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What Is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a kind of treatment that makes use of smells to influence the mood and state of mind of a person. Aromatherapy is considered part of alternative medicine; and while it does not have concrete evidence of its efficacy, aromatherapy is highly regarded by a lot of people, if only for the relaxation that it brings.

The whole idea of aromatherapy is based on the use of essential oils which are extracted from plants and herbs. These aromatic oils are used in varying ways. The first time that aromatherapy was used, however, was by accident. As the story goes, French cosmetic chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse accidentally burned himself in his laboratory. With nothing but a container of lavender essential oil near him, he did the sensible thing: plunged his arm into the container. He observed that the burn healed rather quickly and resulted in minimal scarring. It is easy to see how he came up with the concept of aromatherapy, which is practiced to this day.

Aromatherapy is carried out in three different ways. One is via the air, or aerial diffusion. In this method, the scents are simply allowed to permeate the room with the purpose of making the room smell pleasant and clean. A second method is direct inhalation. The oil is mixed with a solvent that will make it safe for inhalation. This method is used for conditions such as decongestion. The third method is topical, which is becoming more and more popular. Massage oils, bath products, and skin care products are infused with essential oils.

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