We started the week with a brainstorming session to find out what we knew about aromatherapy oils. Aromatherapy in simple terms is a fragrant cure, or the controlled use of essential oils to treat ailments and disease and to promote physical and emotional well-being.
We’re not just talking about smell alone although that is one application method. Essential oils can be applied to penetrate the skin to take direct action on body tissues and organs in the vicinity of application. They can also enter the bloodstream and be carried throughout the body. The added bonus of being applied topically is the fragrance of the essential oil is also inhaled.
There are three different modes of action in the body: pharmacological, which affects the chemistry of the body; physiological, which affects the ability of the body to function and process; and psychological, which affects emotions and attitudes. These three modes interact continuously. Aromatherapy is so powerful partly because it affects all three modes. You choose the application method based on where you most want the effects concentrated and on what is most convenient and pleasing to you.
We read through a handout that also covered off contraindications and we developed lists in groups. Moving onto carrier oils and the properties of selected oils we really started to delve into the nitty gritty of aromatherapy including labelling requirements, and aromatic usage and oil ‘notes’.
We did an exercise where we consulted with another student to create a ‘blend’ keeping in mind that a blend must contain top, middle and base notes, include 3 oils, be clearly named and labelled including the ratios and intended usage…quite a task! From here we performed a 30 min back massage on our client with blended oils. Quite a busy week and I realised that there is an art to creating a blend and accommodating to the client’s needs.