to soothe him or her. A massage therapist may use essential oils like sandalwood, jasmine, and Rosemary on a patient with muscular pain, diabetic patients, or someone suffering from depression. Different aromatherapy carrier oils work better on different people, but the carrier oils are typically responsible for the aroma that is experienced.