Aromatherapy works by stimulating the sense of smell. It is said that human beings can smell more than 10,000 individual scents, of which each scent brings about a different reaction to our body. As we inhale scents, about 15% of this inhalation reaches the brain directly and affects the brain's limbic system that controls one's moods and emotions. When it is activated by the aromatherapy scent, the limbic system sets off hormones, which bring about a specific emotion or mood in us.
Research conducted by the Touch Research Institute of Miami states that fibromyalgia patients who underwent 30-minute massages of essential oils twice a week for five weeks had much less pain, fatigue, stiffness and depression and slept better than before. A light touch massage using lavender and geranium essential oils can work well to relax the individual and reduce pain.
Another study conducted by the neuroscientist Serge Marchand, a neuroscientist, reported the effectiveness of aromatherapy oils in lowering pain and improving mood. Forty participants, male and female, were asked to rate their moods and pain levels after inhaling 10 scents. They were then asked to dip their hands in hot water for a few minutes. At 15-second intervals, they were asked to inhale a scent and rate their pain and mood levels. The results showed that female patients showed lowered pain results while inhaling the perfume.