Smell is a very powerful sense that can work with your memory. Certain smells remind you of events, people and places. In addition to this, the smell can also take you back to how you felt about what you are remembering. It activates your emotional memory.
Aromatherapy uses warm essential oils to activate your sense of smell and increase your sense of well-being. The oils are massaged into your skin, dropped into water for you to bathe in, or blended with other oils or steam for you to inhale.
The essential oils used in aromatherapy are powerful and are extracted from plants, shrubs, flowers, bark, peel, resin, grasses, fruits, roots, trees, petals, stems or seeds. Only a small amount of essential oil is needed, and is blended with another of another "carrier" oil - such as Grapeseed oil, Sweet almond oil or Calendula oil - and used on the skin. The most frequently used essential oils include geranium, lavender, rosemary and tea-tree.
Aromatherapy works on the basis that the smell of the essential oils triggers the limbic system - the part of the brain that seems to be linked with emotion. This is why it can affect how you feel, and help you relax. Massage helps your skin to absorb warmed essential oils; these oils improve the effectiveness of the massage in treating specific physical problems.
Aromatherapy is used in a number of ways, including:
* relieving stress and anxiety
* helping you to sleep better; whether you have problems getting to sleep (insomnia) or suffering from broken sleep
* Helping you relax and feel balance