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Personal Development, Spiritual Growth

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Aromatherapy

The use of naturally extracted volatile plant oils or essences to promote healthy body, mind, and spirit. The scent of the oil is inhaled; it then stimulates the nervous system through the olfactory nerves. Depending on the type of oil, it may be inhaled directly, diffused, added to bath water, or used directly on the skin. Aromatherapy is used in pain and stress relief, skin care, massage therapy, healing and energy revitalization. Aromatherapy has been in use for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians used oils, such as frankincense, myrrh, cinnamon, and spikenard, to anoint and preserve their dead in order to prepare them for the afterlife. Hippocrates (460-377 BC), considered to be the father of medicine, was one of the first practitioners to view the body as a whole. He is reported to have used herbs, such as fennel, parsley, hypericum or valerian in his infusions and healing massage, as well as having documented and described over 200 herbs of medicinal value. Dioscorides, a Greek physician who lived from 40-90 AD, wrote the five volume book called De Materia Medica, which describes a plant’s habitat, preparation, storage, and its healing properties. The term “aromatherapy” was coined by French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefossé in 1910. (See Essential Oils)

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