Note: Chemotherapy can alter your sense of smell and some scents may make you nauseous. Talk with your doctor before using essential oils.
Your sense of smell is closely tied to your memories and emotions, perhaps more so than any of your other senses. This is because when you smell something, it passes through your olfactory bulb, which runs from your nose along the bottom of your brain, connecting it to your hippocampus and amygdala. These areas of the brain are responsible for your memories and feelings, which is why scent can be so powerful.
As a massage therapist at Cancer Wellness, Cara Thurman likes to use a blend of essential oils to enhance her massage treatments.
“Essential oils can help relax the body, help you sleep, reduce headaches and enhance massage therapy,” says Thurman.
Health benefits of aromatherapy
- Chamomile: Reduce stress
- Clary sage: Promote relaxation
- Eucalyptus: Clear sinuses
- Ginger: Reduce nausea
- Lavender: Better sleep
- Lemon: Increase happiness, improve concentration
- Peppermint: Boost alertness, reduce headaches
- Rosemary: Increase focus
- Sweet orange: Reduce anxiety
- Ylang-ylang: Decrease stress