Aromatherapy has had a modern day resurgence away from its association of just massage, pampering and relaxation. An increase in popularity has come about perhaps due to a greater demand for natural alternatives to health issues moving away from the harmful synthetics in cosmetics and perfumery.
More recent research has shown that plant essential oils contain a whole range of far reaching health benefits.
Researchers from the University of Leicester found that a compound contained within Frankincense essential oil called; acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid was found to be effective at killing cancer cells and specifically treating ovarian cancer, this opens up a whole new understanding and depth to these wonderful remedies from Mother Nature!
Aromatherapy is the therapeutic action of using concentrated plant extracts known as essential oils. These potent oils are extracted from different parts of the plants such as the root, petals, leaves, bark, fruit rind, seed and resin and can be said to contain the ‘life force’ of the plant. Once diluted into a carrier oil or cream they can be applied during massage, topical applications, in baths, steam inhalations, diffusers or oils burners or even inhaled straight from the bottle.
The simple and yet powerful essences contain a vast array of chemical constituents that when absorbed into the blood stream can have beneficial effects such as regulating the endocrine glands, stimulating digestion, reducing inflammation increasing white blood cell production and many other benefits. They are also an aid for instant stress relief, improved mental clarity and have energy boosting effects making them a valuable tool for massage therapists who provide massage in the workplace.
Our olfactory system responsible for our sense of smell directly links to the limbic part of our brain which is responsible for our mood, memory and emotion, thus essential oils can have a powerful, positive influence on our
state of mind. The introduction of these scented oils within the workplace can do more than create a feel good atmosphere. In Japan, Shimizu, the third biggest construction company in the country showed that when lemon essential oil was pumped into the air ventilation the effect on the workforce resulted in 54% fewer typing errors!
Therapists who introduce an essential oil to the environment while giving on site treatments find it can help the client to enter a state of mind that can ‘switch off’ from their usual concerns and work stresses and be even more receptive to it benefits. The effect of the essential oils not only allows those being treated to relax but, due to the mentally refreshing and stimulating effects of certain oils, it allows them to step back into the work task with a greater clarity and focus feeling recharged and energised. Many oils also contain powerful anti -bacterial and anti -viral effects which can help to purify the atmosphere and boost immunity thus leaving those being treated with a stronger protection from airborne germs.
The benefits of aromatherapy can be easily introduced into the workplace by way of room spray’s containing essential oils or diffusers that dispersed essential oils into the atmosphere. To improve general mood in the workplace, a room spray containing a combination of oils such as lemon and peppermint can useful for introducing an uplifting and focusing effect whist Lavender, Geranium and Frankincense can help to be emotionally balancing and relaxing. This is turn can help improve staff performance, productivity and motivation.
As a massage therapist, it’s lovely to witness a client’s face as they connect with the scent and see it inspire relaxation, creating a space to breathe deeply and beneficially and return to work refreshed and re-energised.