Complimentary Therapies

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Introduction

(PLANS AND AIMS)
For this assignment I aim on researching and finding out more information on two different forms of complimentary medicine that suits my interest. For my first choice, I chose Aromatherapy. I find Aromatherapy interesting but I hope to find much more information on how it treats people physically and psychology. For my second choice, I chose meditation because I know very little about it yet its one of the most popular forms of complimentary therapy known today. I hope to find information on these two topics from as much secondary sources as possible, including books, websites, documentaries etc. I also hope to include at least one primary source of information for each topic. An interview, or survey will be my favourable approach for finding a primary source of information on this subject.

TOPIC 1: AROMATHERAPY

HISTORY
The information on the history of Aromatherapy is gathered from the website www.essentials-of-aromatherapy.com. Aromatherapy has been well known for thousands of years as a treatment of plant oils and their healing powers. Aromatherapy is also an integral part of many systems of medicine, including Ayurveda in India and traditional Chinese medicine. Essantial oils were used by many ancient civilizations such as ancient Egypt, Greece and the Roman Empire. Aromatherapy was used in medieval Europe to ward off plague and in World War one to help treat burnsand skin infections in the pre-antibiotic era. The word ‘aromatherapy’ was introduced in the early 20th century by a French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse. It comes from the Greek words ‘aroma’, meaning ‘pleasant smell’ and ‘therapeia’ meaning healing. Gattefosse worked in a perfume factory and one day while working he accidentally burnt his arm and drenched it in lavender oil which happenend to be nearby. He was so impressed by the resulting pain relief and rapid healing that he began studying the therapeutic potential of essesntial oils. He published a book based on his own findings in 1937 and is known as Gattefosses Aromatherapy. The book is still in print today.

USES AND BENEFITS OF THERAPY
I gathered the information for this heading from the encyclopedia of new medicine, written by the center for integrative medicine at Duke University. There is an enormous number of different essential oils available. Some especially, are very popular. For instance, the herb chamomile has been used traditionally for centuries, especially to promote relaxation, aid sleep, ease infant colic, and help skin conditions. Other oils known to promote relaxation include geranium, lavender and Jasmine. The menthol extract from peppermint is well known for its digestive aids. Essential oils can also be stimulating. Oils, such as Eucalyptus oil, which is traditionally used to ease breathing and reduce the congestion caused by upper respiratory infections; it is a common ingredient in the over-the-counter cough and cold remedies. Lemon, vanilla and rosemary oils are thought to be revitalising while tea tree oil has antiseptic properties.

ASSOCIATIONS WITH ORTHODOX MEDICINE
Aromatherapy is now a widely practiced complementary medicine, using aromatic plant, flower, leaf, seed, bark and fruit essential oils to aid healing. The essential oils are usually extracted by a steam distillation process, and tend to be used either: 1)holistically, where the oils are used (often with massage) to treat emotional and physical complaints. 2)clinically, used in combination with orthodox medical treatment (although this remains rare in some countries) 3)aesthetically, which accounts for perhaps the most widespread usage, where the oils are used on special burners or diffusers in the home, or added to baths. Many complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies are in the throes of coming-of-age and seeking to develop alongside orthodox medicine. In order to do this, therapists must have rigorous, transparent procedures for their activities and...
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