Some people have said they had little or no success with aromatherapy. In every case, I discovered they were using either an inferior grade oil, or an inadequate or inappropriate application.
Mixing several drops of a well-chosen therapeutic oil in a carrier oil (almond, jojoba, wheat germ or similar oils) will enhance a relaxing massage, and is a way of spreading the oil over the skin through which they enter the blood stream to do their particular 'magic.' For children three drops in a tablespoon of carrier oil rubbed over the whole body will protect them from viruses and flus. Grapefruit oil rubbed on the thighs will dissolve cellulite.
Likewise, diffusing oils over a period of time will allow the volatile components to enter via the olfactory nerves from where they enter the blood resulting in many benefits. In more primitive times, the sense of smell was of great importance for survival: detecting the approach of an enemy, discovering food or water and no doubt, as with most life forms, reproduction.
It has also been researched that memory and smell are tied together thus opening up a whole area of Essential Oil Therapy that deals with the healing of trauma and mental emotional discomfort. In these situations, it is of great benefit to use visualization and affirmation with specific oils to anchor the desired results in the subconscious.
In diffusing oils, it is best to use little or no heat so the subtle essences aren't dissipated too rapidly. Though there are some very aesthetically pleasing, low heat, ceramic diffusers available, the area covered is fairly immediate. These diffusers are best used along side the bed, tub or a place you intend to stay for awhile.
To diffuse a large area, I use a vaporizer which will blow the scent and volatile components everywhere. Be aware that the greatest benefit is probably enjoyed in the first fifteen minutes to an hour, before the body and mind begin to accept it as background. Either turn off the diffuser when you no longer can detect a scent, or change to a different oil to derive other benefits.
Essential Oils can also be applied neat, or undiluted, to specific areas of concern such as two or three drops of Basil Oil for muscle spasm, Rosemary for headaches, Helichrysum for hearing loss, Lavender for burns, etc.
One oil I find myself especially attracted to is Frankincense. Frankincense has been called the "holy oil." Frankincense was treasured by kings and Pharaohs as more valuable than gold. Indeed, the three magician- kings considered Frankincense, Myrrh and gold equal in their gift giving to the Christ Child, as it is stimulating to the pineal and pituitary glands. In addition to enhancing spiritual awareness, Frankincense is rich in monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes which are antiviral, antibacterial, antitumoral and much more.
Given the fast assimilation of Essential Oils through the skin, it is of great benefit to apply them neat to the reflexology points of the feet, hands or outer ears. A couple of drops of Peppermint Oil on the feet alleviates car sickness or upset stomach.
All the oils mentioned above can be applied with equal effectiveness to any of the appropriate reflexology points. In a final analysis, there is no wrong place to put the oils. Anywhere will have a positive effect. Applied specifically to an area of concern, or on the reflexology points of the feet, hands or outer ear may be more dynamic.
All the books and aromatherapists agree: Do not ingest essential oils. They can irritate the stomach lining. However, I have been told by those who have studied in Europe that certain oils are ingested. I know one famous Hollywood actor who puts one drop of high quality Lavender Oil on his tongue at the beginning of each day and says he hasn't been sick in years. Maybe his constitution is such that he would not have gotten sick anyway. And maybe his stomach lining is stronger that average.
I do know that two drops of Grapefruit Oil mixed in a glass of water will knock out a sore throat. A drop or two of Peppermint Oil in water will settle stomach discomfort. One drop of Birch Oil (Wintergreen) rubbed on each tooth will strengthen the enamel. While one drop of the blend called Thieves on your toothbrush in the morning will prevent or reverse infection of the gums and diminish plaque build up. It has also been reported that three drops of Clary Sage stirred in a glass of honey water has a similar effect to a glass of champagne. (Note Well: never drink clary sage and alcohol together as it will induce sleep and the worst hangover imaginable.)
Essential Oils can be used in hot or cold compresses, salves, suppositories, therapeutic hip baths (sitz), saunas, water purification, steaming water for towel-over-the-head inhalation, gargles, mouthwashes, scenting clothing, sachets, potpourris and cosmetics. (There are many good books describing many excellent recipes.)
Often a single oil will be sufficient. If you desire to use more than one oil, it is called 'layering' (rubbing one oil on top of the other ending with a carrier oil to help the oils go deeper). When you mix two or more oils before applying, it is called a 'blend.' Blending oils effectively requires skill and a profound understanding of each chemical and botanical family and how they interact.
I have tried blends from different companies and individual aromatherapists. Some are outstanding and some just didn't seem to work for me. Consequently, as I mentioned in my last article, I feel fortunate to have discovered a mail order company called Young Living Essential Oils. This company is set up as an MLM (multi-level marketing) and you can purchases as few or as many and as often as you like. Their oils are organically grown from seed and their control over distillation guarantees production of some of the highest quality oils available. Without a doubt, their blends are outstanding.
Young Living Essential Oil Blends I Like
The blend Valor has been called "chiropractor in a bottle" and should be in the hands of any one who does body work. One drop on the finger tip pressed against a misaligned vertebra allows that vertebra to realign without much effort. In assisting the individual to stand straighter, needless to say, it imparts a feeling of self-confidence and hence the name Valor is well earned. When applied properly to scoliosis, it will kill the virus that resides in the inflamed tissue around the vertebra thus allowing the spine to straighten.
The blend Peace and Calming is outstanding for assisting parents with hard to manage children, either Attention Deficit Disorder extreme or just end-of-the-day rowdiness. I know one adult who can't wait to try it on her hard-to-handle parents. It also has been known to assist some people to kick their addiction and minimize their desperate need to escape. Another friend used it on her husband who no longer disturbs her sleep with his loud snoring.
Clarity gives mental alertness. Purification removes odors, bacteria, mold and fungus, neutralizes mildew and is a good insect repellent. Di-tone for digestion, bloating, heartburn and morning sickness. Gentle Baby for expectant mothers. Dream Catcher, Grounding, Immupower, Sacred Mountain, Pane Away and every other blend I or my family have tried, I can vouch for. They work. They're great. They are wonderful to work with. And who can be without Joy? Joy brings back memories of being loved, being held and developing the all-important self-love. It's a wonderful perfume and it's a wonderful gift to give.
In reading about Essential Oils, I discovered that Abundance works because it expands the magnetic field by stimulating the somatides. It is a simple truth that when you feel expansive, expansive things happen. I use it alternately with Valor, as it too strengthens the spine. If you have to paint your home or office, it is suggested that you add a 15ml. bottle to 5 gallons of paint to remove paint fumes and as yet another way to bring greater prosperity into your life.
Quality Of Oils Is Essential
Even more important than where you put the oil is the importance of quality. Quality oils are those oils which are rich in chemical make up. Given the volatile nature of Essential Oils, quality can be easily compromised. It is important to store oils in dark bottles out of direct sun. It is important to know your source. The best oils are organically grown and distilled at the lowest temperature and pressure. Unfortunately, most oils sold in health food stores are diluted in carrier oils to keep the price low. Even worse some are diluted with other ingredients such as alcohol. If you like a particular brand or item, call the company and ask for the gas chromographics of that oil.
Dont Mess With The FDA
Furthermore, it is illegal to prescribe or diagnose for any medical condition. As with most alternative healing modalities, it is appropriate to phrase your recommendation with words like, "it has been said," "this may help," or, "this oil has been known to support the ____."
It is important to use oils sparingly at first, as too much too soon can lead to uncomfortable detoxification. If you get oils in the eyes or if they irritate the skin, DO NOT USE WATER TO DILUTE. Water intensifies the action of the oils. Always use a carrier oil to dilute. Extra caution should be applied during pregnancy, with babies, the elderly, and with anyone suffering from a nerve disorder such as epilepsy.
[Medical Disclaimer: For legal reasons essential oils are not being recommended as a treatment for any illness. It is recommended that you follow your doctor's advice.]