Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy that uses essential oils from plants and flowers. Designed to treat the whole body, aromatherapy aims to assist the body’s natural abilities to heal, rest and recover from stress and illness. Aromatherapy has been used for hundreds of years and research into its uses continues to grow.
Aromatherapy is now one of the most popular forms of complementary therapy. Essential oils are used with the hope of treating and preventing illness, as well as encouraging rest and relaxation. For this reason, aromatherapy is especially beneficial for stress-related concerns like headaches, insomnia and anxiety.
Aromatherapy is now being recognised in the science world and is listed on The NHS Directory of Complementary and Alternative Practitioners. It has gained steam in palliative care and is increasingly used alongside conventional treatment. Research into its effectiveness is encouraging and continues to grow. If you have a health care cash plan you may be able to claim money back from your treatments
As an aromatherapist I can target the cause of stress and create a personal plan (and suitable concoction of essential oils) for you.
How does it work?
Aromatherapy typically works in two different ways, through sense of smell and through skin absorption into your bloodstream. Many essential oils contain anti-inflammatory properties and may be applied to the skin to fight infection or relieve pain. If you suspect an infection, it’s important to consult your GP first. Perhaps the most common use of essential oils on the body, however, is through aromatherapy massage.
During a massage, essential oils are added to a carrier oil to dilute the mixture and massaged into the skin. An aromatherapy massage usually lasts between one hour and 90 minutes. The oils used will be tailored to suit your specific requirements.
Aromatherapy massages are incredibly relaxing, bringing together the powerful benefits of both aromatherapy and massage.
Psychological and physical benefits:
- Can help to lift mood (physical touch boosts our happy hormones).
- Promotes relaxation, reducing stress and improving your sense of well-being.
- Reduces nervous tension (our bodies hold a lot of psychological tension when we’re stressed, so releasing this can be helpful).
- Stimulates the body’s immune system, protecting itself from illness.
- Eases muscle tension (making you feel more relaxed and soothing aching muscles).
- Encourages lymphatic drainage, helping to reduce fluid and toxin build-up.
- Boosts circulation (helping blood and oxygen circulate the body to promote healing).
What can aromatherapy help?
The therapeutic qualities of essential oils are thought to ease stress, boost the immune system and encourage overall well-being. The evidence for its effectiveness varies and often further research is required, however, there are several conditions aromatherapy is thought to help with, including:
Stress - Certain scents can trigger a relaxation response in the brain. When combined with massage especially, it can help to reduce feelings of stress. Understanding the cause of your stress and increasing self-care practices can help you keep on top of stress.
Anxiety - Studies have found that aromatherapy can have a positive effect on those living with anxiety. As a complementary therapy, it is best used alongside other therapies such as talking therapy.
Insomnia - Many people find aromatherapy a helpful aid for sleep. Burning a relaxing scent in your home or adding essential oils to a warm, evening bath can help prepare your body and mind for sleep.
Dementia - The interest in the effects of aromatherapy for conditions such as dementia continues to grow. Research into the therapy revealed many benefits and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests it may help treat feelings of agitation in those with dementia.
Chronic pain - Aromatherapy is thought to be especially helpful for easing any chronic pain-related anxiety. If the pain is muscular, a massage using essential oils may be helpful. As with any new therapy, please consult your GP before starting.
Cancer - Aromatherapy may help to reduce pain and anxiety for those with cancer in the short-term. According to Cancer Research UK many people with cancer turn to aromatherapy. It appears to make patients feel happier and more able to cope with the changes happening.
Palliative care - Aromatherapy massage is becoming increasingly popular in palliative care. The combination of scent and massage is thought to help patients feel more relaxed and comfortable.
What to expect
During your initial consultation, I will ask you what you would like to use aromatherapy to help with, your lifestyle, general health and well-being. I will also discuss your medical history to gain a full picture of your health before starting.
Once you have discussed the reasons and your desired outcome, I will suggest a treatment plan.
The personalised treatment plan will likely include at-home treatments (for example using a few drops in your bath) and aromatherapy massage sessions. On average, a full series of treatments include around 10 sessions, though you may only need one. Each individual is different and the duration of the course will depend on your circumstances.
If you are suffering from an illness, you may be required to consult your GP before any sessions. This is because aromatherapy is a complementary therapy. It is designed to work in harmony with any other treatments you may be receiving. I will choose the essential oils that will be most effective in managing your symptoms.
Is it safe?
Provided they are used correctly, essential oils are safe to use. The oils should never be swallowed or massaged into broken skin. If you suffer irritation, please contact your GP. Some people may suffer an allergic reaction. Be sure to tell your aromatherapist if you suffer from any allergies or are prone to skin sensitivity so they can take necessary precautions.
Elderly people, children and pregnant women are advised to seek medical advice before trying aromatherapy. There are also some instances where the oils may interfere with prescribed medication. Do inform your aromatherapist of any medications you are taking during the initial consultation.
What qualifications and experience should an aromatherapist have?
The industry seeks to comply with the standards of practice and speaking generally, aromatherapists should have a high standard of training in anatomy and physiology, as well as in the use of essential oils. Many will also be trained in aromatherapy massage.
I trained with VTCT and gained a Level 3 Diploma in Aromatherapy Massage with Physiology and Anatomy.
The FHT of which I am a member, regulates the industry. They require I have had specific training. They also ask members to develop their skills with a continued professional development course every year, of which I adhere to
Using aromatherapy at home
Here are just a few ways you can incorporate the power of essential oils into your daily routine.
Added to bath water – Many people like to add essential oils to a warm bath to promote a more relaxing soak. Speak to your aromatherapist for advice
Steamed – This is especially helpful if you’re feeling congested. Simply add a few drops of your chosen essential oil to a bowl filled with hot water and inhale the steam.
Burned – Burning essential oils through an oil burner is a popular use of aromatherapy. The oil is placed on a shallow surface, above a candle. The heat of the candle slowly burns the oil, encouraging the scent to fill the room.
Inhaled – A great way to get a quick boost from your chosen essential oil is to have a small vile at your desk. This way you can directly inhale your oils and reap the benefits, even on the move!
If you have asthma or suffer from other respiratory conditions, please consult your GP first.
Sprayed onto fabric – An enjoyable, easy way to bring aromatherapy into your home is to add some essential oils to a room spray. You can spray them on furniture, bed linens or pillows to add a relaxing, comforting scent.
How much is an Aromatherapy Massage?
Can I claim cash back?
Are you in a Cashback Plan such as Bupa, Medicash or Healthshield?Some of the therapies I offer are covered under their schemes so you can claim back the cost of treatment. Check your policy to see what you are covered for!
Health Cashback schemes only allow claims for treatment provided by therapists with particular qualifications and professional memberships.
My qualifications are recognised by health care schemes.
I am on the professional standards register which guarantees that I am insured and qualified.
Take a look at your policy to see which treatments it covers
My VTCT level 3 Diploma Qualifications
Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage.
To Book :
Please Phone 01253 820290 or message 07986 884348
Sharon Turner Davies M.F.H.T., I.I.H.H.T., V.T.C.T.
6 Raikes Road