Aromatherapy Awareness Week runs from Monday 10 to Sunday 16 June and is promoted by the International Federation of Aromatherapists.
Although like many "complementary" therapies it is much decried by mainstream science, aromatherapy is an ancient therapeutic treatment used in many early civilisations to relieve stress, other ailments and rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit, by the use of pure essential oils from plants, chosen for their therapeutic benefits, specific to the needs of the individual.
Smell is a much more important sense that we often realise. Scents are some of the most powerful triggers for the recall of past events: the smell of the sea bringing back those idyllic childhood holiday memories, for instance. That's why supermarkets so often use the smell of baking bread, or coffee, to entice us. So why should aromatherapy work too?
The medical sector too have recently started utilising the benefits of aromatherapy — for instance in cancer units as supportive care for their patients and pre- and post-operations — and they have seen benefits to the patients which help to speed recovery.
You can find out more about aromatherapy over at www.ifaroma.org.