Massage and spa-like treatments have been enjoyed for thousands of years, and it is indeed difficult to pinpoint precisely when massage therapies and treatments like aromatherapy, reflexology, and others became popular. We do, however, have many fascinating historical examples of these therapies being brought to prominence.
The Ancient Egyptians: Aromatherapy Pioneers
Perhaps more than any other culture in antiquity, the ancient Egyptians truly had an infatuation with pampering healing massage, and they are thought by many to be the first to organize, categorize, and delineate a full system of aromatherapy. Very specific combinations and applications of many well-known essential oils can be found inscribed in the walls of ancient tombs and temples, or written on ancient preserved papyrus documents, throughout the Nile River delta.
The Pyramids at Giza: some of the earliest examples of aromatherapy practice can be found here (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Who knew that you could enhance the therapeutic, transformative, and energizing properties of a stellar full-body massage with the addition of something so simple as highly-concentrated plant oils?
These “essential oils” are the foundation of all aromatherapy, and when combined with a classic massage, they deliver the ultimate relaxing spa-like experience.
Aromatherapy candles can really enhance your massage experience (Photo credit: Horia Varlan)
Essential oils are derived from the flowers, seeds, leaves, bark, pollen, and fruits of specific plants and they can be combined in creative ways that yield fragrances that are not only delicious to the olfactory senses, but also have some recorded curative properties, especially with regards to improving mood and sense of well-being. Conservative numbers suggest that there are 400 known essential oils not counting mixtures, and around 40 of those are commonly used in aromatherapy sessions.