The Art of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy truly is an art. Sure, we can say that Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil is known for it’s ability to help poor sleep quality. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is also recognized as being able to fight several skin diseases.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) essential oil is commonly used for it’s uplifting properties. Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is also known for reducing anxiety. *It should be noted that Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is highly phototoxic and caution should be used when utilizing this oil for skin application.*
However, to draw on the benefits of essential oils one must learn proper blending techniques, such as:
The use of a carrier (A carrier is used to “carry” the essential oil onto the skin so the essential oil does not evaporate too quickly. Carriers are also used to dilute the essential oil so the oil does not irritate the skin.) Common carriers include: almond oil, jojoba wax and coconut oil, to name a few.
How much essential oil to use depending on the specific ailment.
How often to use the essential oil.
How to blend essential oils that have similar chemical make-ups so the oils work synergistically.
Where it all began
When my journey to become a Certified Aromatherapist began, I was amazed at how little people actually new about the art and science of aromatherapy. Discussing my new adventure with friends and family, questions arose such as:
What is a Certified Aromatherapist?
What is Aromatherapy?
What will you do with what you’re learning?
These questions opened my eyes to the fact that while people were familiar with essential oils, not many knew what Aromatherapy actually was. So let’s set the record straight about the art and science behind aromatherapy.
The burning question
What is Aromatherapy? According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), “Aromatherapy, also referred to as Essential Oil therapy, can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.”
Being around for 5000 years, aromatherapy dates back to the ancient Egyptians who used incense made from aromatic woods to honor their gods. Around the same time period ancient aromatherapy was also evident in China and India as shown in the principal aspects of Ayurvedic medicine, which included massage with aromatic oils.
Let’s fast forward, shall we?
The first book on Aromatherapy in the English language was published by Robert Tisserand in 1977. Robert Tisserand is an international speaker, educator and quite frankly, an essential oil guru. He continues to research and consult on the science and benefits of essential oils, as well as, their safe and effective application.
Wait, what? Rewind, did you say 1977??
Yes 1977, a mere 39 years ago!
No wonder why there is such a variation of information with regards to essential oil application and safety!
It’s important to know the origins of the ancient art of aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is an extremely vast topic. Many factors come into play when making the perfect blend, for yourself or loved ones. Not only from a therapeutic stand point but from a safety stand point as well.
In future posts I will touch on:
What an essential oil is.
How to know if the essential oil you are purchasing is pure.
Proper blending techniques.
Essential oil safety.
Essential oil safety and children.