What is Aromatherapy? Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils for psychological and physical well-being.
A History of Aromatherapy
In brief, aromatherapy is the use of volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being. Although the term aromatherapy was not used until the 20th Century, the foundations of aromatherapy date back thousands of years. The use of essential oils in particular ,date back nearly one thousand years.
The Chinese may have been one of the first cultures to use aromatic plants for well-being. Their practices involved burning incense to help create harmony and balance.
The Egyptians used infused oils and herbal preparations for spiritual, medicinal, fragrant and cosmetic use. It is thought that the Egyptians coined the term perfume, from the Latin per fumum which translates as through the smoke.
Within the 13th century, the pharmaceutical industry was born. This event encourages great distillation of essential oils. During the 14th century, the Black Death hit and killed millions of people. It is believed that some perfumers may have avoided the plague by their constant contact with the natural aromatics.
During the 16th century, one could begin purchasing oils at an “apothecary,” and many more essential oils were introduced.
In the 19th century, perfumery remained a prosperous industry. The 19th century also was important scientifically as major constituents of essential oils became isolated.
During the 20th century, the knowledge of separating the constituents of essential oils was used to create synthetic chemicals and drugs. These discoveries helped lead to “modern medicine” and synthetic fragrances. During the earlier part of the 20th century, a French chemist by the name of René-Maurice Gattefossé became interested in the use of essential oils for their medicinal use. Previously, he focused on the aromatic use of essential oils, but his interest in their medicinal use grew after an accident heightened his curiosity. Gattefossé is credited with coining the term aromatherapy in 1928 within an article where he supports the use of using essential oils in their whole without breaking them down into their primary constituents.
From the late 20th century and on into the 21st century, there is a growing resurgence to utilize more natural products including essential oils for therapeutic, aromatic benefit. Today’s heightened awareness regarding the use of synthetics coupled with the increased availability of aromatherapy information within books and the Internet has refuelled the use of essential oils for therapeutic, cosmetic, fragrant and spiritual use.
The research into the effectiveness of aromatherapy and the use of essential oils especially in treating the symptoms of Dementia is ongoing, however I have designed a range of products that can be inhaled or applied to the skin, and combined with the therapeutic use of massage can help those living with Dementia to ease symptoms of anxiety and offer relief from symptoms of depression
Melissa (Melissa Officinalis) A calming yet uplifting effect on the emotions and hyper sensitive states. It has also been shown to help calm and relax people dealing with insomnia and improve memory
Bergamot (Citrus Bergamia ) Its sedative yet uplifting properties are excellent for anxiety and nervous tension and can help to allay frustration and anger
Lavender (Lavendula officinalis) Soothes and stabilises the mind and spirit, relieving anger and exhaustion resulting in a calmer approach to life.
Ylang Ylang (Canaga odorata) Excellent for excitable conditions helping to relax the nervous system resulting in a feeling of joy.
Petitgrain (Citrus vulgaris) Helps to calm anger and panic and helps to refresh the mind.
As well as using Pure Essentials oils for treating people clinically and therapeutically I have designed a range of products using Fragrance Oils to help evoke memories and aid reminiscence.
Room Diffusers & Room Sprays are available in:
Old English Rose. Honeysuckle . Freesia. Vanilla. Sandalwood.
If you would like more information about aromatherapy and how it can be used within your home benefiting residents and carers alike, please do not hesitate to contact me. Based in East Sussex I am happy to visit homes and train staff and relatives how to give a simple hand massage. Alternatively, you can email me for an information pack and free sample.
As a Dementia Champion I am happy to attend information days, forums etc to advise on all aspects of aromatherapy and how the holistic approach can help may residents. I have a qualification in Chemistry and Blending of Essential Oils and welcome enquiries for specific conditions whether physical or emotional.
*Over the past few years a number of clinical trials have compared aromatherapy, principally using either lavender (Lavandula angustifolia or Lavandula officinalis) or lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), with inactive treatment. All of these studies demonstrated a significant impact on behavioural problems in patients with dementia, with negligible side-effects. 72 patients with severe dementia who were treated with lemon balm essential oil, demonstrated improvements in behavioural symptoms comparable with those seen with neuroleptic agents in patients with less severe dementia, but it also indicated secondary improvements in quality of life and activities.
Aromatherapy in dementia Clive Holmes & Clive Ballard. Southampton University
Debbie Corti-Young M:07456608872 @ScentsationsDCY
W: www.scentsationsaromatherapy.co.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org