Updated: Jun 27, 2019
Aromatherapy is a well-known term, yet many don't truly understand how potent essential oils are. Essential oils (EOs) are highly concentrated forms of the naturally occurring oils of a plant. They are extracted through a distillation or expression process.
Essential oil chemicals can be absorbed into the body via olfaction (inhalation), the skin (topical application), and ingestion. Ingestion should only be administered under the advisement of a trained Aromatherapist in Aromatic Medicine. Inhalation is the preferred application at Aromatic Origins.
Lets take a look at our olfactory system. One of our most valuable senses is our sense of smell. This sense develops right away in life. Olfaction can differentiate between 10,000 unique odors. We breathe aromatic moleculesinto our olfactory bulb, which houses our olfactory receptor cells. These receptor cells distinguish between scents, and send that information to the limbic system in the brain. In the limbic system, the amygdala, which governs our emotional reactions, will produce either a fight or flight response. The amygdala alerts us to our possible threats. Rotten food, the smell of approaching danger, and other bad odors may be threats to our safety. If the amygdala does sense danger, it sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is responsible for our homeostasis, which is the balance within all of our body systems. It tells our autonomic nervous system whether to fight or flight, or it activates our parasympathetic nervous system for rest and digest.
The limbic system stores our sensory experiences such as memories, pleasure, anger, instincts, etc. It is the center of all of our emotions, therefore, influences our behavior.
Our olfaction acts like a lock and key. The first time we smell something, our subconscious mind locks in our experiences to that aroma. Whenever we smell that scent again, we experience those original feelings. Smelling cinnamon can remind us of Autumn, apple cider, and our childhood trick-or-treating. The cinnamon aroma is the key that unlocks these memories.
Evidence shows that there is a vital connection between aromas and our emotions. Aromatherapy has a profound effect on the deepest levels of our mind, body & spirit. Due to inhalation, psychoaromatherapy has a powerful & immediate effect on our limbic system. Therefore, psychoaromatherapy can help us manage our mood states and enhance our well-being. We can relieve emotional distress with the help of essential oils.