Aromatherapy is Heaven Scent
Have you ever caught a whiff of perfume on a breeze and suddenly been transported to another time or
place? Aromas have the power to evoke distant memories of people and places because of all our senses, the sense of
smell is most strongly linked to the subconscious.
Scents are capable of producing immediate, intense responses because they are processed by the part of the brain that controls memory and emotion. The sense of smell is also strongly linked to many of our most basic survival instincts, such as appetite and sleep functions. Aromatherapy uses this connection to create a sense of well-being and promote healing.
Aromatherapy offers a gentle, soothing, and effective treatment for many conditions, including depression, anxiety, viral infections, malfunctioning organs and skin disorders, as well as improving circulation and memory.
Aromatherapists use essential oils (pure, concentrated plant extracts) for their fragrance and ability to produce profound changes in the mind and body. They’re particularly effective in treating stress-related conditions, and are frequently used as home remedies.
The practice of using essential oils dates back to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, when extracts of specific plants’ flowers, buds, roots, and bark were used to treat disease.
It was revived in the 1930’s when chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse burned his hand and plunged it into a container of pure lavender oil for relief. His hand healed in hours, leading Gattefosse and other scientists to pursue further
experimentation and develop aromatherapy treatments still in use today.
What it Does
Essential oils have varying physical and psychological benefits. Their properties can be antiseptic, warming, cooling, astringent, stimulating, soothing, relaxing, sedative, decongestant or antispasmodic.
The highly concentrated, flammable oils are extracted either through steam distillation or by cold-pressing a specific part of the plant. Then they’re mixed with a carrier oil such as almond oil, or diluted in alcohol before being
inhaled, applied to the skin or sprayed in the air.
Aromatherapists’ believe certain aromas can improve your sense of well-being and alleviate emotion related disorders. Various studies that measured the heart rate, muscle tension and skin temperature of test subjects before and after inhaling different scents support this belief.
Studies demonstrated how aromas affect an individual’s stress, behavior and performance levels, establishing that inhaling certain fragrances caused subjects’ positive moods to increase, and negative moods to decrease.
Inhaled aromatic molecules stimulate odor-sensing nerves as they enter the nasal cavity, sending impulses to the limbic system that trigger a calming or energizing effect on the body, depending on the oil used. When combined with massage, they’re absorbed into the blood and circulated throughout the body.
Whether aromas work by stimulating glands to produce hormones that fight pain and inflammation, or by reacting with hormones and enzymes in the bloodstream, aromatherapy is currently enjoying the sweet smell of success as its popularity soars!
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