Aromatherapy is a popular technique that is often used as a way to relax and get relief from a variety of ailments. When used effectively it can help calm and rejuvenate a person by improving the health of their spirit, mind and body.
The name Aromatherapy is derived from two words. 'Aroma' refers to smell and 'therapy' refers to treatment. In other words, aromatherapy means treatment using fragrances. It is a natural healing practice that is used often during holistic medicine.
The therapy can trace its history back to 18,000 BC when flowers and plants where used as tools for healing the body. The ancient civilizations of Egypt, China and India all used various forms of aromatherapy. Today's versions of the therapy has its direct roots in the Egyptian method who used to extract oils from flowers and plants. They often used these essential oils to heal and for embalming mommies.
Modern Researchers believe that stimulation of smell can influence our physical, emotional, and mental health. For example, lavender is believed to stimulate the activity of brain cells in the amygdala in the same way that certain sedative remedies work. Research is currently showing promise in the use of aromatherapy for such diverse ailments as cellulite, fibromyalgia and chronic pain. Anecdotal evidence supports the use of essential oils for a number of emotional and physical diseases.
Massage therapists can assist the work they do by adding essential oils to their hands or have the aroma diffused into the air via essence or oil burners. It is important that these essential oils are diluted before applying to the skin. Massage aromatherapy provides relaxation as well as a physiological action through the nervous system. In addition, when applied topically, essential oils can exhibit anti-microbial, antiseptic, anti-fungal, or anti-inflammatory properties.
Aromatherapy is increasingly available. Many health clubs, sports centers, beauty clinics and complementary therapy centers now offer aromatherapy or aromatherapy massage.