Aromatherapy: How it Works and How to Learn

Aromatherapy has been utilized in medicinal practice around the world for thousands of years. This form of alternative medicine focuses on the use of essential oils to promote physical and mental health, but don’t be fooled by how simple the practice may seem. You’ve undoubtedly seen the bounty of bath and body products boasting therapeutic properties, but true aromatherapy is practiced by therapists who have earned certification by completing aromatherapy courses. It pays to be wary of candles or lotions labeled “aromatherapy” sold in stores, warns The Huffington Post. Make sure you understand the labels, as these products typically contain synthetic scent rather than pure essential oils. Synthetics can be ineffective, and in some cases may even be harmful.

How it Works

So how can true aromatherapy help you? According to the Mayo Clinic, breathing in certain scents can activate receptors in your nose that can trigger sensors in your brain, affecting your emotions. These oils can be used in baths, massages, or lotions, though take care when undiluted oils come in direct contact with your skin. Certain oils can cause irritate or interact with certain medications, which is why the guidance of a professional aromatherapist is your best choice. Even oils that can fight bacteria on the skin, such as tea tree oil, must be properly diluted and should be administered under professional guidance. Studies have shown that aromatherapy can help with a wide range of conditions, not limited to stress, chronic pain, and depression

How to Learn

If you’re interested in aromatherapy and potentially starting a practice, schools like New Eden School of Natural Health & Herbal Studies offer aromatherapy courses as part of their natural and herbal healing curriculums. Aromatherapy is part of a school of medicinal practice called naturopathy, which focuses on natural and traditional methods of healing. If you’re fascinated by how flowers, herbs, and their essential extracts can make a difference in someone’s health, then aromatherapy might be a potential educational path.

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