Aromatherapy in Roman times

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2ooo years of sacred healing in Bath

The Roman Baths here are the best-preserved in northern Europe. Here, in Bath where are the only thermal springs in the UK and they bring health and vitality to this beautiful city. Nearly 2000 years ago Residents and pilgrims came to the magnificent Temple of Sulis Minerva, Goddess of the thermal to immerse themselves in the health giving water. The moon goddess Luna, and she looked at the sun god Sol across the great Temple Courtyard, this served as a special place for the sick to seek a cure with divine help. People seeking divine help for an illness would rest overnight in the temple. When they woke up, the priest helped them to understand their deams or visions.

The complex had saunas, steam rooms and a cold plunge bath. After exercise, the bathers would undress for the hot steam rooms.

The ancient romans used holistic treatments. Here they could demonstrate their social status by the number of their attendants and the fragrance and quality of the oils with which they were massaged. They would then finish with a quick plunge in the cold bath to rinse off and close the pores.

We know that ancient Romans were quite aware of the properties of the essential oils. and used a large variety of them. The most popular oils were cardamom, nard, cinnamon, pine resin, bay laurel, juniper, frankincense, cedarwood, hyssop.

Soap had not been invented yet, so ancient Romans used scented olive oils to clean their bodies, applying them to the skin and then scraping them off with an instrument called a strigil.

So, not much in changed in 2000 years in aromatherapy, for example in my Detox and Cleansing foot reflexology I apply cedarwood, bay laurel and hyssop. For my Emotional balance body reflexology treatment I use cardamom, cinnamon and pine. The Inner beauty and spiritual development facial and cranial reflexology treatment having the benefits from juniper,  spike nard and frankincense.

In my practice I find these essences are really powerful cures for ailments like pain, stress, anxiety, addictions, fatigue and even to provide support on the spiritual path.

After the Romans medieval medical practice promoted bathing in the hot water for ailments such as leprosy or other skin complaint, rheumatism, palsy and colic.

In the late seventeenth century doctors were recommending drinking the water as a remedy.

Drinking and bathing in the spa water are still popular here.

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