"Aromas Help" will highlight conditions and symptoms and how Aromatherapy can help give relief with the use of Essential Oils.
Mental Health and Aromatherapy
Mental Health is becoming more important these days as outside stresses are ever present and continue to build on top of another. What is stress you might ask? Stress is not only deciding what 'power outfit' to wear to the office or rushing to take the children to their activities on time. There are many unnoticed stress such as standing at work for 8 hours, waiting in line ups, sitting at a computer for hours, putting up with disagreeable clients/people, as well as unseen and odourless gases from carpets/flooring/walls, etc. The stress of sitting in traffic or walking down a street where there is traffic, the fumes we breathe every day.
All these things and many more put stresses on our body and mind daily. Without dealing with these stresses, they build up in our bodies and minds resulting in a taxed immune system which leaves one open to invasion from mutated virus and bacteria. It is a vicious cycle that needs to be interrupted.
How can an odour affect my problem you may ask? Aromatherapy works through the Limbic system. This is the oldest system in the brain. The Limbic system consists of 3 main components- hypothalamus, hippocampus & amygdalae plus several glands, one of which is the olfactory bulb, that is important in aromatherapy.
When an aroma is introduced and inhaled, odorant molecules infiltrate the nasal passages and travel to the olfactory epithelium where neurons with cilia bind onto the odorant. In the neurons are protein called odorant receptors. After the receptors in the neuron bind to an odorant molecule, the receptor cells convert the proteins into electrical impulses which travel the olfactory nerve to the crib plate and to the olfactory bulb. From the bulb the impulses travel directly to the Limbic system.
Essential oils have therapeutic properties such as stimulating, calming, sedative, balancing and more. When an essential oil molecule is inhaled it travels the nasal passage to a receptor neuron, is transported to the Limbic brain and to the hypothalamus. An essential oil that has a calming effect on the body, the hypothalamus receives the message to relax and it creates neurochemicals that are sent through the body to relax and calm. The same as with essential oils that have the frequency known to stimulate, the limbic system will conform by sending a message to energize and become more active.
All essential oils have aroma molecules that set up chemical chain reactions to affect all parts of the body by directly interfacing with the limbic system. As well as neurochemical changes, emotional responses also happen.
Causes of Mental Illness
Some mental illnesses have been linked to an abnormal balance of special chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. These help nerve cells in the brain communicated with each other. If these chemicals are out of balance, or not working properly, messages may not make it through the brain correctly. Defects in, or injury to certain areas of the brain have also been linked to some mental conditions. Other factors contributing to development of mental illness include: Genetics (heredity), infections, brain defects or injury, prenatal damage, substance abuse, poor nutrition and exposure to toxins.
Stress, stress everyone is talking about stress. Just what happens in you when under stress? Your body's stress response is perfect for the short term, but damaging if it goes on for weeks or years. Stress causes the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. High levels of cortisol for prolonged periods can tax the immune system and decreases the number of brain cells (kills brain cells) impairing the memory. It can also affect blood pressure and the fats in your blood making it easier to have a heart attack or stroke. High levels of cortisol have been shown to damage and kill cells in the hippocampus (memory storage area) and there is positive evidence that chronic stress causes premature brain aging. BUT without cortisol you would die, and too much is not a good thing either. the cortisol released in stress travels into the brain and binds to the receptors inside the neurons. Through a cascade of reactions, this causes the neurons to let more calcium through their membrane. In the short term cortisol helps the brain cope with life threatening situations. If neurons become over saturated with calcium they fire too much and die. Studies done in Cambridge, show that cortisol dramatically decreases the rate new brain cells are made. Possibly the adverse effects of stress are related to fewer brains cells being created in the hippocampus. Increases in serotonin boost the rate new cells neurons are made. Maybe recovery from depression may be related to the formation of new neurons.
Essential Oil Stimulation and Effect in the Limbic system
The Amygdalae and Hippocampus are basically memory centers and are concerned with mood, feelings and instinct. Essential oils that stimulate these areas are: black pepper, lemon, peppermint and rosemary, effecting memory and mental stimulation.
A blend to help the Amygdalae and Hippocampus: To 15 ml of carrier oil add- black pepper-2 drops, lemon-3 drops, peppermint-1 drop, rosemary-4 drops. Total 10 drops. Use a few drops in a diffuser or apply to neck area. May use several times per day if needed.
Hypothalamus is the neural endocrine control center concerned with hunger, thirst, satiety, sleep, rage and aggression. Essential oils that stimulate this area are bergamot, frankincense, geranium and rosewood.
A Blend to help the Hypothalamus:To 15 ml of carrier oil add-bergamot-3 drops, frankincense-1 drop, geranium-4 drops, rosewood-2 drops. Total 10 drops. Use a few drops in a diffuser or rub on neck area. Can use several times a day when needed.
The Thalamus is the relay for sensory impulses, the sensory area for pain, temperature, light touch and pressure, also some memory and emotional function. Essential oils that affect this area are clary sage, grapefruit, jasmine and rose otto.
A Blend to help the Thalamus: To 15 ml of carrier oil add- clary sage-3 drops, grapefruit-3 drops (omit grapefruit if you are taking chemical pharmaceuticals, jasmine-1 drop, rose otto-2 drops. Use a few drops in a diffuser or rub on the neck area. Can be used several times a day when needed.
The Pituitary is connected to the hypothalamus and stores and releases hormones. Essential oils which affect the pituitary are clary sage, jasmine, patchouli, and ylang ylang.
A blend to work with the Pituitary area: to 15 ml of carrier oil add- clary sage-3 drops, jasmine-2 drops, patchouli-2 drops, ylang ylang-2 drops. Total 9 drops. Use a few drops in a diffuser or rub on neck area. Can be used several times a day when needed.
The Raphe Neucleus releases serotonin. Essential oils that affect this area are chamomile (roman), lavender, marjoram and neroli.
A Blend to help with the Raphe Nucleus area:To 15 ml of carrier oil add: roman chamomile-2 drops, lavender-3 drops, marjoram-3 drops, neroli-2 drops. Total 9 drops. Use a few drops in a diffuser or rub on neck area. Can be used several times a day when needed.
The Locus Caeruleus releases noradrenalin. Essential oils affecting this area are: cardamom, juniper, lemongrass, and rosemary.
A Blend for the Locus Caeruleus area: To 15 ml of carrier oil add: cardamom-2 drops, juniper-2 drops, lemongrass-3 drops, rosemary-3 drops. Total 10 drops. Use a few drops in a diffuser or rub on the neck area. Can be used several times a day when needed.