Exploring Aromatherapy And How You Can Use It To Heal

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

It can be difficult in today’s world to figure out what is truth and what isn’t. There are so many avenues presented to us to allow us to heal naturally, whether that be mentally, physically, or spiritually. Although a trip to your physician is obviously one of the first things that comes to mind when it comes to understanding what your symptoms mean, and how to treat them. However, there is something empowering about using alternative methods that people have been using for centuries. Long before people popped a pill to feel better, there was something called aromatherapy.

The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy states that aromatherapy is the science and art of using naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants, flowers, barks, and seeds to balance, harmonize and encourage the health of the body, mind and spirit. The idea about using the essential oils from plants is an ancient one whose intention is to heal. These essential oils can be extracted from a variety of things including roots, leaves, seeds, barks, herbs, or flowers.

While scientific data is hard to find regarding the correlation between the prevention of disease or for treating illness, there are a wide variety of studies which have found that aroma therapy is an effective method for treating many health issues including infection and stress.

Essential oils have been used for at least 6,000 years for healing by numerous cultures. The ancient Indians, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Egyptians used these oils regularly for hygienic, ritualistic, therapeutic, and spiritual practices, as well as cosmetics and perfumes.

Perhaps one of the best known stories about the healing power of aromatherapy comes to us from France. Chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse discovered that after he burned his hand working in his lab, it was lavender oil which provided the healing compounds that healed his hand. This caused the French chemist to go on to uncover how the chemical attributes of essential oils work for the treatment of skin infections, gangrene, wounds, and, of course, burns. Gattefosse founded the science of aromatherapy in 1928 and by the 1950’s, there were a variety of healthcare professionals who were taking advantage of aromatherapy. So, if anyone tries to tell you that aromatherapy is “new age” crap, you can educate them on the true history of this healing art.

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