The Roots of Aromatherapy
- February 26, 2015 in Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of plant-derived, aromatic botanical extracts to promote physical and psychological well-being. It is sometimes used in combination with massage and other therapeutic techniques as a part of a holistic treatment approach.
Early man was heavily dependent on his sense of smell. It was important for signalling danger and possibly in finding food. They also associated bad smells with disfavour of the gods, illness, suffering and disease. Gradually, it was discovered that herbs, spices and oils helped to heal the sick, to preserve food, aided in digestion, as well as enhanced taste.
Herbs and aromatics became one of the few things important enough to carry, preserve and maintain. A special group of healers, including doctors, chemists and holy men, prepared perfumes, medicines, incense, herbal oils and wines.
Since then, civilizations all over the world imbibed the art of healing and it became quite popular in the Egyptian, Indian, Mesopotamian and Chinese cultures. It was Dr. Rene Maurice Gattefosse, a French scientist, who in the 20th century coined the term “aromatherapy”. So, how does aromatherapy help you? It soothes uplifts and often even heals the mind, body and soul. Among its other benefits, it boosts immunity, relieves muscle pain and cures insomnia. It has also been found to relieve stress. Not only can the aromatherapy oils be inhaled but they can also be massaged into the skin. It is important to use a massage oil/essential oil combination appropriate for lowering the imbalance created in our bodies through daily life. In India, for example an ancient custom dictates that a mother and baby should be massaged for forty days after the birth. Similarly, customs all over the world suggest massaging and aromatherapy to cure oneself. Aromatherapy has made its comeback into the 21st century and the use of aromatherapy continues to increase in countries all over the world. It serves as an effective alternative, is simple to practice and easily available.