So, you’re probably asking yourself, what in the hell is a scent alarm! I’m here to tell you that it’s NOT when someone passes gas and makes you run the opposite direction (although it could be)!
The sense of smell is our most primal instinct and it exerts a powerful influence over our thoughts, emotions, moods, memories and behaviors. The human nose has the ability to distinguish over one trillion different aromas through hundreds of distinct classes of smell receptors. By way of comparison, we only have three photoreceptors used to recognize visual stimuli. Our sense of smell is far more complex than sight, and we are ten thousand times more capable of smelling than tasting.
It’s accurate to say we “smell” danger. Our sense of smell is inextricably connected to our survival, and it plays a major role in remembering what is and isn’t safe together with what is pleasurable. Why remember danger, stress, trauma and pleasure? To learn from experience so we can protect ourselves, survive and procreate. If it wasn’t safe this time, we can avoid it the next time, or if it was pleasurable, we want to participate again. People, environments, food and the scents of those things is part of everyday life.
Aromas serve as exogenous ligands. They are received via olfactory receptors, which are highly concentrated in the limbic system, the primitive part of the brain and seat of emotion. In the center lies the amygdala, which instantly receives the incoming scent information before other higher brain centers. By the time the information reaches our “thinking” and decision-making cortex and we can actually figure out what we smelled, the scent has already triggered emotional and body chemistry responses.
The amygdala is the storehouse of traumas and contains the densest concentration of neuropeptides, affecting cellular memory. Smell is the primary sense that unconsciously activates and affects traumatic memories stored there. Acting as the watchdog, the amygdala is constantly on the lookout for danger or threats. Since it belongs to the more primitive part of our brain it doesn’t have the intelligence to discern between real threats versus perceived threats (e.g. a saber-toothed tiger versus a missed bus stop or being late to work). It passes on its concerns and notifies the hypothalamus when safety and security are at risk, which then in turn notifies the pituitary, which alerts the adrenal glands, which sets off the alarm for fight-or-flight stress response and releases cortisol and adrenaline. Bottom line: the emotional stress triggered the release of the stress hormones.
Many researchers agree that physical illnesses are often the result of an emotional inflammatory response to trauma or negative experiences. What can begin as “emotional inflammation” can later become physical issues and likely various diseases. Although medical technology is not advanced enough to see them, memories, trauma and painful emotions are stored in the body and eventually manifest as physical inflammation when the body’s tissues follow suit. These emotions are thought to become trapped in various organs and glands depending on the particular emotion. Through the use of Emotion Code and using Essential Oils, we can help remove or release these trapped emotions to provide a better state of wellness for your body and hopefully prevent any disease.
Check back in next week for the continuation of this series. Next week, we’ll be discussing Foods & Mood. If you missed Part 1, you can read about it here.
To Your Emotional & Physical Health!