We’ve all experienced the power of scents and aromas. The smell of freshly cut grass can transport us back to long, hazy summer days spent as a kid. The smell of wood smoke evokes memories of winters long past. Those same aromas can do more than just help us reminisce though; they can help you improve health by providing healing benefits to both body and spirit. This is the science of aromatherapy and it’s taking the Western world by storm.
What is aromatherapy?
Essentially, aromatherapy is the use of scents and aromas either alone or combined with other therapeutic treatments to help heal the mind and body. Essential oils
are generally used, however, other things such as incense and massage oil
can also be used. Aromatherapy works by stimulating receptors in your nose. Those receptors then send signals to the body through the nervous system which can impact our emotional state as well as our physical and mental health.
Aromatherapy has long been used in Eastern medical treatments and is now making its way into use in the Western world. Although there are few clinical studies on the effectiveness of these treatments, those who have experienced the power of aromatherapy firsthand can attest to its effectiveness.
What Can Aromatherapy Do?
Aromatherapy is used in a wide range of treatments. Professional aromatherapists offer in-office treatments and make recommendations about treatments that can be performed at home. Aromatherapy may help with a wide range of ailments including:
How To Enjoy Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy can be performed in any number of different ways. For instance, essential oils can be heated to infuse the ambient air. Therapeutic bath salts
and massage oils infused with essential oils are excellent ways to employ aromatherapy.
Perhaps the best tip for those interested in enjoying the benefits offered by aromatherapy is to seek the advice of a professional aromatherapist. While somewhat new to the Western world, these practitioners can offer a range of treatments in their office. They can also provide helpful advice, directions and products to use at home or in other locations. An aromatherapist will also be able to help determine which essential oils and/or aromas will be best suited for particular health needs based on symptoms (sleeplessness, anxiety
, depression, etc.).
Aromatherapy is quickly making inroads into mainstream Western society and the medical industry. It can offer a range of benefits or may simply be enjoyed on the merits of beautiful scents alone.
About The AuthorDr. Matt Marturano, ND is a licensed naturopathic physician and received his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and also has a dual Bachelor of Science in Biology and Philosophy from the University of Michigan. In addition, Dr. Marturano currently is a member of the Michigan Association of Naturopathic Physicians and is the Director of Recruitment - Integrative Medicine for Orchid Holistic Search.
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