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Aromatherapy – Past, Present and Future

Aromatherapy’s promising beginning was around 5000 years ago in Egypt and the way it was used then is practically identical to how it is used nowadays, namely as a health and beauty aid. Even now we are still using quite a few of the combinations of essential oils which were prescribed back then by the Egyptians.

Until antibiotics made their appearance in the medical field, aromatherapy was still considered a feasible treatment for many different kinds of ailments. However, due to modern medicine, the old methods of taking care of illness started to decline and continued on a downward spiral until around twenty years ago when society in general began to realize that not everything in the medical field worked as intended. . At this point, even medical professionals were trying to find alternative medicine to treat people with and this is where the term “Complementary Alternative Therapies/Modalities, also know as CAM came into play. Aromatherapy is now an accepted form of CAM.

The nursing organization, upon realizing the benefits of aromatherapy about fifteen years ago began to use this on their acute-care and long term-care patients. In more recent times essential oils have been used in psychology in order to enhance traditional painkillers and it has helped in the region of 80 million people cope with chronic pain. Oils are used in the area of heart disease as a means of relieving anxiety and as part of the healing process. On a day to day note, oils are used more and more for cleaning in both the home and in hospitals in place of products of a chemical nature, providing a twofold purpose of both disinfecting and allowing the benefit of the inhaled scent.

Over the years aromatherapy has gone from strength to strength with emphasis on using it safely. It is not quite as straightforward as mixing a few drops of oil and either inhaling it or allowing it into the skin by way of massage. It is necessary to know and understand the compound and the effect which will be produced from the mix, how to mix the oils properly, where to buy products of the best quality and how to avoid any risks associated with incorrect use.

As part of an increasing business aromatherapy has started the process of setting up legitimate accreditation standards and certifications so the opportunity of fraud is kept to a minimum. Due to the way the oils are extracted from the plants, the cost of oil is not cheap and the performance of the oil is dependent on the quality and the good standing of the manufacturers.

In general terms the use of aromatherapy is considered to be safe but as more and more people enter into this area, training and testing will have to be put into place so standards remain high within the industry. It would be a good idea to seek out the training and qualification procedures of nursing staff that work out of the many cancer centers, universities and hospitals and are involved with holistic medicine on a day to day basis.

The field of aromatherapy is not just about individuals seeking alternative treatments, but also about enhancing the care of patients. If certification standards where in place, this would act as a guarantee that the treatment received would be both safe and of the very best standard available.

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