As we inhale essential oils, the odour molecules travel through the nose and affect our brain through a variety of receptor sites, one of which is called the limbic system or our“emotional brain”.
The limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control our heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels and responses to hormone balance. Knowing this, we can use essential oils to manipulate the way we feel and can have a profound and positive effect psychologically.
When an odour molecule is inhaled, it is first sensed by our olfactory cells and these tiny aromatic molecules bind to receptors and get passed as messages directly to our brain. So, as we inhale, a message is sent to our limbic system and can trigger an emotion such as joy or comfort, or a physical response such as a reduction in stress hormones, deeper sleep or even blood pressure.
As February is the month of love I’ve chosen to focus on the most important Love Affair of all .... the one with yourself. So what is Self Love? Well, I think that means something different to each one of us, but for me, self love and self-care go hand in hand. As a wife, mother, employer and friend I have many different roles in my life. At the center and heart of each of these roles is really to serve those I love with an open heart. As we have all experienced at one time or another, we can feel depleted and drained and we know it is impossible to serve from an empty cup. Aromatherapy is just one of the many daily tools we can use to fill our cups.
Aromatherapy can be used by diffusion, direct inhalation, topically, bathing and massage just to name a few.
The Heart Chakra resonates with our emotional perceptions and how we“feel” the world around us. From a very early age we are inclined to feel a range of emotions; love, compassion, hope, despair, hate, envy, and fear, and as we become adults we are constantly challenged to supress and act consciously with compassion and control. These supressed emotions can live within us and keep our hearts closed, and this keeps us disconnected from the people around us.
We can find ourselves prone to judgement and cynicism.
When our hearts are open we can then experience Love, Forgiveness, Compassion, Dedication, Inspiration, Hope, Trust and finally Self-Acceptance.
In keeping with the month of“Love”, I have chosen to focus on the heart oils. These oils help us to open our hearts and prepare us to both give love and receive love, and when we come from a place of love we are more accepting of ourselves and of others. It is my belief that self-acceptance is one of the greatest gifts we can ever give ourselves. Self-Love serves to heal our inner-child and thus the world around us.
I hope you’ll use these essential oils in your life to allow yourself vulnerability, to heal old wounds, find comfort and reconnect with the joy that is your divine birthright.
Rose– Rose has often been described as the“queen of flowers”. Rose comforts the heart in grief and helps the bereaved, as well as those grieving for the end of a relationship. Rose is a tonic of the physical heart and also lifts the spirits and is generally nurturing. Overall, rose is tender, uplifting and soothing. Rose is wonderful for alleviating sorrow, sadness and disappointment. It can also lessen anxiety and grief, and strengthens the inner spirit. It opens and heals the heart.
Geranium– When you are feeling anxious you can breathe in this complex essential oil to bring a sense of calm. Geranium will help stress and depression melt away, bring about feelings of comfort and security, and bring you back to a place of happiness and peace. It is also one of the best hormone balancers for women and blends beautifully with Bergamot & Lavender.
Bergamot– This essential oil is the embodiment of self-love & self-worth. This oil helps process and release the fear of not being good enough, emotional pain, and opens you up to love and self acceptance. It has wonderful antidepressant qualities making it useful in treating SADs, depression and grief.
Ylang Ylang– Literally means“flower of flowers” in Malaya and has a wonderful exotic fragrance. It is wonderful for treating anger, shock and fear, helping to slow over-rapid breathing and reducing the“fight– or– flight” stress response. Ylang Ylang calms, uplifts, creates a sense of peace and aids self-expression of repressed inner feelings.
Lavender– What can we say about Lavender? Emotionally lavender is the one essential oil that has positive effects on just about everybody. It is highly sedative and is prized for its ability to reduce stress, combat insomnia and balance the chakras. Its scent is unmistakable and brings comfort to those that enjoy its distinctive scent. Choose a Lavender with little to no camphor such as Bulgarian.
Mandarin- Quite possibly one of my favourite essential oils! Mandarin is psychologically strengthening and has a slight hypnotic quality, helping to switch off an overactive mind and promoting restful sleep. It has a soft, delicate quality that helps people to connect with their inner child. Mandarin is perfect around children and is safe during pregnancy.
Atlas Cedarwood– Psychologically, Atlas Cedarwood reduces fear and helps you discover inner strength and courage. It is good for calming nervous tension and stress and helps to inspire confidence. I love this oil when I feel like my feminine energy needs balancing or when I’m feeling emotionally distraught. This is a very grounding oil for highly empathic people.
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