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"Healing begins with an aromatic bath and daily massage".
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a holistic practice, primarily using essential oils for therapeutic purposes. Essential oils are made of natural chemicals compounds found in plants. Highly concentrated, they are obtained from the bark, flowers, stems, roots, leaves and other plants parts. After being extracted from plants using various methods (distillation, cold expression, co2 extraction or others), they are packaged in bottles to support our physical and emotional well-being.
Thousands of years ago, ancient Egyptians were already using oils for therapeutic, spiritual and medicinal purposes. They were also used in beauty care and for mummification. In ancient Egyptian temples, many temples depict the use of essential oils. These scenes are also found in various papyruses.
Indeed, 50 alabaster jars with remains of Spikenard scent were found in King Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922. Hatshepsut's temple also displays the importation process of myrrh trees, a highly prized and spiritual oil.
Aromahterapy developed throughout China, India, Greece. The birth of modern medicine left Aromatherapy mainly to the food and cosmetic industries. The wonderful uses of essential oils are now making their way back in our daily life, as many of us are searching for natural alternatives.
Methods of Application
In holistic aromatherapy, essential oils enter the body through the skin, or when inhaled (through the nose). They can be applied topically using compresses, sprays, baths, or massaging them into the skin. Inhalation is often under-estimated, yet it is one of the most powerful (and easiest!) methods of application. Whether by using a diffuser or an inhaler tube, essential oils' molecules reach the limbic system (an essential part of the brain in aromatherapy) , almost instantly.
We do NOT recommend or mention the ingestion of essential oils in any workshops or courses. Herbs and plants in their original form are however an amazing way to use plants internally (cooking, infusions, tinctures, glycerites, etc).
Uses & Healing Properties
Essential Oils are made of dozen up to hundreds of chemical compounds, each carrying specific therapeutic properties For instance, antispasmodic oils can help relieves muscles cramps (lavandula angustifolia, salvia sclera, etc), and analgesic oils can decrease the sensation of pain (eucalyptus globulus, menthe x piperita, syzygium aromaticum). Overall essential oils can be a great aid at maintaining physical, emotional and mental health.
Check our courses or workshops if your interest is peaked!
When used properly, essential oils are safe to use. I often compare them to crossing the road - if you look right and left before closing you should feel reassured to arrive on the other side safe. Same goes for essential oils - understand them, study their safety and you'll greatly reduce the risk of adverse reactions and skin irritation.
With improper and misleading information on the internet, skin reactions have unfortunately widely increased in populations of all ages.
Essential Oils' Quality
Essential oils' quality is a controversial subject, and the answer is not black or white. A high-quality essential oil can be adulterated by adding synthetic compounds such as linalool, carrier oils, or other less expensive essential oils; and therefore unpure.
On the other hand, a pure essential oil can be of low-quality. This happens when the plant is grown in less than ideal environmental conditions (poor soil quality, pesticides, etc) or depending on the time of harvest. Distillation and essential oil making process alone is an art that requires tremendous knowledge in order to produce the best quality oils.
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