What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a treatment designed to help maintain physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing by the correct application of pure essential oils.  The word ‘aroma’ means a fragrance or sweet smell and the word ‘therapy’ simply means a treatment designed to bring about a positive change in an individual.

Since an aromatherapy treatment is concerned with creating balance and equilibrium within a person, it’s primary uses are to clam, uplift, detoxify, de-stress and invigorate – in other words, to help the body to help itself to regain health or wellbeing.

Although many people assume that aromatherapy is simply  fragrant massage, the real effects of clinical aromatherapy treatments can be deeper and more therapeutic than this.

Essential oilsaromatherapy_image

Essential oils are manufactured in the leaves of aromatic plants during the process of photosynthesis and then stored in a variety of places, such as in the flowers, leaves, fruits, seeds, etc. depending on the plant.

They are extracted by a variety of methods, including distillation and expression. Each individual essential oil has its own chemical components and therefore, its own individual therapeutic properties.

Aromatherapy Massage and what to expect from a treatment  

The therapeutic effects of the essential oils in combination with massage can help to calm and relax the whole person. Massage is proved to eliminate toxins and promote healing and recovery of muscle and skin tissue by delivering fresh oxygenated blood carrying vital nutrients and minerals to the area.  Choosing the right combination of essential oils for an individual can promote improved health, ease pain, reduce stress, calm the mind and help to balance the whole person.

A full consultation will be taken, to include questions about your general health, medical history and emotional well being. This information is treated with the utmost of respect and is confidential.  Essential oils will be chosen uniquely for your situation and the aromatherapist will protect your dignity by only exposing the area of the body being treated.

Often the aromatherapist will offer you a therapeutic blend of essential oils to take home to use between treatments. This helps to give your treatment continuity and can speed the sense of wellbeing.

A qualified aromatherapist may need to contact your doctor before treatment if they have any concerns regarding an illness or possible contra-indication to the treatment.

Other effective methods of use of essential oils

Aromatherapy is not always integrated with massage – there are many ways that essential oils can be used to positive effect.

Other methods include:

  • Inhalation
  • Lotions/creams
  • Bathing
  • Compresses

A professional aromatherapist will be able to advise you on the right dosages for each method, and the best way for you to incorporate essential oils into your daily routine.

Safe use of essential oils

Essential oils are concentrated, volatile plant extracts that vary in strength due to their naturally occurring individual chemical components. They can eventually enter your bloodstream and should therefore be diluted before being applied to the skin. Your aromatherapist will know which essential oils to blend for you and which carrier oil to use for the massage treatment.

IFPA qualified aromatherapy practitioners

Full IFPA members have achieved the highest standards of professional training. They will have qualified through one of our accredited training centres or completed a bridging course if they have trained elsewhere.  Our members are required to maintain continual professional development.

The International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists is one of the largest professional aromatherapy practitioner organisations in the world and is a strong, respected voice in the field of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

Being a registered charity, the IFPA is supported through its worldwide membership. The principles and philosophy of holistic healthcare and the promotion of wellbeing form the foundation of the IFPA’s clear aims and objectives, together with its strong codes of ethics and practice.


Text kindly supplied by:

The International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists
82 Ashby Road
LE10 1SN
Telephone: 01455 637987



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