Chewing and Aromatherapy
Sensory Oral seekers
With Oral seekers we are not only engaging in an activity but working with taste, tactile and proprioception. The tactile element includes, lips, tongue, cheeks and gums. It is more prevalent than we realise, who has ever chewed their pen lid!
It was actually observed in a study by Akiyo et al in 2011 that the chewing of gum was found to improve levels of anxiety as well as mood and fatigue. A bit like chewing gum on a long car trip can help keep you awake.
Aromatherapy has been used for thousands of years across many cultures with Frankincense and Myrrh being the most recognisable names for most people. The aromatic molecules in a vapour are small enough to cross the blood brain barrier, this is fastest through the sense of smell although it can also penetrate through the skin (don’t forget its the body’s largest organ!)
Our sense of smell goes directly from the olfactory bulb to our limbic system in the brain which is the centre of the brain influencing emotions and memories. Hence smells triggering powerful memories. This can be used to our advantage not only to make positive smell memories and associations but also to influence the emotion centre.