Saturday, July 10, 2010

Introduction to the World of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is not a New Age fad or modality to be taken lightly.  It is truly a proven scientific method of bodily reactions based on the introduction of aromas or scents to the brain.  These scents can be introduced to the brain through the obvious act of smelling, but they also can be absorbed into the blood stream via oils and creams rubbed or massaged on the skin.  In the coming weeks, I will discuss the many types of ways that essential oils, hydrosols, inhalations, smudgings, and the like can be introduced into the body and the benefits that each can bring to the mind, body, and spirit.

But before we get to the history and science and types or aromatherapy, let's take a minute and think about some of the very simple ways that we experience aromatherapy everyday without even realizing it.

How do you feel when you smell the aroma of rubbing alcohol?  To me, it makes me anxious because it brings to mind a physician's office and specifically getting a shot of some sort which was preceded by the nurse rubbing my arm with rubbing alcohol.  To some people, it brings back a sense of embarrassment because it reminds them of their teenage years when they had acne and the main cleaning agent for pimples back then was rubbing alcohol.  If we are truly aware, we can experience the affect of aromatherapy from daily happenings such as these But most of the time, the memories of those times in our life brought on by the odor of rubbing alcohol are only recognized by our subconscious, and we are left wondering why we, all of sudden, are feeling anxious!

We are more likely to notice the aromatherapeutic effects from the positive scents that we smell.  Such as when we smell wood burning, we may think back to camping trips we enjoyed sitting around the campfire and feel uplifted and happy. When we smell suntanning lotion, we may think back to last summer's vacation to the beach and feel relaxed and laid back like we were during those days in the sun. These positive reactions to scents are what influence our choices of scents to be around more often, such as  our use of specific candles, air freshener, car fresheners, and even perfumes.  I am sure we have all smelled a scent of perfume or aftershave from a person walking by and smiled as we remembered a special person that wears or used to wear that scent!

But besides making our moods positive and negative, aromatherapy is a science that can be used successfully in many health related issues.  Besides its more lighter side, aromatherapy definitely has a much more serious side.  Those issues will also be discussed as the weeks go by.

I am hoping that you will find this new blog to be helpful and interesting as I open up all the different ways we can help ourselves and others by merely smelling.

My next post will delve a little into the science of how aromatherapy works and also how long people have been using its benefits over.  This week make a conscious effort to really feel how your body reacts to some comforting and some not-so-comforting smells which you encounter!  Have fun and see you soon.  Happy Smelling!


  1. I'd like more information about the calming influence of aromatherapy in a family setting. How can it be used for adults and children?

  2. In a family setting with a range of ages of children and adults, your best bet would be to start out with lavender. Lavender is a very affordable essential oil which has a very calming effect. Make sure to get pure lavender essential oil and not fragrance oil. Fragrance oil is a mixture of chemical made to smell like lavender and will do nothing for an effect. Try using an oil warmer where you place a few drops of lavender essential oil in the top of the warmer mixed with a couple of tablespoons of oil or water. Light the warmer with a votive candle on the bottom. Let it disperse the aroma in the room where your family gathers. It should make a difference. Thanks for your interest.