Aromatherapy refers to the use of essential oils that have been extracted from plants, shrubs and trees. These essential oils can be used for a wide variety of purposes. They can be used to treat medical conditions or alleviate psychological ailments. Aromatherapy can also be used simply for pleasure, to help improve your mood or to reduce your stress. The essential oils of aromatherapy have the power to affect both your physical and mental state. Aromatherapy has recently been labeled a New Age fad, but the practice of aromatherapy has a long history. The often negative use of the New Age label causes an unfortunate prejudice against a practice that has many potential benefits. The effective use of aromatherapy requires considerable knowledge and expertise. The essential oils of aromatherapy can be applied in a wide variety of situations. They have been proven effective in treating both serious and minor ailments. Even when aromatherapy cannot provide a cure, it can improve an individual’s mood. We often practice aromatherapy on an everyday basis without realizing it. When we choose aromas, bath oils, and air fresheners, we usually choose based on what we like, or on how the fragrance makes us feel. The refreshing scent of a pine forest, the pleasurable aromas of herbs, or the many other daily experiences we have with the scents of plant-derived substances indicate that we are actually practicing and experiencing aromatherapy in many ways. The practice of aromatherapy for treating ailments actually predates chemical-based medicine. The essential oils of aromatherapy have been used for hundreds of years in herbal medicine, disease prevention, and in religious and public ceremonies. The proven benefits of plant-based therapies are being overlooked in favor of artificial substitutes. It’s easy to forget that many commonly used pharmaceuticals were originally derived from plants. Many also doubt that something applied externally could possibly have an internal effect. But the answer to many of today’s diseases has been with us from the beginning, stored in the plant life around us. Aromatherapy unlocks the power of these essential oils and applies it for our benefit.
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