Aromatherapy is a method of treatment which uses the natural oils found in plants and trees (be that in the bark, stem, leaf, root, seed, blossom or elsewhere) to help stimulate the body into its own healing processes. Aromatherapy is commonly used for therapeutic, spiritual, hygienic and ritualistic purposes.
Aromatherapy was founded as a science in the modern world by René-Maurice Gattefossé, who was a French chemist involved in treating wounded soldiers during WWI. He was the first person to begin to analyse and classify the chemical properties of essential oils and use them to ‘officially’ treat issues such as burns and skin infections. You can read more about this here: http://www.edenbotanicals.com/aromatherapy-a-brief-history
How does Aromatherapy work?
Each essential or base oil contains its own mix of naturally occurring chemicals which determine what the oil is used for. It is important to choose the oils that are right for you both emotionally and physically at the time of your consultation, in order for you to get the best out of the treatment.
During an aromatherapy treatment, you will inhale and absorb the natural aromatic compounds of the essential oils that we choose. Different oils have different impacts on mood, cognitive, psychological and physical wellbeing. For example, rose, bergamot, sandalwood and others have been shown to help relieve anxiety, stress and depression. Citrusy oils can help to feel more awake, and lavender may help you (and your baby!) to sleep.
I make aromatherapy products, including candles, shampoos, creams, rollerballs and sprays. During a product-only consultation we will decide which oils best fit your needs, following which I will make a product or a series of products for you, which you can pick up usually a couple of days later. I will also advise and recommend on essential oils for inhalation, compress, massage or water immersion at home.
If you prefer to buy ready-made aromatherapy products, I will soon have an online shop, but in the meantime try a larger local stockist such as www.burrenperfumery.com or the Amber shop in Galway.
I will conduct a 20 minute consultation with you prior to your first treatment. During the consultation I will go through your medical history and symptoms, as well as any contraindications relevant to you.
As an example, there are many oils that should not be used on pregnant women, particularly during the first few months of pregnancy. People with high blood pressure should avoid stimulating oils, and those with fatigue should avoid relaxants. There are some oils which are counter-indicated for tumours, and others that when worn, should not be exposed to direct sunlight on the skin. Some oils are irritants and can cause allergies, and ALL oils must be used in moderation in the right quantities for the specific application (i.e., bath water, massage, cream, etc) to avoid potentially harmful reactions.