Aromatherapy is the practice of using naturally extracted aromatic essential oils found in shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds to harmonize, balance and promote healing of body, mind and spirit. Professional aromatherapists use therapeutic grade, expertly distilled essential oils, usually steam distilled or via expression, which preserves the delicate compounds and phytomolecules. Aromatherapy is used both as a preventative modality and as a modality to use during acute and chronic illness. For example, the Raindrop technique which employs a variety of very active essential oils along the spine and on the soles of the feet to draw out virus and bacteria can be used both for wellness support and for treatment of a particular condition.
The delivery mechanism for aromatherapy is through scent, which has been shown to affect emotions, stress, and mental fatigue, through topical application such as with massage therapy and internally, such as with oregano, lemon, and peppermint oils to name a few.
Commercially, aromatherapy can be found in spas and upscale hotels throughout the world. There is a growing body of research on the effects of aromatherapy and there is a rising trend to utilize aromatherapy in medical institutions.
More resources on aromatherapy:
- National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: Aromatherapy
- University of Minnesota
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Aromatherapy
- International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists