The power of aroma for your wellbeing
What is aromatherapy?
Ever sliced a fresh, sweet orange and felt a little spring in your step? Or walked into a spa infused with lavender and wondered why your shoulders feel instinctively relaxed? What you’re experiencing is the wonderful effects of aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is a holistic therapy that harnesses the natural fragrances and physical benefits of the essential oils in aromatic plants to help enhance and balance your mind, body and, overall wellbeing.
Our fast-paced modern lives have become increasingly stressful, and the desire to live a natural and healthy lifestyle has never been more in demand. Aromatherapy is a simple and easy-to-use therapy to help improve and balance you both emotionally and physically, while helping you to be mindful and reconnect with yourself, even for a few precious moments of self-care.
Essential oils can be uplifting, grounding, clearing for mind and body, calming, can help support circulation and soothe physical discomfort and can even be used on the skin. Just be sure to follow our dilution advice as they can be harmful when used neat and should never be ingested!
As well as having their typical qualities for mind and body which tend to run consistent across their aromatic families – citrus, woody, floral for example – we also experience aroma in a very personal way. We each have our own tastes and preferences when it comes to scent, and our sense of smell helps us navigate the world around us and our associations within it.
Our sense of smell is linked very closely to memory, and often a reason why we like or dislike a scent is down to a particular memory association, either positive or negative.
But how does it work?
When inhaled, essential oils affect our olfactory bulb – a component of the limbic system which sits behind a very hard, protective bone at the top of the nose. This system is involved in the processing of our emotions, survival instincts and memory formation and is one of the oldest parts of our brain. Clever, right?
Since ancient times, civilisations all over the world have valued fragrant plant extracts for their therapeutic properties. At Tisserand Aromatherapy, we have taken what people have known for thousands of years and combined it with our knowledge and expertise of essential oils and blending to create natural, effective and easy-to-use solutions for modern-day lifestyles and challenges.
The beauty of aromatherapy is that you can experience its benefits anywhere; whether at home, work or on the go. By understanding the different properties of essential oils, and discovering what you like, you can create simple, but personal blends for inhalations, massage oils, bath oils or diffusing.
Scents to sleep
Collectively, one of the biggest challenges we face today is lack of sleep. With multiple contributors such as stress, distraction, a racing mind or an unbalanced circadian rhythm, lack of sleep can cause a vicious cycle, making us feel stressed, irritable, less focused, lacking in energy and ultimately, unhappy. It can negatively affect our physical health too.
When essential oils with calming properties like Lavender connect with our olfactory bulb, they can help us feel more relaxed. When we are more relaxed, we tend to drift into a deeper sleep achieving a better quality of sleep and therefore gaining far more benefits throughout the night.
Building a ritual can help prepare mind and body for rest – try running a warm bath infused with soothing essential oils, set the scene for sleep by diffusing oils in your bedroom in the evening and be sure to spritz your bed sheets with a pillow spray just before bed. Find a routine that works for you and you will see a difference in no time.
Don’t like Lavender? (We all have our preferences!) Try these alternative sleep blends:
For a bedtime bath, combine 20ml of a blending oil like Jojoba or Sweet Almond with:
· 1 drop of Patchouli
· 2 drops of Bergamot
· 1 drop of Mandarin
Add approximately half of the mixture to your bath water, swirl around before you get in, lie back and relax.
For a bedtime diffuser blend, add the following essential oils to your diffuser:
· 1 drop of Patchouli
· 4 drops of Bergamot
· 3 drops of Mandarin
Start your diffuser approximately 30 minutes before retiring so that your bedroom is full of the aroma by the time your head hits the pillow.
For a citrussy twist to Lavender (because it really is great for sleep!), try this bedtime massage blend combining 10ml of blending oil with:
· 2 drops of Lavender
· 2 drops of Bergamot
Spend time massaging the blend into your skin, paying particular attention to your neck and shoulders to help you relax before you sleep.