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AROMATHERAPY: IMPROVE YOUR PHYSICAL
AND MENTAL HEALTH WITH THE POWER OF SCENT
- Scent controls our mood, respiration, thought, feeling,
movement, hormones, metabolism, and resistance to illness.
- The greatest benefit of some scents is their ability to
restore harmony to our bodies when we’re overstimulated.
- The practice of using aromatic oils from different
plant parts, such as flowers, to aid in relieving and balancing emotions is
- Specific essential oils can be combined in unique
blends to create individual prescriptions that treat conditions of the mind,
body, and spirit together based on personal scent preferences.
- Understand the properties and safe usage protocol for
essential oils and explore the numerous ways in which scent can provide
WHAT IS AROMATHERAPY?
Whether pleasant or unpleasant, our surroundings leave an
impression on our mental and physical states. What we experience through our
senses has consequences for our body systems that control not only mood but also
our breathing, thinking, feeling, movement, hormones, metabolism, and our
resistance to illness. We are generally inclined to place ourselves in or near
natural settings when we find ourselves feeling stressed - we recognize that
natural elements have a restorative influence on our complete well-being and
help us settle both our physical and mental ailments.
The use of fragrant flowers, woods, plants, and resins, or
“aromatic herbalism,” began centuries ago in the time of Neanderthals, who
buried their dead along with aromatic herbs and flowers. Ancient Egyptians,
Romans, and Arabs used scents in air purification, skincare, in the embalming
process to honour their deceased, and in the healing of wounds. Essential oils
were believed to be more valuable than even gold, motivating grave robbers to
steal jars of them from King Tutankhamun’s tomb. Other cultures used fragrant
flowers in their perfumes, antibiotics, antiseptics, and in their religious
worship they used flower garlands to place around the necks of their idols.
In the 20th century, aromas were first used in
therapeutic practice. The founder of this practice was Rene Maurice Gattefosse,
a French perfumer and chemist, who accidentally discovered that when he applied
Lavender oil to a burn on his hand the healing process was extraordinarily
quick. He observed that the oil was both aromatic and therapeutic and coined the
Wholistic aromatherapists practice therapeutic perfumery
for which they combine specific oils in unique blends to create individual
prescriptions that treat conditions of the mind, body, and spirit together based
on the scent preferences and symptoms of the individual. It should be noted that
aromatherapy does not have to be limited to topical use; though it has its
applications in perfumery, its medicinal applications can be employed in several
procedures that will be illustrated in a chart later in this article.
THE BENEFITS OF NATURE'S SCENTS
Any pleasant smells inspire relaxation, promote easiness
of breath, boost invulnerability to viruses and infections, and protect the body
from the harmful physical and emotional effects of stress, but those extracted
from nature are most potent in improving well-being in every sense: mental,
emotional, physical, and spiritual.
While modern life separates us from nature, fragrant
essential oils drawn out of plants and flowers and the usage of these smells in
Aromatherapy connect us to it. Essential oils are the source of the therapeutic
fragrances we smell in nature. Specifically, they are precious liquids extracted
from plants’ roots, barks, leaves, flowers or within their rinds, seeds or
AROMATHERAPY ESSENTIAL OILS
HOW ESSENTIAL OILS ENTER THE BODY: There are 3 ways for
essential oils to enter the body: dermal absorption, oral ingestion, and
inhalation. The ingestion method is not recommended unless prescribed and
supervised by a qualified medical practitioner.
Gossamer Wings essential oils are for external use only. Hence, Inhalation
is the most effective way to instantly retain the therapeutic effects of
- DERMAL ABSORPTION: A greater amount of an
essential oil will be absorbed if it is a less viscous oil, if the user’s
pores are unclogged, and if more skin area is covered by the oil. There are
also parts of the body with thinner skin (behind the ears, inside of the
wrists, palms of hands, soles of feet, armpits, scalp) through which oils
are more quickly absorbed than through other parts with thicker skin (arms,
legs, belly, back).
- ORAL INGESTION: Studies have shown that the
least effective way to absorb an essential oil is through ingestion. Taken
this way, the oil ends up going through a slower intake process by way of
the digestive tract where it must pass through several large organs before
it reaches the bloodstream. By this time, the oil’s chemical composition
will have been altered by every other material it will have passed in these
organs before being expelled from the body.
BENEFITS OF AROMATHERAPY
Our bodies have 400 types of scent receptors that can
detect a vast number of different odours, which is more than the number of
receptors we have for other senses: sight has 4 receptors, taste has 4, touch
has 4 main receptors, and hearing is based on touch due to the ear hairs acting
as receptors. A person can distinguish several smells, even if he or she
doesn’t have the words to describe them. Scent-triggered memories are thus
more moving than others.
Scents often recapture the carefree memories of times when
we were at ease. Some scents energize us, but the greatest benefit is in their
ability to restore harmony to our bodies when we’re overstimulated. Essential
Oils are not to be considered a miracle cure for serious emotional issues but
can aid in relieving and balancing emotions. This is what comes to mind when one
hears the word “Aromatherapy.”
Not all essential oils provide the same level of benefit
for all users; past memories associated with the scent will affect an
individual’s response to it. For example, while Rose Oil is listed as being
helpful in times of grief, its aroma might trigger a negative experience if,
say, the smell reminds the individual of his or her abusive grandmother who
might have worn a rose-scented perfume herself. On the other hand, if the
grandmother was nurturing, the smell will elicit a positive response and aid in
stress-relief. No one should be coaxed to use a scent that he or she doesn’t
naturally feel inclined to, even if it is prescribed for the particular
emotional issue he or she might be suffering from.
For this reason, Marguerite Maury's Individual
Prescription Technique was devised in the 1950s. Maury was a biochemist, who
specialized in holistic aromatherapy and was the first to devise a special
massage technique for the application of essential oils. The oils were chosen
for her patients according to their physical and emotional development. These
unique blends would treat conditions of the individual’s mind, body and spirit
together because in Holistic aromatherapy blends are not “one scent fits
all” but rather they are mixed by a qualified practitioner for the individual
based on his or her scent preferences and symptoms.
SMELL AND EMOTION
As perceived in the use of colognes and perfumes, scent
can convey everything from longing to authority, liveliness to relaxation.
Accordingly, scent is extremely important in attracting two people; the genes
that make up our immune system produce our body odour and help us subconsciously
choose our partners. Some scientists believe that kissing evolved from the act
of sniffing, “the first kiss” stemming from a primal behavior – we smell
and taste our partner to decide if he or she is compatible.
To illustrate, individuals have different sensitivities
and awareness of the same smell, so what smells sweet and soft to some might be
nauseating, migraine-inducing, or even heartbreaking to others. Some smells are
universally revolting because they signal danger, such as anything threatening
to life or to hygiene like smoke, feces, stale body odour, and spoiled food. On
the other hand, the same smells that are offensive in some cultures are alluring
in other cultures, because of their dissimilar connotations.
EFFECT OF SMELL ON MOOD, BEHAVIOUR,
Mood influences thinking, which often leads to observable
behavior. A positive mood often means higher levels of creativity - including
creative problem solving - increased productivity, performance, and the tendency
to help others. Pleasant ambient odors also enhance attentiveness during tedious
tasks, stimulating higher self-efficacy and spurring people to set higher goals,
and to make more efficient work strategies compared to those in a no-odor
condition. Conversely, negative moods and bad smells impair judgments, diminish
a tolerance for frustration, and decrease prosocial behavior.
Research conducted by sleep disorder centers has tested
the theory that the smell of flowers can induce more positive dreams. Men and
women were exposed to either the smell of flowers, hydrogen sulfide, or to no
smell at all. Whatever they smelled produced the emotional content of their
dreams. Those who inhaled the pleasant smell experienced significantly
more pleasant dreams than those who had no smell. Those who smelled Sulphur had
the most negative dreams. These insights have led researchers to begin an
investigation into the ability of pleasant smells to reduce nightmares.
USING ESSENTIAL OILS IN
Due to their strength and the fact that using too much can
trigger sensitivities and cause adverse health effects, essential oils must be
diluted with a carrier oil before being used, depending upon the particular
properties of the oil. Before use, it is imperative that the properties of the
particular oil are understood by the user, as sometimes there are
contraindications against combining the use of particular essential oils and
certain prescription medications.
The end result of using the oil depends on the amount
used. It is safest to start with smaller amounts than higher.
USES OF ESSENTIAL OILS
Now that we know how to safely use essential oils, here
are just a handful of ways in which they can be implemented to enrich your daily
In a bowl, sprinkle pinecones with 15-20 drops of
oil. Shake pinecones every few days to distribute scent.
Add 1-2 drops of oil to diffuser filled with
Home Cleaning Products
Mix 3 drops of disinfecting oil(s) with warm water
and spray countertops to disinfect.
Add 10-20 drops of your favorite scent per load.
Soak cotton ball with 2 drops of 2 oils and place
behind, beneath, or inside malodourous places or things.
Sprinkle 1-2 drops of oil on pillow.
Hot Compress for Muscle Pain
Add 6 drops of essential oil to 9 oz of hot water
and soak small towel. Wring out excess water and place hot towel over
Mix 5 drops oil and 1-2 oz (28-56 g) of bath salts
in a warm bath.
Add 2 drops of oil into 2 cups of water in a
Add 1-2 drops of oil to 1/4 cup of water and
gargle with it. Do not swallow.
Add 3-4 drops of essential oil to bowl of boiled
water. Over bowl, cover head with large towel. Breathe steam through
nose for several minutes. Keep eyes closed.
Add 2 drops of Tea Tree oil and 1 drop of Lavender
oil to pure Aloe Vera gel for non-drying serum.
Anyone can create a holistic individual prescription that
will treat the conditions of mind, body, and spirit. Experience the countless
ways in which pleasant smells can influence your health, mood, behaviour, and
even your dreams. By choosing scents that inspire comforting feelings, new
calming experiences can be created often. The most blissful times in life can be
captured forever and recreated in the form of a smell.
Gossamer Wings products are for external use only unless otherwise indicated.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any
disease, and it should not be used by anyone who is pregnant or under the care
of a medical practitioner. Please refer to our policies for further details,
and our disclaimer below.