I haven't spoken here much about the use of scent, specifically essential oils, also known as the practice of aromatherapy. This is a very ancient art, used by the Egyptians, in Biblical times and by many others through the ages. It's power derives from the fact the when you smell a scent, it connects directly to the limbic part of your brain stem -- the most ancient part of the brain geared toward survival. Your nose/brain connection is immediate and very strong. That's why the scent of a rose, or certain perfume or food that you associate with a person or feeling, is triggered so amazingly whenever your nose picks up that scent, taking you back to a memory associated with the particular scent.
In terms of a stress relief device, the use of essential oils can shift our mood with just such power and certainty, when we understand how to tap into it. The scent of lavender is one of the most calming and balancing of all the oils, and for that reason, you see it (or smell it) in many products for inducing relaxation and sleep -- like bath oils, bath salts, pillows, etc. The important thing when using essential oils is that they must be purely derived and of high quality -- meaning, the distilling process and the original herbs or flower source must be pure.
There are a variety of ways to use essential oils and I highly recommend trying them out. You can diffuse the scent into the room, create a "blend" using the essential oil and a carrier oil, such as jojoba or sweet almond oil, or you can put a drop on a cotton ball or handkerchief -- they can also be used in massage. If you are interested in learning more about essential oils, I recommend the website www.oilladyaromatherapy.com, since its owners represent a wealth of experience and integrity with teaching about and using this precious gift of nature.
I found aromatherapy to be a wonderful addition to my repertoire of caregiver tools -- for my own care and for my mother -- I had a custom blended oil created for her, which I used regularly. She found it very comforting and even the process of putting the oil on her skin was soothing and nurturing-- to us both! This is a transformative and very effective therapy for dealing with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, or for cancer patients and their caregivers, for children with autism, and many, many other uses. And, of course, for self care for the caregiver! Check my resource page for further information, links, and books about the subject.
Karen is a compassionate, enthusiastic student of life, who cared for her mother for 17 years. She brings her insights, compassion, experience and desire to share knowledge and healing to this ongoing conversation with others on the caregiving path. If you are caring for a parent, spouse, friend or other loved one this site offers sanity-saving tips, open-hearted self-care ideas, and an open forum for discussion, connection and sharing resources for the journey.
All Acceptance Aging Together Alan Cohen Alive Inside Movie Alzheimer's Alzheimer's Prevention A Mind Of Your Own Anxiety Aromatherapy Audio Therapy For PTSD Austin Air Hepa Filter Autism Back Care Video Beginner's Mind Being Present Blessing For Caregivers Books Brain Insulin Butterfly Story Calm Calm.com App Care For Veterans Caregiver Advocate Caregiver Coalition Caregiver Comfort Kit Caregiver Guilt Caregiver Retreat Caregiver's Serenity Prayer Caregiver Stress Caregiver Support Care Giving Caregiving Vulnerability Care In Hospital Caterpillar Into Butterflies Chamomile Tea Cindy Laverty Comedian Computers & Exercise Crisis Dan Cohen Deepak Chopra Delirium Depression Diabetes Disaster Preparedness Distractions Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa Dr. Oliver Sacks Eden Alternative Eldershire Elizabeth Dole Foundation Emergency Planning Emergency Preparation Emerson End Of Caregiving Enough Already Escapism Essential Oils Food Safety Forgiveness Funny Stories Gaiam.com Gail Sheehy Gift Of Alzheimer Gift Of Healing Presence GMO Food Green House Project Gregory Fricchione Md Grief Guilt Happy Light Healing Holding Hands Home As Sanctuary Hope Hospital Caregiving Hospital Stay Humor Inspirational Reading Ipods For Nursing Homes Isolation Jacksonville James E. Miller John Denver Johns Hopkins Study John T. McFadden Jon Kabat-Zinn Kelly Brogan Kirtan Kriya Meditation Lao Tzu Laugh Laughter Lavender Loneliness Loss Of Purpose Love Love In The Nursing Home Maya Angelou Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Blog MD Meditation Meditation Garden Melatonin Memory Memory Cafe Military Caregiver Mindfulness Meditation Mr. Bean Music Music & Alzheimer Music And Memory Neurological Research Noise Pollution Operation Family Caregiver Opportunity Overnight Respite Care Pandemic Passages In Caregiving Patience Paul Coelho Peace Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Power Of Love Prayer PTSD Quality Of Sleep Radical Contentment Relaxation Releasing Problems Renewal Research Respite Rewind Rodney Yee Rosalynn Carter Rosalynn Carter Institute For Caregiving Rowan Atkinson Sanctuary Sanity Self Care Serenity Silence Sleep Slowing Time Solutions Soothing Music Stress Stress Relief Sun Sunshine Support For Caregivers Tai Chi Thanksgiving The Care Company The Kiss Time Traumatic Brain Injury Travel With Alzheimer's Person Treat VA Caregivers Valentine's Day Verilux Veteran Farms Veterans Veteran Suicide Vitamin D Wayne W. Dyer Wellness Wendell Berry White Noise William H. Thomas Worry Yoga Yoga Video