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Does Aromatherapy Work? - Articles Surfing
Every where we turn there are products that promise certain results based on the fact that they contain a specific scent or aroma, including candles, oils, and even shampoos. The question becomes, is aromatherapy just fluff aimed at selling products? Or is it based on science?
Aromatherapy as a practice has been around for centuries dating back to the ancient Egyptians however as individuals we experience this phenomenon in our everyday lives with out even being aware of the fact. How many times have you walked down a street or into a room and suddenly gotten a whiff of something that brought back wonderful memories or just made you feel great and energized? Every time this occurs you are experiencing aromatherapy; it is just occurring passively in your daily life.
The bottom line is aromatherapy is indeed based on science and more specifically the science of psychoneuroimmunology which studies the interactions between the psychological, neurological and immune system. Research has shown that there is a very strong correlation between positive and negative experiences and our immune system as well as our psyche. Further more the old adage mind over body is indeed recognized by science and the modern medical field. With this being said, anytime you can give your mood a boost creating a more positive outlook through the use of aromatherapy you are ultimately strengthening your body, mind and spirit.
Aromatherapy works because it utilizes the sense of smell which is our strongest sense. Unlike the other senses, our sense of smell has a direct path to the brain and more importantly it has a direct path to our limbic system. Through this direct portal aromas are able to directly affect conscious thought and reactions as the limbic system is responsible for our memories (turning short term to long term), learned responses, emotions and feelings.
Although aromatherapy utilizes the sense of smell by triggering specific parts of the brain it also works by directly absorbing the essential oil molecules into our bodies, whether it is through the bronchial tract when using a differ or steam distillation or through the skin in a massage or bath. This dual absorption enables you to receive all the benefits of essential oils however it is important to research the essential oil of interest as each one works more efficiently when applied differently. For instance peppermint has long been known for its ability to calm digestive problems and does work best for this specific application when inhaled while others work better when massaged into the skin.
It is important also to recognize that although certain essential oils have specific benefits they do not work equally for each individual. For instance Lavender is considered to be very effective in calming the mind, body and spirit however if you do not like the fragrance of Lavender it will not have the same effect on you, therefore it is important to work with the essential oils that you enjoy. This is easy to do because many essential oils have similar or overlapping benefits, leaving you with a number of options for one particular issue. Another option is to mix a couple or a few essential oils together to create your own fragrance that you enjoy and can ultimately receive the vast benefits they have to offer.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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