How Does Aromatherapy "Work" Exactly?

Aromatherapy has been used therapeutically for centuries. But how does it work exactly? Well, research has shown that there are two main ways aromatherapy garners a therapeutic response or effect:


One way aromatherapy triggers a therapeutic response is thought to be purely physiologic in nature. The aroma inhaled is processed by the brain, and depending on the aroma, different neurochemicals are released that cause one to feel relaxed, focused, or even energetic.


The other way aromatherapy works is physiologic but with a psychologic component. The aroma is inhaled and travels to the brain where it is processed. The aroma, when it's processed, triggers memories and emotions associated with that particular smell. The memories and emotions then create a physiologic response, such as happiness, sleepiness, or relaxation.

-This response is why we encourage people to "train their brain" using inhalers and rollers. For example, we state to continue using the sleep inhaler, even if it doesn't seem to be working right away. Using a sleep inhaler before bed and during the night if awake (along with other good sleep hygiene practices) trains the brain to associate the aroma of the sleep blend with sleep. Using it routinely will eventually create a "sleepy" response, helping you achieve a more restful night's sleep.


**It's important to note that studies on the efficacy of aromatherapy are ongoing. Current research is limited, which is why it's important to ALWAYS use essential oils safely and according to best practice.


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