Essential oils as used in the practice of aromatherapy don’t work in the same way many other treatments work. For example, you know when you take an aspirin, there’s a specific chemical process that impacts your body. This is where western medicine excels, in the treatment of acute situations.
Aromatherapy, instead of having this direct and intrusive impact on your body, stimulates healing in other ways. The smell receptors in your nose communicate with parts of your brain (such as the amygdala and hippocampus; https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/treatment/aromatherapy retrieved 2/18/2018). Many believe that by stimulating these primal brain centers aromatherapy can influence physical, emotional, and mental health.
Many also believe that, rather than the health of the body being separate from mental or emotional health, these are entwined, each influencing the other. Many have noticed that they’ll get a cold a few hours or days after an emotionally overwhelming experience, for example. If this theory resonates with you, you may find value in the use of aromatherapy to stabilize your mental and emotional state, thereby creating a more stable state of physical health!
Certain schools of thought (yoga and Ayurveda for example) diagnose and treat our health through the chakra system. The word chakra means wheel, and represents the cosmic principles relating to life cycles. For example, the cycle of spirit, to emotions, to mental state, and to physical body. These wheels turn, and by turning impact us on all levels. The chakras are not physical constructs, but many believe they are connected to the endocrine system and the so-called ductless glands.
Aromatherapy has traditionally been used to stimulate or balance these chakras, clearing blocked energies and enhancing the natural cycles of the wheels. Many schools of thought focus on the seven main chakras, located up and down the spine, each processing information about a different area of life in the physical body. There are, however, many more chakras, generally considered in groups relating to each of the 7 major chakras. The Vedas and Upanishads speak of twenty-one chakras, roughly three in each major chakra grouping.
If you’re reading this blog, you probably have experience with aromatherapy. Perhaps for safe cleaning of your home, or perhaps for atmospheric and mood enhancement. You may already know that aromatherapy is an effective way to impact our lives. In the next blog, we’ll discuss the seven major chakras and how to bring your aromatherapy practice into that area of your life!
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