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Is All the Hype About Aromatherapy True?
Is All the Hype About Aromatherapy True?
Are all the claims and is all the hype about holistic aromatherapy true?
An array of supplies used in holistic aromatherapy.
This is a question I have received many times, however the answer does depend on the claims that you have personally heard.
So many products, often incorrectly, use the term aromatherapy on their products. Some media reporters and vendors even refer to aromatherapy as a "new discovery" thus giving a false sense of hype to aromatherapy and promoting inaccurate information about aromatherapy.
The practice of aromatherapy is the use of volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being. Holistic aromatherapy does not include the use of fragrance oils or unnatural products. Unfortunately, many sellers of so-called aromatherapy products just use the term aromatherapy to sell their pleasant-smelling product and sometimes even go so far as to "hype" unfounded claims.
Below are a few common questions and answers that will help clarify what aromatherapy can and can't do.
Can aromatherapy cure my major illness or psychological problem?
If you expect or hope that aromatherapy will in itself cure a major illness or actually cure "stress," you will probably be in for a disappointment. But if you expect that aromatherapy can help with a physical condition, can help with symptoms, can effect your mood, or help alleviate or temporarily eliminate stress or other psychological factors, you may be delighted with the results that you experience.
For example, aromatherapy will not cure serious illness such as cancer or AIDS. Aromatherapy when practiced safely, however, can help enhance a cancer patient's quality of life by enhancing the patient's mood, calming fear and can help ease nausea during chemotherapy treatments. For AIDS patients, aromatherapy can also help enhance the patient's quality of life psychologically and essential oils can help improve one's immune system and thus potentially assist an AIDS patient that way.
Aromatherapy is a complementary alternative health modality. Its current use is not intended to replace standard medical care, but is meant to complement it. Aromatherapy can offer an alternative choice to taking prescription or over-the-counter chemical drugs. Aromatherapy can offer practical benefit for a variety of common ailments or symptoms such as assisting with cuts, wounds, bruises, inflammation, indigestion, acne, skincare, haircare, hygiene, PMS, menstruation, and for providing mental and emotional assistance with such issues as stress, fatigue, anxiety, fear, and the list goes on and on!
The very first aromatherapy blend that I ever attempted to create and try was for arthritis. I have arthritis in my knees and it can get extremely painful. I wasn't sure what to expect of this very first blend that I had made. To my skeptical amazement, I had relief. The relief did not occur instantaneously, nor was the relief permanent. Regular use of the blend, however, did C and still does C help to a large degree. This story is merely one example of the realistic results that you may experience by introducing aromatherapy into your lifestyle. I use the word "may" because everyone is different and everyone's experiences can vary.
Aromatherapy does have valid and extraordinary uses. It can improve one's lifestyle tremendously. But, as with anything in life, sensibility comes into play. Do not fall prey to any claims that aromatherapy can cure major illnesses or can cause miracles to happen. Aromatherapy can be play a beneficial role in assisting with major illnesses, but it cannot be depended upon as a cure for serious issues.
Why is aromatherapy gaining so much press and exposure now if it's been in practice for thousands of years?
Aspects of aromatherapy has indeed been in existence for thousands of years. The term aromatherapy, however, was only introduced earlier in the 20th century. I believe the surge in awareness of aromatherapy is threefold:
(1) Society today is more health conscious and is now more receptive to natural alternative health modalities including aromatherapy. The media has been actively covering the trends in increased health awareness and alternative medicine. The media has made a point to include the aromatherapy "buzzword."
(2) The Internet has made it easier for individuals to access and share aromatherapy information. This ability to network has had a positive effect on the growth of aromatherapy and aromatherapy businesses.
(3) Lifestyles of today are now more hectic and stressful. Since aromatherapy can assist in reducing the symptoms of stress and help one energize or relax, society is taking notice. If you go to many stores that sell any kind of candles, bath or beauty products, you'll most likely see products labeled with the word "aromatherapy." In my personal experience, most times I see the word "aromatherapy" on products not sold by reputable aromatherapy retailers, the word is used incorrectly. So, the surge in awareness of aromatherapy is both positive and negative. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about aromatherapy and mislabeled products around.
The above comments are not based on fact; they are my theories to this surge in popularity in aromatherapy.
Some companies claim that for best results, I should use essential oils on my skin at full strength . Others claim I should never use essential oils on my skin at full strength. Which is it?
Essential oils are concentrated liquids and are very powerful substances. They should not be consumed internally without personal counsel from a trained aromatherapist and should not be applied undiluted on the skin because they can be extremely irritating in full concentration. I speculate that companies that claim you can use oils undiluted are making this claim so that you use your oils up faster thus increasing your need to buy more for them.

If you don't believe that you should not use essential oils undiluted on the skin, read several books and notice the frequent warnings about undiluted usage. Who has more to gain, the authors of the books that you read and who will not profit from your oil purchases or the companies that want you to use up your oils faster so you can purchase more?

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