Aromatherapy is so much more than a candle that smells like apple pie. Or a room deodorizer that promises to eliminate the smell of kitty litter, last night’s fish dinner, your son’s well-love hockey equipment or the lingering scent of cigarette smoke. Today, artificial “aromatherapy” scents created to mask a smell, can quite often be far worse than the offending odour.

True Aromatherapy is a gentle but powerful healing art that uses therapeutic-grade, pure essential oils in a way that can positively affect our physical, emotional and mental health.

Pure essential oils naturally occur in different parts of a plant; the blossom, fruit, leaf, stem, bark, wood or resin. Through a complicated and often expensive process, these precious oils are captured like a genie in bottle.

Centuries ago, pure essential oils were the foundation of medicine, blended to treat to illness and disease. Over the years, synthetically produced colognes, perfumes and pharmaceutical products, which are produced more easily and inexpensively, have grow in popularity. While modern science has been able to duplicate the fragrance of some essential oils, it has been unable to duplicate the benefits.

I think of it like homemade chicken soup versus cheap packaged chicken soup, where it’s obvious the chicken has merely walked through it.

Massage and inhalation are the most effective methods of introducing these wonderful natural gifts from nature into the human body.

As the skin is our largest organ, massage is a good way and probably the most pleasurable way of benefitting from essential oils. It brings about a feeling of relaxation and relieves aches and pains by manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, while the essential oils stimulate the body to heal and nourish itself.

Essential oils take approximately half an hour to be absorbed and it is important to remember that they should never be used directly on the skin. Lavender essential oil is the only exception..

Not all essential oils can be blended together. A professional Aromatherapist creates a blend, taking into consideration the properties of the oils and your health; high/low blood pressure, heart/kidney condition, possible pregnancy, etc. The blend is then combined with a good-quality carrier oil, cream or lotion to introduce the oils into the skin. Essential oils must never be taken internally.

Aromatherapy and some Homeopathic remedies, however, do not mix, so it is important to discuss this with your Aromatherapist.

Each essential oil has its own healing properties. Sandalwood, for example, has been shown to have positive effects on anxiety, insomnia, laryngitis, bronchitis, fluid retention, asthma, bladder infection, eczema, balancing female sex hormones, impotence, etc. Well-known as an aphrodisiac, it is important to know that it will render birth-control pills null and void.

Aromatherapy works well as an adjunct to other types of treatment. Every holistic therapy will be strengthened in its effectiveness when pure essential oils are part of the treatment.

The Aromatherapy treatment I like best is warm cookies from the oven. It makes me think of my Grandma Kerr and her delicious sugar cookies. But perhaps, it’s really the scent of Vanilla, comforting, relaxing, tranquilizing. Hmmmm…maybe time for a trip to the kitchen.