It is now being recognised in the science world and is listed on The NHS Directory of Complementary and Alternative Practitioners. It has gained steam in palliative care and is increasingly used alongside conventional treatment.
Aromatherapy is one of the most popular forms of complementary therapy. One of the reasons it has been so successful is due to its holistic approach.
The aromatherapist will consider an individual’s medical history, taking into account their physical and mental health and a personal treatment plan is made.
How does it work?
Aromatherapy works in two different ways:
Through sense of smell and Through absorption the skin.
During inhalation or smelling essential oils, our sense of smell directly links to the brain. When the brain receives a smell, it sets off a chemical reaction in the body. Different smells set off a different reaction and aid healing in different ways.
Massage is commonly done using a base oil with essential oils for absorption through the skin. Essential oils are used in different areas depending on the treatment plan and a whole body massage will not require essential oils to be used entirely.
Many essential oils contain anti-inflammatory properties. These can be applied to the skin to fight infection or relieve pain. However, if you are in pain or suspect an infection, it is important to consult your GP first, before turning to aromatherapy.
What are the benefits of aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy can be used to help treat various symptoms and conditions. The evidence for its effectiveness varies and often further research is required. The therapeutic qualities of the oils are thought to soothe, uplift, restore, boost the immune system and encourage positivity.
The symptoms and conditions aromatherapy is thought to help include:
Certain scents can trigger a relaxation response in the brain. When combined with a massage, it can help to reduce feelings of stress. It is important to discover the cause of your stress to ensure long-term management.
Studies have found that aromatherapy can have a positive effect on those suffering with anxiety. As a complementary therapy, it is best used with other therapies such as talking therapy.
Many people find aromatherapy a helpful aid for sleep. Burning a relaxing scent in your home or adding essential oils to a warm, evening bath can help prepare your body and mind for sleep.
The interest in the effects of aromatherapy for conditions such as dementia continues to grow. Research into the therapy revealed many benefits and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests it may help treat feelings of agitation in those with dementia.
Aromatherapy is thought to be especially helpful for easing any chronic pain-related anxiety. If the pain is muscular, a massage using essential oils may be an effective treatment. As with any new therapy, please consult your GP before starting.
Aromatherapy may help to reduce pain and anxiety for those with cancer in the short-term. According to Cancer Research UK, many people with cancer turn to aromatherapy. It appears to make patients feel happier and more able to cope with the changes happening.
Aromatherapy massage is becoming increasingly popular in palliative care. The combination of scent and massage is thought to help patients feel less affected by the symptoms and side effects of their illness.
Prices vary dependant on required treatment and oils used.
Consultation and Personal treatment plan £25
Full body aromatherapy massage 45 /60 minutes £34
Specific area massage From £15 - £26
Inhalation treatment 20 minutes session From £12
Personal mixed Essential oils and base Vary from £8 - £20
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