Aromatherapy is one of these frequent therapies. Aromatherapy incorporates the medicinal properties of herbs with oil massages.
Aromatherapy can be found in one of the five therapy categories defined by the National Health Institutes and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and can provide a therapeutic experience approaching it with proper knowledge.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for the benefit of psychological and physical wellbeing,
Aromatherapy is the skilled and controlled use of essential oils for physical and emotional health and well being."
"Aromatherapy conveys the concept of healing with aromatic substances." Robert Tisserand
"Aromatherapy is a caring, hands-on therapy which seeks to induce relaxation, to increase energy, to reduce the effects of stress and to restore lost balance to mind, body, and soul." Robert Tisserand
"Aromatherapy can be defined as the controlled use of essential oils to maintain and promote physical, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing."
Aromatherapy can be described as the art and science of using aromatic essences obtained from plants.
It is both a preventive strategy and an effective technique to use during acute and chronic phases of illness.
When we approach Aromatherapy from a holistic perspective, its function is to balance, harmonize, and encourage the health of body, mind, and spirit.
The French Rene Maurice Gattefosse came up with the term "aromatherapie" in 1928.
He adopted the term to suggest that aromatic substances (essential oils) can be used therapeutically.
Aromatherapy has encompassed the human pathology and therapy of various characteristics( mental and physical).
As Aromatherapy evolved into a procedure, it embraced a holistic methodology that includes the body, mind, and soul.
It was not until the 20th century when the term "Aromatherapy" was used for the first time — however, the foundations of Aromatherapy date back around for 6000 years or more.
Notably, the use of vital oils dates back approximately 1,000 years.
Probably, one of the first civilizations to use aromatic plants for wellbeing may have been Chinese. Their methods involved burning incense sticks to produce a state of equilibrium and harmony.
Greeks, Romans, and ancient Egyptians used aromatherapy oils.
The Egyptians created a rudimentary distillery machine for crude cedarwood oil extraction.
Some models of distillation machines were also developed in India and Persia.
The Egyptian physician Imhotep proposed the use of oils almost 6000 years ago for washing massage, and to embalm their deceased.
In Egyptian mythology, Imhotep is the god of medicine and healing.
The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, used baths of Aromatherapy and fragranced massage. He used aromatic fumigations to expel the plague from Athens.
The modern era of aromatherapy is dawned in 1930 when the French chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse coined the term aromatherapy for the therapeutic use of essential oils. He was fascinated by the benefits of lavender oil in healing his burned hand without leaving any scars. He started investigating the effect of other essential oils for healing and their psychotherapeutic benefits.
Dr. Jean Valnet, the French army surgeon, used essential oils as antiseptics during World War II. Later, Madame Marguerite Maury employed Aromatherapy as a holistic therapy. She began to prescribe essential oils to her clients as a cure.
Robert B. Tisserand is an English aromatherapist accountable for having brought aromatherapy knowledge and education to English speaking nations. He published books and papers, including The Art of Aromatherapy, which was extremely valued in 1977.
The Art of Aromatherapy was the first aromatherapy book published in English.
From the mid 20th century and into the 21st century, there has been an increasing tendency to use more natural products for medicinal, cosmetic, and aromatic purposes, including essential oils.
The use of essential oils has never discontinued, but the scientific revolution has kept to a minimum the attraction and application of essential oils.
Essential oils are concentrated extracts from plant roots, leaves, seeds, or flowers.
Each has its balance of active elements, and this combination determines what the oil is being used.
For instance, some oils are used to enhance physical healing to cure swelling or fungal infections.
Some are used for their mental and emotional significance - they can improve relaxation or scent the environment.
Orange blossom oil includes a significant amount of an active ingredient considered to be soothing for mental calmness.
There are ten necessary Essential Oils highly regarded in Aromatherapy.
It is usually recognized that essential oils by the external application can enhance skin and scalp and can enhance mood merely by providing a pleasant aroma such as a perfume in the space.
There are three ways that aromatherapy can be used therapeutically, and they include inhalation, direct application, and internally. The most popular practice of aromatherapy is inhalation. Essential oils can be inhaled in various ways. One method places oils drop on a cloth, and they are inhaled. Another way is to add the oil to hot water and breathe in the steam.
Diffusers are available to cover large areas and work well with essential oils. The direct method uses a carrier oil or lotion before treatment to dilute the essential oils before application.
It is possible to add essential oils to a warm bath and to absorb them through the skin.
During massage therapy, essential oils are also used to enhance stress relief.
It is also possible to use the essential oils together with hot or cold compresses.
The internal consumption of essential oils should always be used under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.
However, some essential oils, such as tea tree and sage, mixed with water, can be used as a sore throat remedy.
The most efficient and conventional methods of all the various ways of using essential oils are inhalation and combined with massage therapy.
Internal therapies may result from the initial ingestion of essential oils (in European aromatherapy, but hardly in North America). Another approach to reaching inner cells is to inhale the aromatic molecules.
The inhaled molecules react with nerves in the olfactory bulb and relay nerve messages to the limbic system or are absorbed into the bloodstream by thin membranes of the nose, bronchioles, and lungs.
It is now also well recognized that essential oil elements can be carried within the internal organs through the skin.
The use of skin patches has become a standard mechanism for dispensing pharmaceuticals. These various mechanisms have lead one author to remark that she prefers the phrase “essential oil therapy” to “aromatherapy” because the oils are not always inhaled and don’t necessarily smell good (Halcon 2002).
More recent literature has supported and expanded our knowledge of the details of these mechanisms. Richard Axel and Linda Buck won the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their research (Axel & Buck 1991) clarifying in molecular detail the gene coding of odorant receptors. An unexpected result was that of all the genes that code for olfactory receptor molecules, each olfactory receptor cells expresses only one gene.
Different combinations of receptors detect different odors. It is the combinatorial power of multiple receptors, each distinguishing a limited piece of the odorant code, that results in our ability to identify and form memories of more than 10,000 different odors (Nobelprize.org 2004).
Jager observed absorption through the skin in 1992. When a 2% solution was applied over the abdomen, 10% of the perfume was taken into the general body circulation with plasma concentrations rising after 20 minutes.
Levels of linalool and linalyl acetate, active constituents of lavender oil, dropped to zero after 90 minutes. During this period after application, the lavender oil constituents were circulated to the tissue via capillaries. Potentially higher levels of absorption are likely across the highly vascular cribriform plate in the nose with a direct pathway to the brain (Jager 1992).
Many anesthetics recognized as the uptake and dispersal system (Eger 1998), like many essential oils, are aliphatic hydrocarbon chains.
Geiger speculates that the action of anesthetics may conceivably be applied to explain some of the activities of essential oils at the cellular level. Intranuclear protein synthesis from DNA may be involved in the action of constituents of scent at the cellular level (Frondoza et al. 2004).
Increasing numbers of in vitro and in vivo research studies, report the particular activities of essential oils, especially anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal characteristics.
A growing number of in vitro and in vivo studies document the specific actions of essential oils, particularly anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Baylac and Racine ( 2003) suspected that the mechanism for anti-inflammatory properties of some essential oils is inhibition of enzymatic reactions in the epidermis and other tissues.
They evaluated 32 essential oils, 10 absolutes, and 26 chemical constituents in vitro for their ability to inhibit 5-lipooxygenase, a necessary enzyme in a complex case of inflammatory events. Many of the oils used in aromatherapy for inflammation (e.g., myrrh, Copaiba balsam, Himalayan cedar, sandalwood, juniper berry, and German Chamomile) had solid to good activity.
The authors were surprised to find other essential oils, primarily Citrus species also had intense activity in vitro, but were not reportedly used in aromatherapy for inflammation.
Roman chamomile, which is used for inflammation in aromatherapy, had reduced activity, which suggests that other modes of action are responsible for its anti-inflammatory activity.
The authors were also able to compare the activity of individual constituents of the essential oils (Baylac & Racine 2003). Anti-inflammatory effects in vivo due to both lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase inhibition have been reported earlier for clove essential oils (Saeed & Gilani 1994).
Aromatherapy can render relaxation. At present, it is commonly used in the management of various conditions.
It has also been used in the treatment of:
Aromatherapy is part of mind-body medicine as it uses herbal and other botanical extracted oils for therapeutic practices.
The essential oils are used, along with meditation and relaxation.
Aromatherapy is also part of body-based and manipulative activities.
Aromatherapy aims to provide both physical and psychological assistance to its users by using various scents to encourage beneficial sensory feelings and emotions.
Depending on the technique employed, the range of essential oils and oil combinations works to counteract many distinct conditions.
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