The word ?aroma therapy means ?treatment using scents or fragrances?. It is a technique of alternative healing which has become popular today with its roots lying in the ancient system of medicine. It involves the use of essential oils for holistic healing so as to improve one'shealth and emotional well-being, while restoring the balance in the body.
Essential oils are aromatic essences extracted from plants, flowers, trees, bark, fruit, grasses and seeds. The author, who is an engineer by profession but also a Reiki and pranic healer at the Holistic Healing Centre, says that there are more than 150 types of oils that can be extracted and have distinctive therapeutic, psychological and physiological properties for improving one'shealth and preventing illness. He believes that all essential oils have unique healing and antiseptic properties, with some of the oils being anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, anti-depressant, stimulating, relaxing, expectorating, supporting digestion and having diuretic properties.
The author says that 6,000 years ago, the Egyptian physician Imhotep, the God of Medicine and Healing, recommended the use of fragrant oils for bathing and massaging. The Egyptians began to use myrrh and cedar-wood oil for embalming their dead as nearly 6,500 years ago it was discovered that cedar-wood contains a natural fixative with strong anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties that help in preserving mummies. Hippocrates, the Greek Father of Medicine recommended aroma baths to ward off plague in Athens. The Romans used essential oils for pleasure and to alleviate pain.
The essential oils spread the fragrance through the nose lined with cilia which are linked to the olfactory bulb situated at the end of the smell tract, which in turn is connected to the brain through the olfactory system. The impulse reaches the limbic system in the brain, which is associated with our emotions, memory and learning. This affects our moods, for instance, lavender increases the alpha waves in the brain and helps a person to relax. The author claims that aroma oils work like magic for stress-related problems, psychosomatic disorders, skin infections, hair loss, inflammation, pain in the muscles or the skeletal system.
The essential oils can be used for a number of purposes at home, that is, for inhaling, as diffuser and vaporiser, for massage, bath, footbath, potpourri, compresses, oral intake, beauty treatment, sprays, insect repellants and for other miscellaneous uses. The essential oils get absorbed in the body and influence it. The residue gets dispersed from the body naturally and affects the mind and emotions. The fragrance enters the body through inhalation, absorption and consumption.
Chemically essential oils are rather expensive because, say for example, if oil is to be extracted from lavender, only 3 kg of oil can be obtained from 100 kg of lavender; as many as 8 million jasmine flowers would yield 1 kg of oil. They are extracted through the process of maceration and purification.
The author claims that aroma therapy is a safe and effective method of treatment of physical ailments and for restoring the balance in the body while providing good health.
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