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What Is an Aromatherapy Wrap?

Some aromatherapy wraps are filled with flax seed.
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  • Written By: Rebecca Harkin
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2014
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An aromatherapy wrap can be a small, heated pad with a scented pouch or a full body wrap using towels infused with scented essential oils. Many practitioners of holistic medicine believe that scent has the capacity to treat diseases, injuries, and mental conditions. During this soothing, thermal therapy, the heat relaxes the body and releases the scent while the liberated fragrance reduces stress. Different scents are used to treat different conditions.

Fragrant wraps vary based on the type of treatment. When used in the home, an aromatherapy wrap is usually designed to wrap around a part of the body, such as the neck or shoulders. Some of these wraps designed for home use are either filled with flax seed or rice mixed with an aromatic herb. Heating the at-home, aromatic wrap releases the herbal scent.

Other styles of home aromatic wraps come with a hot pack and a separate small, fragrant pillow. The scented pillow is placed inside the wrap near the hot pack to activate the scent. No matter which type of filling is used, the wraps are heated in the microwave.

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In a spa, an aromatherapy wrap treatment is much more elaborate. Typically, several large warm and soft towels permeated with fragrant, essential oils are wrapped around the entire body. The wrap is then left in place for about 30 minutes to allow the heat to penetrate and the scent to be released. During the aromatherapy treatment, the heat in the wrap soothes the muscle aches in the body, and the perfume of the aromatic oils relaxes and relieves the patient's stress while the essential oils help to soften and moisturize the skin.

Aromatic wraps can be used to treat many different diseases, injuries, and psychological problems. An aromatherapy wrap is often used to mitigate the side effects and stress of chemotherapy or to relieve the pain associated with arthritis. Sports injuries, muscle strains, or muscle spasms are also often relieved through the use of aromatherapy. Heated fragrant wraps may also relieve psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia, enough to reduce the doses of medication needed to treat these conditions.

The scent selected to be used inside an aromatherapy wrap typically depends on the medical condition being treated. For example, ginger, allspice, and juniper berries are used to abate joint and muscle pain. Peppermint scent can relieve nausea and is often used to combat the side effects of chemotherapy. Lavender is frequently employed to reduce anxiety and insomnia.

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