What is aromatherapy?

So many times I get asked the question...what exactly is aromatherapy and what is it for? I get a twinkle in my eyes every time someone asks that question because it is yet another opportunity to educate them about an all natural way to aid their personal self healing journey.

Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. It can be used to improve physical and emotional health. Aromatherapy can include essential oils from herbs, trees, and flowers and when inhaled, the scent molecules in the oils travel to the brain and impact the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain. Once it reaches the brain, it can trigger happy hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. It is often offered as a complementary therapy or as a form of alternative medicine. 

Clinical aromatherapy involves a more in-depth level of training into essential oils. The studies look into how the essential oils are made up, break down the oils into different chemical elements/properties, and how they interact with each other.

Clinical aromatherapists are alternative health professionals who use essential oils to treat patients. They meet with patients to discuss their symptoms and health goals, and then develop treatment plans based on their needs. Clinical aromatherapists can treat a variety of physical conditions, illnesses, and psychological disorders.They can also help with symptom management for pain, nausea, anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia.
To become a clinical aromatherapist, you have to complete a postsecondary training program that has approval from the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) or the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA). This includes at least 200 hours of coursework including multiple case studies and research papers, then you have to apply to be recognized with the Association. Clinical aromatherapists can blend oils to create different effects, such as feeling relaxed, refreshed, alert, or calm. They can also select different combinations of essential oils to create individualized treatment plans for each patient by blending by specific plant parts, chemical families (terpenes), or by a specific function such as being antispasmodic, antibacterial...etc. I am proud to say that I started out as a certified professional aromatherapist , but I am now a certified clinical aromatherapist. What that means is that I am a nationally recognized aromatherapy practitioner. 
All in all, aromatherapy can help to ease stress, anxiety and depression, boost feelings of relaxation and even improve your sleep. It can help improve the quality of life for people with long term health problems like dementia and ease certain types of pain, including pain from osteoarthritis, migraine, nerve damage and more. If you would like to schedule a consultation with a certified clinical aromatherapist, please click the picture below! 

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