When you ask most people what is aromatherapy, they will reply candles, soaps and/or perfumes. Most people forget the connection that aromatherapy has with mental and emotional health. Aromatherapy in general is an amazing tool that offers the body and mind the ability to connect to itself and heal. When you think about it, the nose is a direct protrusion of our brain. It is the “external brain” that allows our internal processes to have contact with the outside world to assess, evaluate and initiate responses. When you breathe in, you are sending messages to the brain on how to respond to the surrounding stimuli. For example, when you smell certain foods, it entices your taste buds and makes you want that food. If you smell bad milk, it lets you know to not drink it. When you smell in lavender, for most people, it makes you feel relaxed. Peppermint can make you feel invigorated. Clary Sage can make you feel giddy and euphoric. In essence, aromatherapy ignites our olfactory processes to help us manage daily stresses, challenges and joys.
WHAT IS AROMATHERAPY?
Aromatherapy is a practice that has been around for thousands of years. It has played a profound part of every culture at some point in time…Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Chinese, Indian, Persian, Native American and many others. To me, aromatherapy is a combination of art and science working together to bring harmony within. Aromatherapy has been defined as the use of 100% pure essential oils to influence, affect, modify, change, shift and alter mood, emotions, physical functions, behaviors, actions, responses and our environment.
It can help the human body and animals restore itself by supplying cells with energy, a strengthened immune system and positive attitude. It is no secret that our bodies are incredibly amazing and resilient. Using 100% pure essential oils via inhalation or topical application can provide the fuel necessary for a healthy, optimal and higher quality of well-being – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Emotionally, it can help one connect with themselves on a deeper level, releasing any stagnant or buried emotions to find peace, acceptance and forgiveness.
WHY DOES IT WORK?
Our brain, when ignited with scent can elicit a response, making us take action in less than one second. Faster than you can snap your fingers. You see, scent travels into the nose, through the epithelial tissue to special membranes called cilia or olfactory nerves. The scent arrives at the pituitary, which is the command center, where it triggers the brain to respond to any given situation. When scents get to the hypothalamus, it can enhance its responsibilities of regulating dozens of body functions such as hunger, thirst, temperature, blood sugar, growth, sleeping, walking, sexual arousal and emotions. Now you can imagine how olfaction of essential oils can play a huge role inactivating, supporting and initiating mind and body functions to bring about balance and homeostasis. Of course, as with anything you use, there are certain safety guidelines you will want to be familiar with. For example, cinnamon and oregano essential oils are very heating and irritating to the skin, especially if used undiluted.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING ESSENTIAL OILS?
Essential oils (100% pure, unadulterated, non-GMO) contain a number of chemical molecules (their DNA or genetic make-up) that possess certain therapeutic properties such as antibacterial, antioxidants, antiviral, antifungal, anti inflammatory, expectorant, decongestant, diuretic, nervine and vulnerary, just to name a few. In my personal opinion, I don’t think there is any disease, ailment or disorder that aromatherapy cannot help in some way. With that said, aromatherapy is not the only answer for these ailments, but one tool or one modality in your healthy toolbox that can assist in the healing from that ailment, head to toe, inside and out. Again, when you smell a scent via inhalation, your body elicits a response in less than one second. That means in a millisecond, it can turn a feeling of being sad into happy, comforting smile. It can release the tension in your shoulders after a stressful meeting, or quiet the mind so you can get a restful sleep. The cool thing about aromatherapy is that it can help physical, mental and emotional issues, all at the same time. So, when you create certain combinations of essential oils, they can serve as an adaptogen for the body.
To get more insight and training in the use of aromatherapy and essential oils for overall health, check out my JennScents Holistic Aromatherapy Comprehensive Guide. It is packed full of aromatherapy history, safety and health benefits with charts, descriptions of over 105 essential oils, carriers, application methods, recipes and more. If you want to obtain your certification in aromatherapy, we offer three different levels to match your aromatherapy goals.
Check out my You Tube Channel post as I explain these topics in more detail.
The information shared was created solely by Certified Clinical Phyto-Aromatherapist & Scentpreneur™, Jennifer H. Pressimone. Copyright2018. No portion of this content may be reproduced, shared, or copied without written permission from the author. Any such reproduction in any form would constitute plagiarism.
References: This blog contains excerpts from JennScents Aromaversity Certification Courses and the JennScents Holistic Aromatherapy Comprehensive Guide.
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