Those of you who have experienced an aromatherapy massage know firsthand how some aromas make you smile and some make you grimace. There is more to this than meets the nose. In her book, The Fragrant Mind, British Aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood describes how certain aromas can evoke emotional, psychological and physical reactions just by smelling them. Her treatment protocol, called Aroma Genera, identifies nine aroma personalities which correspond to the way people think, feel, act and describes their personality traits. Since aroma is processed by the Limbic System in the brain, there are many reactions a person can have to a specific aroma. This area of the brain can evoke memories, dreams, feelings, thoughts, tastes, other sensations, passions and drives, belief systems, and our reactions to all these things. Aroma Genera allows you to explore your conscious and sub-conscious processes in a safe and respectful manner. You are always in control of the experience.
To perform an Aroma Genera session, the therapist allows the client to relax in a chair and close their eyes. Then, the therapist hands one of the nine personality smelling strips to the client and asks them to inhale deeply. Immediate reactions are noted. The client explains and describes everything they experience while smelling the strip. It is up to the therapist to write down all pertinent themes and descriptions, asking only for clarification of the reactions and information. The therapist does not lead the client using questions or comments. This experience is between the client and the aroma . Once all nine strips have been used, the therapist may choose to repeat some strips for the client. At the end of a session, the therapist will review how a client reacted to each aroma strip and allow time for the client to talk about the experience and begin to integrate the information.
People use Aroma Genera at times when they feel stuck for answers or have a creative block. Sometimes, people are wanting to delve deeper into themselves to understand more of what makes them tick. Perhaps they are looking for the reasons behind their unhelpful behaviour patterns and deep hurts, hoping that once they understand these, they can move forward with more acceptance and love . Aroma is the vehicle to take you there.
A full treatment series is 6 weekly sessions (90-120 min. each), with an Aroma Genera Personality Questionnaire completed at Week 2. After the 6th session, the client is invited back for a free 7th visit in order to review all the information collected over the 6 sessions. For those not sure if Aroma Genera is for them, a single session may help them to evaluate this.
So will your strongest influence be from the Fruitie, Spicie, Herbie, Woodie, Leafie, Resinie, Rootie, Seedie or Floral aroma personality? Only sniffing will tell.
Article written by Pat Antoniak Registered Nurse – Registered Aromatherapist
and owner of the Natural Comfort Wellness Centre in Tsawwassen, BC.