In practical massage therapists’ work aromatherapy (AT) plays a certain role.
AT means using essential oils, which, according to AT supporters, have a beneficial effect on the human body.
Modern AT is a powerful industry with all its components: the production of natural and synthetic essential oils, theory covered in a considerable number of books, AT courses of various kinds and duration, certificates, diplomas, professional associations, secrets, and mysteries, as well as a large information space on the Internet.
A novice and inexperienced massage therapist may think that AT is a realistic and truthful component of the modern world.
To understand the AT ideas examine its main component – essential oil. For details, I refer to numerous independent publications, here we will pay attention to only a few points.
Essential oils (EOs) are oily liquids with a specific smell and taste. They include many components such as terpenes, esters, and so on. Natural essential oil is an integral part of the chemistry of some plants.
In plants, EOs perform various functions: they attract insects, protect plants from microorganisms, and so on.
Humans use essential oils primarily as fragrances and pesticides. Historically, some of them were used in official medicine, but at present, with a few exceptions, they have been superseded by more effective drugs. Nevertheless, repeated attempts to return them to medicine are being made from time to time.
The EOs effects on humans. The trick.
From the foregoing, it is clear that the key question here is how EOs affect the human body.
Take a look at two aspects that are ambiguously reflected in the theory of aromatherapy.
1. The scent is the main component of action in AT
2. Eos, which is a biologically active substance, acts on the body, regardless of its smell.
It is the trick. Ask about it any AT guru and learn the answer. By measuring the longevity of the maneuver you can evaluate the honesty of your opponent.
EOs as biologically active substance definitely acts on the human body. It is the fact. Not their odor but their chemistry. We all know examples. Menthol is used for short-term relief of minor sore throat and as As an antipruritic to reduce itching. Eucalyptus oil can be used for treating coughs associated with the common cold.
But modern real medicine relies on effective drugs with precise, selective, and unambiguous effects that can be easily dosed.
As mentioned above, EOs are quite various components with the fact presented effect, but either a weak or unpredictable or poorly dosed.
In other words, you can use them, but you will not be happy with the result. Especially when compared to modern medicines.
So how about the scent?
Another feature of EOs is the pleasant scent.
True AT is the practice of using EOs for therapeutic benefit. It should be emphasized that a significant part of the AT is about the effect of scent on human health.
By inhalation EOs… let’s put it another way… by sensing an odor or a mixture of odors clear effect can be achieved. And not just effects, but therapeutic effects. Really?
This thesis has never been scientifically proven.
It is also a fact.
Nevertheless, the smell of EM is one of the honest and real effects of AT.
For human beings, the sense of smell has many functions, including detecting desirable foods and hazards. This is the oldest sense, coming down from animals. Maybe now it’s less important but still exists. The odor can signal danger but it can also have a calming effect.
But In modern humans, the same odor can be associated with different events, therefore the same odor can have the exact opposite effect. As well as the absence of any effect at all in people with a poor sense of smell. Ups…
This means that we cannot determine the specific effect of a smell on a particular individual.
But the psychological (albeit unpredictable) effect is present. This is also a fact
Is it a little or a lot?
It is quite a lot to use EOs in the practice of massage therapy.
And it is very little to call Aromatherapy a therapy.
So, here are pleasant and not-pleasant conclusions from the above.
- We can use EOs in massage clinics. But remember – this is a psychological effect. Unpredictable, but existing.
- Aromatherapy is not therapy. It’s far enough away from therapy.
- All these endless tangled books, scents recipes, and EOs mixtures, as well as the quite expensive AT courses, are about nothing. Their goals are not to help people, but to make money from them.
- Essential oils can be used in any combination, but it is almost impossible to predict the effect on a particular person. There is no scientific basis for these combinations.
- You can save a lot of money on the path to understanding aromas. Just learn how to deliver EOs to a client and the problems that can arise during this. It is about 5% any of AT books. All the information is free and available. And remember, you already know all their secrets
What you should do instead
- Take the EO and smell it. If you like the odor, it means that someone else will like it too.
- Sharp smells stimulate, soft – soothe.
- To be sure, ask the client about odors.
- Be aware of allergies
- Use good EOs, especially when applied to the skin
- Dilute EOs with oil. Do not use pure.
- EOs combinations. Feel free to mix and try. The only science here is your senses. You are now an expert on an equal footing with any AT guru.