Candles have increased individuals’ awareness of the common practice of aromatherapy through lines and collections found on shelves in stores such as Bath and Body Works and Yankee Candle. It is not a surprise that individuals today turn to this common practice as a means to cure common ailments such as stress, lack of energy, sleep deprivation, and more. Coined in 1937 by French chemist, René-Maurice Gattefossé, the term aromatherapy, also known as essential oil therapy, essentially defined as “the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit” (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, par. 1). Gattefossé had made the discovery that lavender oil was the instrument necessary to cure his burn from an earlier incident. Jean Valnet, a French surgeon during World War II, would use aromatherapy and essential oils to heal soldiers who were wounded (University of Maryland Medical Center, par. 1).
Stress is a common ailment that impacts the lives of millions of individuals. Aromatherapy has been used to cure individuals suffering from high levels of stress through the natural healing that essential oils provides. Common ailments can be cured by aromatherapy through both the healing and spiritual benefits provided by the nature of the practice.
- Essential oils are used to heal individuals suffering from certain psychological and physiological illnesses that can otherwise be untreated for long durations of time
- Has been known to cure anxiety, pain, insomnia, itching, etc..
- The amygdala and hypothalamus receive the scent and react through stimulation of the areas of the brain where emotions and memories can be found (University of Maryland Medical Center, par. 6).
- Researchers also believe that hormones and enzymes in the blood can be influenced by essential oils (University of Maryland Medical Center, par. 6).
- Essential oils can help individuals to connect with their inner selves through meditation and relaxation
- The effect of essential oils on the senses can increase a connection with the physical world for some
The artifact discussed above can be seen across many cultures and practices in the wake of modern medicine. Society views aromatherapy as an ideal form of treatment and often times opts for this natural treatment over chemically engineered options. This artifact is present in hospitals to spas and has the ability to be combined with massage therapy. Aromatherapy is not always perceived in a positive light. Many individuals do not believe in the validity of its health benefits and therefore heavily scrutinize the process claiming that believing in something working is different than the product actually working. While aromatherapy can benefit many individuals within society, it is not recommended for women who are pregnant, individuals with severe asthma, individuals with high blood pressure, and individuals who are receiving chemotherapy (University of Maryland Medical Center, par. 16). Individuals can purchase aromatherapy candles and essential oils over the counter or they can schedule an appointment with an aromatherapist to work on whatever seems to be troubling them. It is not uncommon for patients with high anxiety levels to feel significantly less pressure after sessions. Aromatherapy impacts civic life through medicinal and spiritual advances and is believed to have a positive impact on society. This artifact supports the idea that our senses are easily stimulated therefore making this a prime example of an item that impacts civic life.
National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. “Exploring Aromatherapy.” National
Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/about-
aromatherapy/what-is-aromatherapy/. Accessed 27 Sept. 2017.
University of Maryland Medical Center. “Aromatherapy.” University of Maryland Medical
Center, www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/treatment/aromatherapy. Accessed 27