When one thinks about Aromatherapy, then one probably thinks of those little Essential Oils bottles, or even a picture of someone being massaged at a Spa...or is it perhaps something that you smell and that will make you feel better?
Well in some sense all is true, but that is definitely not the whole "story" And...., wow, let me tell you Aromatherapy is so -so much more and vast and "magical" and magnificent..., and should be implemented in all of our everyday lives..., well at least in my opinion ;-)
Now for the "formal stuff", the exact translation and meaning of Aromatherapy:
"Aromatherapy is a holistic healing practice that involves the use of essential oils derived from plants to promote physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It is based on the belief that the aroma or fragrance of these oils can have a therapeutic effect on the body and mind.
Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts obtained from various parts of plants, such as flowers, leaves, stems, bark, or roots. They capture the plant's natural aroma and contain beneficial chemical compounds. These oils can be inhaled or applied topically. Inhaling essential oils can stimulate the olfactory system, which connects to the brain's limbic system, known to influence emotions and memory. When applied topically, essential oils can be absorbed through the skin and enter the bloodstream, potentially exerting physiological effects".
Heh?! come again?
Let me explain in latent terms or should I rather say "Thea Terms"...,
"Aroma" derives from the Greek word for spice - today we use the word more broadly as "fragrance"; and "therapy" means to treat or treatment.
So aromatherapy literally means curative treatment by the use of scent.
But that is just it, it goes a teeny-weeny bit deeper than to use something that smells nice. The "something that smells nice" part is called "Essential Oils" which itself consist of trillions of phytochemical molecules, in other words; All authentic Aromatherapy products are all made out of plant-extracted oils that one can use in various ways to improve or "heal" an extremely wide variety of ailments. And like my Aromatherapy Lecturer use to say way back when, "There is a difference between toilet lavender and essential oil lavender".
Thus these Essential oils that come from plants, flowers, herbs, bark en even tree gum (resin) can and o my..., Will be absorbed through your body either through your skin like massage (which is obvi) the most well know and most popular way of Aroma oil application or then there is of course also ways like through compresses, cosmetic products, perfume, steam, bathing, etc. the list is quite endless and will be covered in much more detail later on,
And/ Or the other main route for Aroma oils aka Essential Oils will also be absorbed through inhalation, which has a profound effect on one's psyche, as the "smelling part" of a human's brain is situated in the Limbic System Part of the brain which (drumroll please) are responsible for all that lovely emotions we as humans have And not just that but it is also the "memory" part of the brain, and that is why ladies and gentlemen, when you say smell something like say "freshly baked cookies" it reminds you of Grandma's house along with the old cabin/mothball smell and it gives you all the feels and longing to go and visit grandma again....., ahh yes, that is the essence of psycho-aromatherapy in its best of form.
And that's the reason why Aromatherapy goes a teeny-weeny bit deeper than just something that smells nice, and also, very importantly is why one can "treat" various physical and mental conditions with Aromatherapy Oils as the oils itself doesn't just smell nice but comes form medical-pharmaceutical plants than can be administered through the body to have a therapeutic effect or effects
Did I mention that Essential oils are highly (Highly) concentrated?
For example, 200kg of lavender flowers make up 6 litres of essential oils.
There is a saying among Aromatherapists that goes by "a little goes a long way" and this is the reason that there is another "sister" that needs to be invited to the Essential Oil party called "Carrier Oils" that will also be discussed in more detail, in a later blog post that's to follow.
Well then, I hope that it makes sense. And that you are just as "crazy" and excited about "Aromatherapy as I am...., what else can be better than "playing" with mother nature's gifts? I just absolutely love it.
Oh, One More Thing... which reminds me, even though I am an Aromatherapy fanatic, it doesn't mean that I don't believe in Modern Medicine, no sir/mam... I always but always say, that Aromatherapy is a "Complementary Health Therapy" and not an Alternative Therapy (some therapists will probably disagree on this) but non the less, I feel there is a space and time for everything, for instance when I am stressed I will pour a few drops of Lavender, Clary Sage, and Marjoram in my bath (diluted of course) to hopefully destress and have a good night's sleep, But if I say, fell off my bicycle and say break my arm then, it will be me, the ER doctor and lots of pain medications (preferable those that comes through a drip) and not Tea-Tree oil that I will reach out for.
See-balance, life is always about balance.
Well then, I am going to wrap this up right here and look forward to the next "Aromatherapy Blog Post" that is going to be all about the "History of Aromatherapy" my ultimate favourite.
Until then, Happy Aromatherapy.
PS: Click on the link below to visit Greenspayoga's shop,
where you can purchase your very own Organic South African home-grown Aromatherapy oils OR Book a Treatment Or Purchase an Aromatherapy Gift Voucher.