Aromatherapy More Popular

Aromatherapy has become hugely more popular since Palmerston North aromatherapist and naturopath Paula Harris qualified with her diploma in holistic aromatherapy ten years ago.

But just because products say they're aromatherapy doesn't necessarily mean they are, she says.

"When I first started training, there were only a couple of brands of essential oils readily available to the market, the quality could be questionable at times, and most people hadn't heard of aromatherapy, let alone knew what it meant."

"Now most have heard of, if not used, aromatherapy in some way. There's a huge number of products on the market - shower gels, moisturisers, air fresheners, even tissues - that use aromatherapy to promote themselves."

But a lot of them don't actually contain any essential oils, just synthetic chemicals to create "nice" smells, she says.

Miss Harris gained her diploma extramurally from the London School of Aromatherapy.

In the last ten years, Miss Harris has seen attitudes to massage changes as it's become more acceptable in the mainstream.

"When I first studied massage, it was considered something a bit weird, a bit offbeat. If you were doing massage, you were either a hippy or a prostitute."

"Now more and more people realise the benefits from massage."

The Tribune – April 2 2006