Aromatherapy: What is it and why does it matter?

If you’ve recently discovered aromatherapy and you’re keen to learn more, you’ve come to the right article. The vast majority of people understand vaguely what aromatherapy is, but their knowledge is often surface-level. So, to ensure you fully understand aromatherapy and why it’s important, this article explains what you need to know about this holistic healing practice.

Introducing aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a healing practice that involves the application of essential oils to enhance health and wellbeing. The essential oils used are extracted from a range of plants, and their aromas are used to benefit the mind, body, and spirit in different ways. Aromatherapy has a wide range of potential benefits and can enhance sleep quality, improve mood, and alleviate muscle aches and pains. So, what’s the history behind aromatherapy? Where did it come from? Let’s find out.

The origins of aromatherapy

The term ‘aromatherapy’ was coined in the 1930s by Gattefosse, a French Chemist who was interested in the study of plants in a scientific environment. His research explored how certain plants could be used to treat a range of health complications and afflictions, and he coined the term ‘aromatherapy’ to express some of his findings. Fast-forward to 1977 and the publication of Robert Tisserand’s seminal work, The Art of Aromatherapy. Tisserand’s work sought to raise awareness of the French chemist’s research and was the driving force behind the adaptation of aromatherapy all around the world. The book is still used today to understand the principles of aromatherapy and how essential oils should be used. Although the term is a relatively new one, people have been practising aromatherapy for centuries, as we explain below.

Aromatherapy through the ages

There are numerous examples of aromatherapy being used in ancient civilisations. For instance:

  • The ancient Indian science of Ayurveda utilised Sandalwood and Patchouli
  • Lavender was used by the Romans to support their health and wellbeing
  • Hippocrates – the father of modern medicine – wrote about the medicinal properties of herbs and plants in ancient Greece
  • The ancient Egyptians included plants around the home, and they were present in tinctures and balms for a range of medicinal purposes

From the ancient world to the Middle Ages, plants have been used by physicians. For instance, during the times of plagues, people turned to plants as a form of protection against illness and infection.

The uses of aromatherapy today

If you schedule an appointment with an aromatherapist today, they will consider a bespoke blend of essential oils to treat your circumstances. This will usually be followed by a massage. However, there are different ways of using essential oils, including:

The beauty of aromatherapy is that you can benefit in so many different ways. The ancient practice has been refined in the modern day to ensure you can benefit from essential oils in myriad ways, whether it’s a deep tissue massage at the weekend or a relaxing bath at the end of a busy day of work.

How you can benefit from aromatherapy

There’s no doubt that aromatherapy has come a long way since it was first used by people in ancient civilisations. The knowledge that has been passed down from generation to generation is exceptionally valuable and is still relevant today. If you’re new to aromatherapy, explore the different essential oils that you can benefit from today, and begin your journey to a more relaxed mind, body, and spirit.

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