Aromatherapy falls under the umbrella of "alternative medicine" and therefore it is sometimes lumped in with controversial practices with no scientific backing, such as healing with magnets.
However, that's not fair! Because, really, there is only one type of medicine: scientifically backed. Anything else is considered "unproven". So "alternative" medicine is just a euphemism for "unproven".
Aromatherapy has some aspects that are scientifically proven, and others that are unknown, untested, or unverified. Of course, it is very limited in what it can assist with...nobody is prescribing aromatherapy as a cure for cancer, alzheimer's or cerebral palsy. However, for more commonplace ailments that everybody suffers from, aromatherapy offers a safe, healthy, low-cost way to improved health!
Aromatherapy is mainly a treatment to improve MENTAL health. It has been proven to be an effective treatment for:
- Improving mood
- Relieving minor pain
- Relaxing people under stress
- Reducing anxiety and fear in pregnant women
- Relieving feelings of nausea in women during labor
- Feelings of depression (when used with massage therapy)
- Reducing blood pressure in patients undergoing colonoscopies
- Strengthening the immune system
- Alopecia areata (hair loss)
- Agitation related to dementia
- Pain related to rheumatoid arthritis
- Itching, a side effect of dialysis
Who is aromatherapy NOT for?
It is important to know that aromatherapy isn't for EVERYBODY. It is wise to consult with a doctor before using aromatherapy if you are pregnant, have severe asthma, or have a history of allergies.
Any safety tips for using aromatherapy?
Any topical or inhaled essential oils, like those found in BoomBoom, are basically safe. Don't consume essential oils by mouth unless you consult a doctor first. Oils that are high in phenols, like cinnamon, can irritate the skin and may require being watered down before they are applied in massage therapy.
Where can I find an aromatherapist?
There isn't a national certifying or licensing body for aromatherapists. However, there are professional organizations that can provide information for how to find a knowledgeable aromatherapist. One great one is the National Association of Holistic Therapy.
What studies have been done on aromatherapy?
If you're really interested in the findings from scientific studies on Aromatherapy, check these out: