Holistic aromatherapy and healing essential oils
Aromatherapy is the branch of phytotherapy that exploits the healing properties of essential oils, i.e. the volatile, strong-smelling substances found in plants.
The use of aromatic oils for medical purposes dates back to ancient times and was found across different cultures, from ancient Greeks to Native Americans and oriental cultures. At the beginning of the 20th century, the French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé discovered the benefits of essential oils in treating various illnesses, and coined the term “aromatherapìe”.
THE ESSENCE OF NATURE
Every plant, with its flowers, leaves, bark or roots, is a precious source of vital, biochemical and solar energy. Aromatic plants are commonly found in the Mediterranean area. For example, Labiatae such as thyme, mint and lavender, umbrella plants such as fennel and aniseed, as well as spruce, stone pine and cedar from the pine family are all rich in healing essences. Each plant has its own aromas and scents, which result from its geographical area, climate, exposure to sunlight, type of soil, and pollinating insects. Environmental factors strongly influence the production and composition of essential oils, so much so that plants of the same species, if grown in different areas, can produce essential oils that differ in terms of biochemical composition and quality. Some oils are affordable; others – such as damask rose oil, narcissus and neroli – can be quite expensive. Pricing depends on a variety of factors, including plant species, place of origin, cultivation methods, extraction process and degree of purity of the final product.
THE POWER OF SCENTS
Smell, unlike sight, is a sense that directly connects to the atavistic nervous system, where our perception of the world is not mediated by rational thought and consciousness, but rather linked to instinct, emotions and spirituality (incense is a staple of ritualistic celebrations), as well as to our childhood memories. The experienced aromatherapist knows how to connect the energetic, emotional and symbolic characteristics of each oil with the patient’s personality, experience, and current situation or condition. The aim is to harmonise the whole body by rebalancing the Yin and Yang (cold-wet and hot-dry) energies. In fact, essential oils not only treat the main complaint, but also address other weak points linked to the person’s past or present, by exerting a radiating action. Sometimes, a scent or smell that we perceive as unpleasant at the time can actually help us to step out of our comfort zone, and discover and deal with parts of ourselves so far unknown to us. More often than not, however, the healing effects of aromatherapy come with an immediate sense of deep-reaching well-being.
EFFECTS AND METHODS OF USE
Essential oils possess a variety of therapeutic properties, which can be felt at a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. In terms of physical effects, oils have most notably decongestant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic and anti-parasitic properties. But they are also used to calm anxiety and soothe deep-seated fears, improve sleep quality and mood, and provide a natural “energy bath”.
Thanks to their volatility, the essences contained in the oils can penetrate into the body through the air (e.g. nose therapy or oil diffusers) or the skin (massages, compresses), with immediate positive effects. In the light of recent studies, a new approach to modern aromatherapy is gaining momentum. This new branch, which we may call medico-holistic aromatherapy, combines the effects of essential oils with various other therapeutic practices inspired by oriental medicine.
TREATMENTS, THERAPEUTIC OILS AND SUGGESTIONS
The MED Centre at ADLER Balance in Ortisei offers bespoke medical aromatherapy treatments, which are administered using the purest essential oils, alternated with phytotherapeutic floral essence sprays applied following the major meridians from acupuncture and foot and ear acupressure, according to Reiki and Shiatsu Makoto principles. As a result, chakra unblocking, organ rebalancing and psycho-physical recharging are greatly promoted. During the preliminary medical consultation and aromatherapy consulting, we will guide you as you choose from 30 different essential oils that can help you through this stage in your life, and provide you with detailed information on how to use them in your daily routine.
Dr. Colomba Aura Romeo, MD
ADLER Spa Resort BALANCE