Essential Oils, Memory + Emotion

What is the most emotional memory you can recall? Perhaps it's your grandmother's perfume, or your dad's Sunday dinner. Scent is a powerful anchor to our memories, with the ability to transport us back in time.

Have you ever wondered what's behind this phenomenon?

The Science of Scent

When an aroma enters our olfactory system, it passes through the brain regions that process memory (hippocampus) and emotion (amygdala). "This may be why olfaction, more than any other sense, is so successful at triggering emotions and memories.” (1) Scientists have shown that odour-cued memories are much more poignant than other memories, and are associated with much stronger feelings than visually-cued memories. The other senses don't pass through these brain regions, which may be by they don't typically elicit such vivid emotional responses.

Essential oils sit in a category all their own. They smell incredible. In fact, their unique aromas help us distinguish them. But did you know the physiological impact of smelling an oil is just as powerful?

When we inhale a high quality essential oil, via a diffuser, or by applying it on our skin, the signals transmitted by these microscopic molecules effect changes in our brain (and subsequently in our body) within 15 seconds after use. Aside from helping us manage a variety of emotions, such as stress, anxiety or depression (2) we can utilize this knowledge of essential oils to anchor our own experiences, including when we practice meditation, manifestation, affirmation and visualization techniques. When we create vision boards in an environment paired with pure essential oils, and the creation of a personalized blend of oils we're drawn to, we give ourselves the power to breathe life into our vision, and to call upon this memory, vividly, at any time in the future. Creating a custom blend with the intention of smelling the same aroma down the road, offers our future self the ability to teleport back to a particular day and the intentions we set when creating our vision.

Creating Custom Blends Most of the research conducted with essential oils has occurred through the use of aromatic applications, and has provided a wealth of evidence showing the effectiveness of this approach. In the upcoming Essential Oils and Vision Board Workshop, we'll blend our intention and knowledge through the crafting of custom blends. Over a hundred essential oil singles and blends will be on hand to sample and experience.

There are three main ways to blend essential oils. You can choose intuitively, based on physiological effects, or aromatic profile. In our workshop, you'll have the opportunity to blend using any of these methods. Our certified aromatherapists will assist you as needed, even if that means helping you trust your own intuition.

Our bodies possess hundred, perhaps thousands, of receptors for scent. New research has demonstrated that every organ in our body possesses scent receptors, lending even more credibility to the power of essential oils to elicit powerful signals within our body.

To learn more about the aromatic effects of essential oils, I highly recommend Dr. David K Hill's article, The Power of Aroma, here.

Mel, xo

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* All statements are my own, not endorsed by any organization or institution.

** Please take care to note: I'm not a health care practitioner. I'm simply sharing the experiences and results I've had on my personal, natural health and healing journey. You should always consult a trusted health care practitioner for advice specific to your body, well being, and needs.

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