How Aromatherapy Promotes a Stronger Mind and Body Connection
Have you ever walked into a space where aromatic candles are burning and experienced the unconscious desire to take a moment and breathe deeply, relaxing your mind and body? This is not a mere coincidence–in fact, many individuals find great comfort in burning aromatic candles in their homes, especially after long, stressful days. But why is this?
The Benefits of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy has long been used as a way to strengthen the connection between the mind and body–it was used by ancient Chinese, Indians, Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians. Many individuals experience wonderful emotional and mental benefits due to aromatherapy, and some practitioners argue that the healing powers of aromatherapy can yield wonderful physical benefits as well. Perhaps this is simply because aromatherapy promotes a stronger connection between the body and the mind, which can work to improve an individual’s overall health and happiness.
Aromatherapy consists of using scents derived from essential oils and aromatic plant compounds in diffusers, candles or massage oils. The theory is that these scents stimulate the individual’s olfactory system, which in turn produces a response from the body. Depending on the scent and the type of stimulation, the response may be relaxation, brightening or healing.
The United States Library of Medicine compiled a report on aromatherapy that indicates it is a derivative of herbal medicines, with successful applications in anything from emotional support to whooping cough. This report agreed with the theory that the scents used in aromatherapy do appear to stimulate the individual’s olfactory system, causing a response from the body. This occurs when the nerves that are used to detect scents, and which are directly connected to the brain, are stimulated by the tiny molecules released by aromatherapy scents and send a message to the brain that produces a response throughout the body. The body’s response may be an increased heart rate or a sense of calmness, depending on the scents that were used.
Since aromatherapy can stimulate cells in the body that then produce some sort of physical or emotional response, it can raise an individual’s awareness of the connection between their mind and body. This can, in turn, allow them to strengthen this connection as they work to improve their overall health and well-being. This is often the reason why acupuncture and massage treatments incorporate some amount of aromatherapy–it allows the individual to better relax their mind so that they can better care for their body.