22 Feb Aromatherapy: Benefits and Cautions
The Truth About Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy can be an attractive notion for the boomer generation because of its holistic approach in treating some of the elderly problems from which the boomer generation suffers. However while appealing, aromatherapy is not a science.
Psychological articles and research define aromatherapy as the use of plant oils to provide physical and psychological benefits; ostensibly using plants known for their aromatic properties for therapeutic purposes. Although the actual term aromatherapy originates in the 20th century, the actual practice of aromatherapy dates back thousands of years. The Chinese appear to be the earliest practitioners of aromatherapy, and psychological articles indicate that in later years, the Egyptians began to experiment and utilize aromatic plants for curative and restorative objectives.
The boomer generation will remember a time when aromatherapy was hailed as the cure for almost any illness. The question is- how far was this hype justified? Psychological articles have asked numerous “experts” about their opinions on the physical curative effects of aromatherapy and most researchers are cited as replying in the negative. Thus the psychological articles inferred that while aromatherapy does not have any physical curative power, it can in fact help in the psychological realm through the stimulative or calming emotional impact of particular aromatic plant oil.
According to the experts reviewed in psychological articles, while aromatherapy is not necessarily a cure for any illness, it can in fact be an excellent compliment as it elevates or calms mood and can emotionally enhance almost any medical procedure.
One of the greatest advantages of aromatherapy, and one that might help the boomer generation with some of the elderly problems we face, is the fact that it has been found to be beneficial in cases of stress, depression and fatigue. Thus while aromatherapy is not without its benefits, it cannot be thought of as a medical science replacement.
One of the things the boomer generation must be wary of as far as aromatherapy is concerned, is that there is a lot of online misinformation. If used incorrectly, the aromatic essential oils can prove to be quite dangerous. As in many things, it is imperative to become informed either through well reviewed psychological articles and research or if you are particularly interested, a great way to learn more about the subject is by taking a good aromatherapy class. A class (from a credible institution) can easily separate the facts from the fiction and help filter the misinformation from the truth. Many products claiming to be aromatherapy are actually not, and these substances can prove dangerous and even deadly. A good course will help you recognize which oils are toxic and choose the correct essential oils for various emotional benefits. Psychological articles have agreed that aromatherapy can help with stress, fatigue, headaches and muscle pain. However, as in so many self-help situations, please be informed, as certain oils can have seriously negative effects, and some oils must never be used by children or the elderly.
Though not credited as a science there are still examples of aromatherapy in the NHS:
• 70% of cancer centers offer aromatherapy as care for cancer patients using appropriate massages such as Hammersmith, Royal Marsden and Charing Cross
• One cancer centre (Neil Cliffe) offers an inclusive support for aromatherapy services providing information about aromatherapy to the patients for home use.
• Aromatherapy is an age old practice for midwives and some modern day obstetricians are using aromatherapy treatments during labor and find that it effectively reduces the negative emotions of fear and anxiety.
• Aromatherapy plays a role in many other environments such as -working with the deaf, patients suffering from autism, addictions to drugs and alcohol, and various allergy related problems.
• Aromatherapy has also been shown to help induce emotional relaxation or mood elevation (depending on the aromatic oil used) in the elderly and emotionally disturbed.
Though aromatherapy may seem to offer attractive ‘cures’ to some of the elderly problems that our baby boomer generation may face, it is essential to understand that it has its limitations as a science and is mostly used as a supplement to medicine. We at Boomer Yearbook urge the boomer generation to be cautious in using this treatment and to consult an expert.
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