Your sense of smell is quite different from the rest of your senses. When the receptors in your nose pick up a scent, the message goes directly to your limbic system. This system is primal, and it’s connected to your emotions. That’s why smell, unlike any other sense, can instantly evoke memories.
Aromatherapy works by triggering those feelings of calm, helping your brain to relax.
Associating Smells with Memories
While there are “recommended” scents for relaxation and sleep, aromatherapy works best when you know which scents calm you down. Since everyone has different experiences and memories, a scent that works for you won’t necessarily work for someone else. If you associate the smell of eucalyptus with a gym, for instance, it might hype you up instead of calming you down. But if you associate that aroma with a yoga class, then it may well relax you.
Narrowing Down the Scent for You
If you’re looking to try aromatherapy, it’s perfectly fine to start with scents recommended by an expert. By experimenting, you can discover which scents work for you and weed out the ones that don’t. Over time, you’ll figure out which aromas are best suited for your long-term use. Some people use a diffuser for their aromatherapy oils, while others choose a vaporizer. But again, you’ll have to find the method that best fits your needs. There is no right or wrong way!
Of course, not everyone responds well to inhaling vaporized aromas. For some, strong scents can trigger headaches or migraines. But if you have this kind of sensitivity, there are other ways to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy. Consider filling your home with natural scents by putting out fresh flowers, boiling cinnamon sticks, or baking cookies. These aromas are more distilled and dissipate faster than the scents that come from a constantly-pumping vaporizer.
Ultimately, aromatherapy is a very personal treatment. There are hundreds of scents to choose from, and plenty of resources to guide you in finding what suits your needs. Plus, it’s fairly inexpensive and easy to manage. So what are you waiting for?