Aromatherapy is not just some "New Age" fad. It dates back more than 5,000 years and is one of the oldest methods of holistic healing known to humankind. In those ancient times, we depended on our immediate surroundings for our needs, and discovered that certain herbs and aromatics were useful in preserving food or treating ailments. Often, we learned from watching the animals around us. Ancient Chinese civilizations were using aromatics, or aromatherapy. Shen Nung's classic herbal book dates back to 2,700 BC and is a virtual aromatic encyclopedia of more than 300 plants and their uses. The Chinese also discovered that aromatics had applications beyond just medicine and cosmetics, and used incense and burning woods in religious ceremonies to show respect to our gods, a tradition still practiced today. Chinese aromatherapy was also linked to massage and accupressure.
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