Quite self-explanatory, aromatherapy offers an holistic treatment to care for the body with the use of pleasant-smelling botanical and herbal oils such as rose, lemon, lavender and peppermint. The essential oils are added to a bath or massaged into the skin, inhaled directly or diffused to scent an entire room. Aromatherapy is used for the relief of pain, skincare, to alleviate tension and fatigue, and to invigorate the entire body. Essential oils can affect the mood, alleviate fatigue, reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. When inhaled, they work on the brain and nervous system through stimulation of the olfactory nerves.
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The essential oils are aromatic essences extracted from plants, flowers, trees, fruits, bark, grasses and seeds with distinctive therapeutic, psychological, and physiological properties, which improve and prevent illness. There are about 150 essential oils. Most of these oils have antiseptic properties; some are antiviral, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antidepressant and expectorant.
Other properties of the essential oils which are taken advantage of in aromatherapy are their stimulation, relaxation, digestion improvement, and diuretic properties. To get the maximum benefit from essential oils, it should be made from natural, pure raw materials.
Aromatherapy is one of the fastest growing fields in alternative medicine. It is widely used at home, clinics and hospitals for a variety of applications such as pain relief for women in labour, and relieving pain caused by the side-effects of chemotherapy.
Many hotels and spas in Bangkok offer various aromatherapy treatments using exotic Thai herbs such as jasmine, ylang ylang, citronella, lotus, champaca and lemongrass.