How does aromatherapy work?

Aromatherapy works in two different ways: through sense of smell and through skin absorption.

Many essential oils contain anti-inflammatory properties. These are often applied to the skin to fight infection or relieve pain. However, if you are in pain or suspect an infection, it is important to consult your GP before turning to aromatherapy.

Another way aromatherapy is used is through inhalation or smelling essential oils. Our sense of smell is directly linked to the brain, which is why we react in different ways to each scent. When the brain receives a smell, it sets off a reaction in the body. This is where you may feel hunger, feel energised or relaxed. The nerves in our nose can also recognise smells and link them with a memory, which is why certain scents can make you feel happy or sad.

Aromatherapy is now being recognised in the science world and is listed on The NHS Directory of Complementary and Alternative Practitioners. It has gained steam in palliative care and is increasingly used alongside conventional treatment. Research into its effectiveness is encouraging and continues to grow.

To find out if aromatherapy works for you, speak to a qualified aromatherapist to ensure you are utilising the oils’ properties and getting the best out of the therapy.