Aromatherapy - Healing with Essential Oils
The use of essential oils to heal and annoint, the art of aromatherapy, has been around for thousands of years. This very ancient art, used by the Egyptians, in Biblical times and by many others through the ages has withstood the test of time. It's power derives from the fact the when you smell a scent, it connects directly to the limbic part of your brain stem -- the most ancient part of the brain geared toward survival. Your nose/brain connection is immediate and very strong. That's why the scent of a rose, or certain perfume or food that you associate with a person or feeling, is triggered so amazingly whenever your nose picks up that scent, taking you back to a memory associated with the particular scent.
In terms of a stress relief device, the use of essential oils can shift our mood with just such power and certainty, when we understand how to tap into it. The scent of lavender is one of the most calming and balancing of all the oils, and for that reason, you see it (or smell it) in many products for inducing relaxation and sleep -- like bath oils, bath salts, pillows, etc. The important thing when using essential oils is that they must be purely derived and of high quality -- meaning, the distilling process and the original herbs or flower source must be pure. This is often referred to as therapeutic grade.
There are a variety of ways to use essential oils and I highly recommend trying them out. You can diffuse the scent into the room, create a "blend" using the essential oil and a carrier oil, such as jojoba or sweet almond oil, or you can put a drop on a cotton ball or handkerchief -- they can also be used in massage.
I found aromatherapy to be a wonderful addition to my repertoire of caregiver tools -- for my own care and for my mother -- I had a custom blended oil created for her, which I used regularly. She found it very comforting and even the process of putting the oil on her skin was soothing and nurturing-- to us both! This is a transformative and very effective therapy for dealing with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, or for cancer patients and their caregivers, for children with autism, and many, many other uses. And, of course, for self care for the caregiver!
On this page, I have put together some of my favorite products and varied uses for essential oils along with resource information and links to help you decide how you personally can use the oils. One caveat: be certain that you are buying only 100% pure essential oils, organic, if possible, not fragranced oils or synthetic blends. In order to achieve the highest healing benefit, you must use the very purest distillation from the plant source.
Essential oils have proven therapeutic effects for both patients and caregivers alike. They are a powerful tool for healing. I can personally give aromatherapy my highest recommendation!
Compassion & Essential Oils
by Candace Newman
There are many soulful elements that give us ways to experience compassion. Essential oils are powerful ones because aroma works on our unconscious level. The olfactory tract has a direct connection to the primitive limbic system of our brain. With a certain aroma we can shift the way we feel in less than a second. This feeling can be one of compassion. Sacred intentional touch is another soulful element of compassion. These are the core principles of our Touch With Oils® work and Hand Massage.
With essential oils we have a way to develop self-compassion, compassion for others and then experience the river of compassion that flows through all of us once we go beyond the noisy waves of the worldly ways. Essential oil's royal mission with us humans is to first bring our scattered parts back together (self-compassion) and from there show us the reverence for life in all things. This is a worthwhile journey. In these complex times that exude anxiety, fear and frustration ... the good news is ... we can claim this to be the Age of Compassion. So anchor deep in the beautiful place of compassion deep in your heart. Let the physical medicine and aromatic message of essential oils be part of your journey.