Does aromatherapy actually work?
In short, the answer is YES! The key factors are what ailment/condition is being treated, the strength of the product, the application method and regularity of administration.
Another way to answer this question is to see the professionals who have trained in the modality and how long they have been in the industry. Doctors, nurses, allied and complementary therapy practitioners see and have experienced the benefits first hand. Some have dedicated their life to researching aromatic plants and educating the public and companies on how beneficial aromatic plants are in the field of health and medicine.
All of this involves someone investing their time (years), money and energy into the field of aromatherapy. Why would people do that if aromatherapy/aromatic medicine didn’t work?
How does aromatherapy work?
Essential oils can be inhaled, penetrate into the body via the skin and mucous membranes, and can be orally ingested. The latter is in the field of aromatic medicine and is only recommended under the guidance of an aromatic medicine specialist.
Via these channels, essential oil molecules are absorbed into the cells of body tissue and organs. In doing so, the molecules trigger certain response. In the case of an essential oil being inhaled, the molecule travels from the nose to the brain (via the olfactory nerve and bulb). The olfactory bulb is stimulated and in turn starts to process the odour information. This one odour can also trigger parts of the brain connected to memory, survival, the central nervous system, hormones and sleep.
Molecules that have been inhaled also travel down the throat and enter the airways and into the lungs where they make their way into the blood stream and circulatory system. The molecules can then be absorbed into tissue walls and effect organs in specific ways.
Essential oils are excreted from the body through perspiration, kidneys and bladder.
What is aromatic medicine?
Aromatic medicine is a specialised branch of aromatherapy and has a strong health focus. Aromatic medicine professionals are trained in ingestion of essential oils and related products as a way to assist the body and mind move back to wellness.
Products include essential oils, carrier oil/cream mediums, herbs, clay therapy, aromatic hydrosols, ointments, pessaries, suppositories along with the usual aromatherapy interventions.
How much study do you need before qualifying as a professional aromatic medicine practitioner?
An Advanced Diploma in Aromatic Medicine is the minimum requirement level. It is the next step up from having a Diploma in aromatherapy. This qualification may move to a degree-based qualification in the near future.
What is a clinical aromatherapist?
A clinical aromatherapist is someone who has attained a minimum Diploma level qualification in the area of clinical aromatherapy. They can prescribe blends, make general products, provide consulting services, write and educate. They can offer a number of services such as one-to-one consultations, prescribing blends, make general products, provide consulting services for organisations in the areas of general health and wellness, consult in specialty areas, become educators, write and take part in research and development.
Part of a clinical aromatherapists’ consulting/practitioner service may involve administering essential oils via modalities such as massage, reflexology, kinesiology, bowen therapy and forms of energy work. This, however, is not necessarily the main or only way, to treat clients.
How much study do you need before qualifying as a professional (clinical) aromatherapist?
A Diploma level qualification is the minimum level required. Undergraduate studies can also be pursued. Some universities within Australia have a dove-tail relationship with a few of the private natural health colleges which allow you to gain a degree status qualification.
What is the difference between a synthetic oil and an essential oil?
There is a big difference. Actually there is no comparison. A synthetic ‘oil’ is really a fragrant oil that is extremely cheap to buy. Its only purpose is to add fragrance to a room. Synthetic molecules are also added to supposed ‘quality grade’ essential oils. This is known as adulteration. Common adulterated essential oils include Lavender, Melissa and Rose. It pays to shop around when searching for pure grade essential oils. Why? There may be inconsistencies when self treating or treating clients and you will have ‘hit and miss’ successes. Then you (or your clients) may question the efficancy of aromatherapy…
A pure grade essential oil offers therapeutic value when vaporised into the atmosphere. This may be mental, physical, emotional or spiritual in nature. Cost is also a major difference. There is simply no way you could purchase an excellent grade 10ml essential oil (even wholesale) for $2! If you could, I’d be asking questions! There are also guidelines to watch out for when buying a very good quality essential oil. The label should have the common and latin name on the bottle, as well as country of origin, a batch number, expiry date (useful as a guideline only), and chemotype (if applicable).
Are all synthetic ingredients ‘bad’?
Let’s just say you can find products that are reasonably priced and which contain little or no synthetic ingredients. If you have highly sensitive skin, it would be wise to opt for synthetic free products as much as possible.
Synthetic ingredients on their own or in conjunction with other synthetic raw materials can have some side effects. Some have an immediate effect, while others permeate through the skin and mucous membranes and create certain levels of toxicity.
Synthetic ingredients are used in products because they are cheap to produce, not because they are necessarily useful or beneficial for the skin. Sometimes, what you find on the ingredient list of your skin care products can also be found in cleaning products. Say no more….
What is the difference between mineral oil and aqueous base cream?
When it comes to skin care there is a big difference.
An aqueous cream is water-based and allows for ingredients to be absorbed into the skin so that it really benefits. Mineral oil (a petroleum by-product, by the way) acts as a barrier to absorption. There is no point including essential oil ingredients in a mineral oil-based product. There will be little if any hydrating, healing, nourishing and overall cellular benefit for the skin.
Does Joyful Living Consultancy offer a refund or exchange on products?
There is a no refund or exchange policy with regard to products formulated or purchased through Joyful Living Consultancy. As products are made to order, it is important you ask as many questions as possible about the products you are interested in buying, before they are formulated for you. If you are having a consultation with a clinical aromatherapist it is important you provide them with as much relevant information as possible so that the appropriate product can be dispensed.
There is an exception, and that is with the electric vaporiser. This comes with a warranty. Keep the receipt of purchase and warrantee in a safe place. If the product becomes faulty within the warrantee timeframe, you can contact the manufacturer directly.