Aromatherapy

          Early aromatherapy was started by the Egyptians and Chinese burning gums, resins and smudging with aromatic plants for incense. Burning incense and oils were mainly performed by their priests, who were also their doctors, for magical and religious ceremonies. However, many other cultures accepted the use of oils and perfumes. Hippocrates, who is known as the father of modern medicine, said that “the key to good health rests on having a daily aromatic bath and scented massage”. He recognized that different plants and oils have different effects on the body and were essential for everyday health. In 1910, Rene Gattefosse coined the term “aromatherapy”, which is also the name of the book he wrote about his findings while studying essential oils. It was released in 1937 and was translated to English as “Gattefosse’s Aromatherapy” in 1993.

        Inhaling the aromatic molecules of essential oils triggers the olfactory receptors and send “nerve messages” to the limbic center of the brain. The limbic center, also known as the “old brain” is responsible for stimulating psychological responses for the body through nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. This cycle affects the sensations of pleasure, pain, emotions, memory, sleep, appetite, and sex.
Oils2          Eessential oils can be useful with physical applications as well. They are used in many types of massage and help our skin stay healthy and glowing. Helichrysum and German Chamomile are useful for pain and anti-inflammatory purposes. Tea Tree, Eucalyptus Globulus, and Cajeput have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that are helpful in flu and sinusitis prevention. Lavender, as Gattefosse discovered, can be used to treat burns. At Westglow, we incorporate essential oils and aromatherapy into so many of the services we offer.