By Athena Zolis Founder/Managing Director, Essentials In-A-Box Melbourne Australia
I have had many discussions with Aroma Therapists, Retailers, Consumers and Manufacturers both here and abroad on the subject of ‘Aromatherapy’ and I am constantly amazed at the ‘confusion’ surrounding the role of Aromatherapy. Confusing? Yes, confusing. Here in Australia only a minority realise the therapeutic benefits of Aromatherapy. In many instances oils are used purely for their scent in the home or the office.
There has been some progress in recognising the therapeutic benefits of Aromatherapy – but the progress has been slow and I am not sure what it is going to take or should I say, how long it is going to take for this to change. There needs to be an evolution here in Australia. It has happened in the UK and the USA, Aromatherapy has become a huge industry in these countries, and I predict that this evolution is probably five to ten years away here in Australia. The ‘evolution’ will result in Consumers identifying and recognising the real benefits of Aromatherapy and using this form of therapy in everyday life.
My mission is to be a part of the evolution process, educating consumers on the practical use and therapeutic qualities of Aromatherapy. How? By being creative in our product development, understanding the consumer and introducing themed ranges to attract attention from all age groups. Our product range is fun, attractive and our blends not only have a great scent but they all have a therapeutic side to them.
Aromatherapy is the most understated form of therapy and yet its history dates back to 3,500 BC. The Egyptians used Essential Oils as a form of medicine for the healing of wounds, as part of the embalming and mummifying process and for the treatment of many ailments. It is one of the oldest forms of medicine, used extensively throughout the ages. Such is the intensity and versatility of essential oils.
The massive resurgence of natural forms of treatment through Naturopaths and Herbalists in all western countries is growing considerably, yet aromatherapy is very rarely on offer as part of the therapy treatment. So there is still a lot of work to do in this industry. Somewhere in the current mix we need Aromatherapy, not as a mainstream form of healing but certainly as a recognised form of therapy working alongside all forms of treatment.
Don’t get me wrong, I recognise the increase in the education of Aromatherapy around Australia and the dedication and work of Aroma Therapists and Massage Therapists. I am coming from the Consumers perspective and their understanding of Aromatherapy. In my experience, those who do understand aromatherapy are in most cases Aroma Therapists, which is a minority of the community.
We now understand the negative effects of heating our oils. We now have products on the market that don’t use heating elements so that we experience our Essential Oils in their purest form. Heating the oils breaks down the components, leaving remnants of their therapeutic qualities, not to mention the added scent and inhalation of carcinogenic properties.
The majority of essential oils have a therapeutic quality which consumers need to be aware of prior to use. Yes, the scent is superb, and many consumers use essential oils only for the scent, but pure oils can create an intense reaction as the therapy begins immediately simply by experiencing and inhaling the oils through diffusing, spraying, massaging and adding oils to warm water.
In our busy lifestyles, we are constantly juggling so many different components of our lives, and as a result, experiencing so much stress and anxiety. Aromatherapy is one of the simplest forms of therapy.
Essential oils can assist with insomnia, stress and anxiety, low energy levels, lack of concentration, building your confidence levels, hormonal imbalances and the list goes on and on and on.
Go home and switch on the Diffuser to start the therapy process, or use a massage oil with your favourite oil for stress and anxiety or place a couple of drops in your bath to assist with sleep.
Aromatherapy is simple to use, it needs to be a part of our daily routine, it is something that we can do for ourselves with a minimum of fuss and effort.
Nurture your soul and live life to the fullest! Athena