BY BEK REGAN
Aromatherapy & The Limbic System
When the volatile molecules of essential oils are inhaled, they have the ability to access the limbic system and activate the hippocampus and amygdala. The hippocampus is involved with memory and learning, while the amygdala drives our ‘fight or flight’ response and is associated with the body’s fear and stress reactions. Both components help regulate our emotions, encode memories and co-ordinate our response to the external world.
4 Aromatic Rituals
- Shower - Just shake 2-4 drops of essential oil onto the floor of your shower and let the steam uplift the aromas and activate your mind.
- Breath - Add 4-6 drops of essential oil to your diffuser, or a single drop to a handkerchief, and mindfully inhale the aromas as you practice a few rounds of pranayama.
Rest - To encourage a deep restorative sleep, add 1-2 drops of calming essential oil to the corner of your pillow, or if you prefer, you
can use cotton wool to absorb the oil and place it inside your pillowcase instead.
- Sauna - The next time you’re in for an infrared sauna, try this little ritual. After several minutes of sweating, the pores on the skin open and absorb whatever is on the surface. By applying a body oil infused with essential oils before entering the sauna, your ability to absorb the therapeutic properties is enhanced. I like to spend a few minutes before starting my session with a slow and gentle self massage. This ritual releases tension in the body and stimulates the lymph which boosts the existing (and amazing!) benefits of infrared therapy.