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AROMATHERAPY

Aromatherapy comes from two Greek words Aroma : meaning fragrance Therapy: meaning healing

Aromatherapy

 1. 2. 3.

4.

Aromatherapy is a form of energetic healing and balancing of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states of the body. The powers of these essential oils are used for; Therapeutic – treatment for various systems of the body Esoteric – emotional and spiritual state of the body Holistic – incorporates the healing of the physical, mental, and emotional Scientific study of fragrance – perfume and cosmetic chemistry

Essential oils affect the limbic system in the brain so therefore how we THINK and how we FEEL.

Absorption
Three ways of absorption:
1.

2.
3.

Inhalation occurs through both the lungs and the nose. Skin absorption through massage. (liquid) Ingested. (liquid)

Inhalation via the Nose
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Inhalation: via oil burners, essential oil candles and incense. Large amount of the aroma will pass up through the nose and make its way through the olfactory cilia, into the olfactory bulb where the odour is processed. The processed olfactory messages are sent to two parts of the brain. Thalamus, the first region where sensory processing occurs and it allows us to identify a particular smell. Hypothalamus, the second region forms part of the limbic brain which is responsible for smell related emotions and behaviours as well as hormone regulation, digestive activity, blood pressure, respiration and regulation of heart rate and sexual responses. The inhaled oils will have an affect on the physical and psychological aspects of clients.

Inhalation
Cerebral cortex Hypothalamus Olfactory bulb Thalamus

Cilia

Inhalation via the Lungs

The therapeutic value of essential oils are also inhaled by vapour into the lungs. The vapour enters the bloodstream through the lungs. Lungs have a large surface area, high blood flow which allows for a greater rate of absorption. The therapeutic value of the essential oil is delivered to all organs for healing.

Liquid absorption

Liquid absorption occurs through the dermis or oral ingestion. Essential oils are blended with a carrier oil and massaged into the face or body. Absorption of essential oils occurs through the dermis of the skin and enters the blood stream via the cutaneous capillaries. The oils will first reach areas of high blood flow, therefore skeletal muscles, kidneys and liver and then other body tissues and organs.

Skin Absorption

Absorption through the skin is slower than the lungs. Factors affecting absorption include the following:
1. 2. 3.

4.

Temperature of the skin. Skin condition, eg. Eczema or psoriasis. Viscosity of the essential oils and cold pressed oils used. Area/s of body where products are applied to.
e.g. The epidermis is thinner on the face than the soles of the feet and palms of the hands.

Aromatic plant oil
Liquid

Vapour

A
Massage

p

p

l

i

c

a

t

i

o

n
Inhalation

A
skin

b

s

o

r

p

t

i

o
lungs

n
nose brain

muscle tissue
joints

chemical release mental emotional effect

blood stream

liver, pancreas

body tissues and organs

reproductive organs

E

x
skin

c

r

e

t

i

o

n
lungs

kidneys bladder

Methods of Extraction

Essential oils are extracted from a variety of plant sources such as:

Petals, leaves, seeds nut kernels, bark, stalks, flower heads, gums and resins from trees.

The main methods of extraction of essential oils include:
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Distillation Enfleurage Maceration Expression Solvent Extraction

Distillation

Distillation is done with plants that can not be damaged by heat.

Distillation can be done either with water (old method) or by steam (more common now) or both.
The principle of “distillation by steam” is that high pressure steam is passed from a boiler through pipes into a still. The principle of “distillation by water” is that the still is filled with water then brought to the boil and converted into steam. Either way, the steam goes through a vessel containing the plants to be distilled. The steam, now carrying the particles of essential oil, then goes through a cooling system into another container where the water and oil separate out because of their different densities.

Steam and essential oil

Cold water out of Condenser

Plant material

Cold water into Condenser

Steam inlet

Hydrosol from bottom of Separator

Essential oil from top of Separator

Methods of Extraction
Maceration

Expression

This is a process for plants which do not generate essential oils after harvesting. Flowers are soaked in hot oil to break down the cells, releasing their fragrance into the oil, which is purified and the aromatics extracted.

This is used to extract citrus essences from the peel of lemon, orange, tangerine and bergamot. The peel is broken down by pressing and the resultant liquid is absorbed by sponges, from which it is then expressed.

Solvent Extraction

The raw materials are covered by a solvent such as ether, benzene, petroleum, hexane or acetone and then heated to extract the essential oil before the filtration process. After filtration, the oil which leaves a paste made up of wax and fragrance called concrete, then mixed with alcohol and distilled at low temperatures. The alcohol absorbs the fragrance and when the alcohol is evaporated off an aromatic absolute remains.

Identifying plant oils
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A genuine essential oil must have the following; Botanical name – a latin name e.g. Lavender angustifolia Family name – Lavender – is from the Labiatae family Genus – collective name for a group of plants – e.g. Lavender is Lavandula. Species – is the specific name therefore typical Lavender is known as Lavandula Angustifolia

Profiles of Aromatic Oils or Essential Oils
In order to use aromatic plant oils safely and effectively you need to determine oil profiles which include:
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Plant information – Botanical name Origin of the plant – where was it grown? Extraction method Parts of the plant used – bark, peel, nut, leaf, flower, leaf or fruit Characteristics of the oils, including the chemical components and the note Properties – therapeutic qualities Precautions Synergy

Therapeutic properties

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The purpose of essential oils is to heal the physical, mental and emotional bodies. The therapeutic qualities are determined by the chemical constituents or compounds Therapeutic qualities are listed as; Alterative,antiseptic,analgesic, antiinflammatory, antifungal, antiviral, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, diuretic, emmenagogue, rubefacient, sedative, wound healing.

Chamomile - Roman
Plant information Origin Anthemis nobilis from the Asteraceae family, also known as English chamomile, sweet chamomile and garden chamomile. A stocky perennial approximately 30 cm high with feathery leaves and daisy-like white flowers, native to but now widely cultivated. Extracted from the flowers by steam distillation. Sweet, fruity odour, light clear blue colour with a watery viscosity. Middle Angelic, Methacrylic, Butyric and Tiglic acids and Azulene. pain reliever skin conditioner stress relief. Precautions Synergy Can act as an emmenagogue so should not be used during pregnancy. Bergamot Lavender Geranium Tea tree Lemon

Extraction Characteristics Note Components Properties

Lavender
Plant information Lavandula angustifolia (also known as L. officinalis, L. spica and L. vera) from the Labiatae family. Origin Cultivated widely in Europe with as the most prolific producer this evergreen woody shrub grows to about 1 metre in height with grey-green narrow linear leaves and purple-blue flowers perched on a long stem. Extracted from the flowering tops by steam distillation. Light fresh odour, clear in colour with a watery viscosity.

Extraction Characteristics

Note Components

Top/middle Borneol, Geraniol, Linalool, Lavendulyl acetate, Linalyl acetate and Cineol. If the plant material from which the oil is extracted is grown at a high altitude, it usually yields more esters. stress relief
skin repair – scarring, burns skin condition pain relief.

Properties

Precautions Synergy

None Geranium all citrus oils

Quality of Aromatic Plant oils
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There are many factors that affect the quality of oils such as: the soil the plant has been grown in the country in which the plant has been grown the annual quality of the crop, which depends on climatic changes the way the plant has been grown, for example, organically or with chemicals the way plants are collected and stored.


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The price of an oil depends on: the country of origin, (quality of the crop and cost of labour) the numbers of plants required to produce commercial quantities ease of collection the number of intermediaries in the trade.

Classification of Oil Notes
There are three notes used to classify aromatic plant oils: 1. Top notes
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2.

Strong, penetrating aromas , but also highly volatile The first part of the fragrance that you noticed Used to stimulate the body and refresh the mind Less volatile. The majority of essential oils are considered middle notes and are used to give body a blend as they are longer lasting than top notes. Stabilises the mind and body Least volatile substances which are used to give more permanence to blends. Strengthening, relaxing and sedating to both the body and mind

Middle notes


3.

Base notes

Ratios
Ratios are subjective and can depend on the following:
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Personal preference of the client for a particular aroma The intended use of the blend The size and age of the client The treatment requirements

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A common starting point for the ratio of essential oil to carrier oil is 1:5 or 1ml of essential oil to 5ml of carrier oil. When dealing with children, the elderly or pregnant clients, you should adjust the ratio to the lower end of the scale. Top notes 15-25% Middle notes 30-40% Base notes 45-55%

An appropriate 1:5 blend for a 30 year old client who was suffering from insomnia and wanted to relax with a massage would contain the following ingredients:

Ingredient Lavender
Roman chamomile Sandalwood Almond

Ratio 1 drop
1.5 drops 2.5 drops 30 drops

Reason Top note with relaxing properties.
Middle note with tension relieving properties. Base note used to treat insomnia. Non greasy fine textured oil which is easily absorbed.

Blending

Essential oils are highly volatile substances, which should be handled, mixed and stored with care and used sparingly. Essential oils are blended with each other and other ingredients when used in beauty treatments depending on the client’s requirements and the method of transmission into the body. These ingredients used include:
• • • •

Carrier oils Emulsifiers and dispersants Additives Mediums

Carrier Oils

Aromatic plant oils should never be applied directly to the skin (with a few exceptions) they are blended with carrier oils. Carrier oils are extracted from seeds and nuts and are cold pressed, which means no heat is used when extracting the oil.

The reasons for using cold pressed oils are that they:
• • •

Have therapeutic properties of their own Help the absorption of essential oils into the skin Are rich in fatty acids and other nutrients.

Carrier Oils

Carrier oils are used to dilute aromatic plant oils and aid transmission into the body. They are vegetable oils in which aromatic plant oils easily dissolve. Carrier oils for use in aromatic plant oil blends should be cold pressed to ensure that their beneficial fatty acids are not affected by the extraction method. Vegetable oils for use in cooking are not suitable for use in aromatic plant oil blends since they are usually extracted by solvents and then refined which destroys the therapeutic properties of the oil. Mineral oils such as baby oil should not be used as they act as skin protectors and form a barrier, making it difficult for the aromatic plant oil to be absorbed into the skin.

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Carrier Oils
Commonly used carrier oils in pre-blended products are:

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Almond Avocado Apricot Calendula Evening primrose Grapeseed Jojoba Rosehip Sesame Wheat germ

Emulsifiers and Dispersants
Emulsifiers

Dispersants

An emulsifier is a molecule consisting of a hydrophilic and a lipophilic part. It is used to produce an emulsion out of two liquids that normally cannot be mixed together, such as oil and water. Natural emulsifiers include glycerin, carageenan and lecithin.

Dispersant is an agent that is used to reduce the surface tension of two liquids. In aromatic plant oil blends, dispersants are used to distribute the plant oil evenly into the surface of water. Dispersants prevent single drops of aromatic drops of aromatic plant oil from coming into direct contact with skin, reducing the chance of a sensitive skin reactions.

Additives

Additives, such as infused oils and waxes, can also be used in aromatic plant oil blends to enhance the benefits of the blend. Infused oils consists of a carrier oil that has been infused with one or more herbs. Infused oil has the therapeutic properties of both the carrier oil and the herbs used in the infusion.

Other Mediums
Gels There are a number of different gels which can be used to enhance the effectiveness of aromatic plant oils. Eg. Aloe Vera Clays Aromatic plant oils can be blended with clay masks to enhance the skin care properties of a facial treatment for a client with acne.

Aromatic Plant Oil Chemistry

Compounds Formed when molecules containing two or more elements join together. Saturated – compounds with single bonds. Unsaturated – compounds with double or triple bonds.

Straight chains are represented as:

–C–C–C–C–C–C

Branched chains are represented as:

C C C C C C

Rings most commonly have 5 or 6 carbon atoms and are represented as:

Aromatic Plant Oil Chemistry

Isoprene Unit Molecule consists of 5 carbon atoms and 8 hydrogen atoms. Form progressively heavier and more volatile chemicals.

Benezene Ring

Molecule consists of 6 carbon atoms formed into a ring with alternate single and double bonds. “De-localised ring” referred to when one of the electrons from each of the carbon atoms is able to move freely around the ring.

Chemical Components
Aromatic plant oils have a complex chemical make up. The main chemical components or constituents include “terpenes” and “the functional groups” which are:


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Alcohols Phenols Aldehydes Ketones Acids Esters

Terpenes

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Hydrocarbons which are based on the “isoprene unit” (C5H8). Terpenes can be categorised into: Monoterpenes = 2 isoprene units (C10H16). Sesquiterpenes = 3 isoprene units (C15H24). Diterpenes = 4 isoprene units (C20H32).

Terpenes
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Limonene Part of terpene family. Anti-viral properties Found in majority of the citrus oils ( eg. orange and lemon).

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Pinene Also part of terpene family. Antiseptic properties Found in juniper oil and camphor oil.

The Function Groups

Alcohols Most beneficial of aromatic plant oil constituents as they have low toxicity and pleasing odurs and low irritant. Generally have antiseptic and anti-viral properties.

Compounds Monoterpenols = alcohol + monterpenes.  Antiseptic, anti-viral and antifungal properties  Terpineol – juniper and tea tree oils  Linool – rosewood and lavender oils.  Citronellol – rose and geranium oils. Sesquiterpenols = alcohol + sesquiterpenes.  Anti-allergen and antiinflammatory properties. Diterpinols = alcohol + diterpenes  Not often found in essential oils.  Scalerol – clary sage oil

The Functional Groups
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Phenols Appear superficially similar to alcohols Very strong chemicals and should be used with care as it could be neurotoxic if use in large quantities. Exist in aromatic plant oils as “phenolic ethers”.

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Aldehydes Dervied from alcohols through the process of oxidation. Anti-fungal, antiinflammatory and disinfectant properties. Slightly soluble in water Generally as volatile as alcohols Easily oxidise to an acidic form and are often skin irritants.

The Functional Groups

Ketones Their names always end in “-one”. Some ketones can be very dangerous, having convulsant properties. Oils high in ketones should be used with care during pregnancy.

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Acids Mostly water soluble These are weaker than mineral acids such as hydrochloric.

The Functional Groups

Esters Formed by a chemical reaction between an alcohol or phenol and a carboxylic acid (COOH). They are named after both of their original molecules. Eg. alcohols – from “ol” to “yl” and the acids – “ic” to “ate” Provide the sweet or fruity aromas. Eg. Linalyl acetate – found in lavender.

Product Storage and Handling

Aromatic plant oils should be stored and handled with care. Aromatic plant oils are classed as “volatile”, which means they evaporate easily. The storage and handling of products determines to some extent their shelf life and effectiveness.

Product Storage and Handling
The following are the guidelines for the storage and handling of aromatic plant oils:  Oils should be stored in a cool area away from direct sunlight and in amber coloured glass as they are damaged by ultraviolet light.  Bottle caps should be replaced immediately after oils are decanted and closed tightly.  Once the oil has been diluted with a carrier oil its shelf life is prolonged.  Citrus oils have a shorter shelf life than other oils.  If the smell of the oil changes and the carrier oil becomes rancid the products should be disposed of.  Oils should be stored on impervious surfaces as they can damage plastic, painted or polished surfaces.  Care should be taken when using aromatic oils on children and dilutions should be lower when to children.  A strong dilution does not mean that the blend will be more effective. It may cause unwanted side effects. Product labelling should be followed at all times.

Precautions
Aromatic plant oils have general precautions associated with them, however each client should be assessed before a blend is recommended. The following factors are of particular importance when choosing blend ingredients:  Pregnancy  Sensitisation  Phototoxicity  Client preference  Neurotoxic  Hepatotoxic

Precautions
Pregnancy  Certain oils should not be used during pregnancy as they can induce labour. Sensitisation  Skin can react to certain oils with an allergic type of rash, blistering or redness. If the offending product is persistently used, contact dermatitis may occur.

Client preference  You should establish if there are any particular aromas that a client doesn’t like.

Precautions
Phototoxicity

Phototoxic reaction, the skin absorbs more UV light and produces abnormally dark areas of pigmentation and burning of surrounding skin. The pigmentation can last for years. When using phototoxic oils, care should be taken with dilutions and clients should be advised to avoid exposure to the sun, sun bed or UV lamps for a period of 12 to 24 hours after the product application. These oils include: bergamot, angelica root, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin and orange.

Precautions

Neurotoxic Some essential oils have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and have a profound adverse affect on the central nervous system. These effects may include convulsions and hallucinations.

Heptatotoxic Refers to compounds which can be toxic to the liver. Damage to the liver through topical application is rare since only a small amounts of pre-blended oils are used on the skin.

Aromatherapy Massage
The general objectives for aesthetic aromatic massage are:  Relaxation  Skin rejuvenation  Skin healing  Relief of muscular tension  Improved sleeping patterns Massage movements:
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Effleurage Petrissage Vibration

Before the Massage
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Do not soak in a hot bath as the oils will immediately seep into the skin. Do not have a large meal just before any massage as the body’s systems will have to work too hard at digesting to be thoroughly relaxed. Do not drink alcohol before a treatment. Do not exercise prior to a treatment. Do not have a massage if you have flu or a fever or any serious condition.

After the Massage
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Lie still for at least five minutes before getting up. Do not bath or shower for at least three hours after a treatment to allow the oils to absorbed by the skin and then to detoxify the body. Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol for at least twelve hours after the treatment. Encourage relaxation strategies to reduce stress. Eg. Buring oils, correct breathing, meditation & regular massage. Increased exercise. Eg. Walking, swimming, yoga. Balance diet.

Homecare Advice

If the client has purchased homecare products they should be advised:
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Where to apply the product How to apply the product How much product to use How often the product should be applied When the product should be used – time of day, after bathing.

Adverse Effects

It is important to observe the client’s reactions during the treatment and encouraging them to tell you how they feel both during and after the treatment. Client should be reminded of any contra-indications to pre-blended oils used for homecare and also be advised of any adverse effects. If they are in any doubt they should be encouraged to contact you. Adverse effects can include:
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Extreme erythema Nausea Headaches Dizziness Skin reactions