Sunday, December 5, 2010
Anointing and Love
By Allison Stillman
Anointing with essential oils has been used in ritual and ceremony for thousands of years, with one of the most widely known rites being the art of perfuming as an attractant for love. While most everyone today is familiar with the use of perfume and cologne as a tool for attracting a mate, most people don't know that essential oils were the original form of perfume.
The word perfume comes from the Latin phrase "per" meaning through, and "fumus" meaning smoke. The original form of perfume was actually incense and has been traced back over 4,000 years to the use by Mesopotamians, who used resins and woods to burn in their religious ceremonies. Often, they would soak the resins and woods in water and then anoint themselves by rubbing the fragrant water over their bodies.
The Egyptians were quite fastidious in caring for the body and used oils extensively to anoint their bodies and surrounded themselves with aromatic oils in elaborate containers. Their use of fragrant oils dates back more than 3,000 years and it was during this lavish period that essential oils made their greatest surge into everyday use for the wealthy, royal and priest class.
Perhaps most famous of all Egyptian rulers was Cleopatra, who was well versed in the power of scent and equally lavish in her use of perfume. It was said that she perfumed the sails of her barge and burned incense so that clouds of perfume would announce her arrival, long before her barge came into view. Cleopatra was also reputed to have used oils to perfume herself whenever she would meet a potential lover.
The oils that have been used for thousands of years in the art of perfuming were chosen for their powerful abilities to attract love, with the predominant oil being rose essential oil (Rosa centifolia or Rosa damascena). For centuries, rose has been the traditional flower and symbol of love and is known for its ability to increase love in one's life. Although rose is one of the more expensive essential oils on the market today, its price is reasonable. It takes 60,000 hand picked rose blossoms to make one ounce of essential oil. Thank heavens rose is such an evocative oil as it only takes a few drops to anoint the heart and perfume the soul.
Anointing the heart with essential oils is an incredible ritual to open our hearts and minds to more love in our lives, and if we begin each day centered in the heart of love, life is bound to respond by bringing more and more love to us in each and every moment.
Excerpt: Anointing the heart with rose essential oil is a time tested ritual to invoke more love into our lives.
Allison Stillman is a renowned aromatic alchemist, author and an expert on the historical use of essential oils in religious and spiritual ceremonies. Her book, The Sacred Art of Anointing is a result of her 30 years of research and practical experience with essential oils and anointing. She travels the world anointing and sharing her love and knowledge through workshops and private sessions, and has been featured in the books, More Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Soul by Arielle Ford, and Insights from the Coffeehouse by Jonathon Collins. To find out more: www.romancingthedivine.com or visit her on Facebook
Click here to purchase Allison's NAHA tele-conference presentation recording: Alchemy of Anointing.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Featured Aromatherapy Article
Contributed by; Barb Greenwood
Aromatherapy and Weight Control
Using Essential Oils to Support Weight Loss
The use of essential oils in aromatherapy can be effective in supporting the weight loss process.
Every diet and weight loss book, website and guru tries to offer something new to the debate about how to lose weight. The weight-loss industry is a fast-growing, multi-billion dollar industry and shows no sign of slowing down. For decades there has been an assortment of outlandish and unhealthy fad diets circulating - the Cabbage Soup Diet, the Grapefruit Diet, the Brussels Sprouts Diet, even the Tape Worm Diet - but the fact remains that the most sensible way to lose weight is to watch what you eat and get regular exercise.
Individuality and Weight Loss
Every body is different and the amount of weight gained or lost will depend on such things as an individual's metabolism rate, their genetics, their ability to exercise and their overall health.
Essential Oils and Weight Loss
Essential oils by themselves will not induce weight loss but they can help to support and be a comfort through a change to a healthy lifestyle. Essential oils, such as grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), can be used as a diuretic and a digestive stimulant. Others, like lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), are anti-inflammatory, which can help to reduce inflammation caused by exercise, and lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), which can aid with circulation. It is commonly believed that both peppermint (Mentha piperita) and pink grapefruit essential oil can help to reduce food cravings and suppress the appetite. Grapefruit is sometimes referred to as "the dieter's friend."
Essential Oils to Support Lifestyle Changes
Following are ten essential oils that are often used to support lifestyle changes such as increased exercise, reduced calorie intake and stress reduction. Each essential oil is chosen for its valuable properties:
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) essential oil is analgesic, anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory, helping to uplift the spirit and reduce inflammation.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgaris) essential oil is a detoxifier, diuretic and stimulant.
Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) essential oil is a detoxifier, digestive stimulant, emotional stimulant, and diuretic.
Juniper (Juniperus communis) essential oil is a detoxifier, diuretic, and works well to reduce cellulite.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is an analgesic, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, balancing and calming essential oil.
Lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil is anti-bacterial and anti-depressant.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) essential oil is an antioxidant, digestive tonic and it is used to energize and stimulate circulation.
Orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil is anti-depressant, lymph stimulating, tonic and uplifting. It is thought to eliminate toxins.
Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara) essential oil is an antidepressant and a sedative. It is also known to help with insomnia and nervous exhaustion.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) essential oil is an analgesic and diuretic.
Use the essential oils singly or blend them together. Try them (diluted in bath salts or a tsp. of honey) in a bath, in an aromatherapy diffuser or add them to a carrier oil and use in a massage.
Holistic Health News, "Stop Your Sweet Cravings Fast with Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil".
WellSphere, "Essential Tip of the Week- Curbing Cravings". www.wellsphere.com
Worwood, Valerie Ann. 1990. "The Fragrant Pharmacy"
Barb Greenwood hails from England where she worked in Special Needs Health Care. Already a Registered Massage Therapist, she became Certified in Aromatherapy in 1990. In 1992 Barb moved to Canada, where the idea of her own essential oil import/export business was conceived. Today, Barb is the creative head of a dynamic and forward thinking company, Green Valley Aromatherapy, which enjoys the highest reputation for quality of products and integrity in business. Her attention to detail has ensured consistent, best quality products and ethical business dealings. Barb's wealth of aromatherapy knowledge is the backbone of Green Valley Aromatherapy. She continues to update her knowledge of aromatherapy and maintains an active membership in the BC Association of Practicing Aromatherapists (BCAPA) and the BC Association of Aromatherapy (BCAOA). Barb is a Registered Massaged Therapist (RMT), Registered Aromatherapist (RA®), and an Essential Oil Therapist - EOT™.
Click here to Read more at Suite101
November 2010 Reprinted with Author's permission.
More Information of Essences and Weight Loss from NAHA Director, George Cox
If considering using essential oils to stop food cravings, I have a suggestion, based on studies and experience:
Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, MD a neurologist and Researchers at the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, IL conducted a six month clinical trial using a blend of Peppermint (Mentha piperita) and green apple and banana fragrance. In this trial participants were told to not change their dietary or exercise habits. At the end of the trial, people had lost on average just nearly 5lbs. each month.
I used to do aromatherapy for bariatric unit for the Skilled Nursing Facility in Andover, Ohio that was featured on Discovery Health television several times. The clients I worked with there had seen an article in Fitness Magazine (November 2004) and asked me to duplicate it for them. We had a reasonable amount of success with it for those who used it regularly. Of course we also had the people who put it into a drawer and then complained that it didn't work. Most of those were also the people who said they weren't addicted to food, it "just got away from them". In case you aren't familiar with that facility, the average admission weight was just over 575 lbs.
Here is the website link for the weight loss research:
Click here to learn more about George Cox
Friday, October 15, 2010
Featured Aromatherapy Article
Contributed by; Cathy-Anne Gins
The Pleasure Factor
When good advice is not enough
As a practitioner of several therapeutic modalities I am often asked by my clients to recommend a practice they can do on their own to maintain their sense of well-being between sessions or to manage various symptoms (mostly stress) during their hectic day. Being in constant search of such practices myself, I have learned first hand that the best and most effective practice is the one you will actually do! Over the years I have tried and failed to follow some great advice (like meditate and do yoga) and have discovered that all of the practices I actually do on a regular basis have one thing in common...pleasure!
Pleasure is an antidote to "do it because it's good for you"
This tired and dry incentive produces more guilt than results. I must confess (and I know that I am not the only one) that I am more inspired by pleasure than discipline. What gets me to the gym regularly are the personable and inspiring teachers who play great music. Eating healthier foods is truly tempting when they're prepared using delicious recipes.
Too good to be true?
When I first discovered natural essential oils with their beautiful aromas I could hardly believe they were also "good for you"! The many benefits combined with their natural "pleasure factor" made aromatherapy an ideal practice for me and many of my clients. Mother Nature in her infinite creativity has provided many beautiful aromas with similar benefits. This allows an individual a personal choice of pleasure factors with which to nurture themselves.
Measuring the pleasure factor
Will a pretty pen write more beautiful words? Will a stylish sweater keep you warmer? Will a beautiful tea cup make the tea taste better? Will a delightful aroma make essential oils more therapeutic? Will a beautiful piece of scent diffusing jewelry increase the practice of self care using essential oils? For those who are already fully engaged in the practice of self care using essential oils or other modalities, the "pleasure factor" may not make a measurable difference. For the rest of us who need some encouragement, I say yes, absolutely! What's more, there are those who testify to the power of pleasure as a therapeutic modality in itself, relieving stress and setting our mind and body on the path to restoration. It's sometimes prescribed as "lightening up"! Now there is a practice we all can enjoy!
Fortunately, you don't need a lot of essential oil to have a positive impact on your well-being, and carrying some with you to address on-the-spot needs is something that has been done since ancient times. Back then, when oils were more precious than gold, only the nobility could afford them and they would commission the finest artisans to fashion magnificent ornamental essence containers to wear or carry with them. The design of these ritual objects was as beautiful and uplifting as their contents, adding a dimension of pleasure even when not in use. Since our culture has lost sight of the power of beauty in this last century of technological advances, in creating the AROMAWEAR collection of scent diffusing jewelry and accessories, I reached back to the 18th and 19th centuries, a time when elegance and utility were happily married, for inspiration. See some historical pieces at http://www.aromawear.com/discover.htm
Favorite fragrant traveling companions
Aromawear is versatile inside and out. Its classic designs make it fashionable with any style wardrobe and you can use the custom wick case system to carry interchangeable wicks infused with your personal arsenal of oils to support your changing needs throughout the day. The Royal Locket II provides ongoing diffusion. I regularly use lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) straight or in a blend for stress; a blend of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) and peppermint (Mentha piperita) for focus, blends with sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) and ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) for mood enhancement, and blends with patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) and vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides) for grounding. To protect myself from airborne germs during flu season or when I am traveling in close quarters I always use a "Thieves" type recipe including rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) clove (Eugenia caryophyllata), cinnamon (Cinnamomun zeylanicum), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) and lemon (Citrus limon) and shorten the length of the locket so that it is worn as close to my nose and mouth as possible. I do the same for respiratory congestion using a blend that includes eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), and pine (Pinus sylvestris).
While ambient aromas created by ongoing diffusion can create a fragrant and therapeutic environment, there are times when I use oils intermittently to address specific symptoms. For this application I will insert an oil infused wick into The Secret Locket whose diffusion is further controlled by opening and closing the cover. This "on-demand" design is perfect to fill with a stimulating oil if you are about to attend a boring event; a calming oil if you might encounter a stressful situation; a respiratory oil if you have a cold, etc., and you need only open the cover to inhale your desired dose. As we never know what life has in store for us, I always carry an assortment of oiled wicks with me in their individual wick cases so I can meet any challenge with the support of my essential oils. They are my favorite traveling companions.
Cathy-Anne Gins, Founder and Designer of Aromawear is active in both the healing and fine arts. A practitioner of Therapeutic Touch, ReConnection Healing and Aromatherapy, she is a Professor of Jewelry Design at the New York Fashion Institute of Technology. Formerly the Global Design Director of Avon Jewelry and Accessories and Vice-president of the Monet Jewelry Group, she continues to develop products that empower individuals to manage their well-being.
To learn more about Cathy visit her website at www.aromawear.com
Click here to visit Cathy's Blog and videos.
Click here to purchase Cathy's NAHA tele-conference presentation recording: The Benefits of Aromatherapy Jewelry and How to Make Your Own.
Would you like to be a contributing author for a future NAHA E-news article? If so, click here for Writer's Guidelines
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Featured Aromatherapy Article
Contributed by; Kayla Fioravanti, RA
Bedbugs and Dust mites....Aromatherapy to the Rescue
When I was first introduced to aromatherapy, I studied every single aromatherapy book I could get my hands on at the public library. In one of those many books I stumbled upon information about bed bugs and dust mites. The entire topic caught my attention. First, because bugs are just gross, but also because of my dust allergies and skin sensitivities.
One of the top selling products I created in our aromatherapy party plan business years ago was Bed Bug Spray. My recipe was super simple, but I couldn't make enough of it. Most people bought it because of the initial fear value of the possibility of creepy crawlies being in bed with you, but they continued buying it because it helped them sleep, reduced their allergies and they never got bed bug bites when they travelled.
I never travel without Bed Bug Spray and my kids use it faithfully as part of their night time ritual. Recently, bed bugs have been all over the news as an epidemic. They are being found in even the nicest of hotels and retail establishments. Lavender is the answer to both dust mites and bed bug problems.
DIY Kit Bed Bug Spray Recipe
1/2 gallon Essential Wholesale Body Linen Spray
1 Tbsp Neem Extract
1 Tbsp Lavender (Lavender angustifolia)
1 Tbsp Lavender Distillate
1 Tbsp Polysorbate 20*
Directions: Mix lavender essential oil and polysorbate 20 together thoroughly in a separate container. Mix together Body Linen Spray, neem extract and lavender distillate and then add the combination of lavender essential oil and polysorbate 20Mix together thoroughly and package in bottles with spray tops.
EW Body Linen Spray is a preserved water based formula. If you would prefer to work from scratch replace with de-ionized water and an appropriate preservative system.
From Scratch Bed Bug Spray Recipe
42 ounces De-ionized Water
20 ounces Neem Extract or Lavender Extract
.64 ounces Lavender (Lavender angustifolia)
1 ounce Lavender Distillate
.64 ounces Polysorbate 20*
Directions: Mix lavender essential oil and polysorbate 20 together thoroughly in a separate container. Mix together water, extract and lavender distillate and then add combination of lavender essential oil and polysorbate 20. Mix together thoroughly and package in bottles with spray top.
*Made from lauric acid (olive oil source) connected to a sugar (sorbitol) this compound is then ethoxylated (grain based alcohol) to make it water dispersible. Click here to learn more
Editors Note: To learn more about bed bugs visit these weblinks which include information about the use of Eucalyptus with bed bugs
Link to Eucalyptus research study
Kayla Fioravanti is Vice President, Chief Formulator, ARC Registered Aromatherapist and Co-Founder of Essential Wholesale and Essential Labs. She has lived around the world, from the US, to Japan, Ireland, Germany and lots of places in between. She received a Bachelor's degree in psychology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She and her husband, Dennis have 3 children. They started making aromatherapy products in their kitchen back in 1998 when their son had a stubborn case of ring worm. After trying every over-the-counter ointment and even some prescriptions, Kayla finally looked into the natural way of healing with essential oils. The results were outstanding and healing took place quickly. Kayla was so fascinated that she spent the next several years researching natural cosmetic formulating, while studying to becoming a certified Aromatherapist. Contact Kayla at www.essentialwholesale.com or visit Essential U Blog
Click here to purchase Kayla's NAHA tele-conference presentation recording: Create Simple and Effective Bases for Your Aromatherapy Blends.
Would you like to be a contributing author for a future NAHA E-news article? If so, click here for Writer's Guidelines
Monday, August 30, 2010
Contributed by Candice Covington
Expanding Your Anointing Practice
This mini-article is a follow up to the NAHA Subtle Aromatherapy issue (2010.1) article Amulets and Oils-in which the concept of a personal anointing practice is introduced where one could either anoint energy centers in the body (specifically chakral) or amulets that vibrate to different elemental energies that in turn effect the doshas. A list of exotic essential oils were offered at that time. This follow up article is intended to introduce more commonly used essential oils to expand and enrich that practice. If more in-depth information is required please see the before mentioned Journal's back issue.
Following is a quick guide to the key, in reading the profiles:
Key) Vata = V. Pitta = P. Kapha = K. - Diminishes. + Increases.
Ginger Zingiber officinalis
Dosha effect: V K-, P +
Elements: Fire, seed of, Earth.
Stimulates the: 1st and 3rd chakra.
Energy: A hero's energy, strong and brave, use to stay in process in difficult situations.
Cautions: Not for use with high pitta conditions, fever or inflammatory skin diseases.
Juniper Berry Juniperus communis
Dosha effect: K V -, P +, (V+ if used in excess).
Elements: Ether, seed of, Fire.
Stimulates the: 3rd and 5th chakra.
Energy: Cleansing, healing, clear sight, profundity, internal teacher.
Cautions: Not for use with kidney infections or during pregnancy.
Lavender Lavendula officinalis
Dosha effect: P K -, (V + if used in excess).
Stimulates the: 5th chakra.
Energy: An elevated nature, the divine, expansion, truth, purity, detachment, peace.
Cautions: Safe for most every one.
Jasmine Jasmimum grandiflorum
Dosha effect: P-, K+, (V + if used in excess).
Stimulates the: 2nd chakra.
Energy: Emotional disturbance, frigidity, anxiety, lack of confidence, celebratory.
Cautions: Can be sensitizing to some.
Lime Citrus aurantifolia
Dosha effect: P K -, V +
Stimulates the: 4th chakra.
Energy: Refreshing, cooling, invigorating, new awareness, aids in shifts, movement, joy.
Cautions: Not for high vata conditions, phototoxic.
The above profiles offer access to all of the 5 Great Elements (Tattvas):
Ether, Juniper Berry and Lavender.
Fire: Ginger and Juniper Berry.
The energy in the profiles listed above resonate with the essential oil's specific vibration, after one takes that into account, one should factor in the actual energy of each element. If the essential oil is a mix of several elements, one should read both profiles:
Ether (skt. Akasha)
Promotes detachment, expansion, opens one to spiritual gifts and pure expression
Air (skt. Vayu)
Facilitates positive change, flexibility, directs consciousness and fosters forgiveness
Fire (skt. Agni)
Initiate projects, passion, enthusiasm, warmth, intelligence and divine masculine
Water (skt. Apas)
Access to the subconscious, dreams, emotions, purification & divine feminine
Earth (skt. Prithvi)
Stability, security, being grounded, family lineage, DNA healing and abundance
The Rig Veda, a root text for Ayurveda, offers a hymn to The Healing Plants "that a wise man" would invoke before ritual plant use:
The tawny plants were born in the ancient times, three ages before the gods; now I will meditate upon their hundred and seven forms...You who have a hundred ways of working, make this man [woman] whole for me. (10.97 1-2)
My wish for all who enter into this practice of using essential oils to affect the whole of Self: that the plants indeed "will make this man [woman] whole." May it be in a healing practice you facilitate or as a healer unto thy Self-to perfecting the whole of Self!
Candice Covington is a certified Aromatherapist (ACHS), body and energy worker, and a long-time student of ancient alchemical systems. She travels the world seeking knowledge to inform and enrich the Divine Archetypes product lines. She is a former instructor for Ashmead College in Advanced Spa Modalities (including Ayurvedic) and Aromatherapy and currently performs Pancha karma at The Chopra Center for Well Being.
For more information on Divine Archetypes and the Tattvas Esoteric Essential Oil Collection (a system designed for work with karmic, elemental, chakral and personal dosha arrangements through the lens of The 5 Great Elements), and how one can use these to Consciously Craft Self™, please visit her website, www.divinearchetypes.com
Contributed by; Joni Keim
(Excerpts from the NAHA Journal Spring 2001 Vol. 11 Number 1)
Summertime is a glorious time of year. The weather is hot and the days are long; a perfect setting for being with friends and enjoying life. Aromatherapy, the use of essential oils extracted from aromatic plants, enhances the rapture of summer with its ability to capture our senses as well as comfort the afflictions of the season.
Staying Cool in the Heat:
The higher temperatures of the summer season are uncomfortable for many people, especially those whose personal cooling system (perspiration) doesn't function well. Water is the key to staying cool in warm weather, both internally and externally. Drink plenty of water to prevent becoming dehydrated and use water on your body to help dissipate the heat.
Combining water with essential oils provides an oasis of refreshment, perfect for baths and body misting. When the heat has you feeling weary, step in a bath of cool to tepid water, add essential oils -- three drops Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), three drops Lemon (Citrus limonum) and two drops Peppermint (Mentha piperita) -- swirling them around you. Sip a glass of water and put a cool, wet, folded washcloth on your forehead. Take a deep breath and feel revitalized.
If a bath is not available or you are in inescapable heat such as driving on the freeway or sitting at your desk at work, use a body mister. Fill an eight ounce spray bottle with three drops of Peppermint, shake well and mist over your neck, shoulders, arms and legs. Avoid getting the mist into your eyes. Try misting and then standing in front of a fan. It will feel as welcome as an ocean breeze!
Cooling Your Environment
Experience the essence of cool in your home, room, or office with a diffuser and 'cooling' essential oils. Though they will not reduce the temperature, they do create an atmosphere that lifts your spirits and invigorates when too much heat is weighing you down. Diffusers are available in different models designed to disperse the fragrance of essential oils into the air. No home should be without one!
Cooling Citrus-Mint for Diffusing
20 drops Lemon (Citrus limonum)
15 drops Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
10 drops Lavender (Lavendula vera)
5 drops Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
Mix together well and store in a dark glass bottle. Use in your diffuser according to manufacturer's instructions.
Refreshing Citrus for Diffusing
25 drops Orange (Citrus aurantium)
10 drops Lemon (Citrus limonum)
10 drops Lime (Citrus aurantifoia)
5 drops Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Mix together well and store in dark glass bottle. Use in your diffuser according to manufacturer's instructions.
Cooling Hot and Tired Feet
A foot bath laced with essential oils is the perfect solution to summertime feet that are hot and tired. You will notice that when you tend to your feet, your whole body feels better, and your spirits are uplifted!
Relieving Foot Bath
Fill a bowl or small tub, deep enough to fully immerse your feet, with cool water. Add three drops of Lemon (Citrus limonum), one drop of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), one drop of Lavender (Lavendula vera), and one drop of Peppermint (Mentha piperita). Stir briskly, and then immerse your feet for ten minutes.
Cooling Citrus Foot Bath
Fill a bowl or small tub, deep enough to fully immerse your feet, with cool water. Add three drops of Lemon (Citrus limonum), two drops of Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), and one drop of Peppermint (Mentha pipertia). Stir briskly, and then immerse your feet for ten minutes.
Note: To fully disperse the essential oils in the water, dilute by adding them to a tablespoon of vodka fist, then stir this into the water. The alcohol has the added benefit of adding a 'cooling sensation' to the bath. This type of alcohol is not drying to the skin, especially when diluted in water.
Spirit of Summer Blend
The intensity of summer reminds us of our potential. It embodies endless energy and inspires us to take action and achieve our goals. The following blend is a representation of the spirit and essence of summer. Enjoy in a diffuser, wear as a perfume, or simply sniff from the bottle.
10 drops Orange (Citrus aurantium)
8 drops Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
5 drops Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
2 drops Litsea (Litsea cubeba)
1 drop Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Note: For a perfume add five drops of essential oil blend in one teaspoon of jojoba. Because it contains citrus oils, which can cause phototoxicity, do not apply to the skin before being exposed to the sun.
Check out one of Joni's books available for sale on the NAHA Online Bookstore.
Joni Keim has worked in the alternative health field for over twenty years as an educator, practitioner, consultant, and author (5 books). She has certificates in aromatherapy, holistic health sciences, and energy healing. Joni is a technical advisor, copy writer, and educator in the natural products industry and professional aromatherapy field and can be reached through her website www.joniconsulting.com or email her at email@example.com
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Contributed by; David Crow, L.Ac.
A Poetic Tribute to A Beloved Aromatic Plant-Lavender
Like serpentine waves of color undulating across the continents, the lilac hues of lavender farms weave together all that is good about us humans. For love of beauty people flock to the cascading purple terraces of Provence, New Zealand, Himachal Pradesh, California, drawn like the bees climbing through their miniature labyrinthine worlds of ultraviolet scent. Because there still lives, somewhere in our heart and soul where the artificialities of modernity are not allowed, an innate indescribable love for nature's tender expressions, the soft voice of lavender's gentle spirit is universally understood. Because there still abides beneath our hardened, agitated, aggressive, restless madness an inescapable vulnerability to the feminine power of the earth's compassion, lavender's soothing touch transcends our painful imagined differences, bonding us together again in the simple child-like truth that we all suffer and need comfort.
Open a bottle of fine lavender oil, as if you were one of those who feel reverence because it has cured them of sorrows in ways that science could not do. Bring it slowly to your nostrils, for inside lies more than you ever realized. Can you perceive the fresh notes of rain, dewy transparent pearls rolling off silken petal and leathery leaf? Draw your attention further inward: there await rich earthen notes of loamy fertile soil or mineral notes of harsh wild landscapes. It is easy to get lost in the smell of purples, the sweet aquamarine notes of fruit and flower so distinct yet so indescribable, but anyone can do that. Do you sense the pungency, the soft sharpness of sunrays, the fiery acrid heat of Mediterranean summer days? How can you not notice the cool air of evening that settles on the flowing contours of color at dusk, changing the heliotrope undertones to fuschia then magenta then indigo as the plants exhale their purifying breath into the night sky?
But wait, there's more...that was only the terrain the oil came from. What has created this wonder, this sublime artistic expression like a fragrant Impressionist painting from a palette of wind, water, earth and fire? What intelligence, what evolutionary force, what biological necessity, what inborn instinct, what genetic genius, what devic magic has mixed and melded and separated and compounded and purified and refined this alchemical gem, this elixir of healing, this infinitely valuable aromatic talisman of protection? Can we name it, or should its name not be spoken, so profound a mystery it represents? More importantly, can we smell it? We must, for its presence now permeates the cavities of the sinuses, aroma molecules now vie for receptor sites, receptor sites now fire in unison, enzymes cascade in torrents of information converting the sheer pranic power of this supreme presence into holographic neural networks. In an instant, something that did not exist a moment ago is now manifest; the fragrance of lavender within our own unique private universe of perception.
Rest a moment and breathe; new revelations will appear. Notice how this apparently simple essential oil has, in its profound botanical wisdom and primal spirituality, covertly carried the nutrient life force of the earth, the soothing cooling touch of water, the energizing rays of sun, and the uplifting breath of air directly into the deepest recesses of our brains, our hearts, our mind.
Notice its effects.
Are the sinews not softer, the nerves somehow more translucent, the joints younger? Are the pains of unconscious habitual contractions and chronic irritation of smoldering inflammation not receding? Is the chest not more open, the breath smoother, and the heartbeat steadier?
Notice also the effect on the intangible parts of our being. Is the mind not more clear, the mood more elevated? Can you not feel the somber cloud of collective despair and frustration, so closely entwined with the empathic fibers of our being that we can no longer perceive its weight, lifting, in its place a simple joy that needs no cause to arise?
Give thanks. Thanks to the compassionate plant that heals a multitude of ailments without causing harm, to the ancient intelligence that enlivens it, to the soil that nourished it, to the water that moistened it, to the air that it breathed, the sun that awoke it from slumber. Give thanks to the men and women who labor with love tending their precious children until mature, and then tending them more. Give thanks to the sacred alchemical arts and sciences of distilling the essence of these beneficent beings, and the lineages of teaching and knowledge that have brought us this precious blessing in humanity's hour of need.
The complete article 'A Poetic Tribute to Beloved Aromatic Plants' will appear in a future NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.
Click here to purchase David's NAHA tele-conference presentation:
Essential Oils as Pranic Intelligance.
To learn more about David Crow please visit his website at www.floracopeia.com
Monday, June 7, 2010
Endangered plants: a matter of ethics and the buyer beware
Shellie Enteen, BA, RA, LMT
In "The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy" by Salvatore Battaglia, membership in a professional organization is listed as an essential part of being an Aromatherapist. I highly suggest this type of membership to my Professional Level students and in Level II, they are required to prepare a written report about an article that appears in an Aromatherapy publication. My reason goes further than having a credential to list on a business card or getting some interesting information from a one time glance at a magazine. The truth is, no matter how wonderful a book may be, it contains only the information between its covers. The best way to stay in touch with what is happening in the field and find out about current research or important issues is to belong to an organization that provides this kind of up to the minute information through journals, newsletter and teleconferences.
If I weren't a member of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy it could have taken me a very long time to find out about the endangered plant situation and how that is affecting essential oils. Even if I did hear about it, I might have been relying on someone who sells essential oils for their take on it and they would be relying on their suppliers in countries they may never have visited to give them the true picture. As with most things, the most objective viewpoint will come from those with no vested interest.
The issue of how to find good sources for quality, unadulterated essential oils in general when there is no government legislation has been discussed in earlier columns. But I have the unhappy duty to tell you that at this time, two of the favorite essential oils for both the Aromatherapy and the perfume industry are endangered. They are Frankincense (Boswellia carteri), and Sandalwood (Santalum album). For an Aromatherapist, this amounts to a tragedy. It is their very popularity, their incomparable and irreplaceable properties on all levels and their historic application to the spiritual area as well that has caused over harvesting and exploitation to the point of extinction. Other endangered essential oil producing plants include Rosewood (Aniba roseodora) and Agarwood or Aloewood (Aqullaria malaccensis). These latter essences are less widely known although Rosewood is used in perfume, cosmetic and fragrance products and aromatherapy while Agarwood is one of the main essences in the Ayurvedic energetic healing tradition. Sandalwood, rosewood and agarwood trees must be felled to extract essential oil from the heartwood. Frankincense is a resin that is expressed by the tree, but overharvesting this weakens the tree and causes disease and death.
What this means to the aromatherapist is that the likelihood of finding unadulterated essential oils for any of these wonderful aromatic compounds is slim to none. The price will be high. And the ethics of supporting unsustainable harvesting methods and even, in the case of agarwood, an illegal trade that resembles drug or gun running (complete with cutthroat gangs, prostitutes and the like) is something we must each address as individuals. Suppliers may tell the well intended wholesale commercial buyer that the oils are being sustainably grown but without a visit to the actual place of harvest and distillation, these claims are hard to prove. Some propose that the essential oil of a similar plant, such as Australian Sandalwood, or even the same plant grown in a different locale, can be substituted but those with training know that different botanical varieties and different growing conditions produce oils that can and do differ significantly from the original species.
Yes, you will still find frankincense and sandalwood for sale and even by suppliers who mean well but may not have the full information themselves. If the supplier claims sustainable harvest the buyer must be the judge on whether this is true. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy does not promote or endorse the sale, purchase or use of endangered essential oils. This is a tough stance to take, but in the interests of education, integrity and a love for the plants themselves, it is the only one acceptable. So be aware when searching for essential oils and stay informed by joining a professional Aromatherapy association. Another resource for information about what is happening in the world of plants is www.cropwatch.org which has a free email newsletter.
Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMT, has been involved with the arts of Astrology, Aromatherapy and Holistic Healing for over 25 years. She is a Registered Aromatherapist, licensed massage therapist, certified Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner, EFT practitioner, educator, author, astrologer and ordained (ADL) Reverend.
Shellie teaches Professional Level Aromatherapy classes in Greenville, SC and nationally approved continuing education classes in aromatherapy, Jin Shin Jyutsu and bodywork. She is a practicing astrologer and has published works on Astrology, Aromatherapy and Bach Flower remedies in various trade publications, such as Massage Today magazine and the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal.
Shellie has her own line of essential oils and blends available at her website www.Astralessence.com Shellie is currently Vice President, and has also served as Director Coordinator and Secretary on the NAHA Board of Directors. Shellie is a contributing editor for the "Aromatherapy Journal" and a columnist for Massage Today Publication.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Essential News-Going Green
E-tips for Aromatherapy Awareness
Contributed by Rose Chard LMT Aromatherapist
Tips for the Working Aromatherapist
There are a lot of people who want to enjoy the benefits of true aromatherapy yet unbeknownst to them, they purchase inferior products which do not provide the therapeutic property intended. They in turn pass off aromatherapy as pointless and the aromatherapy industry loses credibility. It is not the customer's fault that the majority of apparent aromatherapy products do not hold true to the principles of aromatherapy. As an aromatherapist, you have naturally been drawn to the botanical world, understood its value and decided to get educated. For many others, this knowledge would be embraced and welcomed if the proper principles were shown to them. This is why your dedication to supporting your clients with information about true aromatherapy and education about this industry is important.
Starting a business that involves aromatherapy as part of your business model is exciting as well as overwhelming. Exciting because a growing number of people are looking to take more control of their well-being. Overwhelming because it is often difficult to know how to start an aromatherapy business - there is no set model to follow. However, this is a growing industry so it is an excellent time to add aromatherapy to your current business or to begin one based on aromatherapy. Here a few tips to help you along the way.
Do not assume clients or customers know the basics of aromatherapy
You are more of an expert than you think (given that you follow the ethical guidelines), and the education you have is very valuable to the interested consumer. I continue to learn this lesson every day when customers ask questions such as "Is it OK to blend eucalyptus with another essential oil in a diffuser?"
The knowledge you hold may seem obvious to you but it is a treasure to a great many that are beginning their aromatherapy journey. So while you continue to educate yourself to further advance your studies, the knowledge you have now is very powerful and is where you should be starting with your clients. It is a fact that a great number of people still do not understand the difference between an essential oil and fragrance oil, how to distinguish a true aromatherapy product by reading a label or that essential oils have uses other than aromatic pleasure. These people need you. And as an aromatherapist, you should recognize your role in proper education of the principles of aromatherapy for those that want and need that education.
Be specific about what you offer, start small and build from that.
It's true there are many essential oils out there and at least twelve different ways of applying them such as in carriers, a bath, in diffusers, etc. Then there are routes of absorption in the body such as inhalation and dermal. There is aromatherapy history, safety issues, the profiles of each of the individual oils, therapeutic properties, deciphering pure oils from synthetics, dealing with inaccurate information and dubious products with aromatherapy labeling and so forth. Even these aromatherapy basics are an incredible amount of information to absorb. Make no mistake that aromatherapy is a discipline but it is a worthy one.
Newcomers will not immediately be able to grasp the whole concept of aromatherapy and you are not going to be able to communicate this information without a good business model. It is so important to explain to your clients what you are doing and why - you should not deprive them of this valuable information. Think about the aspects of aromatherapy that are important to your business. Take those aspects and describe them in a way that makes sense to your customers or clients and allows you to effectively communicate a message. Then move on from there. For example, if you are a massage therapist you might want to begin with a selection of pre-made blends that your clients can choose from, such as a muscle blend for those who complain about fatigued muscles, a relaxation blend for those who need to unwind and so forth. You can promote your blends by explaining to your clients why a blend will have its intended effect and why the cold pressed carrier oil base you will putting on their bodies is healthy for them.
If you are using quality oils and quality carrier oils, your clients they need to know this and that one aspect of aromatherapy is that natural products limit the intake of synthetic toxins and artificial preservatives in their system. If you are providing your clients this service without promoting it, then how will you set yourself apart from other businesses? And worse still, your clients will not know the important added benefits of what you offer.
I have always been taught that if you are going to start something, do it right. This has served me well in differentiating what I offer from other services and products out there. I will give the same advice to you. If you are offering quality aromatherapy products or services, then you need to stick to that commitment. It is important to be discerning in your purchasing because you need to keep an eye on the finances in your business. However, purchasing inferior products to save a buck will not make you successful. Quality products and services will speak for themselves. Keeping costs down with quality stock is harder so consider starting out with a smaller stock of well chosen quality products. Another benefit of this approach that may not be obvious is that because there are more people using inferior quality products there is a lot of competition among those who work with inferior products. Happily, when you maintain a high standard of quality in your products, you will find yourself facing less competition.
Decide who your demographics will be
Before you can begin successfully selling your service or product, you need to understand what aspect of the aromatherapy business you are marketing and who comprises your market. Ask questions such as: Where do I practice? What is my typical demographic? How many people do I want to appeal to? For example, my company, Your Body Needs, is located just outside Washington DC. Most of the clientele in this area work long hours, are middle to upper income and are generally not considered the 'laid back' type. We have had great success explaining the basics of aromatherapy from a simple academic approach rather than a more ethereal one. We may say something like, "the essential oil of ginger and black pepper in our muscle rub encourages better circulation and brings blood to an area more quickly." Most of our clients would not understand a sentence like "ginger oil will stimulate the yang energy of the kidneys." We have made firm decisions about what is important to us as a company and how we want to represent the business of aromatherapy. We made these decisions based on who we are, what we offer and who our target audience is. This will be a very helpful tool for you to consider when beginning a business. Even though it is important to have your business reflect you, it is equally as important to access what your clients or customers really need or want.
Be proud to promote the benefits of aromatherapy
There are tremendous benefits to living an aromatherapy-based life. It is OK to explain why your clients' lives can be improved by making simple changes such as purchasing pure essential oils over fragrance quality or synthetic aromas, or using pure natural-based body products rather than inferior mineral oil-based products. If you are able to communicate truthfully the benefits of pure aromatherapy products versus the alternative, then you are respecting your business and clients who seek your services and want to understand the greater aromatherapy community.
Charge adequately to reflect the value of your service or product
Most of us do not get into an aromatherapy business because we are interested in making Forbes' 100 Fortune list. You likely got into this business because you have a passion for it. At the same time, maintaining a sense of the value of products and the service you provide is as essential to success as working your passion. If you do not value your service or product and do not put a fair price on it, then how will clients or customers come to respect it? Do not undervalue your aromatherapy service or product. Be fair - to yourself and your clients.
The aromatherapy business is booming. You will be in great shape if you: are respectful of the discipline as a whole, accept that the knowledge you have is valuable and people will benefit from it, and have clarity on how you will communicate your message about the benefits of true aromatherapy.
Rose Chard is the owner of Your Body Needs...a massage and aromatherapy studio providing products and services in Crofton, Maryland and online at www.YourBodyNeeds.com.
Rose gained her Certificate in Aromatherapy from the American College of Health Sciences in Portland, Oregon; a leader in natural health education. Rose's dedication to the field earned her a nomination as outstanding Graduate of the Year in 2004. Rose has incorporated essential oils in her personal life for more twenty years and now her company has its own growing line of quality aromatherapy products and essential oils. Your Body Needs helps people discover the everyday benefits of aromatherapy and also offers popular aromatherapy workshops. Rose is an adjunct staff member at Anne Arundel Community College teaching the principles of Aromatherapy to other health care professionals. She is a licensed massage therapist and member of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, the Aromatherapy Registration Council and the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. Visit her website at www.yourbodyneeds.com
Saturday, March 6, 2010
NAHA Safety Chair Report; Safe use of Essential Oils updates
As we continue to update the NAHA website there are still many areas that are "works in progress". If you have not visited the NAHA website lately, please know that it is always changing. If you receive the NAHA e-news and the press releases, but if you have not visited the website in a while, or you are a new member please check out these web-links below for starters. If you have suggestions for additions to these pages, feel free to contact NAHA.
Aromatherapy Myths and Misconceptions: this area answers such questions as: Can essential oils cross the blood brain barrier? http://www.naha.org/faq_myths.htm
What is sensitization? First of all that term does not refer to those with "sensitive skin", sensitive "temperaments", or sensitive people in general- the answer is the scoop on what this term means and why you need to understand it when working with essential oils. http://www.naha.org/faq_safety.htm#14Another great spot to visit is the Aromatherapy Safety page: http://www.naha.org/safety.htm.
Here are several articles, starting with the updated list of threatened aromatic species used in the aromatherapy and cosmetic industries. http://www.naha.org/pdf/Threatened%20Aromatic%20Species%20v1%2013.pdf
And my personal favorite: The Truth about Using Undiluted Essential Oils on the Skin. This article, although a few years old is still quite valid. It was the basis for our online form, The Essential Oil Reaction Report Form (see link below) which is used to collect information on unsafe use and negative reactions to essential oils.
Check out the article: http://www.naha.org/articles/aromatherapy%20undiluted.htmArticle Excerpt: In the last twenty years, many more people have had accidents, been 'burnt', developed rashes, become allergic, and become sensitized to our beloved tools. Why is this? Get the full answer in the complete article: Aromatherapy Undiluted- Safety and Ethics or skip to the last few pages, including the summary.
NAHA is receiving a growing number of questions and reports about complications due to treatment using unsafe and out of scope practices, such as the use of sensitizing and irritating essential oils undiluted on the skin. Spa and salon owners are often unaware of the liability issues in allowing this practice in their establishments. Click here to read more or for a copy of the Essential Oil Reaction Report Form: http://www.naha.org/press_release_eo_reaction_form.htm
The NAHA Safety Committee is currently compiling all the data submitted for a future report on unsafe use of essential oils that will be posted to the NAHA website. If you have information to share please contact Sylla at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the online form to report any helpful information.
We will also be updating the website to include a link to the Cropwatch Report on the issue of the use of the term 'Therapeutic Grade' in regard to essential oils. You can view the report via this link www.cropwatch.org
Finally check out the Friend's of Aromatherapy web page: http://www.naha.org/friends_usa.htm and go to the Emergency Relief Massage International link to see what ERMI is doing and perhaps how you can help out in your state with Green Cross workers returning from Haiti. The United Aromatherapy Effort is also standing by to supply teams going in as well as the continued Military Program serving troops in Afghanistan. Latest news; Sylla Sheppard Hanger, on behalf of the UAE, received a USA flag flown in their honor over Camp Phoenix, Kabal Afghanistan by the Commanding Brigadier General in gratitude for this service.
We also suggest that in order to stay informed about what can be a current and future threat to our profession, that you visit these web-links to read the posts on the The Colorado Safe Personal Products Act. Robert Tisserand's Blog: http://roberttisserand.com/2010/02/tunnel-vision . And visit this link to Cindy Jones Ph.D. Sagescript Blog at http://sagescript.blogspot.com/ and Kayla Fioravanti Essential U Blog: http://essentialu.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/02/colorado-safe-personal-care-products-act-take-action-immediately.html
Sylla Sheppard-Hanger is the Founder/Director of the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy in Tampa, Florida. She brings twenty years of experience and personal research into the practice of Aromatherapy and the power of essential oils. Her fascination with this subject has led her to study with the most knowledgeable people in the field of aromatic and medicinal plants, essential oil research, herbology. In 1993, she completed the Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Program, Purdue University, Indiana, and continued to complete the International Training in Essential Oils: Advanced Studies - Parts 1 & 2 (1996-7).
She was a founding member of the American Aromatherapy Association (1988) and served two terms on the Board of Directors. Sylla is an active participant in the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), as Chair of the Safety Committee. She actively participates in setting up national standards in education for aromatherapy.
To learn more about Sylla visit her websites at www.atlanticinstitute.com ">www.atlanticinstitute.com and www.unitedaromatherapy.org email: email@example.com
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Essential News-Going Green
E-tips for Aromatherapy Awareness
Contributed by Kris Wrede
Travel an exotic journey steeped in aromatic ritual
Let your mind slowly drift and picture yourself in an era many years ago...in the 1st century B.C. in Egypt. Cleopatra was setting sail on the Nile with her entourage, her handmaidens busily scenting her sails with jasmine to announce her presence to her adoring multitudes. Of course, any prospective suitors she might encounter along the way would be intoxicated by the luxurious aromas wafting through the air. Cleopatra and other members of the royal family had their own priest perfumers, who deigned the exclusive right to create scent for rituals, religious events, lovemaking, childbirth and remedies for various maladies. Since Cleopatra felt she was above all that, she also created her own scents and cosmetics. Because she was the Queen, they did not cause friction by trying to stop her. For her, perfume was sacred, but it was also one of her main tools used to ensnare and entrap everyone from lovers to confidantes and servants. It was her preferred method of seduction. She oozed self confidence and power, and the fragrances she wore enhanced that sexual power even more.
The Latin word for perfume is actually "per-fumem", translated as "through smoke". One of the most famous incenses of all time was the Egyptian Kyphi, which came in many forms and was used for centuries as "per-fumem". In this era scent was based on the burning of macerated plant and flower essences as an offering to the Gods. It was also used in a cone shaped mixture of beef tallow and essences called a "kit" which was worn as a perfume on top of the wig, the aroma released as the fat melted in the heat of the Egyptian sun or a night of dancing and frivolity.
Cleopatra had land along the Dead Sea that was bequeathed to her by Marc Anthony, a place fittingly called "En Bouquet". There she had her own perfume and cosmetics factory, using the rich bounty of flowers and plants from the region including the olive trees and Dead Sea salts. From here, she sent her minions out to scour the far reaches of the globe to find exotic and unusual plants and oils for her to use in her elixirs.
One of the legends of when Cleopatra met Julius Caesar for the first time centers on scent. She knew that she had to win Caesar over in order to keep her dominion over her precious Egypt, instead of her letting the power go to her evil younger brother, who was also her husband. The practice of marrying a sibling was often done in ancient times to control the bloodline. Caesar was in the harbor waiting to figure out her impending doom, while Cleo silently plotted away. Cleopatra was not known as a great beauty, but she was known as the most seductive and cunning woman of her day. She was said to have a rather large proboscis, which would explain her highly attuned sense of smell. She used this to create a potion so powerful that no one could resist it, even the most powerful man in the world. Using this important asset to get the job done, she applied this potion all over her body and hair in copious quantities. She also donned her most suggestive and alluring gown, custom made for the occasion. Then she chose a tapestry of the most exquisite detail and beauty imported from Persia, and had her manservant wrap her delicately in it and prepare to go to the boat and offer herself to Caesar. When her aide guided her by boat to the harbor, Caesar was astounded at the magnanimous gift. As the servant slowly unfurled the carpet he felt himself become dizzy with scent.. And he was even more besotted when Cleopatra herself, catlike, slowly emerged from the offering festooned with more ribbons of scent. He was amused but also enchanted by this sorceress, and so one of the greatest love stories of all time began. That is of course until Marc Anthony hit the scene!
Cleopatra's Love Elixir
This is a recipe that I devised that has many of the ingredients that were used in the time of Cleopatra; all of them available today. However some of ingredients, like Blue Lotus, are extremely rare, but can be found if one is willing to pay the price. This blend can be made in a base of perfumer's alcohol or in an unscented jojoba to be used as a perfume oil. If using it as a body oil cut the recipe to only 15% of what is listed below, or divide each of the ingredients by 6. This recipe is for a 1 ounce bottle at a 15% solution, an eau de parfum strength.
For topical use only. Keep out of reach of children and pets.
Blood Orange (Citrus sinensis) 50 drops
Lemon (Citrus limon) 25 drops
Opoponax (Cassie)(Acacia farnesiana) 13 drops
Jasmine Sambac Absolute (Jasmin sambac) 18 drops
Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) 7 drops
Rose Absolute (Rosa damascena) 13 drops
Blue Lotus(Nelumbo nucifera) 5 drops
Myrtle (Myrtus communis) 11 drops
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) 8 drops
Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) 12 drops
A poem inspired by Cleopatra's time heralding the virtues of scent.
From the book Sacred Luxuries by Lise Manniche:
"If you go to the room of the beloved
She being alone and without another
You can do what you wish with the latch
The door hangings flutter
When the sky comes down in the wind
But it does not carry it away, her fragrance,
When she brings you an abundance of scent
Intoxicating those present......"
About Kris Wrede: The use of plant and flower essences for therapy of mind and body and spirit were once considered the exclusive provenance of Egyptian Priests. Unlock this ancient knowledge with Kris Wrede, Aromatic Alchemist, Natural Perfumer, and Corporate Consultant. Kris has been practicing aromatic alchemy and perfumery since 1990 and is a dedicated teacher and researcher.
Her knowledge of essential oils is enhanced by a passion for their history. Allow Kris to share her wisdom with you, let her lead you through the world and imagine the possibilities aromatherapy may play in your life.
Kismet Potions practices the traditional perfumer's art using top, middle and base notes in each blend. Over the years we have developed numerous aromatic product lines and custom fragrances based on the tenets of perfumery for a wide variety of exclusive corporate and individual clients. Some of our clients include W Magazine, Jones New York, Mirage Hotel Las Vegas, Treasure Island Hotel Las Vegas, Urban Oasis Spas Chicago, and Epicuren Discovery.
Constant research and practical application of aromatherapy and perfumery in product development and training has given Kris the background to teach the secrets of this ancient and potent art and science. Kris has worked in the cosmetics field and fashion industry for over 25 years, bringing that expertise into corporate product development. By keeping a watchful eye on the current trends and by continually researching products, retailers and consumers, she can assess future market needs.
From 1994 to 1996 Kris received certification in aromatherapy and teacher training from the Michael Scholes School of Aromatic Studies. In 1997 she received advanced training in the chemistry of essential oils and aromatherapy from Purdue University's International Training Program in Essential Oils. In 1998 she completed the advanced aromatherapy course through the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy with Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt. In 1999 she received advanced training in natural perfumery and aromatherapy from Master Perfumer Kathryn Degraff. Kris continues to advance her education at conferences and seminars regularly.
Kris's classroom approach stems from her extensive research into the mystical rituals of ancient cultures, her philosophy of perfume as medicine, and the miraculous healing energy apparent in the diverse methods available for essential oil use.
Click here to purchase a CD Recording of Kris's tele-conference presentation.
Krise Wrede Aromatic Alchemist ~ Natural Perfumer
Friday, January 15, 2010
Essential News-Going Green
E-tips for Aromatherapy Awareness
Contributed by Dorene Petersen Dip. NT, Dip. Acu, RH (AHG)
Clearing Clutter for Holistic Health
We know that health and wellness are the result of several elements: a good diet, plenty of clean water, regular exercise, and fresh air. Herbs, essential oils, and other dietary supplements help us deal with life's challenges. There are, however, many less-than-obvious influences in our everyday environments that can negatively affect our health, too. Clutter, for example. Collecting stuff, the intent to clear out stuff, and the seemingly unavoidable procrastination to "get the job done" can all be a real drain on your energy.
Here are some ideas to help you de-clutter and improve your health in 2010
1. Share what you no longer need:
This is the perfect time of year to clear out everything from those two most-used rooms in the house: the kitchen and bathroom. Over the course of the year, perhaps you have changed your mind about what you want to put in your body (and on it)? If you're reading this, you probably know that parabens are best avoided in our skin care products, but do you have some lurking in your bathroom? If you have unopened paraben-free products that you do not need, you may want to donate them to charity; many women's shelters welcome unopened self-care products. Otherwise, dispose of paraben-containing products by composting them, rather than washing them down the drain, as it seems there are some bacteria that can break down parabens into less harmful products; then recycle the containers. (Remember, if you use natural skin care products, their storage life is often shorter than products preserved with synthetics, so go through your stash and dispose of anything that is past its use by date.)
Now to the kitchen: Clear out any food items that are past their expiration date. Compost the contents and recycle the containers. Any products that you are not likely to eat, but are not expired, can be donated to charity; your local food bank is crying out for donations at this time of year.
Aromatherapy Tip: Peppermint (Mentha piperita) essential oil has been shown to repel mice, so put cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil in areas where you suspect a mouse problem. (Avoid placing the cotton balls in areas that are accessible to children and pets).
2. Try the 1-2-3 Box Approach:
Set up three large-sized boxes. Label one box as Throw Out (items that are worn out or broken), one as Give Away (items that you will donate, sell, or recycle), and one as Keep. Then, go room-by-room and be systematic; work your way completely through one room before you begin the next. Once you have completed a room, seal the Throw Out and Give Away boxes, and place them by your front door.
Aromatherapy Tip: Check your oils. While some oils like Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides) will last for years if stored correctly, others (like the citrus oils) will begin to oxidize after a few months. (It is best to store your citrus essential oils in the fridge.) If you've taken the time to train your olfactory memory, you may be able to discern when your oils are past their best. No need to throw them out: Use them to clean the house! (But avoid skin contact as oxidized citrus essential oils can cause irritation.) And don't use them to wash the dog: Fido's skin is sensitive too!
3. Set goals, not resolutions:
For many people, making New Year's resolutions seems like "the right thing to do." Often our resolutions are good ideas, but really big and overwhelming ideas, too. So this year, try setting goals instead. Goals have measurable results and they require a plan. For example, you could make the resolution to Get In Shape This Year...OR, you can set the goal to improve your health this year by drinking 8 glasses of water a day, eating 5 fruits and vegetables a day, and completing one hour of relaxation-promoting activities every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. When goals are realistic and clear, they are more easily accomplished, which feels great! Remember, you can always set additional, more challenging goals if and when you want to.
Aromatherapy Tip: Aromatherapy baths are an effective relaxation activity, and also a great reward for accomplishing a goal. To create a soothing aromatherapeutic bath, try a blend of Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), and Rose (Rosa damascena).
Dorene Petersen is the President and Founder of the American College of Healthcare Sciences. She holds a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology from Otago University, New Zealand, a Diploma in Natural Therapeutics from the South Pacific College of Natural Therapies in Auckland, New Zealand, where she studied and specialized in aromatherapy, and is a certified acupuncturist with specialized training in Chinese herbal medicine and moxibustion. Dorene serves as Chair of the Aromatherapy Registration Council and is a member of the Research and Educational Standards Subcommittee of the Distance Education Training Council. Author of numerous articles about aromatherapy and essential oils, Dorene is a frequent lecturer on botanicals, medicinal plants, and essential oils, and has presented at wellness conferences worldwide, as well as lecturing at the National College of Natural Medicine and the Aesthetics Institute, both in Portland, Oregon, and the Birthingway School of Midwifery in Oregon. Most recently, Dorene was awarded the 2009 IHA Professional Award Criteria by the International Herb Association for outstanding contributions to the herb industry in the areas of education, research, and authorship, among others. Find out more about Dorene at www.achs.edu
(1)In vivo and in vitro studies have confirmed the ability of parabens to pentrate human skin intact and to be absorbed. The health risks from aggregate use of body care products containing parabens have been shown to include increased incidence of female breast cancer, interference with male reproductive functions, and increased development of malignant melanoma. Therefore, where possible, it is recommended to eliminate use of paraben-containing products. Darbre PD & Harvey PW. Paraben esters: review of recent studies of endocrine toxicity, absorption, esterase and human exposure, and discussion of potential human health risks. J Appl Toxical. 2008 Jul;28(5):561-78.