A few months ago I found myself in Savannah, with a friend of mine. She had a lot of good things to say about aromatherapy, and honestly, I paid little attention. I had no interest. Thinking back, it's odd that I had never attempted to utilize the magic of scent, because I am a very scent-oriented (scent-ual?) person. I don't have a particularly good sense of smell, but I am very attuned to aromas, and they have a strong psychological effect on me. I am one of those people who can barely remember a face, but if someone is wearing a particular perfume, I'll never forget it. I still get blown away by nostalgia every time I smell Drakkar, even though it's completely vile. So, back to vacation...as my friend and I unpacked our things, I noticed that she placed a small glass jar of lavender essential oil on the nightstand. I've never been a fan of lavender, because I've always had a negative association with lavender and old sachets kept in drawers. I think that maybe my grandmother used to have one. I don't want to smell like a grandma; therefore, I eschew lavender.
After our first night out, though, apparently I was amenable to having my friend place a few drops of lavender on my pillow. I say "apparently," because I have no recollection of it. I woke up with no memory of falling asleep. When I smelled the lavender on my pillow and marveled at how quickly it had put me out, my friend surmised that it could, indeed, have been the lavender...or perhaps it was the 4 glasses of wine I had consumed before bed. Really, there was no way of telling. So I decided to test it out on the following night. And again, I quickly, peacefully, fell asleep.
This sparked my interest in aromatherapy, and in essential oils in particular. I try not to jump on the bandwagon for things that have quickly become popular, because I choose to maintain a facade of originality. For months, I had been hearing about the magic of these oils, and I resisted the urge to cave in to this new fad. However, there's actually a lot of science behind it, which I am to lazy to direct you to at this point (haven't you heard of Google? Try it.) All I know is that these essential oils definitely have an effect on my mood and well-being. I think that the peppermint oil was the only thing that kept me going yesterday through an endless day; a few whiffs, and I felt as if my sluggish brain got a little jump-start. I felt more alert than I had all day.
This is why I decided to add these oils into my treatments. I'm not motivated enough to do anything fancy with them; I just ask patients to pick a scent that helps to fulfill the purpose of the session: mood-lifting, stress-relief, calming, etc. Then I dab it on a cotton ball and put it somewhere where they can inhale it and let it do its thing. So far, I've had great feedback. I love the idea of incorporating yet another sense into my patients' experiences here!