Scents and Emotions: Understand Their Relationship
By Caryn Gehlmann
Is there really a connection between scents and emotions? There must be one, especially since corporations spend big bucks on how to use scent to encourage people to buy. The good news is that scents can also be used beneficially to help us enhance our own wellness intentionally.
You’re going to enjoy this month’s interview with e3 Community Partner, Katrina Hackett, a massage therapist and aromatherapy consultant, as we discuss the connection between scents and emotions and other fun aromatherapy tips!
Tell us about your background.
My interest in anatomy and natural health care began in college, and I earned my degree in Health Promotion/Fitness Management in 2000. Wanting to further my health studies, I went on to become a massage therapist, and have been in practice for almost 20 years.
How were you introduced to essential oils and how did it impact your professional career?
My love for aromatherapy began almost just as long ago, with a class called Aroma-body Stone. A class in hot-stone massage and aromatherapy. The instructor was very detailed with blending instruction and therapeutic properties of oils. I came home and immediately started experimenting with how the oils could be used in massage and personal use as well as gifts I would make for family and friends. I have self-studied and taken many classes over the years about the use of aromatherapy. I met Deonne Wright, Clinical Aromatherapist in Grants Pass, through one of her classes and she connected my understanding of western medicine with aromatherapy.
In 2021, I decided I needed my credentials in aromatherapy to further my dream of deeply understanding the components of aromatherapy beyond massage and personal use, so I can educate and connect our community to the many benefits of aromatherapy. My goal is to complete my program by this fall and include Aromatherapy Consultations and Education into our services at Hands On Health.
When did you connect with essential 3?
In 2009, I opened Hands On Health Massage & Wellness Center with two partners. I met Caryn through her nephew. We are friends, and when I shared the business plan for Hands On Health, he insisted I meet Caryn. She came to our office and introduced us to her products and knowledge of aromatherapy. We connected with Essential 3 at that time and have been incorporating, educating, and benefiting from aromatherapy ever since. We immediately began using and selling Essential 3 products. Since then, I have attended several classes that Caryn has taught and always considered her an expert in the field.
How do you use essential oils in your practice?
I believe aromatherapy benefits the mind-body connection. When I use an essential oil or a blend, my intention is to connect smell to a positive sensation in the body and/or psyche. In my practice, I use essential oils diffused in the therapy room to evoke relaxation. Our clients can choose from a variety of blends and single notes to add to their massage oil for their individual intention, like pain relief or stress reduction. In our waiting room, we often diffuse oils to combat airborne contagions, keeping our space healthy and clean.
What have you observed on scents and our emotions?
My advanced education has been reminding me of how important the sense of smell is. It’s the only sense that directly affects our brain’s Cortex, our higher thinking center, and the Limbic system, part of the brain in charge of instinct, behavior and memories. This tells me, aromas have molecules with chemistry to influence our emotions, our health, our movement and can improve our holistic wellbeing. I’m very excited to be a part of experts who can share this understanding and encourage our community to connect to nature’s gift.
Do you have any personal favorite essential oil blends, recipes, or applications?
My favorite way to use essential oils personally is to add a drop or two to a handful of body lotion every morning and apply to my skin after shower. My favorite blend right now is Rebalance. I use many blends from e3 for medicinal purposes as needed. I love Female Harmony for menstrual cramps, Migraine Blend for headaches, Digestion Blend for indigestion and Inflammation Blend for my hands after a long day’s work. Also during this pandemic, I have been diffusing Antiseptic Blend in my home when I have guests over.
Thank you, Katrina, for sharing with us those valuable insights on the connection between scents and emotions and the benefits of aromatherapy. If you have questions, please reach out to e3’s team of clinical aromatherapists. And if you want to learn more about essential oils and how they work, download a free copy of our guide, Listen to Your Nose – An Introduction to Aromatherapy.