In this busy and uncertain world, more of us are feeling the effects of stress, anxiety and overwhelm. This affects our mental wellbeing and can also cause problems in our physical body – high blood pressure, weakened immune system, insomnia, headaches, stomach problems and tense muscles. Often we try to tackle the symptoms with a quick fix rather than the root cause of the problem, which can usually be traced back to stress.

So what is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy has been popular for centuries, it is the use of concentrated plant extracts (essential oils) for therapeutic purposes. The essential oils can be used to treat both physical and emotional conditions. The sense of smell is the only sense connected to the area of the brain which controls emotional, physical, and psychological responses.

How do you use essential oils?

Essential oils enter the body either through the skin, which has a longer lasting effect, or through inhalation, which reaches the brain faster.

An aromatherapy treatment starts with a consultation looking at the main systems of the body to work out a combination of up to 3 oils that are bespoke to the needs of an individual, and with 43 oils available there are over 12,000 unique combinations!

Massage and aromatherapy –  the ultimate combination

Massage is one of the most common ways of using essential oils, the oils enter the bloodstream and circulate around the body. You get all the benefits of a massage, plus the therapeutic properties of the essential oils.

Many studies have been conducted over the years on the benefits of regular massage on all areas of the body. Physical touch has been shown to balance and slow the nervous system, as a result, your heart rate goes down, your blood pressure drops, and your stress-hormone levels fall, leaving you feeling calmer. This in turn can aid and improve sleep patterns, allowing the body more time in the deep restorative stages of sleep, which again loops back to lowering stress levels. Regular massage can boost your immune system by increasing the circulation of white blood cells, the body’s natural defence against infections. Tight muscles due to tension, poor posture or exercise are also helped by massage, increasing blood and nutrients to the muscles and loosening them.

The aromatherapy consultation is free, the bespoke oils can be used in a number of treatments from relaxation to deep tissue or hot stone massage.

Written by Lucy Hayward