In this article on aromatherapy, Bijo; partners with uka to transmit the knowledge of aromas and self-massage methods according to our biological clock in order to support our daily life as modern citizens and improve the level of happiness produced inside our body.
Following the introduction to aromatherapy, self-massage and the circadian rhythm you will find three essential oil synergies and three self-massage methods proposed by uka to rebalance this harmony.
1. Aromatherapy and its benefits
Composed of the Greek words "aroma" (pleasant smell) and "therapy" (care or cure), aromatherapy consists in using the aroma of essential oils to improve emotions, the state of mind and consequently the influence of the mind on the body.
In Japan, as in all modern societies undergoing the stress of city life, the interest in this gentle practice and the demand for essential oils are constantly increasing. Among the most popular EO's are lavender, tea tree, sweet orange, eucalyptus, peppermint and grapefruit which are diffused in living spaces, added to hot bath water and daily care.
2. Self massage and its benefits
Self-massage, as its name suggests, consists of massaging oneself. Through a series of frictions and pressures, this practice contributes to awaken the circulation of flows and energy in our body, stimulate the regeneration of our cells and encourage the elimination of tensions/toxins.
The regular practice of self-massage coupled with aromatherapy is ideal for reconnecting with your body and preventing everyday ailments that are as much related to your mental as to your physical state such as low energy, lack of energy and insomnia.
For a better efficiency, it is advisable to synchronize the aromas and the energizing or relaxing self-massage according to our biological clock.
3. Understanding our circadian rhythm
For thousands of years we have been genetically programmed to evolve according to the Sun; its natural light initiates hormonal and neuronal signals that naturally coordinate our sleep-wake cycle, the secretion of hormones, the regulation of blood pressure or body temperature. However, the digitalization and modernization of our life rhythms tend to disrupt this harmony.
The following article presents daily rituals that combine essential oil synergies with self-massage techniques according to our biological clock in order to rebalance this harmony without changing our life and work rhythms. First and foremost, it is necessary to quickly introduce you to our famous biological clock and the hormones that set its rhythm.
Of course, the cycles change from one body to another and the following indications are not exhaustive, it is a small introduction to guide you in your own observations.
- between 7am and 8am: the spontaneous awakening. As soon as we expose ourselves to sunlight, we release serotonin, the hormone that helps us wake up with a clear mind. The still high level of cortisol makes this time ideal for tasks that require vitality!
- Between 10am and 12pm: thinking activities. Our efficiency is at its highest, as blood sugar levels and body temperature are optimal for brain cells.
- 1 to 2 p.m.: adrenaline and heart rate drop; attention is reduced. This is the ideal time to eat lunch. A short nap of about 20 minutes can then allow the body to recharge its batteries because digestion requires too much energy to work intensely. Cortisol level has plummeted.
- around 5 pm: a new phase of great physical and intellectual performance, ideal for doing sports, studying very efficiently, learning quickly...
- around 8 pm: first wave of sleepiness. The secretion of melatonin (sleep hormone) increases 12 to 14 hours after the first exposure to sunlight..
- 10 pm: the ideal time to fall asleep; the internal temperature of the body drops, the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system increases, the heart rate, pulse and blood pressure slow down, inviting us to plunge into a pleasant and peaceful sleep.
- 10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.: the body is reconstituted. This is a crucial phase that allows you to recover more and faster. The growth hormone necessary for the renewal of the cells of the human body is then the most active. This is why the hours of sleep before midnight are considered the most restorative.
4. The hormones that make the weather in our body
During the day, our body secretes different hormones that act like needles on our biological clock. In the morning, serotonin is secreted to help us start a new day, and in the evening, it turns into melatonin and leads us to sleep. But this is not a one-way mechanism and the hormones that influence our energy and emotions are also influenced by our lifestyle !
A. Serotonin – happy hormone
Sunlight is essential to us humans, as our biological clock tells us to wake up when the sun rises and go to sleep when the sun sets. When exposed to sunlight, we release the hormone serotonin, which helps us to wake up feeling refreshed, build emotional strength against stress, feel a sense of enrichment, and boost our vitality and optimism.
Any time we feel blue or fatigued or lacking of motivation, and are too busy to think about the cause of our poor form, at least part of it may be a serotonin deficiency.
Other than getting some sun, serotonin secretion is triggered by exercise, a massage, frequent laughing, and the maintenance of intestinal health. What’s more, serotonin secreted during the day is converted into melatonin by enzymes that work at night. This means if you have trouble falling asleep, it’s worth starting the day right.
6 essential oils whose aroma helps to stimulate the secretion of serotonin:
- Pepermintclears the mind and uplifts the mood; effective for regaining composure, feeling refresh and fighting drowsiness.
- Clary sagecalms the mind and evokes a sense of happiness; effective when feeling worried, confused or strained.
- lemon: brightens, lightens and refreshes the mood and even clears the conscience; effective for meetings, enhancing concentration and building enthusiasm.
- Scots pineinvigorates the mind like a forest bathing session. Effective when feeling pessimistic or unconfident.
- rosemaryuplifts the mood and improves motivation. Effective for enhancing concentration and memory, and for focusing on work or studies.
- Black spruce: alleviates anxiety and invigorates the mind. Effective when feeling stress, fatigue or in low spirits.
BALANCE: the clean blend of peppermint, clary sage, lemon, Scotch pine, rosemary and black spruce is effective for setting a positive tone similar to the effect of a pleasant shower of sunshine early in the morning
Self-massage BALANCE: out body and soul with stretches and an abdominal area treatment that promote circulation and a light, cleansed feeling. Ideal for setting a positive tone and starting the day right.
Shoulder, chest, foot stretches → Foot oil treatment → Abdominal area treatment
Best timing: morning through noon
B. Oxytocin - Love hormone
Healing an overworked brain, taming our temper, increasing trust in others, and setting off a comforting sense of happiness … The hormone oxytocin promotes health in both body and soul. In the past, oxytocin was known as a female hormone released only by women during childbirth and breastfeeding. But recently, more advanced research suggests a variety of situations can trigger the release of oxytocin in people of both genders and all age groups. Caressing another person or even a pet, for instance, can stimulate oxytocin secretion. When we hug someone special, doesn’t it relieve tension and create a sense of fulfillment rom within ? This is oxytocin at work evoking feelings of calmness and security.
Oxytocin is responsible for strengthening the bond between mother and child, and between romantic partners, enhancing both emotional happiness and physical health and effectively serving as an anti-stress agent. In short, oxytocin is the happy hormone we need to cope with social stress.
4 essential oils whose aroma helps to stimulate the secretion of oxytocin :
- Ylang Ylang :relieves tension and promotes relaxation. Effective when feeling anxiety or pressure.
- black pepper: has a gentle warming effect on both body and soul. Effective when feeling faint-hearted or out of love
- mandarin orange: alleviates both emotional and physical fatigue, and helps boost vitality and energy, and regain confidence. Effective when feeling tense, frustrated, or overwhelmed from overthinking.
- Yuzu: eases the mind, brightens the spirit, and inspires positive thinking. Effective when feeling anxiety, indecisive, or overcome by negativity.
HUGthe blend of ylang ylang, black pepper, mandarin orange, and yuzu essential oil is effective for filling your heart with kindness or evoking the feeling you get when hugging a loved one or a pet.
MASSAGE HUG :leaves its fragrance on both the arms doing the hugging and the chest being hugged. Under the concept of physical intimacy that evokes feelings of calmness, this treatment gently targets the area from the décolletage to the arms with slow enveloping motions that kindle a sense of happiness. Ideal for filling the heart with kindness. /p>
Décolletage treatment → underarm to arm treatment
Best timing : all day
C. Melatonin - sleep hormone
At night we feel drowsy thanks to the hormone melatonin. Melatonin secretion increases 12 to 14 hours after exposure to sunlight, lowering our core body temperature, increasing parasympathetic nervous system activity, and slowing our breathing, pulse, and blood pressure to guide us into calm, pleasant sleep.
We contemporary humans, however, are in the habit of carrying a smartphone at all times. Many of us even carry a smartphone to bed. Looking at a smartphone for a mere three seconds increases sympathetic nervous system activity, as the screen emits blue light, which is believed to disrupt the balance of melatonin secretion. With the electromagnetic waves from a smartphone believed to further break down melatonin, it’s best not to handle a smartphone for two hours before going to bed. Quality sleep allows rest and recuperation, and serves as the source of our vitality. Inducing natural drowsiness and falling asleep fasts starts in the daytime – we need to promote the secretion of serotonin, the precursor of melatonin.
5 essential oils whose aroma helps to stimulate the secretion of melatonin :
- frankincense :deeply soothes both body and soul, banishes all worldly thoughts, and quells the mind. Effective when feeling disturbed or reflecting on oneself.
- Petitgrain: both quells a panicked mind and invigorates low spirits to promote emotional balance. Effective for relaxing and sorting out one’s feelings.
- mandarin orange : alleviates both emotional and physical fatigue, and helps boost vitality and energy, regain confidence. Effective when feeling tense, frustrated, or overwhelmed from overthinking.
- Lavender: relieves tension and anxiety to create a calm, leisurely mood. Effective for unwinding before bedtime.
- Marjoram: deep relaxation ; effective when feeling unstable or seeking a comfortable night’s sleep.
DREAM: the blend of frankincense, petit grain, mandarin orange, lavender, and marjoram essential oil is effective for resetting the mind and getting a good night’s sleep.
MASSAGE DREAM: focuses on stimulating and relaxing points on the face and head. By pinpointing the face – an area normally touched by few people other than yourself - the treatment works to calm the mind. Ideal for getting a good night’s sleep.
Facial point stimulation → Head relaxation and pinching → Ear relaxation → Scalp stretches
Best timing: twilight through night