Aromatherapy: what is it?

bottles1

Aromatherapy is known as a type of holistic therapy that uses plant extracts and essential oils in massage for physiological and physical well-being. The Chinese are one of the first cultures to use aromatherapy and plants by burning incense for their healing properties which aids wellbeing. Many consider aromatherapy and its uses as not being scientific, however the advancement in scientific discovery in the 21st century has shown a growing awareness of Aromatherapy and its benefits.

The use of the aromatherapy massage is to reduce stress and make the person have a better state of mind. The massage types used help to stimulate the body, through the skin, muscles, nerves and circulation of the blood, which removes toxins.

Aromatherapy uses

Aromatherapy can be used for preventing:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Body and head aches
  • Circulation problems
  • Digestion problems
  • Depression

Aromatherapy and its use of essential oils have many different applications. There are three main applications of aromatherapy: through aerial diffusion, direct inhalation and direct application onto the skin. Essential oils are used as they help to influence both the mind and the body.

Aromatherapy oils

Here are some commonly applied oils and their uses:

  • Eucalyptus oil: used to relieve cold and flu symptoms by opening up the airwaves. It is commonly used with peppermint. When used with Bergamot, it is said to be good for the skin and targets stress related skin problems.
  • Lavender oil: used as an antiseptic for cuts and burns. Also used to aid relaxation, by relieving headache symptoms.
  • Lemon oil: used up-lift the mood and is also good for combating stress and depression.
  • Sandalwood oil: has anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Essential oils can be directly applied onto the skin, which helps the body to heal itself naturally. The oils are soaked up and absorbed into the skin through the sweat glands, which is taken into the bloodstream and stimulates the body’s immune system. Inhaling the essential oils sends signals to the brain via the Limpic system. This is the system of the brain which controls emotions and behaviours. The oils then trigger a chemical called Serotonin, which is naturally produced making the person feel stimulated and relaxed. This shows just how powerful essential oils actually are as they affect both our mood and our mind.

Many aromatherapists believe that the practise of aromatherapy can help people who suffer from many health problems, such as stress, anxiety, as well as long term illnesses. Research has shown that cancer patients are using aromatherapy massages and other treatments increasingly more. This is because of the effect of the aromatherapy massage on patients, as it reduces their symptoms, which has a positive effect on their wellbeing. It can be used as an alternative to conventional medicine and compliments it well. It is especially beneficial to people who have a weak immune system as the essential oils help boost the immune system, preventing the illness although it does not cure it.

Cleo Clinic aromatherapy massage review

A friend of mine and I purchased a Groupon voucher for a One-Hour Massage With Elemis Facial for £37 at Cleo Clinic, Knightsbridge. I had high hopes for my massage experience as I desperately needed to de-stress after my final semester at University, and it left me feeling relaxed and re-charged.

massage1Cleo Clinic, located in glamorous Knightsbridge is known for its Elemis product selection of beauty treatments for both ladies and gents. We arrived and waited approximately 20 minutes for our massage rooms to be ready and vacant. During this time, there were a lot of staff present and not doing anything in particular. It seemed to me that the massage business is pretty relaxed and stress free. Finally we were called!

Inside the massage room, after I undressed and lay down on the massage table, the therapist applied some aromatherapy and essential oils to my skin. She started massaging my feet, moving upwards. She used strong circular motions which made me feel relaxed. She got to work on the balls of my feet and that is when it got painful! I had to tell her the pressure was too much, as she did not ask beforehand. She moved onto massaging my back, which was the highlight of the massage! The therapist used her fists and applied pressure onto my back, hitting all my stress points, making my muscles relax. At this point, I almost fell asleep! I was so relaxed and with the calm and peaceful atmosphere, it was hard not to be! I then moved onto my front and the process repeated itself. This time I found it much more relaxing and felt my stresses melt away. The therapist then went onto massage my arms and neck and ended quickly.  I had no awareness of time, but it seemed to me that the massage did not last 1 hour as it was supposed to! The therapist then began my 30 minute Elemis facial massage. She applied various different anti-oxidant creams to remove my clogged pores and to renew my skin. The therapist applied a heavy scrub onto my face, which was rough and left a burning sensation on my skin. After 10 minutes she took off the scrub and then applied a final cream to my face. At the end of my massage I felt relaxed and stress free, which is what I wanted, but I didn’t count on being left covered head to toe in oils!

Even though the massage was not as blissful as I had hoped it would be, I was relaxed and rejuvenated and I would go for a massage again, knowing now what to expect. On the whole, I rate my experience 7/10.

Sources

http://altmedicine.about.com/od/massage/a/aromatherapy.htm

http://www.cleoclinic.co.uk/

About the author

Author: Evie Chrysostomou

Bio: Freelance writer and blogger interested in health. I’m just a girl on a journey, passionate about being healthy, exercise, fitness and nutrition. I love to share health tips, advice and inspiration. You can find me on my Blog here: http://eviechrys.blogspot.co.uk/