Aromatherapy: the Connection of Smell and Your Mind

1024 673 Nicola Salter

In aromatherapy, the sciences of olfaction and the mind are the two key building blocks to unlocking your mind and improving your mental wellbeing. By using aromatherapy, you can help release hidden and unprocessed feelings and begin the path of emotional understanding of yourself.

Aromatherapy Has a Place in Your Brain

Memories can come in many forms, ranging from happy to sad, calm to intense. So, when you experience trauma, heavy and overwhelming emotions are stored within the cells of your nerves in your brain and body. Through modern science, we understand that there is a connection between emotion and the body’s limbic system. The limbic system also plays a vital role in interpreting and channelling intense experiences, such as fear or trauma.

Things become quite curious when you examine the parts of the limbic system that undertakes the majority of emotional processing, namely, the amygdala and hippocampus. Both of these are located within an inch of the nerve that translates smell to the regions of the brain. This helps us remember an event or release memories. By using aromas, we can tap into these suppressed feelings and memories of trauma to help begin the journey of emotional healing and processing.

The Role of Essential Oils in the Brain

Now that we have an understanding of the brain and limbic system, let’s look at the main tool I use in aromatherapy, essential oil. Essential oils contain a wide variety of biochemicals, and with the oils that contain larger percentages of sesquiterpenes. Those raise blood oxygen levels in the brain. Also, sesquiterpenes are also known for their calming properties and ability to support the immune system. The amygdala loves the trigger of aroma and the oxygenation effects of oils, allowing it to better release stored emotions.

With intent and mental focus, essential oils can be a fantastic tool in supporting your journal of resolving trauma, both physical and emotional. The power of the mind works with the body to heal. Psychoneuroimmunology is a term we use to describe the intrinsic connection between mind and body. By releasing trauma and painful emotion to better our minds, we positively affect our entire body’s physical health and resilience.

Two Oils to Help Rewire Your Brain

There is a wide variety of essential oil, with many of them possessing unique properties and benefits to the mind and body. For now, let’s look at grapefruit and ylang ylang. Grapefruit directly affects the thalamus, releasing enkephalins throughout the body. These enkephalins promote body-wide feelings of euphoria. On the other hand, ylang ylang targets the pituitary gland. With this trigger, it starts sending endorphins, which act as aphrodisiacs, arousing our senses.

Do You Want to Explore the World of Aromatherapy?

Thank you for reading! The study of aromatherapy is deep, and this article can only cover a very small scratch on the surface. If you want to learn more about aromatherapy, rewiring your brain, and decoding your emotions, consider checking out my course on the matter at nicolasalter.com/course or by clicking here. In it, I dive deep into the properties and effects of essential oils and the science of the mind and how we can harness the power of both to better our emotional mindfulness. I also have a podcast! In it, I bring on a wide variety of guests, and we talk about life and how we stay happy and stable, even in the most tumultuous of times. Please click here if you would like to give it a listen. Thank you so much for reading, and remember, stay mindful!

Nicola Salter