Aromatherapy is a natural treatment which uses the concentrated herbal energies in essential oils, derived from a wide variety of plant. Used in association with massage, inhalation, compresses and baths the oils add a sense of luxury to a treatment and have a beneficial relaxing effect. Each essential oil has its own unique fragrance and healing property, which works towards restoring balance within the body's systems.
Aromatherapy is one of the most popular complementary therapies, providing potential benefits to both the acute and chronic stages of illness and disease. Regular treatments can help to strengthen the immune system, thereby establishing a preventative approach to overall health.
How Aromatherapy works
An essential oil has many constituents and can be balancing, relaxing or stimulating to the systems of the body. Their effect can be diverse as they have three distinctive actions:
they initiate chemical changes in the body when the essential oil enters the bloodstream and reacts with hormones and enzymes
they have a physiological effect on the systems of the body
they have psychological effects when the odour is inhaled
The skin is the largest organ of the body and the most common route for application and absorption. When applied the tiny molecules or constituents of the essential oils penetrate the skin by entering the hair follicules and sweat glands and are absorbed into the body's fluids. Some essential oils increase the circulation and efficiently help with elimination of toxins, whilst others promote cell regeneration and encourage the body's own natural healing abilities. Each oil has its own characteristics and aroma, exhibiting a varying number of properties and benefits which are unique to itself.
Inhalation of an essential oils aroma via the delicate sensory cells located in the lining of the nasal cavity initiates a signal to the limbic system, or emotional centre, of the brain, resulting in an effect on our moods and general state of mind.
Massage is one of the best ways to enjoy aromatherapy as you not only receive the therapeutic properties of the essential oils, but you also gain the benefit of the massage itself. The therapeutic action of the oils when brought together with the revitalising effects of massage stimulates all of the organs of the body, plus the skin, muscles, nerves and glands. The increased circulation of the blood and lymph flow also assists with the clearing away of body toxins and cell waste.
Because essential oils can influence our emotions, aromatherapy can help lift depression, soothe irritable nerves and generally encourage a better state of mind. Research has shown that relaxing oils such as Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Clary Sage, Sandalwood, Frankinscence and Ylang Ylang work by stimulating the neuro-chemical serotonin, naturally produced by the body, helping relaxation and induce sleep. Gentle in action, but powerful in effect, the use of aromatic essential oils may be beneficial in relieving stress and stress-related symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia and depression.
Examples of some available research evidence for aromatherapy:
Anderson, C., Lis-Balchin, M., Kirk-Smith, M. (2000). Evaluation of massage with essential oils on childhood atopic eczema. Phytother. Res. Sep;14(6);452-6.
Baker, J. (1998). Essential oils: a complementary therapy in wound management. Jorn. Wound Care. Jul:7 (7): 355-7. Review.
Barbour, C. (2000). Use of complemenetary and alternative treatments by individuals with fibromyalgia syndrome. J. Am. Acad. Nurse Pract. Aug:12 (8): 311-6.
Booker, D.J., Snape, M., Johnson, E., Ward, D., Payne, M. (1997). Single case evaluation of the effects of aromatherapy and massage on disturbed behaviour in severe dementia. Br. J. Clin. Psychol. May;36(Pt2):287-96.
Buckle, J. (2002). Clinical aromatherapy and AIDS. J. Assoc. Nurses Aids Care. May-June:13(3): 81-99.
Buckle, J. (2001). The role of aromatherapy in nursing care. Nurs. Clin. North Am. Mae:36(1):57-72. Review.
Buckle, J. (1999). Use of aromatherpy as a complementary treatment for chronic pain. Alter. Ther. Health Med. Sep;5(5):42-51. Review.
Burns, E., Blamey, C., Ersser, S.J., Lloyd, A.J., Barnetson, L.(2000). The use of aromatherapy in intrpartum midwifery practice - an observational study. Complement. Ther. Nurs. Midwifery. Feb:6(1):33-4.
Ching, M. (1999). Contempory therapy: aromatherapy in the management of acute pain? Contemp. Nurse. Dec;8(4):146-51.
Dale, A., Cornwell, S. (1994). The role of lavender oil in relieving perineal discomfort following childbirth: a blind randomized clinical trial.J. Ad. Nurs. Jan;19(1):89-96.
Daiki J.,Yuki, K., Miyako, T., Masashi, I., Katsuya, U. Effects of aromatherapy on patients with Alzheimer's disease. Department of Biological Regulation, School of Health Science, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, Yonago, Japan. Psychogeriatrics (2009)
Edge, J. (2003). A pilot study addressing the effect of aromatherapy massage on mood, anxiety and relaxation in adult mental health. Complement. Ther. Nurs. Midwifery. May;9(2):90-7.
Jardine, M. (2002). Aromatherapy: Introduction into a maternity service. Pract. Midwife. Apr;5(4):14-5. No abstract available.
Louis, M., Kowalski, S.D. (2002). Use of aromatherapy with hospice patients to decrease pain, anxiety and depression and to promote an increased sense of well-being. Am. J. Hosp. Palliat. Care. Nove-Dec;19(6):381-6.
Sigoutas-Emch, S., Fox, T., Preston, M. et al. (2001). Stress management: aromatherapy as an alternative. Sci. Rev. Alternative Med.,5(2):90-95.
Rowan Holistic Health Ltd
Saxon Spires Practice
West Haddon Road
Home Visits available,
You can reach us on:
Judith Crook: 07763 185413
Ann Studd: 07477 787471
You can also use our contact form on the contact page.
New - Complementary Therapy Outreach Service
made possible by the very kind generosity of
Support for Carers
Second and last Tuesday of each month
Complementary Therapy Relaxation Treatments available include:
Aromatherapy Massage, Reflexology & Reiki
For more details see our events page
Comapny Registration No.