The use of aromatics in healing can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece where incenses, oils, fragrant baths and more figured heavily into both ritual and daily life. Today, aromatherapy is a science based on far more than the pleasurable effects of fragrance.
Aromatherapy employs essential oils extracted from plants to achieve physical, emotion, mental, and spiritual well-being. Essential oils, properly distilled or expressed from plant material are the most concentrated form of herbal energy and are, in fact, the living essence of the plant. The molecules of essential oils are small enough to be absorbed easily through the skin and through the epithelial membrane in the nose which is impenetrable to virtually all other molecules.
When inhaled the scent of these oils stimulates the limbic system, where emotion and memory are activated. When applied topically, with the use of a satisfactory carrier, the oil molecules themselves absorb through the skin into the blood stream, where they assist in the healing of many physical conditions.
I utilize essential oils in bodywork and crystal therapy for the etheric, or spiritual, as well as the psychoactive properties. I brush them through the aura and use them to anoint the body.
Please be advised, essential oils are very potent and many commonly used oils have toxic properties that can, for example, cause miscarriages or epileptic seizures. Make sure you know the hazards before applying them to your skin. Read a good book. Consult a certified aromatherapist. For more in-depth information on the safe use of essential oils, I have posted an article here.