Just breathe—it’s as simple as that.

By Brianne Hogan

When we’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, we might turn to a lavender oil-infused bubble bath. In need of a pick-me-up? We’ll turn on our diffuser using peppermint oil.

And why shouldn’t we? After all, aromatherapy is not just a trendy wellness buzzword; it’s been used to promote physical, mental and spiritual health for thousands of years.

“Aromatherapy is a complementary and integrative health and wellness modality that supports our own innate ability to heal and stay healthy,” Amy Galper, co-founder of the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies, explains.

RELATED: What Are Essential Oils And Are They Safe? How To Use Them Properly In Your Own Home

The practice, says Galper, focuses on using essential oils, which are the aromatic components extracted via steam distillation from various plant materials “to affect change and reestablish balance in body, mind and spirit.”

How does aromatherapy work?

According to Galper, the molecules in essential oils travel into the body via inhalation as well as through the skin when applied topically, such as when they’re incorporated into skin care products.

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