Lets dig little in to history and see when and why people started to use steam and aroma oils to improve their living and health.
Ancient Romans used hot water, steam, and oils in their famous baths.
Early baths were heated using braziers, but from the 1st century BCE more sophisticated heating systems were used such as under-floor heating fuelled by wood-burning furnaces. This was not a new idea as Greek baths also employed such a system but, as was typical of the Romans, they took an idea and improved upon it for maximum efficiency.
Finns are also well known to use stemmed air in their saunas.
The sauna has been a central part of Finnish culture and daily life for centuries, if not millennia. According to historical documentation, the smoke sauna, which stood separately from the dwelling structure as early as the 12th century, persisted into the 20th century.
Traditionally, the sauna in Finland was used not only for regular bathing, but also for a range of domestic chores and rituals, such as drying flax, preparing malts, curing meat, giving birth and preparing the deceased for burial. It was also where traveling healers (usually women) attended to the ill, administering baths or massage or drawing blood. At the summer festivals of Whitsuntide and Midsummer, special rituals involving spells, baths and hanging herbs were performed to improve young women's perceived suitability for marriage. The sauna was also believed to increase men's virility.
In brief, aromatherapy is the use of volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being. Although the term aromatherapy was not used until the 20th Century, the foundations of aromatherapy date back thousands of years. The use of essential oils in particular date back nearly one thousand years.
The Chinese may have been one of the first cultures to use aromatic plants for well-being. Their practices involved burning incense to help create harmony and balance.
Famous Chinese Joss sticks used for a variety of purposes associated with ritual and religious devotion in China and India. Joss-stick burning is an everyday practice in traditional Chinese religion. There are many different types of joss sticks used for different purposes or on different festive days. Highly scented Chinese incense sticks are only used by some Buddhists. These are often quite expensive due to the use of large amounts of sandalwood, aloeswood, or floral scents used.
Later, the Egyptians invented a rudimentary distillation machine that allowed for the crude extraction of cedarwood oil. It is also thought by some that Persia and India may have also invented crude distillation machines, but very little is known.
It is believed that the Egyptians invented the first distillation equipment, albeit rudimentary, and created oils infused with herbs for use in rituals, medicine, cosmetics, and perfumery.
Aromatherapy uses plant materials and aromatic plant oils, including essential oils, and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering one's mood, cognitive, psychological or physical well-being.
It can be offered as a complementary therapy or, more controversially, as form of alternative medicine. Complementary therapy can be offered alongside standard treatment, with alternative medicine offered 'instead of conventional treatments', conventional treatments being often scientifically proven.
An ultrasonic aroma humidifier is a type of water and essential oil diffuser that disperses essential oils into the air. Aroma humidifier combines benefits of humid air and aromatherapy.
Humidifier uses electronic frequencies to create vibrations that are carried to the surface of water where oils are floating. The vibrations vaporize the oil and disperse it into the air without using any kind of heat.
Aromatherapy with humidifier offers similar benefits as sauna and ancient practices of the therapy:
- Stress relief
- Anxiety or fear management
- Self esteem booster
- Grief extinguisher
- Fatigue control
- Agitation release
- Isolation aid
- Memory Boosters