Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils to restore balance to mind, body and spirit. Essential oils are natural essences extracted from a wide variety of plants. They can have many effects – antidepressant, sedative, analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory – which means that they can be used to support a wide range of needs, of both a physical and psychological nature.
Using essential oils either with or without massage during pregnancy is a wonderful, natural way of dealing with many of the changes occurring at this very special time. Essential oils when prescribed by a suitably qualified practitioner can be used to ease heartburn, fluid retention, aching legs and to support many other conditions and symptoms associated with pregnancy.
The changes that occur to a woman’s body during pregnancy are to be marvelled, but they can also be difficult to adjust to. Aromatherapy really comes into its own here – supporting the mother-to-be both emotionally and physically. Fluctuating hormones in pregnancy can leave a woman feeling more emotional than usual. Here aromatherapy can help to restore a feeling of calm and balance.
One of the many advantages of Aromatherapy is that the essential oils can be blended into products for home use. Massage sessions at the clinic work wonders for many conditions, but stretch marks, fluid retention and haemorrhoids should, ideally, be treated more regularly – preferably daily. Whilst it is possible to buy over-the-counter products for these needs, it is far better to have a natural product created especially for you. You can even take an active role in deciding the final aroma too – so important when the sense of smell is so acute at this time.
Practitioners specially trained in using aromatherapy in pregnancy will be able to position and support a woman comfortably to receive a massage specifically tailored to her needs, using a blend of oils that has been created in consultation with her. Such practitioners will have studied the safety and suitability of essential oils for use in pregnancy and will have learned how to blend the oils safely and effectively for the mothers-to-be in their care.
By Julie Duffy B. Ed; MIFPA
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