Aromatherapy for your teenager

I have been practising aromatherapy since 1996 and for many of those years I have specialised in pregnancy, labour and post-natal care. But recently partly due to my family growing and having clients with teenage children, I have developed a fascination and intrigue into using essential oils for puberty and adolescence.

Teenage Boy & Girl listening to music

Teenage Boy & Girl listening to music

Puberty, comes from the Latin puberatum meaning “age of maturity”, and is the term given to the process of physical changes by which a child’s  body matures into an  adult body capable of sexual reproduction to enable fertilisation.

Adolescence is from the Latin: adolescere meaning “to grow up” and is considered to be the transitional stage of physical and psychological  human development generally occurring between puberty and legal adulthood.

It has been discovered that folds and creases of the brain rapidly develop through adolescence mainly in the area of cognitive and emotional areas. By the time individuals have reached age 15 or so, their basic thinking abilities are comparable to those of adults. Self-concept, self-esteem and self-identity are all areas that develop at this time.

Relationships within the family unit change causing the adolescent to question their position and role within the family. Peer groups become important for self-identity and can have a very positive influence on the growing child as they experience developing emotions of empathy sharing and leadership. However ‘peer pressure ‘can also lead to a negative influence and lead teenagers to experiment with drugs and alcohol, truancy stealing and vandalism.

There is much debate over the impact that media has on adolescent development and behaviour. However, because adolescents choose which media they’re exposed to, it is very difficult for researchers to distinguish cause and effect. But in a modern fast moving world with the advent of mobile communications and exposure to multimedia everywhere we look there seems little doubt that the media certainly has a profound influence on us all.

How can essential oils help?

I have found that the use of essential oils and massage can play an important role for these young adults. Allowing them time to focus on their wellbeing, giving them permission to relax and take timeout- particularly away from their modern devices- phones, tablets etc. which seems to be almost moulded to them.

Its great fun to let them choose their blend, they always have questions and queries about the massage and the properties of the oils, a great testament of their enquiring minds!

Alongside the powerful nature of the oils is of course the additional benefit of the massage itself. At a time when the young adult may be coming away from touch at home; fewer cuddles with Mum or Dad, less chance to hold hands whilst walking along; massage will enhance the need to receive the tactile stimulation we all require to thrive. Some teenagers report awkwardness in their bodies, like it doesn’t belong to them anymore. The changes that are occurring overpower them in some way.

Massage has the ability to bring a sense of ‘you’ to you; there is something about touch through massage that is almost akin to meditation and a focus on the body encouraging grounding and strengthening.

It is a joy to treat this particular client group. It is helping me as a parent and furthering my knowledge as a therapist.

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