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  Nurture Sheffield

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AROMATHERAPY is the use of essential oils which are obtained from plants. The use of aromatherapy dates back to 2,000 BC.  Essential oils can be obtained from:

  • Wood.
  • Herbs.
  • Citrus fruit.
  • Flowers.
  • Resins from shrubs/trees.
  • Spices.

The oils are extracted from the plants via a variety of methods, such as, steam distillation and are highly concentrated. 


Aromatherapy can help to maintain health by affecting mind, body and spirit.  The oils have different chemical consistuents which have a variety of therapeutic properties and are usually diluted for treatment.  The essential oils are also divided into different 'notes' according to their properties.  These notes are classified as top, middle or base notes.  A treatment blend is often made by selecting from the three different notes according to their properties this helps to enhance the treatment given.  Aromatherapy can be given by a range of treatments:

  • Massage.
  • Compresses (cold or hot).
  • Inhalation.
  • In water (bath or footbath). 


 The Aromatherapist selects the suitable oils and treatment methods, to help relieve conditions, after taking a detailed historyfrom their client.  


SAFETY OF USING ESSENTIAL OILS 


Essential oils are very concentrated and generally diluted when used as a treatment. the general rules are:


  • Check the quality of the oil bought and any expiry dates.  
  • They should be in a glass bottle (essential oils react with plastic) and are in usually  in dark glass to protect the oil from sunlight.
  • Keep oils away from naked flames, direct heat and sunlight as they are highly inflammable.
  • Do not take essential oils internally.
  • Always dilute essential oils.
  • Never put essential oils in the eyes.
  • Keep to the recommended doses.
  • Keep out of reach of children and animals.
  • Certain oils should not be used with some medical conditions, allergies (such as, citrus  oils) or in pregnancy.
  • Some essential oils can potentially interact with certain medication i.e. geranium and warfarin, and therefore     should be avoided.
  • Care should be taken with sensitive skin (a patch test can be performed to check for sensitivity if uncertain).
  • Some citrus oils are phototoxic i.e. increase the effects of sunlight on the skin e.g. bergamot.  These oils should be avoided before  going out into the sun or using sunbeds.
  • Alcohol should not be drunk when using clary sage essential oil as it increases the effects of alcohol.
  • To prevent sensitising the body to an individual oil it is preferable to avoid using the same oil for longer than three weeks, have a break from that specific oil for at least a week before using it again. 

BENEFITS OF AROMATHERAPY IN PREGNANCY, LABOUR AND THE POSTNATAL PERIOD

  • Helps relieve physical discomforts during pregnancy and after the birth.
  • Can be relaxing and improve well being, harmonising body and mind.
  • Can help reduce emotional and physical stress, helping to reduce the symptoms of depression.
  • Aids pain relief in labour and can facilitate uterine action.
  • Aids the physical and emotional recovery from birth and assists in the adaption to parenthood.

In pregnancy, labour and the postnatal period essential oils are diluted for treatment (in vegetable oil for a massage treatment).  The dosage is a 1-2% blend.
1% = 1 drop of essential oil in 5 mls of carrier (vegetable) oil.
2% = 2 drops of essential oils to 5 mls of carrier oil.
 

Melinda Pagden: Diploma in Aromatherapy - International Institute of Health and Holistic therapies (IIHHT) and InternationalTherapy Examination Council (ITEC).

Contact on 07745398868 or 01142810441.

melindapagden@googlemail.com