Aromatherapy is a holistic medicine that uses volatile oils from various plant parts (termed essential oils) for the healing of a myriad of ailments. It is truly a holistic system of medicine, as it can be used to treat a variety of illnesses. For example, essential oils can be used to accelerate the healing process of physical injuries such as torn ligaments and broken bones, they can aid with mental problems such as lack of concentration or memory loss, and they can also lift the spirit when a person is suffering from depression or severe trauma.
While the term aromatherapy is relatively new, plants containing these precious essential oils have been used as medicine throughout history. Herbal medicines, in general, have been a staple of most indigenous cultures when it comes to the healing of diseases, but the art and science of distillation is key for the advent of this new branch of herbal medicine.
Plants distilled for the production of essential oils can be found on each of the major continents, so quite literally these oils come from all over the world. For example, the best quality lavender oil comes from Europe, especially from high altitudes in France. Tea tree oil is distilled from the leaves of the same named shrub that is native to Australia. Balsam fir oil comes from the needles, leaves and branches of this North American evergreen tree. The best quality jasmine oil is extracted (technically an absolute or CO extract) from various species of the flower, but is most closely associated with the country of India. Copaiba oil is steam distilled from the balsam of a tree found in the rainforest of Brazil. Ravensara comes from the leaves of a tree native to Madagascar, an island of the coast of Africa.
One of the strengths of aromatherapy is the multitude of ways in which essential oils are used for health and wellbeing. Clinically, they can be incorporated into a treatment in several ways. They can be diffused into the air to affect your mood and stress levels while you get a massage or acupuncture treatment. Sometimes they are blended together and massaged into the body to help with certain conditions including pain, inflammation, circulation issues and more. They can also be directly applied to acupuncture points and used with acupressure techniques, which is especially useful in cases when the patient has an aversion to needles or is too young for acupuncture.
Additionally, essential oils can be used at home in health, beauty and medicinal products such as lip balms, deodorants, healing salves, room and body sprays, or just about any kind of topical medicine. Diffusing aromatherapy blends in a tea light diffuser or nebulizer are ideal ways for the whole family to benefit from the therapeutic properties of essential oils.
Here at Stepping Stone Acupuncture & Wellness, aromatherapy consultations are now being offered as a separate service for those patients who would like to have a custom blend created to foster growth of spirit. An in-depth consultation can be done to create a personalized blend. As you move through your life journey, the blend can be reformulated to reflect your current challenges and state of being. For more information about this service, please see our Aromatherapy page.
You can book your own Aromatherapy Consultation here.