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Aromatherapy is a body treatment using the therapeutic properties of essential oils from aromatic plants.

It is used for preventative care, healing and general physical well-being.


Essential oils are very concentrated oils and huge quantities of plants are needed to make a small amount of essential oil.

The most common way of extracting essential oils from plants is by steam distillation.

There are about 400 essential oils extracted from plants from all over the world.

The use of aromatic oils has been around for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians used them for healing and cosmetics purposes as well as for embalming the dead.

In India and China they were also used for healing and religious ceremonies. Eventually their use spread to the Greeks, Romans and then Arabic and European cultures.

In the early 1900’s a French chemist called René-Maurice Gattefossé started the term aromatherapy. He discovered the healing power of lavender oils on burns.

In the 1950’s Madam Marguerite Maury brought aromatherapy to England. She promoted its use mainly for cosmetic purposes.

The first English book on aromatherapy was written by Robert B. Tisserand.

Essential oils can be used with massage, bathing and inhalation.

Aromatherapy has a psychological and physiological effect on the body. The aroma of essential oils creates changes in brain wave patterns, affecting mood and sense of well being. The therapeutic qualities of essential oils permeate the skin and are absorbed into the body through the bloodstream.

The unique properties of each essential oil can have a relaxing, energizing, calming or uplifting effect.

It is used for a wide range of health conditions and stress related problems. Aromatherapy is often available as a treatment in palliative and cancer care in hospitals and hospices.


What can you expect from a session?

The therapist will take details of your health, lifestyle and medical history.
The essential oils selected will be based on your own individual needs.

These oils will be added to a carrier oil such as almond or grapeseed and applied with massage.

Care is taken in the selection of essential oils. Some essential oils are contraindicated in pregnancy and certain health problems such as cardiac, respiratory, neurological or dermatological conditions.

It is important to tell your therapist about any medication you are taking as essentials oils may also interact with some medicines.


Do I need to buy any equipment?


What to wear?

Clothing will have to be removed for the application of the oils.

Your practitioner should respect your modesty by leaving the room while you undress and cover areas of the body not being worked on with towels or a sheet.

How long is a session?

1 hour – 1 ½ hours. The first consultation may take longer than an hour to take a full case history and assessment.

What is expected of clients?

During the treatment all you will need to do is lie on a massage couch and relax. You may be given advice about home treatments to do.

Average costs / fees per session?

£ 30-60 depending on length of session, experience and location.

What are the main Qualifications a practitioner should have?

Membership of one of the organisations registered with the Aromatherapy Council.

Some are listed below:

AMA: Association of Medical Aromatherapists

FANM: Association of Natural Medicine

BABTAC: The British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology

MFHT or PACT: Federation of Holistic Therapists

MIHAF: International holistic Aromatherapy Foundation

MIFPA: International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists

RGG: Raworth Guild of Graduates

Membership with one of the organisations registered the General Council of Massage Practitioners.

For example:

MAAPA: The Aromatherapy and Allied Practitioners Association

MAPNT: Association of Physical and Natural Therapists

APNT: Association of Physical and Natural Therapists

MCThA: Complementary Therapist Association

MBRCP: British Register of Complementary Medicine


What can aromatherapy treat?

Results of research on aromatherapy have been varied and more trials are needed to confirm its effectiveness.

Aromatherapy has been shown to help:




Muscular aches and pains


Digestive problems

Menstrual disorders

Menopausal problems

Alopecia areata



Fungal infections

Research on the treatment of various conditions with aromatherapy can be found at;


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