Aromatherapists worldwide are celebrating and participating in Aromatherapy Awareness Week this June, raising awareness and promoting the health benefits of aromatherapy.
Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains.
The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) says:
Aromatherapy was highlighted in the 2019 FHT Member Survey as one of the top three therapies demanded by clients. The essential oils used in aromatherapy are highly aromatic, readily absorbed into the body via the skin and lungs, and are believed to affect the body on all levels - physically, mentally and even emotionally/spiritually. When combined with massage, which helps to soothe away muscular tension and improve circulation, an aromatherapy treatment can be either deeply relaxing or uplifting, depending on the oils and massage techniques used by the therapist.
Aromatherapy is used by people for a variety of reasons. Some use it to help them manage or cope with specific physical, mental or emotional problems, while others use it as means of relaxation, or to help maintain good health and a sense of general wellbeing.
Aromatherapy massage and essential oils are commonly used in hospitals, hospices and other healthcare settings, to help support patients and their carers. The demand is increasing for complementary therapy in supportive and palliative care, as it provides symptom relief as well as emotional support to patients.
My link with aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is one of the first complementary therapies I started to use as a teenager.
I remember walking over to Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden in the late 1980s whilst studying for my GCSE exams and being mesmerised with the essential oils. Back then essential oils were not as readily available as they are now, and Neal’s Yard Remedies was one of the few places I knew where I could get them and know that they are good quality too.
A few years later while doing my A-Levels I bought a few of these wondrous oils to use along with some books and I loved discovering more about them. I went off to university and took these little magical bottles with me and found them so helpful, and my friends loved them too.
A couple of years after graduating I found myself training in massage and then a year later training in both Aromatherapy and Reflexology and I’ve never looked back since.
While working part time as a practitioner I spent four years working with Neal’s Yard Remedies, firstly as their UK Sales Rep which involved driving around the country supporting retailers who stocked their products (not their own shops but did include department stores like Fenwick to small independent shops), training people in the products and aromatherapy and then later I worked in Customer Services advising and helping customers with their general enquiries as well as offering some staff training for the company. I left the company to set up full time as a complementary therapist as they moved their head office out of London, but as many of you know I still have a clinic in their flagship Covent Garden therapy rooms.
Over these past 21 years working full time as a practitioner I’ve had the pleasure of teaching aromatherapy diplomas to new practitioners as well as teaching CPD courses to qualified therapists and running courses for midwives. And I also teach Introductory workshops in aromatherapy as well as Make your own products.
Currently I still use essential oils in my treatments, blending and making balms for use in my reflexology treatments, fertility massage and pregnancy massage.
I’ve got family, friends and clients who have gained the benefits of these essential oils in so many ways to support them both physically and mentally, and use it alongside their medical treatments to assist them.
If you’re new to aromatherapy and want to know more then please take a look at my earlier blog posts where I’ve written more about them:
Essential Oils – How to Use In Part 4 of our Introduction to Aromatherapy we are introducing the different methods of use as there are so many ways that you can use and enjoy essential oils and aromatherapy. Below are some of the main ways to use them, taking note of the precautions mentioned…Read More
Essential Oils Safety and Storage There are a number of things to consider when using aromatherapy and buying essential oils for personal use. Things like storage and safety are key to looking after yourself and your family, plus prolonging the quality of the essential oils. Storage of Essential Oils To maximise the shelf…Read More
Welcome to part 2 of our guide to An Introduction to Aromatherapy. This time we are focusing on how essential oils are produced and extracted from the plant material. There are a number of extraction processes used including the three principal methods: Distillation Expression Solvent extraction Distillation There are 2 types of distillation –…Read More
The word “Aromatherapy” is thrown around a lot these days. You find it not just on natural products, but it can be seen on your bubble bath, washing powder, deodorant and even on floor cleaner. However, what really is Aromatherapy, where does it come from and how can it be used? Over the coming months I’m…Read More
* Rima Shah is an independent NYR Organic consultant and the link above links to her related website for the products.
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