We chat to Beatitude founder, Rebecca O’Connor about the benefits of aromatherapy and essential oils. And can they really help us find supreme happiness?
With over 30 years in the industry, you must be passionate about aromatherapy?
Absolutely! When I first trained in aromatherapy in the early 90s few people had heard of aromatherapy. Since then, however, there has been much more research on essential oils and their properties and their effects are much more widely recognised. This is why aromatherapy is being used in more clinical and medical settings too, like midwifery and palliative care for example.
It was due to your interest that you went on to study a degree in Bioscience and Health and your dissertation was a study on aromatherapy and multiple sclerosis?
Yes, the benefits and effects of aromatherapy are wide and diverse and I really believe it offers something for everyone and it is an amazing support to help your mind and body switch off in our ever busy lives. Technology is great but it is having an effect on our ability to switch off and insomnia is becoming an ever increasing problem. Aromatherapy provides a valuable antidote to this.
So what exactly is aromatherapy ?
Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of aromatic plant extracts, known as essential oils. In the UK the benefits of aromatherapy can be enjoyed by receiving aromatherapy treatments, massage, bathing and/or the use of aromatic candles or room sprays.
And what are the benefits?
It is widely recognised that aromatherapy provides an effective, powerful and natural way to aid relaxation and reduce stress. It has been proven that aromatherapy has a profound effect on mood elevation, helping our general sense of well-being. Essential oils are the building blocks in all aromatherapy products and these powerful aromatic molecules have a wide range of physical properties. Essential oils are antiseptic – some more than others. Many are sedative – they have a relaxing and calming effect – Lavender, Frankincense and Patchouli are among the most sedative oils. Citrus oils, particularly Bergamot are widely used as an anti-depressant oil due to their refreshing and uplifting effects. Essential oils such as ginger are used for their warming effects and can be brilliant for tight muscles – which is great after sport or activity. Lavender, Rose and Neroli are often used in skincare because of their calming and soothing effect on the skin.
Tell us about the Beatitude blends.
Each blend has been developed with quite different and distinctive effects. The bath oils disperse in the water and avoid the greasy residue often associated with traditional bath oils and your skin is left feeling silky smooth. The body oils are a brilliant way to nourish the skin and to experience the therapeutic blends of each formula.