It's amazing what scent can do to us. Smell vanilla, and you might be transported back to your most memorable birthday party. Smell body odor, and you may lose your lunch.
Aromatherapy is one such way to turn our connection to scents into a resource to help us feel our best and behave our best -- you jut have to know how.
How Scent Affects Us
Did you know the human nose contains about five million olfactory receptors? These tiny receptors pick up all the different scents you encounter -- both good and bad -- and then pass this information along to the brain. From there, they're known to impact our emotions, our behavior and even what information we retain and draw on later on. They also impact how we taste.
Aromatherapy utilizes scents to treat a number of mental and physical conditions. The right scent, or combination of scents, can reduce stress, boost mood, promote deep sleep and even alleviate pain. Aromatherapy has been a part of Eastern medicine for centuries and the applications are much the same now.
A Guide to Scents
If you're interested in incorporating aromatherapy into your daily life, here are some specific ways to use it:
For Energy -- Pick scents that are bright and fresh. Citrus is great for this or even peppermint. Add a few drops to your shampoo, conditioner or body wash in the shower and start your day off feeling more awake and ready to take on the day with energy that lasts.
To Relax -- To calm yourself down after a stressful day, choose a scent that is ore delicate and floral. Lavender is an obvious choice, but you can also try jasmine. Add some to warm bath water or massage oil to release tension and lower blood pressure.
Concentration -- Cinnamon is a bright, strong scent to help you get back to business. Other options to consider when your attention is waning are apple or pine. Keep a diffuser with these scents at your desk or dilute them in water and give the room a mist when you need to focus.
For Warmth -- Whether it's winter's chill or just a drafty office, feeling too cold and uncomfortable can be distracting. Scents like birch and sandalwood can help warm you from within. Keep a bottle of these oils on your desk or look for a candle with these scents.
For Cooling -- When you're overheated and possibly tired, you begin to feel sluggish and not so fresh. Cool off with lemongrass, tea tree or eucalyptus oils. Dilute these oils in water in a travel size spray bottle you can keep in your bag and give your face a gentle mist.
To Set the Mood -- If you're looking to up the romance in your relationship, why not try scents of rosemary and ylang ylang that are deep and floral. You can dilute these essential oils and mist your bed sheets or look for a couple of scented candles to to put around the dinner table.
Scents can have amazing powers and the combinations are endless!
Proper Use of Essential Oils
Essential oils are one of the best ways to utilize the effects of scents because they can allow you to customize your therapy in so many ways. The important thing to remember with essential oils is that they're very highly concentrated. No essential oil should come into direct contact with the skin in its pure form, as this can cause severe irritation. If you have any allergies, try any mixture on a small area of the skin first and wait for 12 hours to see if a reaction develops.
You can dilute essential oils in a carrier oil, like jojoba, almond or grapeseed, or you can add them to water. A little goes a long way, so start with a couple of drops and move up from there. Essential oil books can provide information on dilution ratios as well as great combinations for specific purposes.
Shop for essential oils and more to experience all the benefits of aromatherapy at eVitamins. See you tomorrow!