It’s a question I often ask.
Olfaction or our sense of smell is such a powerful gateway to memories and emotions. Our olfactory nerve cells are directly related to the limbic system in the brain which is related to memory and emotion. Unless you suffer from Anosmia (absence of sense of smell) the chances are you will have one or two smells that you connect with a past memory. Research suggests negative and positive responses to smells are based entirely on associated emotions. (The Smell Report)
Having been a professional Aromatherapist since 1993, I have had an ongoing interest in the body/mind connection ever since then. I practiced and taught Aromatherapy at the Tisserand Institute and have studied and worked with essential oils and aromatherapy for over 20 years.
For several years I worked with people facing and suffering life threatening illness. The use of scent provided a great support emotionally and I became interested in the whole area of psycho-aromatherapy – This became an area that I specialised in and taught about.
The field of Neuroscience is confirming the holistic view of the body and mind as interconnected. In my practice now as a psychotherapist, I often see people who have been exposed to traumatic incidents, or are suffering from unprocessed traumatic memories, anxiety or are suffering from addictions.
Traumatic memories are held in the same place in the brain that regulates memory, emotion and our sense of smell. So it comes as no surprise to me that I would one day begin to integrate the two areas in my work.
Using therapeutic grade essential oils I have developed a way of working which I call AromaFocusing. AromaFocusing doesn’t involve massage rather It is a psychological protocol that uses the power of scent along with a body oriented visualisation process to enable people to deeply soothe their system and connect with inner resources to create a deep sense of well-being and a state of inner calm which is essential for working with trauma. It is a simple and powerfully effective technique for stress management and relaxation. Plant essences can become a powerful portal to engage the deeper resources of the heart, mind and body.
AromaFocusing integrates my interest and experience as both an Aromatherapist and Psychotherapist and combines the power of essential oils with a dynamic body focused process to actively empower the client on their own wellbeing journey.
I will be creating some workshops in the future for Aromatherapists and Psychotherapists to learn more about psycho-aromatherapy. So if you are interested or have any scent stories to share, please do get in touch.