Aromas have a potential emotional impact that can reach deep into the psyche, both relaxing the mind and uplifting the Spirit and thus, Essential oils, with their concentrated aromatic energy profoundly affect our minds and our emotions.
Our sense of smell is estimated to be 10,000 times more accurate than our other senses. Once registered, scent travels faster to the brain than either sight or sound. Our sense of smell links directly to emotional states and behaviours often stored since childhood. It is the only one of the five physical senses that is directly linked to the limbic lobe of the brain – anxiety, depression, fear, anger, and joy…. They all have their physical expression in this region.
Inhaling the fragrance of an essential oil means that the odour molecules travel up in the nose where they are registered by the nerves of the olfactory membranes within the nose lining. The odour molecules stimulate this lining of nerve cells and trigger electrical impulses which are transferred to the olfactory bulb in the brain. From the olfactory bulb these impulses reach to the limbic system – often referred to as our emotional control center.
Because the limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance, essential oils can have profound physiological and psychological effects.
Have you ever noticed how a certain fragrance can evoke memories and emotions before you are even consciously aware of it? When we smell we react first and think later. All other physical senses are routed through the thalamus, which acts as the switchboard for the brain, passing stimuli onto the cerebral cortex (the conscious thought center) and other parts of the brain.
Essential oils: bio-spiritual healing allies for bringing light into our life with the help of amazing subtle aromatic molecules.
Essential oils enable us to access stored or forgotten memories and suppressed emotions so that we can acknowledge and integrate or release them. The word “emotions” can translate as “energy-in-motion.” Emotion is the experience of energy moving though our bodies. This emotional energy actually works at higher speed than thought. Thought and images can take seconds or minutes to evoke a memory while an aroma can evoke a memory in milliseconds.
Forgotten memories and suppressed emotions can wreak havoc in our lives often being the underlying causes of depression, anxiety and fears. Essential oils can help us surface and release these emotions wherever they are stored in the “body-mind” to use a term of the famous neuro-physiologist Candace Perth.
In 1992, it was discovered that sesquiterpenes and sesquiterpenols (i.e. essential oil of Sandalwood, Myrrh, etc.) break the blood brain barrier affecting the amygdala which is one of the the areas of the brain that records and stores emotional trauma. When inhaled the essential oils have the ability on a cellular DNA level, to completely erase the memory of emotional trauma. Dr. Joseph Ledoux of New York Medical University feels that the effect of inhaled oil vapours upon the amygdala gland could be a major break-through in the releasing of stored emotional trauma.
The synergistic effects of smelling an essential oil influences the vibrational energy of our cells and thus helps us to heal on all levels, physical, emotional, and spiritual. We can but marvel at the incredible richness of Nature`s fragrances as an expression of the integral harmony of Creation which uses these fragrances not only as a means of inter-communication within the plant and animal kingdom, but also as a healing device for all living beings. So the sense of smell and the world of fragrance connect us to the deepest part of ourselves which is always resonating in contentment and joy.
Olfactory meditation with an essential oil:
Before beginning with your meditation, connect with your intuition and pick up an essential oil in your aromatherapy set. Trust in yourself and in your gut feelings. This will be the oil you will work with during this aroma-meditation.
Now sit down in a quiet and peaceful place. Put a few drop of the oil you chose on a perfume stick or on a tissue. Close your eyes and focus on your breath for a minute or so to quiet your mind. When you feel relaxed, start to smell the fragrance of your oil. Let the wonderful perfume penetrate yourself and observe what happens in your body and in your emotions. Don’t try to analyse it, just be in the moment and let go of anything. The power of the oil is taking care of you and helps you to release what you need to release and heal right now.
Do this meditation for 5 to 10 minutes and take a rest. You can note your experience in your aroma-journal.
This meditation can be done as often as you want with the same or with another essential oil.
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