Blog 4 February 4th 2021 - Bit about Aromatherapy
A bit about Aromatherapy.....
I really only started my path of Holistic Therapies because my daughter was due to start full time school and although I was working teaching aerobic and step classes in the evenings I felt iwas going to be lost with both of my children at school. It seemed an ideal opportunity to learn something new, go to college for a year, meet new people and all fitting in ideally with the children’s hours away from home during the day. I liked the sound of Aromatherapy, natural remedies, lovely smells!?!? I applied for the course quite late, so did not have time for the induction interview, so turning up for this first day, I didn’t realise that a uniform was needed.......there were to be exams eeeeek!.......learning anatomy and physiology .... diet and nutrition ....... counselling ........first aid classes......whaaaat!?!? Then the final blow MASSAGE!!! I had know idea I would have to massage and there were different types of massage and they were full body massages!
As a class we would be massaging each other, going onto find 6 client studies in each category of massage,reflexology,Indian Head Massage (I have to say my friends were pleased and I had no shortage of volunteers for my client studies).
During our first break, we all chatted and laughed, at the situation we had found ourselves in. Not only did some of us (not just me) not realise Aromatherapy included Aromatherapy Massage, but one girl said, ‘However could she learn Reflexology, she hated feet!’
Over the weeks and months, everything began to fit in place and it proved to be a great course. I am so glad that I decided to pursue with it and have continued to learn so much more over the years.
Smell has always been one of our most powerful senses, there is proof that our earliest ancestors were discovering the beneficial effects of aromatic plants.
It was in 1937 that a French chemist, first used the word ‘Aromatherapy’. He was working in a perfumery, when he badly burnt his hand. He plunged his hand into the nearest bowl of liquid, which happened to be Lavender. The hand healed very quickly and left hardly any scarring. The chemist had discovered the healing and antiseptic qualities of the pure essential oil of Lavender and from this he researched into the healing properties and also contraindications of other essential oils.
There were several other researchers that helped in the scientific validation of Aromatherapy, not least a Dr, another Frenchman, working as a medical surgeon, in the Second World War, when medical supplies were short, he proved that essential oils were effective in many cases.
Essential oils are extracted from a wide variety of plants, which are very concentrated.They are extracted mostly by distillation and some by solvent extraction.
Lavender for example would be put into large vats, which is then processed by steam distillation. Lavender essential oil is then
separated from the cooled condensed water, producing Lavender oil and Lavender water.
Extraction is used for fragile flowers such as Rose and Jasmine, distilled at very low temperatures for up to 20 days. This is why some oils are so expensive.
But, also some plants are better quality, for instance, some lavender depending where it is grown, how it is looked after, how it is distilled is far more expensive than other Lavender. Like better quality wines!
The best way to use Aromatherapy oils is to massage into the skin and to leave for at least 12 hours depending on the oil, to really get the properties of the oil blends working.
Next blog, I’ll continue talking about Aromatherapy, how to use the oils, blends, properties, contraindication, and safety of using oils.