One least understood alternative healing therapy and the effective medicinal benefits it provides is aromatherapy. When asked what it is, the average person offers a vague and unclear definition, oftentimes referring to aromatherapy as something that smells like lavender or something you receive in a spa. The classic definition of aromatherapy is usually defined as the use of pure essential oils to promote physical, psychological and spiritual health that can be administered in many ways.
The use of essential oils for health and well-being cannot be dismissed. Aromatherapy plays a huge role in an age when a preponderance of individuals are over-stressed, exhausted and unsure of their future – and it is an excellent holistic therapy that delivers the goods. In body care treatments such as massage, essential oils can be used very effectively to help reduce maladies such as stress, tension, shock, headaches, grief and pain. In facial treatments, essential oils are an excellent choice because they help to regulate the activity of capillaries and restore vitality to the tissues. Essential oils used in a bath have deep psychological actions on the nervous system if you are using them to reduce stress, calm your nerves or to help you sleep.
Aromatherapy is used in conjunction with other therapies by chiropractors and acupuncturists and has success as a holistic therapy, but there still is just not a lot of public awareness about the actual medical benefits it has on health issues such as sports injuries, burns, herpes, shingles, the lymphatic system and respiratory conditions to name but a few.
However, scientific research in aromatherapy continues to be done and this research verifies that the benefits of aromatherapy on wellness on the physical and emotional levels are valid and not to be ignored. There is so much being done in the medical aromatherapy movement today that most people are unaware of what is going on behind the scenes. Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, the Scientific Director and Founder of the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy in San Rafael, California has spent a lifetime of research in this field. Dr. Schnaubelt is a chemist and a pioneer in the science behind aromatherapy. In his book, Medical Aromatherapy: Healing With Essential Oils, he offers an explanation to the reader about aromatherapy:
Aromatherapy is self-care therapy that returns power to the patient, lessening dependency on the authority of the medical establishment.
There also seems to be little awareness that aromatherapy is actually being practiced in hospitals today by doctors and nurses. Incredibly enough, I discovered that aromatherapy is actually being supported and used by some hospitals in Santa Clara County, but not enough public information is known about their programs and which hospitals are supporting this therapy. In this country, it took years for essential oils to even be available in health food stores. This is amazing considering that aromatherapy and essential oils are a part of everyday life in Europe as a whole and essential oils are sold in pharmacies and in hospitals.
Most people in this country are still pretty unfamiliar with how effective essential oils really are and exactly what to do with them unless they are working with a professional in this field. However, in European countries when essential oils are purchased by a lay person, they know exactly what, how and why they are using them medicinally. What is lacking in this country still is more education and public awareness that aromatherapy and essential oils can be and should be as well-known as an acceptable alternative and medical health treatment as say acupuncture for example.
When researching this article, I discovered Michaela Boldy who is a nurse and a certified aromatherapist. She sells her aromatherapy blends at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View. The hospital absolutely supports Michaela and the use of aromatherapy and essential oil treatments on women in labor in the maternal child health center. Michaela has two aromatherapy blends that the patient purchases and is used during the birth by the mother’s birthing partner. Both of these blends – the Labor blend first stage, and the Labor blend second stage are sold in the Maternal Connections store at El Camino Hospital. You don’t even have to be a patient at the hospital to purchase these aromatherapy blends – they are available to the public.
Stay tuned for Medical Aromatherapy part 2 and more exciting information about the future of medical aromatherapy, the people behind this movement and so much more that you were unaware of until now. You won’t want to miss this amazing and informative story!
Kathleen Lamoureux is a Numerologist and Soul Coach. Her super-power focuses on all metaphysical forces of life utilizing all holistic self-help tools. Her methodology incorporates the power of positive thinking meditations, affirmations and holistic therapies such as aromatherapy, acupressure and breath work to reinforce healing. Kathleen believes that every thought you think forms the basis of your future. Her philosophy is “Healthy is the way you approach your life in mind, body and spirit. Discover your full spiritual, health and wealth potential by living with authentic purpose.”
This article was originally written and published by me for Ezine Magazine July 2010. I am republishing it here on my blog, The Wellness Zen Zone. – KL