Loving lavender makes you just about the best friend that anyone could ever have. You’re powerful yet gentle, but you’re also so naturally gifted at many things that others may be jealous of you. In the plant world, lavender is probably the most well-known essential oil, and it’s used for a multitude of reasons—relaxation, skin care, wound healing, and so much more. Many resonate with the herbaceous, feminine scent, and if you do, I bet you’re strong-willed, a tad flexible and laid-back, and popular—think Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. Even though you’re direct and honest, sometimes you need to pump the brakes and give yourself some TLC. For those of us who know our Myers-Briggs Personality type, ESTJs, this is for you.
Warm and invigorating, cinnamon promotes a masculine, yang energy that is hard to resist. In fact, cinnamon repeatedly earns a top spot on the most-loved scent list. Like any ENTP, cinnamon is lovable and charismatic. Just one whiff can make you feel warm and fuzzy. If you love cinnamon, there’s no doubt that fall is your favorite season, and you’ve had a countdown to Halloween since, well, last Halloween. You’re most likely a sharply focused scholar as well. In fact, clinical research shows how cinnamon boosts brain function, even attention span. Beyond that, cinnamon is also known as one of the sexiest scents, which certainly comes in handy for you as a cheeky debater who loves to play devil’s advocate.
If you gravitate toward tea tree, you’re most likely an INFP soulful Earth mama. Tea tree is one of the most medicinal essential oils— boasting unparalleled antimicrobial and antiviral properties—but it’s also so gentle that it’s one of the only oils a healthy adult can use neat on the skin. The balsamic scent is known as a formidable immune booster that reminds us that groundedness is one sniff (or call!) away. Tea tree is the friend that everyone needs in their medicine cabinet—giving you that needed reality check while having the knack for doing so mindfully.
Resonating with rose makes you a queen bee. It’s no secret that you like the finer things in life—romance, luxury, and beauty. You are a social entertainer and may align with the ESFP Myers-Briggs personality type. Rose lovers often see the bigger picture and meaning of life events, even when experiencing immense pain and sadness. The scent of rose helps ease depression and drives away anxiety.
With scent, it’s not uncommon to have affairs. You may love some oil one day, and next month, you might have a new favorite. So, if the energy of rose speaks to you right now (I’m looking at all you fire signs—Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius), invite in what it has to offer. Perhaps you need confidence, strength, or feminine energy. Take what it gives you.
Helichrysum is my favorite essential oil. The first time I ever smelled a batch distilled from Corsica, I knew I had smelled it before in my childhood. This essential oil is an all-around healer, and a Vedic astrologer once offered an explanation as to why I connected so deeply with the aroma. In my birth chart, I have some Chiron, which symbolizes the wounded healer. It makes sense that I really love the essential oil connected to that aspect of my astrology.
An underrated oil, it’s one of the best for skin care (an answer for woes like acne and eczema), and if you put it on a bruise overnight, it will look 10 times better in the morning. If you like helichrysum, you likely enjoy bringing others comfort and joy and also have an innate ability to deeply connect with almost anyone. Not to mention, you’re highly creative and mystical—exhibiting the free spirit nature of an ENFP.
When you think of peppermint, think activation (aka ENTJ on the Myers-Briggs). Peppermint lovers are upbeat and refreshing—often creative thought leaders looking to change the status quo. If you like the cooling, tingling sensation of peppermint, it’s no secret that you’re a go-getter (dare I say, most likely a Pisces or Virgo?). You like instant action and immediate results, which is why you’re a productivity powerhouse. As a friend, your loyalty and levelheadedness make you a go-to pick-me-up because you quickly assess any situation and are also able to mindfully move on from it.
We all have that one extroverted friend with the ability to pull us out of bed to get us to go somewhere or do something. This friend, with boundless energy and a zest for life, is undoubtedly a lemon lover. A self-proclaimed ENFJ (like me!) on the Myers-Briggs, you enjoy inspiring others and have a knack for seeing the silver lining when dealing with disappointment. The citrusy aroma of lemon is truly sunshine in a bottle, which has been clinically demonstrated to have an antidepressant-like effect. You are the good energy that can change the vibration of a room.
If frankincense speaks to you, I bet you’re a Zen introvert who enjoys spending time in solitude. After all, this is where INTJs do their best creative thinking. Throughout history, frankincense has earned a spiritual reputation while also becoming known for its powerful expectorant and carminative properties. Most notably, frankincense is calming and a cellular regenerator, so it’s no coincidence that it’s a go-to meditation blend oil. A little bit of frankincense may help you gain clarity on riddles, paradoxes, and contradictions that wise, intuitive introverts (INFJs, too) enjoy pondering to help make the world a better place.
Leigh Winters, M.A., is an instructor at Columbia Business School’s Venture for All program, where she teaches courses on entrepreneurship and venture creation. She is also a clinical researcher at Columbia University’s Spirituality Mind Body Institute researching mindfulness and biobehavioral health. Leigh studied at the New York Institute of Aromatherapy…
Basics of Aromatherapy
Increasing numbers of people are attempting to return to a lifestyle that is purely holistic and complete, recognizing the importance of combining the mind, body, and spirit in equal measures to achieve optimum health and well-being. Reputed to be very old, and literally used in almost all civilizations of the world, aromatherapy is one form of holistic healing that is easy to and flexible to be practiced in our daily lives.
Aromatherapy contains organic, natural, unadulterated aromatic extracts, called aromatic essential oils, which come from plant origins. These natural substances display a broad range of therapeutic effects and actions on the body. Many of these essential oils play an important role in our daily lives, each and every moment, and in all occasions. At least one daily consumable that is used by us contains one of these essentials, like many tooth pastes and mouth washes. There are even eatables like some baked goods that are made with essential oils. Aromatherapy, however, refers strictly to the use of essential oils and hydrosols for health purposes and body healing.
There are many helpful books on personal development available. A good book on the subject may set you great advice and ideas that will change your life. Try choosing a volume that has already been well-received by others because poorly done books in the genre are not very well written.
Aromatherapy is the art of using the fragrant essential oils derived from plants to treat ailments of the mind and body. The magnificent scent of these oils evokes a variety of different responses by stimulating the olfactory and other sensory organs, which are linked to the areas of the brain which control emotions. It means that these essential oils have a direct bearing on the human constitution, body and mind. A chain of chemical reactions, initiated by this invisible stimulation then takes place, effecting a physical or emotional change in the body.
Aromatherapy is an innovative way to improve the quality of life that incorporates all principles of body and mind. Aromatherapy has already become a part of our lives, although many of us have not associated the name with the actual experience. Each human being has an emotional response, both pleasant and unpleasant, some happy and others sad, to certain scents. So, the idea behind aromatherapy is, initially, to find those scents and oils, unique but different for each individual, those evoke positive sensory feelings and emotions. The next step is to introduce those essentials into our daily life to enhance well-being. Natural scents and oils keep us connected to the earth, sparking memories and emotions. They also bring back forgotten memories, emotions and lost luster in our lives.
Pure essential oils are extracted from many parts of the plant (flower, leaf, resin, bark, root, twig, seed, berry, rind and rhizome) and the extracted oils are used to relax, replenish, balance and rejuvenate body, mind and spirit. Aromatherapy is both an art and a science that involves the basic constitution of our body. All these objectives are skillfully achieved by blending required parts of different oils and then creating a balmy complex that is used to create a heavenly experience.
Identify the biggest obstacle that is preventing you from being successful. This is hard to do for many people to do. If you are able to overcome some hurdles, you might just see a clearer path to your future.
However, the results of aromatherapy are very individual specific and vary from person to person. While experts display general agreement about the actions of certain oils, aromatherapy texts vary differently in their descriptions of the properties and characteristics of an essential oil. The basic fact is that no two persons in this world are influenced by the same aromatic oil in exactly the same way and manner. What is more, even the same person can be significantly affected differently by the same oil depending on surroundings, time or mood.
If you need to experience the real magic of these essential oils, you will have to use one of those applications in any part of daily life. Reactions to fragrances are highly individual and specific. Here is small guideline to help you try evaluating some aromas of essential oils:
As you inhale deeply an essential oil for the first time, try and describe the aroma:
You cannot provide care for yourself before you care for others. No matter how much progress you have made in your personal development, you should always take time to breathe.
Is it sharp and stinging?
Is it subtle and smooth?
Is it balanced and tuned?
Talking with a counselor or a religious leader can be an extremely rewarding experience. These people have lots of training and will know what to do in your situation. They are prepared to listen and analyze things you will benefit from.
Is it light or heavy?
Is it warming or cooling?
Is it sweet, spicy, woody, floral, fruity, etc.?
If you notice yourself struggling with the blues, it may be helpful to adjust your diet by increasing your intake of complex carbohydrates. A lack of complex carbohydrates can lead to low serotonin levels. You can increase your intake of these carbs by eating plenty of fresh fruits, fruits, nuts, brown rice, whole grains and assorted beans.
These are some of the basic sensory feeling you can experience on inhaling aromatic oils. Now try and describe how you perceive the aroma:
Do you like or dislike it?
Do you associate the aroma with any of your previous personal experiences?
If you notice that you are consistently failing to meet your goals and live up to expectations, it is time to evaluate the situation seriously. Find out how others who have similar expectations. You might need to be more realistic or gain the problem to be that you are aiming for impossible goals and not using your resources sufficiently to accomplish your goals properly.
What emotions do you have that are connected to these experiences? Is it possible to remember them?
Does the aroma produce those emotions now? Is it repetitive?
Does the aroma affect your awareness: does it rejuvenate, energize or relax?
One great personal development is doing things for the benefit of other people. Knowing what it means to care for and help others, and make sacrifices inside yourself, can greatly benefit your inner character. When you can balance sacrificing for others with meeting your own needs, you can become that kind person that you wanted to be.
Aromatherapy is a science that cannot be comprehended so easily; the whole human race has tried to understand its undying mystery since time immemorial. However, its magical properties have always mesmerized us with a sense of awe and suspense.