A blog dedicated to promoting the healing power of essential oils and aromatherapy

Discover essential oil profiles, aromatherapy practice, essential oil safety, aromatherapy training,essential oil uses, aromatherapy talk and many more aromatherapy notes - all from a unique UK/USA perspective....

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Aromatherapy and Spas

Essential oils have a wide number of therapeutic properties which can be used to help heal a number of health problems.  Many spas through out the world are now beginning to realize the potential and benefits of using essential oils in aromatherapy spa treatments.  However, I sometimes get frustrated by the description of some of these "aromatherapy" spa treatments - particularly by the larger hotel chains.  I'm not always convinced that they know exactly the true potential of essential oils or are giving the "right" information to clients.

When I first moved to Sedona, Arizona I was excited by the possibilities of using aromatherapy in Sedona as it is well known for its world class spas and any number of "healing" therapies on offer.  However, therein lies the "problem".  So many people, and particularly a lot of the large hotel chains with their own spas, have jumped on the "healing therapies" band wagon that I feel aromatherapy is, in some ways, becoming "discredited" in Sedona because its just another one of those healing therapies designed to attract tourists to the area.  That's not to say that aromatherapy is "bad" in Sedona - but its a bit of an uphill battle to:

  • get  people to understand it is more than "just a pretty smell"
  • its not "just a massage"
  • its not the same as fragrance oils (which have no therapeutic value, although they may smell nice).
The reason I felt compelled to make a post about this, is that I just read an article in local magazine about aromatherapy on offer at one of the local hotel chains.  I normally don't write posts along these lines, preferring to focus more on the positive things I have discovered/know about aromatherapy, but sometimes there is a need to point out a few misleading "beliefs" about aromatherapy. Extracts from the article which concerned/frustrated me read:

  • "(aromatherapy)....sounding like another New Age come-on..."
  • "almost every ancient culture has used aromatherapy" - a little misleading - ancient cultures may have used aromatic oils and plants, but not in the sense of aromatherapy as we know it today
  • "apply oils on pulse points in the same way as you would perfume" - essential oils should never be used neat, unless under the specific guidance of an aromatherapist, or if you have aromatherapy knowledge of a particular oil, and even then some oils should NEVER be used in this way!
  • "Pregnant women should stay away from peppermint and cinnamon oils." - and a number of other essential oils too, and the contraindications should be mentioned to go with that
  • although, antibacterial effects of oils was mentioned briefly in the article, there was no specific guidelines as to how to use/mix essential oils with massage oils and the possible contraindications of some essential oils.
Although, I believe the article was written to both promote the hotel spa and, in some ways, to try to highlight the benefits of aromatherapy, I felt it lacked "professionalism."  I am all for promoting aromatherapy but sometimes mis-information can be as damaging as lack of information.  My hope for the future is that aromatherapy and the use of essential oils is understood more in the U.S. and is used in the way it is used in Europe - for true healing purposes!

As a footnote, I would like to add that I am aware that essential oils are used in some therapeutic settings in the U.S.  In addition, although I would like to practice aromatherapy more this way, I do sell aromatherapy gifts and blends through Sedona Aromatherapie, Chocolate Aromatherapy and Aromatherapy Wedding as a way to try and reach people who are not familiar with aromatherapy and to inspire them to learn the true potential of essential oils!  I have just learned to adapt my ways of doing this, for the moment, given my specific location in Sedona!  Perhaps, in the future, essential oils and aromatherapy will become more common in Sedona for their medicinal and therapeutic value - outside of major hotel spas.....

To end on a positive note, Sedona is a wonderful place to experience aromatherapy - just choose your aromatherapist wisely and you will have a true aromatic experience :)

Please leave me a comment below, if you have any specific experiences/thoughts on the use of "Aromatherapy and Spas".

No comments:

Post a Comment