Our ability to breathe is something we take for granted, though our lives depend upon it. If you’ve ever found yourself momentarily oxygen-deprived– perhaps while diving to the deep end of the swimming pool to retrieve a lost cell-phone– going just a minute or so without breathing truly puts this gift of respiration into perspective.

And breathing is all that’s needed for an aromatherapy shower. When the essential oils of precious botanicals, such as 100% USDA certified organic Lavender, Bergamot, Nutmeg, Peppermint, Ylang Ylang, Sweet Orange, Chamomile, Sage, Basil, Petitgrain, Patchouli, Rose Maroc, Peru Balsam, Cedarwood Atlas, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Lime, Geranium and Vetiver are blended by master aromatherapists and diffused into the warm water of a shower, all you have to do is inhale and exhale.

Essential oils in an aromatherapy shower impart their effects by delivering microparticles of the botanical substance– the bark, leaf, blossom, etc. from which the oil is derived– into powerful and sensitive receptors inside the nose. These nasal receptors receive the inhaled material, and translate the information — stimulation, relaxation, perceptions of cooling, warming, etc.– through the olfactory system to the brain. The brain, in turn, may contain stored memories associated with that specific aroma– think of Marcel Proust smelling and tasting his madeleines (tea-cakes). The brain may then produce a cascade of chemical responses, such as the release of serotonin, making you feel happy, relaxed, nostalgic, curious, and so on.

Many theories about olfaction currently are under close scientific scrutiny. New evidence confirms that the sense of smell forms powerful bonds in the forming brain during early human development. One reason is that newborns cannot see well; the eyes of a baby do not develop the capacity to focus until several months into life. However, infants do have a sensitive olfactory capacity, and in studies have been proven to recognize the natural aroma of their mother, her skin and hair, and her breast-milk if she is lactating, in a completely darkened room. In these studies, the infants were able to identify their mothers from groups of women, purely on the basis of her unique scent.

As adults, we are just now beginning to learn the effects that aromas and essential oils may have upon our mood, behavior, personality and even achievement at work. An aromatherapy shower makes it easy — just breathe.

Consider these aspects and effects of essential oils for your next aromatherapy shower:

CLEAR : For resolving disputes, and getting a fresh look at old problems. Use Lavender, Bergamot, Nutmeg and Peppermint oils.

NIGHT : Release and surrender conscious chatter for deep rest and sleep, with Sage, Basil and Ylang-Ylang

PASSION : Feel the fire. Passion extends beyond the erotic, too. Use the oils of Passion– Patchouli and Rose– when you feel the need to bolster your own self-esteem, or when you’re losing enthusiasm for a project or task. Fall in love again using these oils as an aromatherapy shower.

BREATHE : So essential to life and well-being. When you’ve got the sniffles, shower with Cedarwood Atlas, Lemon, Eucalyptus. Also good for airing out interpersonal disputes at home and work.

WISDOM : Get wise. An aromatherapy shower with clarifying Lime, Geranium and old-growth Cedar will help you make informed decisions and feel stable. Do this before signing contracts or entering into partnerships.

UNWIND: An aromatherapy shower with Vetiver, Sweet Orange and Petitgrain allows you to release tensions in order to fully re-integrate after stress.