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Power of scent
Improve your overall well-being through aromatherapy


October 2013

Your sense of smell does more than help you determine when the cottage cheese has gone bad in the fridge. Scents can evoke memories, help us process our external environments and aid us in achieving tranquility.

Jamie Durner, an Ayurveda practitioner, wellness educator and owner of Ayurveda Wellness in Brookfield, integrates aromatherapy into her practice. "Different aromas can absolutely shift the mood," she says. Peppermint has a very invigorating essence for the mind, and it can increase focus and give you a boost of energy. Sandlewood promotes calm and peace and is often used during mediation.

Introducing a scent can help us cope with the world around us. "It creates a change in your internal environment so you can change the way you function in your external environment," Durner notes.

The power of scent can also have positive and negative effects on people. "Smells connect to our memories, so when we have an experience, it is embedded into our tissues and cells. If you have a traumatic experience you will be repulsed by those smells because essentially they will take us back into that trauma on a very deep level," Durner explains.

But sometimes positive memories can also be triggered, such as the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven evoking a happy childhood memory.

People can introduce scents into their environment through the use of essential oils via a diffuser, on the body or in a bath. Make sure you donít have a reaction to the oil before you use it, she cautions. Durner advises people to research the companies and the ingredients to make sure it is a natural quality product. Unnatural scents created in labs can be confusing to the cellular structure of your body, Durner says, and your body will not know how to respond.

"If you feel like you are getting a good response from something in the moment or the next hour or day, then it is probably a good fit for you," she says. Since our bodies are constantly changing, something that works for you today, may not work for you next week, she cautions.


This story ran in the October 2013 issue of: