Essential oils are volatile essences used to heal people since the dawn of time. These highly concentrated oils are extracted from plants and provide amazing natural therapeutic benefits.
Whilst there is currently no legal requirement to hold a qualification to practice, I hope that the contents of this book and the cautions will help you to realise the importance and value of holding such qualifications.
At present, it is an offense to advertise the treatment of conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, locomotor, diabetes, paralysis, epilepsy, tuberculosis, and cancer in any alternative or complementary therapy. The only complementary therapies that are practiced within the law at the moment are Chiropractic and Osteopathy. All the others are practiced under a common law license unless a trademark is being used. Such treatments as acupuncture are also registered with local council bylaws which may restrict such treatments and if allowed they will have environmental health checks. The market has been flooded with companies from America, which pyramid sell oils through consultants with little or no recognised training in oils. I was horrified when one consultant linked to a large company suggested it was OK off the record to ingest oils!!! It is most definitely not! It is this commercial market that has surrounded aromatherapy with confusion and misunderstanding, leaving most ignorant, and uneducated to the benefits of essential oil use.
Aromatherapy is the controlled therapeutic administration of highly concentrated oils extracted from plants. Essential oils are aromatic, volatile, powerful when neat, flammable, soluble in oil and alcohol, mainly liquid apart from some Ottos and Resins (more about these terms later). Oils are non-greasy and also dissolvable in fat, whilst absorbing water. They come from the leaves, seeds, flowers, twigs, trees, wood, fruit, and grains of the plant or tree and are grown all around the world now.
Aromatherapy works through skin penetration and inhalation mainly, as the most effective methods. It is thought that the main effect of oils is on the unconscious, primitive limbic system in the brain. Its effects are pharmacological, whereby the reaction with hormones and enzymes in the body happens when the chemical changes occur as the oil enters the body, the oils may also affect physiologically affecting the organs and body systems through sedation or stimulation. Finally, the reaction can be psychological as an emotional reaction to the oil occurs.
Aromatherapy can be broken down into;
- Simple - the use of the oils in a wide variety of methods
- Cosmetic- the use of oils for skin and beauty
- Psycho-aromatherapy - the psychotherapeutic benefits of oils, and their influence and effect on the individual
- Aromatherapy massage - combining the therapeutic effects of the oils with the synergy of touch and massage as benefits to certain condition
- Medical aromatherapy - includes the use of oil to support clinically diagnosed conditions.