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Spring 2001

Subtle Aromatherapy:
Healing the Mind, Emotions and Spirit

Aromatherapy is one of the fastest growing industries in the new millennium, gaining wide popularity in the United States. From scented candles to fragrant massage oils and bath salts, aromatherapy has captured the attention of the American public.

Most of what is written about aromatherapy is the physiological effect of the chemical constituents of the essential oils of plant material. However, essential oils can also cleanse, release and balance thoughts and emotions, and open pathways to higher consciousness. And yet the effect of essential oils on the mind, emotions, and spirit (PEMS) is the direct result of their ability to physiologically change the central nervous system and key brain centers.

The limbic mid-brain is the center of emotions and memories. Within the limbic lobe are the amygdala gland, which stores and releases emotional trauma, and the hippocampus, which is responsible for long-term memory. Scientists now understand that memories are also retained at the cellular level and essential oils have a unique ability to penetrate and oxygenate cells. Essential oils can clear the "fight or flight" sympathetic nervous system response of traumatic memories while encouraging a calm, relaxed parasympathetic response. Special glands of the brain are thought to be the doorway to spiritual experiences: the pineal activates inner sight and the master pituitary and hypothalamus regulate the entire endocrine system, which is the conduit of spiritual experiences.

The use of essential oils with clear presence and intention to restore balance and wholeness to the PEMS bodies is called Subtle Aromatherapy. It is the application of single essential oils and specific blends to the energetic pathways of the body, such as chakras, meridians, acupuncture points, nadis, subtle bodies, and emotional & physical reflex points.

To neutralize, stabilize and uplift emotions, use Rose, Ylang Ylang, Lavender, Rose Geranium, Bergamot, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Juniper, Spruce, Fir, Orange, Tangerine, Neroli, and Jasmine. Blends using Sandalwood, Frankincense, Myrrh, Patchouli, Elemi, Cedarwood, Lavender, Rose and Galbanum have historically been used to create deeper, quieter, more insightful meditation. For draining an overactive mind and creating clear focus, essential oils of Rosemary, Peppermint, Juniper, Lemon, Galbanum, Ginger and Cardamom have been used with much success. It is also important to honor your personal preferences, because the "nose knows" precisely what the energetic system needs to release, restore and balance.

So what essential oils would be best for this time of year when we are in transition from winter to spring, emerging from stillness and darkness into light and new life? Right now we have a strong impulse to emerge into the sunshine and warmth. When the weather fluctuates back and forth from cold and cloudy to warm and light, we often can experience sadness and depression. Watching how the plant kingdom handles this transition can be very helpful. When a seedling emerges suddenly into the light, it still has its roots in the warmth and darkness of the earth from which it came. There is support and nurturance from the earth as it breaks through to sudden light and the fluctuations of temperature. Essential oils that ground us combined with those that open the crown and 3rd eye chakras, as well as those with the balance of the neutral heart create the perfect Early Spring blend.

2 drops Bergamot
2 drops Rose Geranium
3 drops Sandalwood

2 drops Cedarwood
3 drops Frankincense
4 drops Rosewood

Add oils to 1 tablespoon of an organic plant oil such as sweet almond, grapeseed, apricot kernel, or jojoba. Let it "age" for 1-2 weeks, shaking every day to further blend the oils. After 1-2 weeks, apply a small amount on the bottom of each foot after bathing in the morning and before going to bed at night. Also put a little on the underside of the wrist at the crease between the wrist and hand to nourish both the lung and heart meridians. And apply a little on the 3rd eye between the eyebrows, and the limbic brain point, which is one finger width above the 3rd eye. (Be careful not to get oil into eyes.)

A wonderful, refreshing way to use essential oils is in a shower splash, as they naturally cleanse the body. First, fill a 2 ½-3-quart ceramic or glass bowl with very warm water. Add 12-20 drops of your favorite essential oils. Step in the shower and cleanse personal areas with soap. Then scrub the entire body except the face with a wet loofa, brush or sea salt to remove dead skin cells and stimulate circulation. Remember, don't use soap with the loofa or brush! Rinse and turn off water. Gently stirring the mixture with your hand, take a cupful at a time and slowly pour the mixture over the body from the neck (do not get mixture into eyes). Do the front, back, and each side at least once, leaving a little of the mixture in the bowl. Step out of the shower and pat dry. Soak a clean washcloth with the remaining mixture and squeeze out excess. Gently clean inside each nostril and then the face and neck being careful to go gently around the eyes. Finally clean each ear inside and out (the ear reflexes to the entire body).

4 drops Rosemary
3 drops Peppermint
4 drops Rose Geranium
4 drops Juniper
4 drops Spruce

3 drops Ylang Ylang
4 drops Bergamot
4 drops Sandalwood

Subtle Aromatherapy requires therapeutic-grade essential oils that are 100% pure, non-adulterated, organic and biodynamically grown when possible, and distilled with little or no heat or pressure. There are many brands of essential oils on the market these days, however few are of the quality necessary for Subtle Aromatherapy. Most have been adulterated with unnatural or inferior ingredients, and/or poor distillation methods. These oils will not produce therapeutic results and could be toxic to the body. I use essential oils from Young Living Essential Oils, Body Bliss, and other select companies.

I encourage you to read, explore, experiment and enjoy your journey with the wondrous living energies of essential oils!

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