Science of Aromatherapy: An Insight into the History, Benefits, and Research
Aromatherapy involves the science and art of using various herbs to relax your body. The most common aromatherapy resources include essential oils, candles, and soaps. The release of fragrance or aroma forms the basis of aromatherapy that brings calmness to the mind and body. Apart from helping you to soothe the mind and eliminate stress, the therapy is also used to treat several illnesses such as headaches, insomnia, asthma, eczema, and more. In fact, aromatherapy benefits are also being considered for treating diseases such as autism.
History of Aromatherapy
Ancient Egyptians first used the powerful benefits of aromatherapy by extracting oils from plants. The concept has also been used by Romans and Greeks, while it was the former that gave it the name aromatherapy. For centuries, aromatherapy is being practiced in China to relax and heal the body. The treatment is used to rejuvenate and calm the body and is also used for sensual pleasure. Aromatherapy is believed to improve blood circulation, increase oxygen in blood and enhancing the immune system.
Aromatherapy is an ancient practice that was used to promote health and well-being. It consists of pure essential oils extracted from various plants. These are cold-preserved or distilled from different parts of the plant such as the flower, root, bark, leaf, fruit, and more. Egyptians have extracted aromatherapy oils from nutmeg, ceder, cinnamon, clove, wood, and myrrh. Even our ancestors would inhale the sweet aroma extracted from the various medicinal plants and herbs which would stimulate the mind.
Use of natural essential oils became popular when Rene- Maurice Gattefosse applied the technique of distilling the essence to heal the body. The chemist wondered whether the sensational smell could as well be used to relax the mind. During some of his experiments he accidently discovered the healing touches of these oils that not only provided relaxation t the mind and body but also treated illnesses.
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a proven technique to reduce stress and discomfort of the body such as headache or pain. Scientists have been researching on aromatherapy and its various health benefits. The use of appropriate oils has intensely powerful results both on the mind and body. Aromatherapy products work differently on different people. In fact, aromatherapy bath salts for soak have a calming effect that releases stress. Lavender has a relaxing effect when rubbed on the human body. It helps reduce and manage anxiety and stress levels.
After a busy day at work, simply rejuvenate in the soothing aroma of essential oils. Aromatherapy influences emotions positively. Various salons use lavender essential oil to help clients unwind after a stressful day. Given that lifestyles have become extremely hectic and need for relaxation is vital today, aromatherapy appeals to a lot of people due to its unmatched benefits and soothing effects.
Various clients and hospitals treat patients with the aromatherapy procedure to put their aches to ease. The treatment impacts the central nervous system to relieve stress and anxiety, uplift, relax, sedate, and improve both the physical and emotional well-being. Aromatherapy signals a special part of the brain that controls the emotions to relax and reduce stress. The aroma controls the emotions. Essential oils seep through the sebaceous layer and reaches deep into the dermis. Essential oils are absorbed into the skin pores to reach the blood stream working through lymphatic and connective tissues. The oils gradually penetrate the skin reaching down the sensory nervous system.
Aromatherapy is already popular with the various massages performed at spas and leading salons worldwide. The age-old practice is recognized as a healing therapy for the mind and body that soothes countless ailments. Today, aromatherapy is recognized as an important component that provides similar benefits with common uses for relaxation and stress relief. Here are some of the many benefits of aromatherapy that soothes and refreshes your mind while working into the nervous system to treat illnesses.
Essential oils are able to reduce stress and anxiety by soothing the stress hormone cortisol. The essential oil rosemary is known for its reinvigorating benefits that relieves stress and induces relaxation. A blend of essential oils together results in complex aromas that create an appealing effect. Essential oil synergy or the combination of oils is a powerful combination of natural properties that relieves the senses and improves functioning of the mind.
With lifestyle demands being so stressful today, it often effects on our mind and body. Sleep disorder or insomnia is common. Aromatherapy helps prevent sleep related problems and is one of the most popular among alternative therapies presently. Use of essential oils topically stimulates the brains limbic system that basically controls mood and emotion. Hence, aromatherapy can not only bring calmness and relaxation but you will actually wake up feeling refreshed.
Treats stomach problems
Treat intestinal gas, stomach pain, nausea, belching with the aid of aromatherapy. It controls digestive issues mostly in children with difficulty to swallow medicines. The brain is signaled that food is on its way such that it increases flow of digestive juices and thus alleviates a number of stomach issues.
Treats chronic asthma
Asthma irritation can be treated with the help of aromatherapy. Wheezing caused due to air pushed through the bronchial passage results in frequent asthma attack. Aromatherapy treatment using decongestant essential oils provides increased relief when applied on the chest directly.
Improves skin complexion
Aromatherapy is powerful to alleviate various skin conditions. Dry skin when left untreated can result in wrinkling and premature aging. Hence, the use of aromatherapy treats flakiness of skin while keeping it moist, supple and youthful. It also deals with more serious skin condition like psoriasis and eczema. There are many aromatherapy oils that provide anti-inflammatory benefits to the skin to remove dryness and prevent redness.
Reduces PMS symptoms
Often a cause of serous emotional and mental issue, PMS is something that most women have to struggle during the days of their period, every month. Aromatherapy is the perfect way to reduce depression, mood swings, irritation, tenderness, and bloating.
Research and studies
Rising popularity of aromatherapy has prompted research work into the ancient therapy. Most of the studies conducted show the positive impact of using the medicinal therapy. At a study in Hong Kong, researchers found how the effectiveness of aromatherapy to cure depression and its symptoms. Controlled case studies further prove the benefit of using the treatment process to cure depression and most importantly prevent its onset.
In fact, aromatherapy is being seen as an alternative medicinal treatment. After about 4-weeks of treatment it was found that more people are likely to show improved control over emotional feelings such as anxiety and stress. It provides potential treatment for a number of psychiatric disorders compared to the traditional drugs.
Recent science shows how aromatherapy is an effective way to treat various issues of the mind as body. Its use provides a boost to various conditions of depression, stress, anxiety and improving overall immune functions.