Aromatherapy uses scents to alter our moods and enhance our well-being. Scientists have found it can reduce pain, decrease anxiety, and increase energy levels in patients. They believe it stimulates the limbic system in our brain which deals with emotions.
When you think about it, that makes sense. Certain smells have a tendency to trigger memories in people, which in turn can trigger emotions. My mom has been gone for almost 20 years, but when I smell her perfume I immediately picture her laughing. This in turn either makes me smile or gets me a bit teary-eyed, depending on the situation.
Our sense of smell is more important than people realize. It contributes to the taste of food, can protect us from dangerous situations, and is the last sense (no pun intended) to fade away as someone is dying. I urge you to think about what scents make you happy. For me they include brewing coffee, fresh baked cookies, the air immediately after a good rain, a burning fire, and crisp fall air. I also love the smell of chlorinated water, which is a reminder of many happy summers spent swimming as a child.
There is quite a science to aromatherapy and people can put a lot of time and money into developing the perfect scents. If you're lazy, like I am, then you can whip up a quick batch of cookies or light a candle to get the job done. I urge you to have fun with aromatherpy and find what works for you. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to light my new lavender and vanilla scented candle and eat a cookie!