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SPIRITUALITY / Oct ‘2017

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils

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SPIRITUALITY / OCT ‘2017

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils

Want to know how you can cure your insomnia? Feel less stressed? Get rid of your cellulite and wrinkles? Yes, you just read that correct!

The benefits of Aromatherapy extent much further than the Five Essential Oils.

You can even increase your sex drive with the help of Sandalwood, Rose, Jasmine or Ylang Ylang. Aside from this, they also have additional benefits such as improving your mood, increasing positivity and giving you a more healthy, positive outlook on life.

Words Chloe Fakhri

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils have been used for centuries and are linked with medicinally, physically and emotionally altering functions of your body.

Aromatherapy is a widely recognised practice with lots of attached health benefits. These include, but are not limited to, increasing your energy levels, curing insomnia and reducing cellulite and wrinkles.

Lavender is used to relieve stress, help with sleeping and ease menstrual cramps. Grapefruit has been linked to increasing your mood and repairing oily skin. Peppermint helps rejuvenate the body and reduce headaches as well as calm nausea.

Rosemary helps stimulate hair growth, boost mental activity and reduce pain and Cedar Wood reduces acne and psoriasis as well as several other skin issues.

In 2007 a study on Aromatherapy was conducted and revealed that nurses were significantly less stressed after receiving 15-minute aromatherapy massages accompanied by music.

The study was published in the international scientific Journal of Clinical Nursing, and demonstrates the health benefits associated with using particular oils. Lavender, Rose and Chamomile are some of the many oils that are linked with reducing stress.

Aromatherapy works because it has been scientifically proven that smell travels directly to the emotional centre of the brain. Inside your nose are millions of olfactory receptors, which, after a certain process, stimulate particular areas of the brain and send messages to your emotional centre.

If oils are used consistently enough this can encourage physical, spiritual and emotional bodily changes and alterations.

 

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Benefits of Essential Oils have been widely recognised for thousands of centuries. The oldest surviving English manuscript that documents Essential Oils was written sometime between 900 and 950, by a scribe called Bald.

Leechbook became widely recognized for being written ahead of its time, especially in instances when Bald suggests surgery for a harelip. The book includes outdated rituals on magic and tree lore, but also documents over 500 plants and the properties they contain when bathed in, poured on amulets or consumed.

The ancient Egyptians use to burn incense as an offering. The Romans would release perfumed doves during celebrations and if you go back further into biblical history, the Magi gifted Mary and Joseph frankincense and myrrh at the nativity scene, which are both recognised for their alluring fragrance.

The Crusaders returned from the Holy Wars with new discoveries such as rose water and perfume that they brought back to various parts of Europe including Rome, the ancient Constantinople and certain areas in France.

The wealthy began washing their hands in rose water and herbs were used to decorate homes, however, still no knowledge was linked at this stage to the benefits of oils.

Centuries later, in 1603, a second wave of the Black Plague swept over Europe. People panicked and burnt benzoin, styrax and frankincense around their homes to stop the spreading of the disease.

Although this was unsuccessful, it was recorded that workers who worked in the aromatics and perfume industry were immune to the plague due to the high antiseptic properties they were exposed too every day.

During the early 1900’s a French chemist named Rene Maurice Gattefossé (1881-1950) worked for his family’s perfume business and began researching into the benefits of Essential Oils. During the 1920’s Gattefossé became responsible for coining the term ‘Aromatherapy’, that we know today.

Gattefossé knew his hypothesis on the benefits of Essential Oils was correct after an accidental experiment where he severely burnt his hand in his laboratory following an explosion.

 

 

After the explosion he dipped his hand into pure lavender oil and was amazed by how quickly his swelling reduced and the accelerated healing process that followed.

 

Gattefossé was further amazed by the fact that he was left with no scar.

This discovery became popular all over Europe and caught the attention of Germany, Switzerland and France in particular. Between the 1950’s and 1970’s studies were conducted into Aromatherapy all throughout Western Europe.

Austrian born Marguerite Maury was a biochemist who dedicated her life to educating people about the benefits of Essential Oils in Europe. She was inspired by the 1838 book Les Grandes Possibilités par les Matières Odoriferantes written by Dr. Chabenes, who wrote extensively about his research on aromatic materials.

During the 1930’s Maury developed new worldly renowned massage techniques incorporating oils into her practice. Maury also advocated her belief that by incorporating oils into your daily life you could retain your youth both physically, emotionally and spiritually as well as increase your energy levels.

Maury opened up aromatherapy clinics in Paris, Switzerland and England and worked until her death in 1968 and during this time published a novel, The Secret of Life and Youth (first published in 1961 and republished in 1964) dedicated to her research into the benefits of Aromatherapy.

Fragrance and oils have existed for centuries and have been associated with physically, spiritually and emotionally altering messages to your brain. Dr Julian Whitaker is an example of an American practitioner who has spent a majority of his career promoting alternative medicines and natural oils.

Since these historical and scientific breakthrough discoveries on the benefits of oils, the Western World has dedicated studies to the field of Aromatherapy.

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