The stress-ridden society we live in today is just beginning to rediscover some half-forgotten truths about healing our battered physical and emotional being. In the 1920's The term "aromatherapy" was coined by a French perfumer named Rene Gattfosse.
Aromatherapy is the art, and science, of using extracts from aromatic plants to enhance health and beauty, and has been practiced in one form or another since the beginning of civilization. According to ancient Egyptian and Chinese transcripts, priests and physicians were using fragrances thousands of years ago to heal the sick. Apart from the physical benefits, aromatherapy can have subtle effects on the mind and emotions.
There are two main ways in which our body reacts to smell. First, the scent of a fragrance is conveyed by the olfactory nerve (nerve endings at the back of the nose) to the hypothalamus, pituitary, thalamus and limbic systemareas of the brain. These are major control centers in the brain, and specific fragrances can trigger specific neurochemical releases influencing all parts of the body.
Second, "the learned odor response". The sense of smell is the greatest memory stimulant of all five senses. The impression of an aroma is sent directly and immediately to the limbic system where memories are stored and pleasure and emotions are perceived. When stimulated, the limbic system releases chemicals that affect the central nervous system. In other words fragrances can stimulate your memory to create an emotional response.
In addition, fragrances are absorbed through the skin and can have a direct local effect in many situations.
Using fragrances in your spa is a simple, effective and pleasant way to relax and receive the therapeutic effects. Water itself has therapeutic value which enhances the powers of fragrances.
Some of the conditions that often respond well to aromatherapy include stress, insomnia, digestive problems, hypertension, muscle spasm, joint stiffness, low energy and tiredness. Following are some of the believed benefits of various fragrances.