Sunday, April 30, 2006

Massage and Aromatherapy

Another way we bypass the digestive system and get nutrients to the cells quickly is aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils extracted from herbs, flowers, resins, woods, and spices to address various physical and emotional concerns.

The therapeutic use of oils dates back thousands of years. The Bible contains more than 100 references to the use of essential oils. The two that stand out are the Magi gift to baby Jesus of frankincense and myrrh and Lazarus and Martha’s sister Mary taking a pint of very expensive spikenard to wash Jesus’ feet and anoint His head prior to His death.

The ancients used aromatics to mummify, retarding decay, and for baths and scented massages to prolong life. “Seventeenth-century French plague doctors covered themselves head-to-toe in leather and protected their faces with grotesque beaked masks. Inside the bird-like beak were aromatic herbs designed to protect the wearer from infection. It is from this strange costume that the term ‘quack’ came from.”

"The term ‘aromatherapy’ was first coined by French scientist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse. Gattefosse had been researching the cosmetic, antiseptic, and healing properties of essential oils when he severely burned his hand in a laboratory explosion. He doused the wound with undiluted lavender oil, which quickly eased the pain of his burns. His skin healed without any infection or sign of scaring.”

The limbic system is part of the central nervous system that has direct contact with the environment via our sense of smell. The hypothalamus is part of the limbic system and it is in control of emotional responses. “When the limbic system recognizes pleasant smells, such as the smell of cookies baking, it instantly triggers a bodily response of pleasure.” “Aromatic stimuli in the limbic system cause the release of neurotransmitters including pain-reducing endorphins, relaxing serotonin, and stimulating noradrenalin.” The limbic system has been described as “the seat of our sexuality, the impulse of attraction and aversion, our motivation and our moods.” It has been scientifically proven that aromas change the activity in our brains. “The smell of spiced apple has been clinically proven to reduce stress and lower blood pressure.”

“…herbs taken in their whole form have milder but more broad-ranging effects on the body, supplying not only essential oils, but also vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients, which help to build the strength of the body as a whole.” Essential oils are 50 times more potent than the original plant from which they were derived. “They have very concentrated healing properties including antimicrobial, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, stimulating and relaxing and other actions that are more profound and immediate with the use of essential oils than with their herbal counterparts.” (Quotes taken from Aromatherapy for Mind, Body and Spirit, Larissa Jones,www.essentialscience.net) Because they are so potent, to avoid overdosing they are used externally as an inhalant or topically in a base oil. They can be put in an aroma diffuser or added to steam, going through the nose passage to a special membrane where the olfactory nerves send them to the limbic system. As they are massaged into the skin they move through its layers into the interstitial fluid and into the bloodstream.

There are several ways a therapist can use essential oils to enhance a therapeutic massage. It can be diluted in a base oil like almond oil so it won’t burn and which will also improve its absorption. There are guides to connecting specific oils and reflex points along the meridians to release a specific locked up emotion. It is also extremely beneficial used directly on the reflexology points of the feet greatly intensifying the potential of that healing modality.

The list of benefits of essential oils is endless. Just for fun …frankincense is good for aging skin, wrinkles, asthma, bronchitis, calming, colds and coughs, dermatitis, diarrhea, emphysema, fear and nightmares, painful periods, respiratory congestion and infections, scars, boils and infections on skin, spiritual aid, ulcers, varicose veins, wound healing. Frankincense relaxes and deepens breathing. Myrrh is good for aging or wrinkling skin, athlete’s foot, bronchitis, colds, coughs with thick mucus, cracked, chapped or mature skin, cuts, sores, skin ulcers, bedsores, gingivitis, tooth, gum, mouth infections, sore throat/laryngitis, thrush, wound healing, spiritual disconnection, emotional confusion and fear. Frankincense and myrrh mix well together.

Even if you’re not one for burning incense, in your everyday life you are being affected by the smells of oils, herbs and perfumes in soaps, lotions and shampoos and even cleaning products provided the smell is from a natural source. Synthetic smells do not have the chi healing energy.

A very good source for essential oils and products is www.youngliving.com. They also have essential oils in their food supplements which help carry the nutrients into the cells of our body just as they perform this function in the plants they are derived from. Ask for Dr. Young's extremely informative The Missing Link audio lecture when requesting the Young Living catalogue.

It was through my researching essential oils that I came across the information I needed to understand the devastating illness I went through 12 years ago. I had what Dr. Cyril Smith of Salford Hospital in London, England called an "electronic disease." as a result of how my body responded to stress and electromagnetic waves. Here is a quote from Dr. Sabina M. DeVita's Electromagnetic Pollution.

"All life, including humans, is comprised of subtle electrical fields which control such vital functions as growth, metabolism, thought and movement. The human body, composed of ions, minerals and water, is a conductor of electrical energy and is a very effective antenna structure. the body is an intricate bio-computer system which controls and orders biological processes. The functions and responses of the human body are controlled by weak electromagnetic pulses from the brain. Billions of electrical impulses regulate the activity of every living cell, affecting the body's well-being and its ability to heal itself.

Electromagnetic fields in the atmosphere influence all our senses, our metabolic process and even the way we think. These fields can significantly interfere with and alter basic electrical functions, shut down vitality, and eventually produce disease. With prolonged or frequent exposure to these electromagnetic fields, dangerous bioeffects can occur."

Among a number of things, Dr. DeVito works with Young Living's essential oils to combat radiation. In Dr. Young's lecture he discusses the significance of the frequencies of essential oils that are "harmonious" with the body's frequencies as opposed to the "chaotic" frequencies of florescent lights, televisions, computers and cell phones which interfere with the reception and mutate the bodies cells. Some people's serotonin and dopamine levels drop causing a state of depression. I lost the minerals in my body which led to the glands not being able to do their job producing and secreting the critical chemistry of the body so it can function. It was very painful because the way the body works is to pull in the chaotic electrical counterpart to replace what is missing. My condition was so rare it does not have a name. Other conditions that they are therorizing could also come under the heading of electronic diseases are AIDS, autism, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Alzheimers disease, Parkinson's disease and chronic fatigue syndrome and all the others for which the cause remains a mystery. Dr. Young firmly believes that God provided for this electronic age everything we would need to heal ourselves. He has had extraordinary success healing tumors with essential oils.
(Note: quotes are taken from Aromatherapy for Body, Mind, and Spirit, Larissa Jones)

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