Aromatherapy for Animals
What is Aromatherapy
When the public thinks about Aromatherapy, it is most often associated with candles and fragrance! In many countries, however, this form of complementary medicine is well accepted and researched and its uses with people as well as animals have been well documented.
Aromatherapy is the art and science of using pure essential plant oils to maintain and promote physical and emotional well being and balance. Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts, which contain the vital life force and consciousness of the plant. They are extracted from botanical sources through distillation or cold _expression. As an Aromatherapist, one has to be extremely selective when purchasing essential oils, making sure that they are completely natural and unadulterated. There is a growing trend worldwide towards organic oils.
Aromatherapy is no doubt an amazing healing field for humans as well as our pets. There is a wide variety of ways in which essential oils may be used. When applied topically, directly on the body, these oils penetrate rapidly into the skin and into the blood stream. This will have a beneficial, balancing and at times an antibacterial effect on the body. Secondly, the volatile essence and aroma is inhaled and processed via the olfactory nerves, which deal with the sense of smell. They have a subtle effect on the mind, which in turn affects the body.
One of the most versatile and well-known essential oils is Lavender (Lavendula officinalis). The name Lanvedula comes from the Latin word ‘lavare’, which means ‘to wash’, indicating that it is used for cleansing and disinfecting. At the same time, Lavender is well known as a sedative, calming oil that comforts and calms animals and humans alike. For example, if your pet seems upset or unsettled, applying a few drops of lavender behind the ears, or on the back, will soothe and calm the pet. Lavender is also used extensively to relieve irritated and itchy skin, and as a muscle relaxant. This is only one of many essential oils that may be used therapeutically.
Caroline Ingraham, an accomplished and renowned British author, has been working extensively with horses as well as dogs and cats, for more than 20 years. In her book “Aromatherapy for Animals” she quotes: “I first studied essential oils in 1984, but it was not from these studies that I gained my wealth of knowledge, indeed it was from the animals themselves.” Caroline noticed the responses when animals were allowed to self-select different oils or plants for various health and behavioral conditions. “To have an understanding of the plant oil and to read the animal’s response is all that is needed to take part in the healing of your animal”
Caroline Ingraham will return to Atlanta in the near future, giving a 3-day course on Animal Aromatics at the HEAL CENTER in Sandy Springs, GA.
Roz Zollinger, director of the Heal Center, also teaches classes and workshops in Aromatherapy and Reflexology. For more information please call (404) 303-0007 www.healcenteratlanta.com