A health treatment in which oils with a nice smell are rubbed into your skin to make you feel relaxed. Someone who is trained to do aromatherapy is called an aromatherapist.
Origin and usage
The word aromatherapy comes from the French word ‘aromatherapie’. It is a combination of the word ‘aroma’, from the Greek word meaning ‘sweet odour or sweet herb’, and the word ‘therapy’, from the Greek word ‘therapeia’ meaning ‘healing’. In English, use of the word aromatherapy dates back to the 1990s.
The word aromatherapy refers to a kind of natural health treatment that helps people relax, feel calm and improve their overall health. In aromatherapy, oils with a pleasant smell are rubbed into the skin or their scent is breathed in through the nose. Sometimes, special candles or incense can be used in aromatherapy, as they contain scented oils that are released into the air as they burn.
Since the early 1990s, aromatherapy has gained popularity in many parts of the world. People believe that certain smells from plants, flowers and herbs can promote natural healing and well-being, and many people use aromatherapy in addition to traditional medical treatments.
Aromatherapy can often help ease stress and certain types of pain, improve sleep, and can boost energy levels or make people feel more relaxed. Some of the oils used in aromatherapy can even fight bacteria, support the immune system, and speed up the body’s natural healing process.
Common aromatherapy scents include lavender, peppermint, lemon, ginger, rosemary, vanilla, chamomile, sandalwood, jasmine, lemon grass, orange, tea tree oil and eucalyptus.
“Morning or night, I love putting mint or spearmint oil on my temples and the back of my neck. There’s this aromatherapy quality of both easing tension and waking you up.”
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.
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