A form of alternative medicine, aromatherapy utilizes essential oils and other plant compounds to treat and prevent disease and optimize mood. These compounds are often included in topical lotions and creams, massage therapy oils and other health care products.

Aromatherapy can affect overall health through the influence of aroma on the brain through the olfactory system. Essential oils and other plant compounds can activate the limbic system and emotional centers of the brain.

The essential oils also have pharmacological effects and have antiviral, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, and invigorating properties. When utilized in skin applications, aromatherapy materials can activate thermal receptors and kill fungi and microbes.

Aromatherapy topical applications, inhalation and aerial diffusion are used for massage, skin care, decongestion, mood enhancement, disinfection, and environmental fragrancing.

In addition to essential oils, aromatherapy materials may include: Fragrant absolute plant oils, herbal distillates for medicinal and skin care, infusion plant extracts, and carrier oils for skin care.

Bergamot, citronella, clove, eucalyptus, geranium, jasmine, lavender, lemon, rose, sandalwood, tea tree, thyme, and ylang-ylang are some of the more commonly used essential aromatherapy oils.

These oils can be used for skin conditions, stress, as analgesics and insect repellents, for mood enhancement, anxiety, insomnia, as antiseptics and antispasmodics, as astringents and diuretics, for headaches, cold and flu, for muscular and body aches, for digestive and circulation conditions, as anti-depressants, and for joint inflammation, among other uses and conditions.

Aromatherapy utilizes a holistic approach which treats overall physical and mental health. In conjunction with acupuncture, Chinese herbs and a healthy diet, aromatherapy can balance Yin and Yang and boost the body’s systems.

For information about aromatherapy and acupuncture for health and wellness call Dr. Richard Browne, Acupuncture Physician, at (305) 595-9500. .

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