Using Aromatherapy to Cope in a world of COVID-19
“Scent is our most primitive sense; it’s the closest thing to the emotional brain. It penetrates you. You love it and want to be part of it.
– Isabelle Ramsay-Brackstone
In this world of COVID 19 many of us are feeling stressed and unsure about what is happening in the world. Either we are spending a lot of time at home or we are moving out in the world supporting everyone else. Wherever you are, it is important to take extra time to support your health and wellness. The use of aromatherapy is a particularly powerful way to do this.
Science has shown us that the limbic system, specifically the hippocampus, is influenced by smell. Affecting mood, memory and feelings. The hippocampus is responsible for the strong associations of memory and scent that we have. Take for example, when you walk into a room that has a familiar odor and are hit with an overwhelming memory or emotion; that is the hippocampus.
Knowing that scent is a potent stimulator of mood and emotion, how can you use smell to create a space and environment that allows you to feel peace and comfort?
Define Your Goals
What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want an aroma that is calming and soothing? Maybe you are working from home and having a hard time focusing. Perhaps sleep is difficult due to the constant stress. Whatever it may be, identifying your need will be most important in achieving success.
Activate Your Senses
Choose oils that you love. It’s okay to have strong opinions about aromas. Scent is very personal and the effect they have on us is more than just biological. Memories associated with a scent may be positive, neutral or negative. How we respond to a scent is an important factor in the oils we choose. If for example you have had a negative experience with Lavender, no matter how much the literature tells us Lavender is relaxing, it may not be the right choice for you. In this case, choosing another oil is the best option. Love the oils you use!
Plan of Action- Ways to Use Aromatherapy
Inhalation. There are many ways to inhale essential oils. Inhalation is one of my favorite methods because it is powerful and works quickly.
- Diffusion– This is a great way to fill an entire room. With diffusion I always recommend diffusing 30-60 min. at a time. Start with 3-5 drops and work your way up if needed. Diffusion should never be a “wall” of scent, but a subtle fragrance within the room.
- Inhalation Patches, Personal Nasal Inhalers– For someone with skin allergies, or particular skin sensitivities, this a wonderful way to get the benefit of aromatherapy.
Topical Application– This is a wonderful way to use essential oils. You not only get the benefit of inhalation; you also get the benefit of adsorption through the skin.
- Roll Ons– Applied to pulse points.
- Skin Products– lotion bars, lotions to help combat dry hands.
Room Sprays– Use for small rooms, bathrooms, pillows and sheets and night.
There is much discussion these days about essential oils and how they should be used. I want to say that they are a great compliment to your wellness care. They can greatly enhance your life for the better. They can support you and be a “tool in your toolbox”, but they are not a cure, they are a support.