The Art of Living with Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is considered to be an alternative therapy in modern times, yet it is based on ancient medical systems that have been built up over thousands of years from accumulated empirical evidence. Many of us have experienced elevated moods from breathing in flowers, the ocean, and the aroma of fresh forest air, to name a few.
In the 1920s, French Chemist Rene Maurice Gattefosse discovered aromatherapy by accident. He soaked his hand in Lavender after burning himself, as he didn’t have anything else available. Rene was surprised to find that his wound healed quickly. He was also the first person to coin the term ‘aromatherapy’.
Aromatherapy and the Brain
Scent stimulates nerves to fire in the emotional center of the brain called the amygdala, and it stimulates the pituitary gland (also referred to as the master gland), to release hormones. Hormones affect the fight or flight response, as well as digestion and heart rate. Thus it is clear that scents, especially therapeutic grade essential oils, can positively impact us through inhalation.
Anxiety, depression, fear, anger, and joy all emanate from the amygdala. The scent of a special fragrance can evoke memories and emotions before we are even consciously aware of it. When it comes to scents, we react first, and think about the related experience later. Touch, taste, hearing, and sight are routed through the thalamus, (which acts as the switchboard for the brain), passing stimuli onto the cerebral cortex (the conscious thought center), in addition to other parts of the brain.
In a large clinical study, Alan Hirsch, MD, tested the fragrances of peppermint, to trigger significant loss in weight in a large group of patients who had previously been unsuccessful in weight-management programs. During the course of the six-month study involving over 3,000 people, the average loss exceeded 30 pounds. According to Dr. Hirsch, some patients actually had to be dropped from the study to avoid becoming underweight.
In 1989, Dr. Joseph Ledoux , at New York Medical University, discovered that the amygdala plays a major role in storing and releasing emotional trauma.
In studies conducted at Vienna and Berlin Universities, researchers found that sesquiterpenes, natural compounds found in essential oils of Vetiver, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Sandalwood and Frankincense, increase levels of oxygen in the brain by up to 28 percent. Such an increase in brain oxygen may lead to a heightened level of activity in the hypothalamus and limbic systems of the brain, having dramatic effects on not only emotions but on learning, attitude, and many physical processes of the body including: immune function, hormone balance, and energy levels. High levels of sesquiterpenes also occur in the essential oils Melissa, Myrrh, Cedarwood, and Clove.
Essential Oils Verses Synthetic Fragrances
Synthetic Fragrance oils are primarily made from petrochemicals and attempt to duplicate the smell of a specific plant. A 1986 report by the National Academy of Sciences reports that 95 percent of the chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum. These chemicals include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxins and synthesizers that are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions.
Essential oils are obtained through a labor-intensive processes which extract the vital essence of aromatic plants from the flowers, fruits, sap, seeds or skin of the plant, as well as the bark, leaves, roots, resins or wood of certain trees. These oils are often referred to as the “life force energy” of plants. They contain unique and varied therapeutic properties.
Rub a peppermint leaf between your thumb and forefinger. Smell your fingers. This fresh scent is the essential oil from the leaf of the plant. Shave the rind of an orange. Rub the rind between your thumb and forefinger. Smell your fingers. This is the essential oil from the skin of the fruit. Use these essential oils in combination to uplift the mind & body, clear breathing, and energize the spirit. Learn about essential oils and experience life changing results.
Hirsch, AR, Inhalation of Odorants for Weight Reduction, Int J Obes, 1994
LeDoux, JE, Rationalizing Thoughtless Emotions, Insight, Sept. 1989
Essential Oil Disclaimer:
I only use essential oils from the true leading essential oil company in the world – doTERRA. Based on personal experience and scientific knowledge, it is even more dangerous to inhale and impure essential oil, than it is to ingest and apply it. I once got headaches from essential oils that claimed to be therapeutic grade from a company who claimed to be the world leader in essential oils. Those essential oils proved to be fragrance oils, as over time, I developed fragrance toxicity.
A true certified pure therapeutic grade essential oil will not make you feel any level of dis-ease. As the marketplace becomes flooded with essential oil companies who make untrue claims, please be mindful of what you bring into your homes. The energy of impurity is simply not healthy for the energy of you or your home. Keep it simple, keep it pure, choose well, choose doTERRA for safety, purity, and results that work like magic. I am living proof. Remember, happy, healthy, and free is your birthright and smart choices equals vitality plus success.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical help. As members offer or look for answers, kindly understand that essential oils work to help to bring the body into balance – thus helping the body’s natural defenses to restore homeostasis. Essential oils are not used to “treat” medical problems.