Aromatherapy is a therapeutic massage procedure in which a masseuse or masseur applies pressure to all the pressure points of the body, while the client lies back in a room with dim lighting and soft music along with soothing scents. The entire procedure is meant to calm the mind and body.
A trained aroma-therapist manipulates the soft tissue to have a therapeutic effect; the act of doing so is called massaging and since there is a use of essential oils this procedure is known as “aromatherapy.” The essential oil(s) chosen for the massage are very important as the therapeutic effect is a result of the therapeutic properties of the oil and not the fragrance as such.
Aromatherapy makes use of reflexology as well. Reflexology is an alternative medicine according to which pressure is applied to the pressure points on the ears, hands and feet. Reflexologists believe that specific points on the hands, ears and feet have nerve endings of various organs of the body and that massaging these points has a positive effect on the overall health of the client.
Aromatherapy has a holistic approach as it incorporates various methods of massage such as Swedish, Neuromuscular Massage, Lymphatic Massage, Acupressure Massage, Shiatsu, and Rolfing.
Aromatherapy is beneficial for the treatment of many ailments. For example, it is used for the treatment of pain, nausea, muscle spasms, soft-tissue problems, anxiety, depression, insomnia, emotional stress, helping premature infants gain weight, helping elderly patients relax, helping to improve the immune system, asthma, eating disorders, hypertension and recovering from surgery.
Although aromatherapy helps in the treatment of many ailments, it is not a substitute to medications or other treatments. Additionally, if one is seeking treatment for a certain ailment, it is best to first consult one’s specialist/doctor before going for aromatherapy.