Take a deep, deep breath- of something other than merely a lungful of pollutants. And don't just leave it at that; take a long, hearty sniff of a carefully-prescribed, very precisely mixed set of aromatic ingredients, all the way from herbs and flowers to bark and leaves- and let it work its magic on you, easing away tensions and pain, relaxing and de-stressing you.
Aromatherapy - the holistic science of healing by the use of 'essential oils'- has been around for centuries, and is believed to actually have first been used in Greece, Rome, China, India and Arabia more than 6,000 years ago.
In the contemporary world, aromatherapy was revived and extensively researched by the French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse in the 1920s.
Aromatherapy bases itself on 'essential oils', which is the name given to non-oily, highly-scented liquids which constitute a major component of all plant matter. Essential oils are composed of hundreds of chemical substances, the use of which (by massage, inhalation, in a bath, or by other means) can help in not just relaxing tense muscles, but also in healing minor ailments such as headaches, colds, indigestion and more.
Aromatherapy can be administered in many ways; essential oils (always mixed in with a 'carrier oil', to reduce their potency) can be massaged into the body; they can be used in diffusers, in potpourris, in a warm bath, in cold or hot compresses, and in hair rinses. Some of the most popular (and efficacious) essential oils include antiseptics like eucalyptus, rose and sandalwood; mild analgesics like lavender and marjoram; chamomile, which is calming; geranium (mildly astringent); rosemary (a mild stimulant); jasmine (an anti-depressant), and neroli (a mild sedative).
Sounds tempting? Gift yourself a dose of aromatherapy at one of the spas that offer this treatment. A swiftly-increasing number of spas across India, nearly all of them in major hotels, offer aromatherapy packages for work-worn, tired and stressed guests. Most of these center around massages or scented baths, and can be wonderfully rejuvenating!