An aromatherapy treatment is one in which the aromatherapists uses the essential oils from plants in order to treat specific conditions. Essential oils are extracted from plants generally using steam distillation, but occasionally other extraction methods. Essential oils are different than the substances used by herbalogists in that herbal remedies concentrate the entire plant while aromatherapy treatment essential oils only extract the ESSENCE of the plant.
In an aromatherapy treatment, the essential oils are usually placed in a bath, inhaled or rubbed into the skin. Occasionally a combination of methods will be used. An aromatherapy treatment by a trained holistic aromatherapist will attempt to understand and treat the entire person, not just patch over one set of symptoms. This method requires a somewhat lengthy intake session during which the aromatherapist will ask a series of questions about not only the immediate symptoms, but how some other condition or influence may be hiding behind the visible symptoms.
By understanding more about the client, the aromatherapist is then able to choose a combination of essential oils which fit the needs of the client. The aromatherapist may also make suggestions about other lifestyle changes which will improve the quality of life for the client.
The next part of the aromatherapy treatment usually involves a full-body massage using one or more of the popular massage methods which the therapist will have mastered. These include shiatsu with its deep pressure point location, Swedish massage with the sweeping rhythmic movements following the muscle groups. And effleurage massage which is good for elderly or infants. The blended aromatherapy essential oils are absorbed by the client through inhalation and to some extent through the skin.
There is controversy amongst aromatherapists as to whether the oils are actually absorbed into the blood stream through the skin, but it is known the some essential oils have an antibiotic and healing effect on the skin surface.
Usually the massage part of the aromatherapy treatment is accompanied by music and continues for up to one hour. Then the client is given time to gather themselves together and have a final consultation with the aromatherapist. Suggestions for home treatments or changes may be given, as well as a portion of the individualized essential oils used during the massage, so the client may continue to enjoy their benefits.
For maximum benefits, it is suggested that the aromatherapy treatment be repeated periodically. Even as often as 2-3 times each month.