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Aromatherapy is gaining popularity among users that swear they are finding relief, but what exactly is it? Understanding what aromatherapy is, how it works, and how to best use it through the classifications is the best way to start learning more about this type of treatment and utilize it.

What Is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is an alternative treatment methodology that utilizes the olfactory sense to provide relief and has been used for centuries to do so, even if modern science is only starting to study the potency of this treatment today. Different smells can impact different parts of the brain and help to provide relief. Essential oils are used in a variety of ways for them to be ingested into the body through olfactory senses, such as rubbing the oil onto the body, smelling the oil directly, vaporizing it into the air, and other methods. Aromatherapy can be used on its own or in addition to more traditional treatment methods.

How Does It Work?

Smells can have a noticeable impact on how people feel. Aromatherapy allows for pure essential oils to be used to stimulate different parts of the brain. For example, lavender oil has long been used to help people relax and even fall asleep easier. Researchers have found that smelling lavender oil can help the body release serotonin by stimulating the Raphe Nucleus. Serotonin is a chemical that's known as the happy chemical because it can impart feelings of well-being and delight.

What Are the Different Classifications of Aromatherapy?

There are five different classifications of aromatherapy. They include cosmetic, massage, medical, olfactory, and psycho-aromatherapy.

  • Cosmetic aromatherapy is the use of essential oils in cosmetic products for the hair and body. These products are typically used for cleaning, toning, and moisturizing. The addition of essential oils in these products can help with getting healthy skin and hair as well as providing a feeling of relaxation, revitalization, or a sense of renewal depending on the oils used.

  • Massage aromatherapy is the use of essential oils during a massage. Some oils used include jojoba, almond, and grape seed oils. The healing touch, in addition to the essential oils, can provide a person that is stressed or in pain with relief.

  • Medical aromatherapy comes from the practices of Rene-Maurice Gatte-fosse, who is known as the founder of modern aromatherapy. He was a French chemist who would use massage with essential oils on patients during surgery. Medical aromatherapy is used to treat a clinically diagnosed medical issue.

  • Olfactory aromatherapy is the practice of inhalation of essential oils to achieve a particular feeling. It is used to create a sense of calmness, provide relaxation, or make a person feel more energetic. Getting rid of any stress while enjoying the scent can help to release memories of the odor. Often, this can be used in conjunction with medical treatment, but should never be used to replace it.

  • Psycho-aromatherapy utilizes essential oils to achieve a particular emotion or mood through the pleasure of the scent. This type of therapy is produced by the inhalation of the oils directly. Practitioners of this classification will study the effect of the aroma used. In most cases, they only consider the effects of natural essential oils rather than synthetic oils.

When Are the Different Classifications Used for Well-Being?

The different classifications used for well-being are used at different times, depending on the situation involved. After a long day at work, cosmetic aromatherapy can help a person feel better after using essential oils in the bathtub to relax. Someone that's dealing with ongoing depression is often better served by utilizing olfactory aromatherapy as an addition to their other treatments for their well-being.

The proper use of aromatherapy can make a difference in your life. The knowledge of the difference in the classifications of aromatherapy and how they are used for well-being is essential to see results. An aromatherapy practitioner can be an excellent source for information on how it can be applied to your life.