Aromatherapy uses the essential oils extracted from plants and herbs to treat a variety of physical and emotional conditions ranging from infections, skin disorders, inflammation, immune deficiencies and stress. The chemical makeup of essential oils translates into molecular properties and energetic frequencies which gives them a host of powerful properties to include antibacterial, antiviral, antispasmodic, diuretic, vasodilatation, digestive aids, pain relief, hormone balancing and mood regulation. Because the oils work in a different way from medicines, they do not have the usual side effects and tend to stimulate the immune system instead of depressing it (Aromatherapy to Heal and Tend the Body by Robert Tisserand).
Aromatic molecules interact with the top of the nasal cavity give off signals that are modified by various biological processes which travel to the primal area of the brain known as the limbic system. As all animals share an acute sense of information gathering through their sense of smell which helps us respond to life, the human brain allows aromas to cross the blood brain barrier without interference to inform us and to help us to respond rapidly to challenges within our energetic system.
Aromas are not only inhaled but can be absorbed through the skin and applied internally for certain conditions. When using aromas internally, it is important to have medical guidance so as to use appropriately. It is beneficial to have a certified practitioner helping to advise you as to the best use of aromas for more than casual usage.
Essential oils are widely used throughout Europe and a system of medical aromatherapy is currently practiced in France and England as well as more recently introduced in the US as a science in the past twenty years by Jane Buckle, RN, PhD from England (see her research in Clinical Aromatherapy in Nursing). There are many grades and qualities of aromas so discernment of quality is important. Perfumes are not aromatherapy and most often cause adverse allergies within our system. Firstly, the bottle has to say “essential oil” to be the pure oil. These are expensive when you consider the work it takes to distill the oils from a plant with some plants more rare than others. Different companies have more consciousness in producing their aromas.
In my practice, we can use the meridian stress assessment (MSA) to screen the potential effect of different aromas on each system or symptom in your body and emotions and make suggestions as to what aromas to use. I have several different lines to address physical symptoms, the effect of the sun and moon upon us as well as helping to balance emotions and diseases. We can discuss which oils you may want to add in a step by step process, paying attention to your response to the aroma in conjunction with a plan of self care that may include a more holistic approach. It is fun to play around with different aromas to see your preferences and use nature to help heal.