As it's aromatherapy week; it seems like a good time to talk a little about aromatherapy, what it is and how it can help you.
Aromatherapy is a practice that uses natural plant extracts in the form essential oils to promote holistic healing. It can be used to enhance both physical and mental health.
How do essential oils effect the limbic system? Essential oils are thought to have therapeutic effects by stimulating the olfactory system, which is connected to the limbic system in the brain—the part of the brain which controls functions such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, memory, stress levels and hormone balance.
The olfactory system is the structure of the body responsible for our sense of smell. The olfactory system begins in the nose and continues into the brain, where smells are processed. The aromas of essential oils work their way through the olfactory system all the way to the brain, via several chemical processes.
There are millions of chemical receptors located in the nose that detect odours and send signals along olfactory tracts to the olfactory cortex of the brain, which is part of the limbic system, this is responsible for the processing of our emotions, survival instincts and memory formation.
The limbic system contains the amygdala, hippocampus and hypothalamus—the structures in the brain responsible for forming emotional responses and memories, storing memories, and regulating emotional responses.
Inhaling essential oils for aromatherapy is thought to be able to influence emotions and memories due to the direct connection that the olfactory system has to the limbic system.
Different essential oils harness different properties and therefore evoke different chemical reactions within the limbic system. So when looking to help individuals with their ailments, this need to be taken into consideration to determine which essential oils to include in a blend.
So how do you use essential oils? The best way to use essential oils is to either inhale them, or use them on the skin, which must be in a carrier oil before being applied to the skin.
Which essential oils should I use for:
Concentration - Peppermint essential oil is great for aiding with concentration and focus as it promotes a sense of alertness in the limbic system.
The Productivity blend is the best blend that The Little Self-Care Club offers for concentration, which is a blend of Peppermint, Lime and Frankincense essential oils. Available in wax melts and reed diffusers.
Relaxation / Sleep - Lavender is a well-known remedy for anyone that struggles with sleep, don't be fooled lavender essential oil smells totally different to those horrible smelly things your Nan used to keep in her wardrobe.
The Unwind blend is great for relaxation, sleep and anxiety and is a blend of Lavender, Bergamot and Frankincense essential oils. Available in wax melts, room sprays, candles and reed diffusers.
Sinus Issues - Eucalyptus is used in a lot of over the counter remedies for sinus issues
The Breathe blend is great for sinus / respiratory issues, colds, flu etc. it's a blend of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Lavender, Lemon and Rosemary essential oils. Available in wax melts, room sprays, candles and reed diffusers.
If you have a specific issue that you would like to try to resolve in a natural and holistic way, please feel free to drop me a message and we can have a chat to determine what might be the best product for you.