What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant to enhance psychological and physical well-being.
The inhaled aroma from these "essential" oils is widely believed to stimulate brain function. Essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, where they travel through the bloodstream and can promote whole-body healing.
Aromatherapy can also be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences; as such, it seeks to explore the physiological, psychological, and spiritual realm of an individual's response to aromatic extracts as well as to observe and enhance the individual's innate healing process.
Aromatherapy is a complementary and alternative therapy that uses essential oils to promote both physical and psychological health. It is often used in conjunction with massage, meditation/mindfulness, and other therapies to achieve health and healing.
Aromatherapy has gained in popularity in recent years, and clinical aromatherapy (the use of specific essential oils for the prevention and treatment of health conditions) is being incorporated into treatment plans by naturopathic physicians, medical doctors, registered nurses, physiotherapists, licensed massage therapists, healers, and acupuncturists as well as other health care providers.
The goal of this course is to provide an overview of aromatherapy, describe the historical use of fragrance and aromatherapy for healing, the methods of essential oil extraction and application, the clinical effects of essential oils using a body systems approach, the research about using aromatherapy for specific conditions, contraindications regarding the use aromatherapy, and the key elements of some of the most common essential aromatic healing oils.
Upon completing this course you will be able to:
- Define aromatherapy.
- Describe the historical use of fragrance and aromatherapy for healing.
- Describe how essential oils are absorbed into the body.
- Examine methods of essential oil extraction.
- Describe methods of essential oil application.
- Describe the clinical effects of essential oils using a body systems approach.
- Discuss safety issues and contraindications in aromatherapy use.
- Describe the key elements of some of the most common essential oils.