Aromatherapy

I decided to do an article on aromatherapy
this week after I purchased some aromatherapy candles. They claimed the
scent would be mood lifting. I figured why not? Raise the kids’ spirits and
maybe they wouldn’t fight so much, raise mine and maybe I wouldn’t care if
they do. After two days of burning these candles, the kids were still
fighting and I was doing nothing but sneezing. Let’s look into aromatherapy.

What is it?

It is the art and science, of using oils extracted from aromatic plants to
enhance health and beauty. Essential oils can have subtle effects on the
mind and emotions as well as physical benefits.

The ways to use essential oils in aromatherapy are many and varied. Baths,
massage, inhalation, vapors, compresses and others may be used.

Does it work?

In some instances the answer is obvious, certain scents are calming and
relaxing for the majority of people. But most of you are probably asking if
it works to relieve pain. The answer is a maybe. Further studies are needed,
but early clinical studies indicate that it may very well prove beneficial
in treating chronic pain.

Is it safe?

For the most part if used correctly aromatherapy is safe. A few people may
suffer allergic reactions to the oils. 

Finding a Practitioner

There are no legal standards of aromatherapy training or certification in
the United States, but there are many schools and individuals offering
aromatherapy training. The practitioners calling themselves aromatherapists
are most often trained in some other form of therapy, such as massage,
aesthetician, or chiropractor, and have incorporated the use of essential
oils into their practice.

At least one state board of nursing has recognized the therapeutic value of
aromatherapy and voted to accept it as part of holistic nursing care.

The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA)
has in place Suggested Guidelines for Aromatherapy Education &
Certification in an effort to provide guidance for students and teachers. In
addition this organization provides safety and efficacy guidelines for
interested parties.


References:
NAHA
Use of aromatherapy as a complementary treatment for chronic pain. 
Buckle J – Altern Ther Health Med – 1999 Sep; 5(5): 42-51
The Guide to Aromatherapy by Fragrant World