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Aromatherapy: Enjoying Ancient Scents

The power of pleasant scents is timeless. Learn about aromatherapy's history with Groupon's introduction.

Aromatherapy sessions take place on a spectrum that stretches from relaxing to extremely relaxing. Practitioners extract the all-important essential oils and aromatic compounds from flowers, bark, roots, resins, and other natural sources. During the actual session, clients simply relax and take deep breaths, triggering olfactory signals connected to the brain and traveling into the lungs where the particles can quickly enter the bloodstream. At many spas and massage studios, therapists dilute these essential oils and apply them directly to the skin with massage lotions or in warm baths.

Though there is a lack of clinical evidence supporting the medical benefits of these plant-derived oils, their therapeutic application can be traced back as far as the era of the Old Testament. Sealed urns of aromatic resins have been unearthed in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, and recorded uses of essential oils can be found in ancient cultures across the Middle East and in India and China. Scent sciences were brought into the modern era by French chemist Ren?-Maurice Gattefoss? in 1937, when he published a book detailing an explosion that resulted in severe burns all over his hands and the seemingly miraculous recovery he made after treating them with lavender oil.

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