Aromatherapy uses essential oils and other aromatic plant compounds to improve a patient’s health or mood. These essential oils can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. They can be used as massaging oils and as topical application of the pure oil. They can also be added as drops and taken internally as a drink – this is more unusual and is only carried out by appropriately qualified practitioners as it requires more safety measures. The theory behind aromatherapy is that breathing in essential oils stimulates the olfactory system; and a signal is sent to the part of the brain that controls emotions and memories, causing the release of chemicals which make the person feel relaxed, calm, or even stimulated. If applied directly onto the skin, some essential oils may destroy microbes and fungi. The theory behind internal oils is that they stimulate the immune system.
Patient QI view
Aromatherapy is an important additional aspect to many mind body therapies and is a good thing to include in an overall health strategy. Essential oils can be bought easily in health shops but our advice is not to take any essential oils internally and do see a qualified aromatherapist to find out what is best for you.
Patient QI best info link:
Rules Regulations and Associations
There are no rules and regulations for the therapy, and no rules for the standardisation of training of aromatherapists and the practice of Aromatherapy. It is the responsibility of manufacturers of aromatherapy oils to ensure that they contain the correct substances. In France, and much of Western Europe aromatherapy is incorporated into mainstream medicine as an antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial, hence there is regulation in those countries for some essential oils which can be classified as prescription drugs, in France in particular, and can only be administered (or prescribed) by a doctor.
Aromatherapy Trade Council: http://www.a-t-c.org.uk
National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy: http://www.naha.org
Aromatherapy Registration Council: http://aromatherapycouncil.org/
Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists: http://cfacanada.com
British Colombia alliance of Aromatherapy: http://www.bcaoa.org/
Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists: http://cfacanada.com/
The International Aromatherapy and Aromatic Medicine Association: www.iaama.org.au
Australian Aromatic Association: http://www.aama-oz.org/
Aroma Forum: www.aromaforum.co.za
New Zealand Register of Holistic Aromatherapists: www.aromatherapy.org.nz