How Essential Oils Support Physical & Emotional Well-Being Essential oils have been demonstrated [research references below] as beneficial in at least seven areas of daily well-being (see handy essential oils & malady table, below). According to the research, essential oils can be particularly helpful in; aiding sleep, reducing nausea, enhancing memory, boosting energy & more. Here on this page I’ll explain what’s happening when we experience aroma – and how therapeutic essential oils can be used to enhance our daily living (the –therapy in aromatherapy).
Once you’ve viewed the essential oils table below, please consider leaving a comment at the bottom and share with everyone how YOU use your oils… and in what health areas you’ve found the greatest success. I do read every single comment, and respond to most!
How our Brains Process Aromas Here’s how it works; have you ever been traveling and sensed an aroma that suddenly brought back deep memories of when you were younger? Sense of smell (your olfactory system) is your most basic sense. This is one reason why aroma has a deep, powerful and lasting influence over your mood, behavior, feelings and general sense of well-being. And this is the reason why we’re often lost for words if asked to describe a particular smell – because the ‘aroma’ region of our brain is a (relatively) great distance from the ‘words’ region.
This is great news for you, because it means the ‘thinking’ part of your brain can simply relax, while we let aromatherapy do a lot of healing-work, through the more primitive area of our brains that senses smell.
Your sense of smell is separate from your other senses and routes through different areas of your brain. You see, sight and sound are delivered directly to the more complex areas of your brain (which can be considered as a switchboard).
Fragrances are Processed ‘Differently’ in Our Brains Different to sight and sound, smells take a ‘round-about’ way through your brain. And visit deeper areas controlling emotion and memory. This means scents encounter a lot of ‘pre-processing’ before the ‘conscious’ part of your brain even recognizes the fragrance is there at all.
Why Aromas Have a Very Powerful Impact Over How You Feel, Think & Act Aromatherapy with essential oils allows you to take advantage, using a plant’s healing powers or to make you feel better. Therapeutic essential oils carry naturally-active volatile compounds, in a highly concentrated form. This allows them to provide therapeutic benefits, even though you might only use a tiny amount of the oil.
We need to emphasize here; we’re referring to pure, therapeutic grade essential oils (not perfumes). There are hundreds (or thousands) of uses for aromatherapy. However, these uses are proving particularly promising in these areas of our lives; stress relief, mood stabilization, sleep enhancement, pain reduction, relief of nausea, enhancing memory & boosting your energy.
What’s more, many essential oils are synergistic oils (they can work together) providing a much more powerful impact together more than just a single oil used alone.
How Essential Oils Can Help with Several Common Maladies
With knowledge, aromatherapy can deliver endless possibilities. The table below lists a few therapeutic oil uses for oils for many of today’s common maladies. A number of these oils (for example peppermint & lavender) can treat more than a single issue;
Do Women Possess a ‘Better’ Sense of Smell? We all discover smells at an early age, and those memories stay with us for life. Studies have shown 3 to 4-year-old children essentially have the same fragrance ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ as older folks. Women consistently demonstrate better sense of smell than men (women have a 30% more sensitive sense of smell, on average).
Smells Reveal More Than We Might Think Research indicates the human nose is capable of discriminating between millions of unique scents. This far exceeds our sense of sight or sound. The results of this research (referenced below) begins to explain why the human olfactory system is able to sense factors such as; age, fear and even gender. Yes, you read it right; the latest research reveals we’re able to identify the gender or age of someone, simply by how they smell!
Video on Natural Essential Oil Hydrosols and Aromatherapy
For example, a mother can sense her new baby purely by smell alone. Even after holding her child for as little as one hour. Essential oils have a demonstrated ability to change your nervous system biochemistry. One Japanese study showed certain oils were simulating while others calming. For example, these stimulating oils; black pepper oil, grapefruit oil and fennel oil caused a 1.5-to 2.5-fold increase in sympathetic nervous system activity (systolic blood pressure was the measure of arousal).
Conversely, patchouli and rose oils resulted in up to a 40 percent decrease in sympathetic nervous system activity. Other natural essential oils are shown to decrease stress hormones, including; rosemary and lavender oils.
Aromas may Also Have a ‘Placebo’ Effect Interestingly, these recent studies suggest it may be how you expect an odor to smell (rather than the odor itself) that may be responsible for enhancing your mood and other pleasurable effects. In other words, a placebo effect. Yes, it’s possible just thinking about lavender oil may make you calm.
Our responses to smells seem to be learned early for the most part. And are a function of the ‘emotional context’ where we first experienced them. These ‘aroma associations’ go on to influence our behaviors & feelings for the rest of our lives.
Until next time, please look after yourself!
P.S. Please do leave a comment below, and share this info with friends (using the buttons on the left or bottom)… because nearly all of us could use a little help with our aromatherapy! And please leave your queries and comments below, I do read every single comment, and respond to most!