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DEFINING AROMATHERAPY

The English word “aromatherapy”‘ is derived from the French word ‘aromatherapie’ which was first coined by French chemist Gattefossee in the 1930’s.

Gattefossee created a system of aromatherapy that was based on modern scientific thought and experimentation. He develop aromatherapy as a medically based therapy utilizing essential oils. The properties of essential oils were proven and researched and could be seen as equal to conventional drugs at the time.

As Gattefossee understood, aromatherapy was a classic allopathic therapy within the framework of conventional medicine in which the essential oils are used to treat disease.

In 1977, the first aromatherapy book was published in the English language. This was The Art of Aromatherapy by Robert Tisserand. It combined medical application with a holistic and esoteric view of essential oils. Many other interpretations of aromatherapy have since developed; some of these interpretations have been esoteric, while others began to focus on the fragrance aspect.

Aromatherapy has diversified into four basic strands .

  • medical aromatherapy
  • popular and esoteric aromatherapy
  • holistic aromatherapy
  • the scientific study of fragrance.

Whatever our concept or method of practice is, we need to realize the complexity of aromatherapy. While we can remain true to our own concept of aromatherapy, we should also be exploring other aspects of aromatherapy and respect our colleagues who may have a different approach.

The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy

Salvatore Battaglia

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