Speaking of scent......I mentioned in my previous post that the alarm clock I use has the capability to include scent in the waking routine. I am currently enrolled in a school for aromatherapy. I'm studying the impact of scent on the brain and in particular the nervous system and the mind.
This is definitely the next level of understanding how stress operates in the brain. There are a number of troops I've spoken to over the years who are scent-sensitive. They smell exhaust and it is trigger for them or other types of smells that remind them of their experiences.
Just like the mind can be trained to focus and relax in meditation, it can also be trained to associate smells with positive and negative experiences. If we can train the negative over and over again, we can certainly train the positive.
I've used essential oils for a while now for myself and have found them to be a positive addition to my sleep routine and my meditation practice. As a trauma-sensitive meditation teacher, I don't use music or scent. But in select cases, I can see that scent may be a useful association and reminder that this is a time of safety. Just like babies associate the smell of their Mother and are comforted by it, we too can be comforted by a familiar scent when we sit down to meditate.
As I learn more about the properties of the oils and their designated uses, I will be able to begin incorporating this into designated sessions for those that are interested in trying this approach to assist in stress reduction and meditation. I'm looking forward to completing my schooling in the new year. Stay tuned.