Aromatherapy, which is also referred to as Essential Oil therapy, can be defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants which are used to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. It seeks to bind physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s natural healing process.
The French chemist, Rene- Maurice Gattefosse, created the term “aromatherapie” in 1937 with the publication of a book by that name. The book “Gattefosse’s Aromatherapy” contains initial clinical findings for the use of essential oils on a range of physiological ailments. It seems Gattefosse’s intention for creating the word was to clearly distinguish the medicinal application of essential oils from their perfumery applications.
So we can interpret “Aromatherapie” to mean the therapeutic application or the medicinal use of aromatic substances (essential oils) for holistic healing. As the practice of aromatherapy has progressed, it has adopted a more holistic approach encompassing the whole body, mind and spirit (energy).
"Aromatherapy is... the skilled and controlled use of essential oils for physical and emotional health and well being." Valerie Cooksley
"Aromatherapy is a caring, hands-on therapy which seeks to induce relaxation, to increase energy, to reduce the effects of stress and to restore lost balance to mind, body and soul." Robert Tisserand
"Aromatherapy can be defined as the controlled use of essential oils to maintain and promote physical, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing." Gabriel Mojay
"Aromatherapy can be 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. It is an art and science which seeks to explore the physiological, psychological and spiritual realm of the individual's response to aromatic extracts as well as to observe and enhance the individual's innate healing process. As a holistic practice, Aromatherapy is both a preventative approach as well as an active method to employ during acute and chronic stages of illness or 'dis'-ease.
It is a natural, non-invasive modality designed to affect the whole person not just the symptom or disease and to assist the body's natural ability to balance, regulate, heal and maintain itself by the correct use of essential oils." Jade Shutes