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You’ve heard the word “aromatherapy.” You’ve seen the candles, oils, soaps, and potpourri. But, do you know what aromatherapy is actually all about?
Aromatherapy is mostly about scents and their relationship to the mind and body. The word literally means “therapy through aroma or scent.” The practice is based on the belief that what we smell impacts how we feel, both emotionally and physically.
In therapeutic aromatherapy, pleasant scented essential oils (extracted from plants) are used to help improve health and well-being. The fragrance can be breathed in directly or used to scent an entire room. The oils can be massaged into the skin or added to bath water. Many aromatherapy enthusiasts credit these oils and their aromas with providing a wide array of benefits — from helping to reduce stress and anxiety to eliminating insomnia and easing pain.
If you’re thinking about trying aromatherapy, the best place to start might be with your own physician. Ask if he or she thinks there are benefits to the practice.
Of course, you could just pick some fresh flowers, light your own candle, or bake some cookies, and then inhale deeply. It might just be enough!