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
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
Some are listed below:
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.
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
Results of research on aromatherapy have been varied and more trials are
needed to confirm its effectiveness.
Aromatherapy has been shown to
Muscular aches and pains
Research on the treatment of various
conditions with aromatherapy can be found at;
for your Directory of
Alternative therapists and Body therapies