What evidence is there that aromatherapy does any good at all ?

As most doctors would say – circumstantial, anecdotal, historical but not scientific. In fact, research has been done into the effectiveness of some essential oils – especially the popular ones such as lavender, tea tree and peppermint. The anti-bacterial properties, and to some extent anti-viral properties, of these oils are now well regarded. Have you noticed how the essential oils are finding their way into a wide range of cosmetic and cleaning products? How may times have you seen ‘lemon’ or ‘pine’ fresh cleaners? Or tea tree shower gel and shampoo? Or rosemary bath oil? Is this just cashing in on a trendy phenomenon (no doubt) or is there some real scientific evidence behind it? Even if you dismiss aromatherapy out of hand, have some respect for times past when essential oils brought healing, freshness and luxury to a squalid world. We all appreciate gold, but remember it was on an equal with frankincense and myrrh! Buy a bottle of each and find out why this could possibly be.

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How are Aromatherapy Oils Made?

Aromatherapy uses essential (or concentrated) oils that are manufactured through steam distillation, expression (where plant materials are crushed to extract the oils), or with the use of solvents.

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How are Aromatherapy Oils used?

Essential oils can be applied to the skin in dilute form, for example during massage, or can be inhaled. The aroma of the oil has been shown to stimulate olfactory centres in the nose and parts of the brain. Both massage and inhalation allow oils to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

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What can Aromatherapy be used for?

One of the chief uses of Aromatherapy is to relieve stress. In this pressured world more and more people are seeking relief from everyday tension and worry, and Aromatherapy allows the individual to set time aside exclusively to take in the luxurious aromas of the essential oils, which will still the mind and calm the body.

Helping to reduce stress can also play a major role in recovery from illness, controlling stress related conditions such as bronchitis or overcoming periods of anxiety, for example when going through a divorce or bereavement. Often people find that the well-being invoked by Aromatherapy can help them adopt a positive frame of mind and this can be vital when undergoing medical treatments for many types of illnesses and diseases.

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Who can benefit from Aromatherapy?

Almost anyone! It has an amazingly relaxing effect on most people, and for those suffering from illness it can be used as a complementary treatment. If you are undergoing any other form of treatment be sure to consult your doctor before you go to an Aromatherapy practitioner

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What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a way of helping the body restore its natural balance through the use of essential oils.

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Do I have to cover myself with a sheet or towel?

This is known as draping and depends on the therapist and in some cases, the law. The vast majority of therapists will insist on draping. Once you are undressed and on the table under the drape, the therapist will only uncover the part of your body being worked on.
The genitals (women and men) and breasts (women) will not be uncovered. If the therapist is going to work on a woman’s abdomen, a second towel or sheet will be used to cover the breasts so the main sheet or towel can be moved to expose the abdomen.

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Do I have to be completely undressed?

You should undress to the level you are comfortable. For a full body massage, most get completely undressed. However, if you will be more comfortable during the session if you leave your underwear on, that’s fine. The therapist will work around the clothes you left on as best as he/she can. If removing all your clothes makes you too nervous and unable to relax, then you are not getting the optimal benefit from the session.
Your massage therapist should give you privacy to undress and get comfortable on the table.

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What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?

Your massage therapist may require you to fill out a health history form. Afterward the therapist will begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed, and to determine if massage is appropriate for you. Your massage therapist may perform certain assessments and testing to evaluate your condition and to see if you have any presenting complaints.

It is important to list all health concerns and medications so the therapist can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so the therapist is aware if he/she needs to use a different oil or lotion during the session.

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