Table of Contents
Introductory . 4
Chapter 1: Benefits of Aromatherapy .. 6
Chapter 2: History of Aromatherapy . 8
Chapter 3: Massage Your Way to Better Well Being 10
Chapter 4: The Power of Touch and the Benefit of Scents .. 12
Chapter 5: Relaxing Through an Aromatherapy Bath . 14
Chapter 6: Knowing About Aromatherapy Oils .. 16
Chapter 7: Discovering The Wonders Of Essential Oils . 18
Chapter 8: Aromatherapy Incense .. 20
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Chapter 1: Benefits of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy, like all new age practices, is riding on to successville. Everyone wants to try some yoga or have a massage with scents that will relax not only your body but also your soul.
But along with its increasing popularity is the increasing number of questions about the process. What is it about? What makes it work? Is it safe? Does it really calm the nerves and relax the muscles?
Aromatherapy is the practice or use of oil extracts from plants for their medicinal and aromatic benefits in order to improve psychological, spiritual and physical wellbeing. True aromatherapy does not include the use of oils that are only used for fragrance. These are considered unnatural products because they have been tampered with already in the laboratories.
Most think that aromatherapy is a new discovery but the truth is, the practice of using essential oils for medicinal and aromatic purposes has been going on for centuries. It started with the Greeks and the Egyptians, who used a crude distillation process to extract oils from the plants and flowers in the area.
One o the primary benefits of aromatherapy is in the improvement of a person’s psychological and mental state. Aromatherapy, they claim, can help relax the mind and get rid of the everyday stress that people suffer from. It can lighten the mood and alleviate stress symptoms such as feelings of depression, heaviness and sadness. Of course, it cannot cure actual psychological problem. And if you are thinking along these terms, you are in for a disappointment. Aromatherapy only helps to alleviate the surface effects of stress but not the underlying causes and psychological problems.
There are also claims that aromatherapy has medicinal purposes and it has but it does not directly cure an illness. It only serves to strengthen the bodies of the person and also calm their fears so that they can better cope with the disease. Aromatherapy can also in easing the feelings of nausea when having an illness. This is especially true with people who are undergoing chemotherapy.
Also, aromatherapy can improve one’s immune system, which is a big plus in fighting off diseases and illness. Like with the claims with psychological wellbeing, aromatherapy cannot cure a disease. People who claim otherwise should not be trusted. Aromatherapy indirectly helps but it does not directly cure the problem. Another benefit that aromatherapy provides in the improvement in common ailments such as indigestion, acne and other skin problems and also PMS and menstruation. The therapy has been known to help stop dysmenorrhea, a condition wherein a person feels pain in the abdominal area due to menstruation.
Essential oils are also used and combined with some hair care formulas because they have been known to keep the hair healthy and shiny. The same goes with skin care. Aromatherapy can also help in coping and dealing with various emotions. In fact, there are special plant extracts that can be used for this very purpose. Anger for instance can be alleviated by Jasmine, Orange, Roman Chamonile, Rose and Ylang Ylang while anxiety can be dealt with extracts from plants such as Bergamot, Geranium, Cedarwood, Mandarin and Lavender.
Confidence can be improved with a touch of Cypress, Bay Laurel and Rosemary while depression can be alleviated by Clary Sage, Helichrysum, Neroli, Sandalwood, Frankincense and Mandarin.
Chapter 2: History of Aromatherapy
In its exact definition, aromatherapy is the process of using volatile plant oils in order to treat not only the physical wellbeing of a person but also his or her psychological and mental health.
From decades past, apothecary drawers have been filled with essential oils that have been used in the treatment of diseases and other health problems. In fact, the practice of using oils has been in place for nearly a thousand years. It was however only in the 20th century when the term aromatherapy was used.
It started with the Chinese, who are among the first cultures to incorporate the practice into their traditions. They use plant oils and burns incense to help create balance within the body and harmony with nature.
Later on, the Egyptians adopted the practice and created an old distiller prototype which extracts cedarwood oil crudely. The oils that they extract from the plant are then sold in markets in their country. There are some that claim that Persia and India were the ones that invented the distillation process but of course nothing has been proven yet.
As time passed, the Egyptians started to extract oils from different plants. In addition to cedarwoos, they use clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and myrrh. These oils were also used in the embalming of their dead. In fact, when an Egyptian tomb was opened back in the early 20th century, remains and traces of these plants were seen in some parts of the body. Archaeologists were even able to smell the scent.
The Egyptians also used the scents and the oils in some of their rituals, especially those that are spiritual in nature. Some also used the oils as medicines while the women used them as perfumes and cosmetic. In fact, the word perfume is thought to have come from the Latin word fumum, which means smoke.
There are claims that men also use fragrance like women but they have an interesting method of doing it. They will place a solid cone of perfume on their heads, which they will gradually melt until the perfume and scent cover their whole bodies.
The Greeks also used perfumes but of course everything was credited to the Gods of their mythology. Still the use of plant oils as perfume took a life of its own and soon Megallus made a perfume from myrrh, which is a fatty-oil. His perfume called the Megaleion not only had aromatic benefits, it can also heal wounds and has an anti-inflammatory property towards the skin.
It was also the Greeks that established the medicinal purposes of plants. In fact, the father of medicine, Hippocrates, practiced the use of plants for its aromatic and medicinal benefits.
Armed with the knowledge that they have gotten from the civilizations of the Egyptians and the Greeks, Roman Discorides wrote a book called De Materia Medica, which essays the different properties of as much as 500 plants.
In the 11th century, a process called coiled cooling pipe was invented. This had a large impact on the distillation of essential oils. Avicenna, a Persian, was the one who created the prototype, which allowed steam and vapor from the plant to cool down so that it can be extracted better and faster than other distilling machines. Because of this invention, the focus once again went to the benefits of essential plant oils.Other Details
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