Aromatherapy: Scents that heal

BY NATALIE WINTERS

Natural healing encompasses a broad range of gentle and non-invasive practices that incorporate earth-based remedies. Problems such as stress, headaches, anxiety and fatigue can all be healed through the natural healing process of aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is a popular practice that aims to balance the harmony of body and mind. It uses essential oils to enhance psychological and physical well being.

Helping Hands Massage & Aromatherapy, located in downtown Modesto, offers aromatherapy practices as a natural alternative that can either replace or work with traditional medicine.
“Aromatherapy is based off of plant-based products that have a natural healing property to them,” said Carol Ann Rangel, owner of Helping Hands Massage & Aromatherapy. “It has so many natural health benefits—which is why we incorporate it in our practice at the day spa.”

Essential oils are what make up aromatherapy. They are oils extracted from herbs, flowers and fruits to naturally enhance the benefits of a massage when combined with a carrier oil or carrier “lotion.” A carrier lotion is used because the essential oils are usually too concentrated to have direct contact with the skin.

Not only is aromatherapy something that can be combined with lotions, but the fragrance alone can be enough to heal whatever ailment the patient is experiencing.

“Aromatherapy can be anything from burning a candle in your home to even the smell of fabric softener from the dryer,” Rangel said. “It can take you back to a place where you have experienced something specific in your life. Whether that is a negative experience or something positive, such as the smell of grandma’s pillow—you recollect that experience and react to it accordingly.”

In order to ensure that the aromatherapy will be successful for the client, there is a consultation prior to the treatment to introduce the essential oil to the client and see how they react to the scent.
“We can tell if it’s a negative reaction by even the slightest facial expression,” Rangel said. “Even just the flick of an eyebrow can be an indication, and in that case the oil won’t work for the patient—it’s just the way our body is engineered.”

Helping Hands Massage & Aromatherapy provides their own product line that can assist with various levels of discomfort, illness and personal care.

“Our certified aromatherapist creates blends based on customer needs,” Rangel said. “We recently had a customer come in with a migraine and there was not a blend on the shelf to treat it, so [we] developed a specific blend and it was successful. Most of our products are custom to tailor to the client’s needs.”
For more information about Helping Hands Massage & Aromatherapy, call 209-238-9999 or visit helpinghandsdayspa.com.

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