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Aromatherapy has been around for oleos essenciais
centuries and countless cultures have relied on its healing properties. For many reasons its presence has been almost absent in the U.S. for one hundred years, mainly due to a lack of understanding. Only in the last two decades has it seen a resurgence in popularity. Unfortunately for aromatherapy purists, its popularity has invited knock off manufacturers who have watered it down to cheap ingredients and fragrances. Fragrance does not constitute true aromatherapy. True aromatherapy requires essential plants and herbal oils.
Each plant oil, used singularly or in conjunction with another, has unique healing effects. Lavender is calming and has the same properties as the pharmaceutical drug valium. It is also used for burns, scars, stress, infection, pain, nausea and migraines. Another essential oil, tea tree oil, is known as a very strong antibiotic and is used for anything from athlete's foot to immune system deficiencies. Practitioners use the two together in a lotion to battle MRSA, a hospital born infection conventional antibiotics have a hard time defeating.
Aromatherapy is more than just "smelling good". Practitioners cite that due to environmental, lifestyle and aging factors our bodies cells' ability to absorb oxygen is inhibited. The molecules in essential oils easily permeate cell walls carrying with them the benefits of the oil and needed oxygen. Disease has a hard time living in an oxygen rich environment.
Aromatherapy users also point to the fact that our bodies emit and rely on electrical energy for many functions. Many things, from drinking coffee to smoking a cigarette, can lower this energy therefore opening the door for illnesses. It has been shown that essential oils help to raise these levels of oxygen in our blood.
While the USDA has not studied the effectiveness of essential oils and aromatherapy and therefore does not comment on its effectiveness, other institutions and agencies have come to accept its place in the treatment of various diagnosis and ailments. It is not uncommon to find hospitals and clinics offering aromatherapy and in many states it is a billable insurance item. Even in areas and situations where aromatherapy is not billable many are turning to it as a low cost alternative to conventional medicine with the added benefit of reduced side effects. Because of its strength, however, it is advised to tell your doctor of any aromatherapy treatments or products that are used when taking prescribed medications.
A common use of aromatherapy is seen in the use eye pillows. The eye pillow is filled with top quality flax seed inside a protective covering providing acupressure to the right areas of the face. The eye pillow will have an essential oil added, or a combination of oils, to be used for various applications. Lavender essential oil is one popular eye pillow used to facilitate a good night's sleep, offer a relaxing moment during a stressful day or to help many with headaches or migraines. It is even used by many with cancer for alleviation of nausea from chemo treatments.
There are countless ways aromatherapy has been found to help people. Its roots go back thousands of years. For centuries there was really no scientific explanation for its effectiveness. Practitioners just knew it worked for countless ailments with numerous benefits with no side effects. Now, with scientific advancements and a better understanding of the human body we can appreciate the age old wisdom found in its applications. We can also find new uses for the essential oils of aromatherapy.