by Chryssa Chalkia Psychotherapist, CBT & Counsellor (UKCP, BABCP & BACP), listed counsellor/therapist
27th August, 2018
As a psychotherapist, an approach to working with client’s issues is to work with all aspects of the person: mind, body and psyche. This entails using a variety of methods to access the core of the problem and working through it. Talking therapy is assisted by holistic and alternative methods to support healing, such as the use of scented candles in the therapeutic room. Candles are scientifically proven to soothe us. As a therapist, the aim is to support the person in the room to feel comfortable and relaxed so they can open up and discuss whatever is on their mind.
Scented candles have been used for centuries in all manner of rituals as they promote healing, enhance meditation and cleanse energies. The gentle, mesmerising quality of their light makes them a perfect aid for any relaxation routine. Melt takes the science of candles one step further though; creating scented candles proven to transform your mood. Our sense of smell is incredibly powerful and shouldn’t be underestimated. The smell of the scented candle stimulates the part of your brain which is connected to memory and mood. From boosting energy through to relieving stress or even enhancing mental clarity, the healing properties coming from a lighted scented candle can deliver psychological effects. Thus, the use of candles in talking therapy can even unlock the royal road of the unconscious.
A study conducted by Keville and Green (2009) reports that imbalances of psychological wellbeing such as depression can be improved with the use of scented candles and oils. For example, they are certain scented candles that help reduce feelings of fear and anxiety, reducing stress and lifting mood. Some scented candles that can be used in practice to support clients struggling with anxiety or stress are:
- Lavender - relaxes instantly both mind and body.
- Clary sage - lifts mood.
- Cinnamon - makes you feel refreshed.
- Orange - reduces stress.
- Lemon - improves mood.
- Apple - controls anxiety.
- Peppermint - wakes up your mind and enhances focus.
- Frankincense - helps battle anxiety and gives a great stress relief.
- Sandalwood - relaxes and calms body and mind.
- Vanilla - increases happiness levels, uplifts your mood and stimulates feelings of relaxation and joy.
Have you ever thought that by understanding the different effects of various scents, you can take control of your mood and light the candle you need to affect your mood?
My recommendation to those who want to increase their sense of calm is to try one of the following:
- Meditating daily, enhancing their space with candlelight.
- Popping on their favourite relaxation scent and winding down with a lovely book.
- Incorporating candlelight with a relaxed exercise routine such as mindfulness, tai chi or yoga.
Why don’t you try yourself, after a long and stressful day, to de-stress by lighting a candle and allowing its scents to travel you to a soothing place where you can relax and enjoy the rest of the day. Try one next time you are having a stressful day - you won’t regret it!