The famous treatments follow mostly the British School of Aromatherapy, which underlines the importance of employing aromatherapy only topically, i.e. via massage or in an aromatic bath, and recommends using essential oils only when diluted in carrier oils in 2-5% concentrations. It excludes the use of undiluted essential oils or taken orally. The British School encourages aromatherapy for massage and relaxation, as well as a means of dealing with some problems of an emotional nature, such as stress. This is why it has been widely adopted in a many spas and wellness resorts. There is also another approach called the French School of Aromatherapy, which is also called ‘scientific aromatherapy’ or ‘aromatology’. It is much more complex and is very often employed by naturopathic doctors. This school stresses the importance of using chymotyped oils (e.g. rosemary oil can have two or more chemotypes, so the properties may slightly change) and advocates the internal use of essential oils as well as the use of them topically in undiluted form. This branch is very similar to herbalism. In order to employ a safe and effective treatment, it is always advisable to consult with a local aromatherapist or naturopathy doctor that specializes in oral aromatherapy treatments. It is also necessary to research the brand and make sure that the oils are organic and chymotyped.
Sympathetic System and Parasympathetic System
You can certainly distinguish between two emotional states. One of them is feeling good, happy, and stress-free. In this one, we experience moments of pleasure. There is also another state that none of us want to experience, yet very often we just fall its victim unwillingly. This state is feeling stressed, worried, unhappy, irritated, in pain and basically ready to indulge in our basic instinct: fight or flight. Whenever experiencing the first, more desirable state of being, you can say ‘thank you’ to the parasympathetic system that is responsible for experiencing all the sensations that we tag as pleasurable. The sympathetic system, on the other hand, is responsible for the body’s reactions to stress, so whenever you feel nervous or are shaking and sweating, you can blame the sympathetic system of the brain. Aromatherapy and gentle aromatherapy massage have two basic tasks: to stimulate the parasympathetic system and to relax the sympathetic system at the same time. Your body will have no choice but to finally relax.
Massage brings immediate relief to muscle tension and is a great mood enhancer. Aromatherapy blends added to a massage increase its therapeutic properties. Aromatherapy massage is a great union of a natural therapy and a manual therapy that bring amazing results. Everyone loves getting pampered at spas, and aromatherapy massage is one of the treatments that are always in big demand. Unfortunately, many spa treatments are quite expensive, so following Hippocrates’ teachings to have a daily aromatherapy massage can be all but impossible to afford. Luckily, you can treat yourself to a daily self- massage with your own, personalized aromatherapy blends, and adjust it according to your mood and how you feel. Aromatherapy will work exactly the same as it would if it was applied from the hands of an experienced masseuse: the oils get absorbed by the skin and get into the circulatory system where their therapeutic properties start to do their job.