The Power of Scent: Aromatherapy and Psychotherapy

Views: 461     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2020-11-06      Origin: Site


Today, the term aromatherapy refers to the deliberate use of vegetable oils to enhance physical and emotional health. As early as 4500 BC in China, plants have been found to have therapeutic effects on diseases, while Egyptians have discovered the physical and spiritual characteristics of aromatic plants. In addition to applying essential oil in medical treatment, the Greeks also applied it as a sedative and stimulant, as well as in bathing and massage. Diffusers include linen diffuser, fig reed diffuser, miniso reed diffuser, etc.



1. Smell, Memory and Emotion

Aromatic oils were applied in rituals by people in ancient Egypt and Greece. Essential oils are extracted from herbs and flowers. They are to make medicines and fragrances. Ancient people not only add fragrance to their homes, but also grease the sick and dead to eliminate odors, reduce mortality and prevent infectious diseases. By seventeenth century, the effect of essential oils was recognized by the public and extended up to now.


The sense of smell is considered to be the least understood sensory system, but most people experience the powerful ability to familiar smell. It can trigger people's feelings and memories of the past, such as those people who lived together, those places they miss, or specific events, such as festivals.


Although aromatherapy is still considered to be outside the scope of medically recognized therapies and mainstream psychotherapy, interest in this field has increased significantly over the past few decades. People take advantage of the advantages of essential oil to treat common diseases, promote health and happiness, and apply it in all aspects of life.


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2. The Effect of Smell on Stress and Performance

Aromatherapy carries on mainly through two ways of olfactory sensation (inhaling through nose) and direct contact (absorbed through the skin). Olfactory application is mainly the utilization of aromatic essential oils. For example, it allows aromatic molecules to pass through the nose to the brain in the form of direct, steam or aromatherapy, prompting the release of messages from the chemical substances of the nervous system, resulting in calming, relaxing, boosting or stimulating effects. Direct contact is the utilization of massage or essential oil ingredients directly added to the maintenance products. After deep into the skin tissue, it will be sent to the whole body by the circulation of blood and lymph, and then balance, calm, exciting and beauty care effect will be produced. Common diffusers include pink reed diffuser, anthropologie reed diffuser, oud room diffuser, etc.


Since the 1970s, studies have shown that lavender can reduce the pressure of self-report. In at least two studies, coconut smell is related to the decrease of startle response, while unpleasant odor (lemon burger cheese) was associated with an increase in startle response.



3. Aroma in Psychotherapy

Pleasant fragrances can be combined with relaxation exercises such as diaphragmatic breathing, samma-sati exercises, hypnotherapy and biofeedback. This fully connects the relaxation experience with the smell so that it will be sufficient to trigger a relaxation response when exposed to the smell alone in the future.


In cognitive behavioral therapy, this pairing is calledassociative learning orhigher order conditional reflection. Its aim is to have conditioned stimuli (smells) trigger the same response as biofeedback, breathing, or meditation.


Therefore, smell can be applied as an adjunct to the treatment, and the treatment of children and adults with related problems. Some people experience and reflect that they like this application tool because they can eventually enter a state of calm more quickly and effectively.



4. Precautions

(1) When smells are applied in psychotherapy, it is important to take into account people's personal preferences and aversion to various smells, and to realize that some people do not like any smell at all.


(2) Similarly, ask people about their emotional connections to smells that may be popular but may also evoke their unpleasant memories. For example, some people like rose oil very much, but some people hate rose oil very much because his boss always applies rose oil.


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(3) Ask people about allergies to any smell.


(4) Do not apply undiluted oil directly to the body, as many oils are harmful directly on the skin.


(5) Know the characteristics of different essential oils in advance.


In fact, the utilization of pleasant fragrance at home is very simple and convenient, such as adding a few drops of essential oil in the hand or body lotion or conditioner, or chewing a mint gum while reading, or sipping a cup of fragrant tea attentively. Difusers include room fragrance diffuser, rituals reed diffuser, nest bamboo diffuser, cocodor diffuser, etc.

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