Aromatherapy is the use of certain therapeutic oils that are usually massaged into the body, run into a warm bath or inhaled. It is a popular, enjoyable way an aromatherapist can help someone maintain and enhance well-being, health, beauty and lifestyle. I practice aromatherapy in Wolverhampton at Nuffield Health & Fitness (formerly Virgin Active and Esporta), and in parts of Staffordshire, but there are many reputable therapists throughout the country. I also offer Aromatherapy Training Courses (and can offer one to one tuition by arrangement).
For centuries, mankind has used plants, many of them fragrant, in the treatment of common ailments, as well as in cosmetics and around the home, and aromatherapy can be seen as a natural extention of these practices.
Aromatherapy can help relax, uplift, revitalise or restore the body and spirit depending on the oil used and is a natural aid in maintaining the body's own sense of balance and well-being, at the same time working on mood enhancement and ambience.
It's hard to imagine a more enjoyable treatment than a deep, relaxing massage from an aromatherapist accompanied by the aura of sweet-smelling oils.
Nobody knows exactly when and where the ancient healing art of aromatherapy began although we know from paintings in Egyptian tombs that it was used extensively by them. Its use is also recorded in ancient Chinese writings and the use of oils found its way to Britain with the Romans in the 13th Century. Indeed, there are Bible references to the use of oils in anointing - think of the Three Kings with their precious gifts of frankincense and myrrh!
In the early 20th century, a French chemist, René Maurice Gattefosse, accidentally discovered the healing power of lavender when he plunged his hand into it after receiving a bad burn in his laboratory. In a short time the burn had healed without forming a blister or leaving a scar. He then went on to treat soldiers in the First World War. Later his work was built upon by a French physician, Dr Jean Valnet and later a French beautician and biochemist, Marguerite Maury, developed a massage and beauty programme to incorporate the use of essential oils, which she introduced into Britain.
Essential oils are produced by tiny glands in the petals, leaves, stems, bark and wood of many plants, trees and herbs. In nature they are released slowly but when crushed or heated, these oil glands burst releasing the aroma more strongly. These essential oils are extracted by various methods to leave a pure essential oil and fall into four categories:
These can be used in any of the following ways :
Oils are blended for the client's needs.
Warning : Aromatherapy oils are freely available but please take great care. Oils should not be used neat on the skin or ingested. If in doubt, don't take the risk. Contact a qualified aromatherapist like myself.
Aromatherapy might help a wide range of disorders / imbalances.
Aromatherapy is virtually free from side effects and is suitable for people of all ages. If in doubt, check with your medical practitioner before embarking upon treatments. You may feel thirsty and experience more visits to the toilet, but this is nature's way of releasing the toxins within the body and I advise drinking plenty of water after the treatment to help.
However, clients who are pregnant or who suffer with seizures should seek medical consent.
After the first consultation when I ask for full details regarding medical history, lifestyle, diet etc, you are asked to undress to your underwear - there is no need to feel embarrassed because you are fully covered with towels whilst on the couch and only the area of the body that I'm working is uncovered. The treatment uses various massage techniques aimed at relieving tension, draining lymph and improving circulation so that the oils can circulate through the body.
You then relax, enjoy the relaxing music, savour the aroma of the oils and let me do all the work. And please, don't be too upset if I have to wake you up to turn you, as most people normally fall asleep. But don't worry, you'll soon drift off again.
Treatments can be tailored to suit your needs, for example including an aromatherapy facial with prices pro rata.
I also offer a wide range of products that are blended just for you at various prices for use at home, such as bath oils or body lotions.
After the initial consultation, I can usually advise how many sessions you may require but generally I find that most clients try to at least "pamper" themselves once a month to maintain their well-being.
Here is a list of some typical questions I'm frequently asked. Hopefully anything you might want to know is covered somewhere on this page. If it isn't, don't hesitate to contact me.
Can I have a bath or shower when I get home?
You can if you wish but where possible DON'T. It is preferable to leave the residue of oils on the skin if possible so that they can continue to work
Can I use Lavender Oil neat on the skin?
All oils should be diluted before applying to the skin but lavender can be used neat for first aid treatments. Tea Tree can also be used neat but should be used in spot treatment, that is, by putting the oil onto a cotton bud and then applying the bud to the skin.
Can I stop taking my medication?
No - it is best to carry on with any medication. In some cases, dosage may have to be altered but this will only be done with doctor's approval.