Therapeutic treatment using essential oils follows three distinct frameworks known as the French, British and German models of aromatherapy. To summarize:
- The French model with an emphasis on medical aromatherapy, advocates the ingestion and neat (undiluted) topical application of therapeutic grade essential oils. In France, aromatherapy is a specialized field of medicine. Up until 1990, all phyto-aromatic prescriptions filled by pharmacists were reimbursed by the government health care system. Today that policy is determined by each province within France.
- The British model advocates diluting a small amount of essential oil in a carrier oil and massaging the body for the purpose of relaxation and relieving stress.
- A third model of aromatherapy comes from the Germanic countries – Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Known as the German model, it focuses on inhalation of essential oils for healing purposes.
In the United States, we can and do incorporate all three models for therapeutic use of essential oils. Each model has its purpose and strengths depending on the oil used and the effects desired.
Methods of Application to learn about effective ways of using essential oils.
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