Our sense of smell is one of the five senses we possess, and one of the most powerful. Smelling one’s perfume or the fresh newly-baked pie may not only invoke cravings, but memories and even emotions as well, according to proven scientific studies.
This is why aromatherapy is one of the most popular and acceptable alternative medicine to date. Although many scoff at aromatherapy, this article will convince even the most doubtful mind about its benefits.
By definition, Aromatherapy is a type of alternative medicine that uses mainly essential oils and other fragrant plant compounds which are used to improve a person’s mood, or even health. The essential oil (or a combination of them) or fragrant plant compound can be administered on a patient via air (diffuser or a cotton ball) or topical application (like a massage oil or ointment),
Compared to herbal products, the essential oils and fragrant plant compounds used in aromatherapy sessions have a different composition because they are in concentrated form and retain the right, good ingredients.
Although topical application could have a direct effect on a patient or an enthusiast, the smell evokes a powerful, more familial connection.
The makers at HYSSES knows about the power of the smell. When we develop our next product designed for middle aged women and beauty junkies, we pay attention to scents that makes them remember about their childhood, their teenage years, and most especially scents that would associate positive, shared experiences about beauty.
HYSSES Singapore’s Managing Director, Cheryl Gan said, “Our sense of smell is the most powerful sense but it is often taken for granted because we focus so much on what we hear and what we see. We rarely give attention on what we smell. The truth is, when you smell something it makes a memory back to life in a much faster way than any of your other senses can. It is very quick.”
The aroma of an essential oil blend, whether it’s for a certain period or just a whiff, can transport you to places, and even moments you have long forgotten.
To know how to benefit from aromatherapy is to understand first how your nose works.
Once your nose detects a smell, the olfactory neurons, nerves that transmit messages via impulses, will be passed along the olfactory nerve to the brain. The messages will first pass the olfactory bulb, which processes the messages, then passes it along to the nearby areas in the brain connected to it, which is known collectively as the limbic system. The limbic system is closely associated with your memory, hence your recollections about things, experiences, or even events. It may look like it’s for a while, but remember, this all happens faster than the blink of an eye.
And because memories are also associated with emotions, there is always a feeling (or more) associated with a particular smell. This is why the perfume industry, and businesses selling and marketing using aroma invest heavily on their products’ olfactory effect of target customers. This is because smell can evoke a vast array of feelings ranging from desire, power, vitality, to relaxation.
If you’ll be taking aromatherapy seriously for the first time, the most proper way is to have a consultation with an aromatherapist. The aromatherapist will first ask you about your lifestyle, diet, and other aspects of your health. He or she will also ask your medical history, and may need to inform (may consult) your primary physician or doctor about it. This is to ensure that you will not have any allergic reactions or counter-reactions, especially if you’re taking medication before the therapy.
Once this is done, your aromatherapist will determine which particular treatment (whether if it’s a single essential oil or a blend) will physically and mentally suit you. The recommended treatment will sometimes be mixed with a “carrier oil”, especially for those who will be using it for topical medication.
Your next visits will depend on the seriousness of your health condition, physical, mental, or otherwise. Some require only a few visits and then carry on with self-practice, and advised to come back if the therapy is no longer working.
For some people, aromatherapy may have mild side effects like nausea, headaches and some allergic reactions. But if it’s long-term and irritating, it is advised that you stop the treatment, document your symptoms on paper or photos or video, and consult with your aromatherapist immediately and show proof.