Essential oils have been used for nearly 6,000 years, with the aim of improving a person's health or mood.
One of the most remarkable applications in my field is within the realm of the activation of the parasympathetic system – the “calm and relax” branch of our central nervous system-.
In other words, the calming effect is through the stimulation of the olfactory system, the part of the brain connected to smell that affects the limbic system, which is linked to emotions, heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress, and hormone balance.
If a child –or adult- is in a “fight or flight” mode – or in sympathetic mode- there is no possibility for relaxation, digestion, higher cognitive function, emotional regulation, or learning of any kind.
Using aromatherapy -in certain situations-* might be able to
Gently calm down and bring relief to a child that is under stress
Improve attention and focus
In my practice, Aromatherapy is included in all of the services I provide as needed.
* BE AWARE that some children are highly sensitive to strong aromas -even oils that have calming properties-. In these cases, a specific sensory integration program needs to be implemented with the supervision of a trained specialist before using essential oils.
1. Plasma 1,8-cineole correlates with cognitive performance following exposure to rosemary essential oil aroma https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736918/
2. Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang
3. Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults
4. Volatile Terpenes and Brain Function: Investigation of the Cognitive and Mood Effects of Mentha × Piperita L. Essential Oil with In Vitro Properties Relevant to Central Nervous System Function https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30087294/
5. Effects of Inhaled Rosemary Oil on Subjective Feelings and Activities of the Nervous System https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3700080/
6. Effects of Tangerine Essential Oil on Brain Waves, Moods, and Sleep Onset Latency https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7587980/
7. Behavioral and Neural Changes Induced by a Blended Essential Oil on Human Selective Attention https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6815549/