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What is Aromatherapy
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Most of us experience, at some time in our lives, the need for simple physical or emotional rejuvenation that does not involve the doctor or other people.
Aromatherapy, the gentle and non-invasive medicine of plants, can be the perfect solution. The use of a high quality product is essential for quick results and it is one of the few medicines that is well used as a preventative measure against the onset of physical or emotional disturbance. Apart from the obvious benefit of the option of self-treatment, the use of aromatherapy is pleasurable. The medicine itself has a beautiful aroma, quite apart from it's therapeutic properties, and the application by massage must surely be an ideal way to receive either prevention or cure.

The plant product is described as 'essential oil', an appropriate enough name since it is the very life-blood of the plant, although the consistency is usually anything but oily. Most essential oils are extracted by steam distillation, and those of high quality contain a myriad of powerfully therapeutic properties that are specific to each plant. The most important thing to understand about Aromatherapy treatment is that it is as individual as the person using it. The same oil may afford a profoundly different result for each person. Our own individual personalities dictate the way in which we allow the essential oils to affect us. Furthermore, the therapeutic properties that affect us physiologically also have the ability to reach us emotionally. As we affect our environment, so the essential oil affects the environment in which it finds itself. It is interesting to note that the more you use aromatherapy, the more receptive you become to the benefits, and thus it is possible to decrease dosage over time.

Essential oil is a fragile material, both volatile and photosensitive, and should be stored in the cool and the dark, and in amber glass, to avoid loss of therapeutic value. These 'medicines' should be received in carefully regulated doses and it is advisable to read the cautions, blending and application details given in the bespoke leaflet before use. (Meadows have been providing these leaflets for some time). Once blended with a neutral medium to form an applicable mixture it should be used rapidly, so it is advisable to make a fresh blend for each treatment.
Here is my blend for a 'hangover', which describes three safe ways to use essential oil: (this blend can also be of great comfort if you are suffering with 'flu-like' symptoms)

Lavender French – analgesic, anti toxic, antidepressant – 2 drops
Rosemary – analgesic, cephalic – 1 drop
Chamomile Roman – anti inflammatory – 1 drop
Peppermint China – anti nausea – 1 drop

Carefully mix the above dosage in 15mls of fractionated coconut oil and massage gently into temples and back of the neck or, if possible, all over the body.
Alternatively, put the same dose into a running bath and relax in it for fifteen minutes.
Place 6-8 drops, in total, on water in an essential oil vaporiser and inhale the therapeutic properties as they disperse into the air around you.

By Annabelle Macbeth IFA MAR CIDESCO
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What is Aromatherapy?

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