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16 October, 2007

Alternative Medicine-2: "Aroma Therapy"

Aroma Therapy is a method of treating certain physical and emotional problems like aches, pains, asthma, arthritis, fear, depression and anxiety with the help of essential oils.

The essential oils are derived from flowers, fruits, stems, bark and other parts of plants. These oils are usually inhaled or used on the skin. The aroma or the smell of these oils affect the limbic system in the brain. The limbic system works on the nervous, respiratory, circulatory and the immune system of the body.

Once the odour of the oils reaches the limbic system, it triggers memories and influences our physical and emotional health.

Aroma therapy has been in practice for about 6000 years. It has been used by most ancient civilizations. It is assumed that this therapy began in Egypt in 1555 BC. The Greeks also used this method for medical and cosmetic purposes. Rome, which is known as the bathing capital of the world, picked up the medical knowledge of aroma therapy from the Greeks. Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine, has been practising aromatic massages for more than 3000 years. Thus, aroma therapy is used and practised all over the world.

It is always better to go to a aroma therapist for treatment. If you want to do it yourself, do not practice it unless you are familiar with the method.

(Courtesy: Health, Supplement to the New Indian Express, Date and other details not available)

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