The word “aromatherapy” was first coined by a French chemist called RENE MAURICE GATTEFOSSE in 1928. It is the practice of using essential oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to balance psychological and physical well-being. Aromatherapy wasstudied based on the physiology of human beings where people respond to the sense of smell by the olfactory nerves which lie within the nasal cavity. Various smells come from flower pollen molecules, and the scent is carried directly to the Olfactory bulbs which are located at the back of the nose and connect to the Limbic system, which is the part of the brain that controls emotions and memories.
Normally, respiratory function begins from inhaling and exhaling to obtain oxygen, and will be changed into energy inside the body. When people breathe in the air with pollutants, such as exhaust pipe smoke, cigarettes, intoxicating substances in the air, etc., toxic agents from the pollutants will remain in the respiratory tract. These affect the nervous system and limbic system, and can affect emotional conditions and the memory, which may cause mood swings. The respiratory system and the nervous system respond to bad smells and good smells similarly.
On the other hand, if people inhale good smells of essential oils extracted from various herbal plants, these smells can treat several health concerns. The herbal plants provide properties that have been proven by several institutions and which have been used for thousands of years in a variety of different applications.
Essential oils properties
Once essential oils have been applied by massage, the oils will be absorbed into the skin, with several benefits, such as anti-bacteria, improvement of skin allergy, firming of skin. Since the smells of essential oils arrive to the Limbic system of the nervous system, the smells will relax the mind and body, providing refreshment, releasing stress and tension, etc. The essential oils are extracted from fruits, flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant. Nowadays, the most common technique to produce essential oils is the steam distillation method using chemical substances as a solvent, where the essential oils will be extracted and synthesized to several aroma oils that will be mixed and applied for aromatherapy as various applications and properties.
Therapeutic uses of aromatherapy
Aromatherapy combines the art and science of essential oils together with massage. The purpose of therapeutic uses of aromatherapy is to balance body, mind, and emotion. There are various procedures of aromatherapy that have been studied and applied for thousands of years, as follows:
1. Massage can heal some health concerns, since the fragrant essential oils with therapeutic value will be absorbed through the skin with a massage application, and provide relaxation.
2. Baths by soaking the body in a Jacuzzi with warm water and essential oils, where the oils will be absorbed to the skin, to provide a refreshing feeling.
3. Compresses, which is a herbal compress massage along with application of essential oils to certain areas of the body.
4. Inhalations of fragrant essential oils for relaxation and refreshment.
5. Vaporization, where some essential oils properties, such as antiseptics, which can eliminate microorganisms in the respiratory system.
6. Aroma jar to provide a steam room with certain essential oils that act as antiseptic, which can eliminate microorganisms and reduce fatigue conditions.
7. Herbal incense is blended with essential oils to refresh, revitalize, reduce stress and relieve fatigue.
8. Essential oils are mixed with various cosmetics, such as creams, lotions, which can provide cosmetic products that can help benefit to balancing the skin condition.
There are various Aroma Therapy oils with different indications, as follows:
1. Geranium benefits - provides relaxation, relieves fatigue or weakness, reduces stress condition
2.Relaxing benefits - relieves headache and muscle pain, provides relaxation, stimulates cell functions
3. Rosemary benefits - provides refreshment
4.Refreshing benefits - boosts energy, provides refreshment, increases sexual desire
5. Orange benefits - provides refreshment and relaxation, relieves headache and decreases appetite
6. Lavender benefits - releases tension, minimizes headache, sleeplessness (insomnia), sore muscles, controls blood pressure, and relieves normal colds
7. Peppermint benefits - provides revitalization, boosts energy, relieves stuffy nose and sore muscles
8. Lime benefits - relieves headache and tension, reduces headache, sleeplessness (insomnia), sore muscles, controls blood pressure and relieves normal colds
9.Energizing benefits - reduces weakness and fatigue, releases tension, refreshment, boosts energy
10. Romantic benefits – stimulates temper, increases sexual desire
11. Aromatherapy benefits - nourishes the skin, provides skin hydration, prevents skin dryness, reduces skin itchiness
Duration of therapy
Therapy depends on the symptoms and discretion of practitioners of traditional medicine. Normally it is about 1-2 treatments a week and should be a therapy course in order to get the most effective results.
One course of therapy = 10 treatments
Cost of Aromatherapy
An hour treatment for 700 THB