Saturday, June 16, 2012
May Featured Article
Reformatting your Energetic Architecture using Essential Oils
By Mindy Green, MS, RA, RH (AHG)
Aromatic plants have been used throughout time in medicine, cosmetic care, spiritual practices and ritual ceremonies. For nearly a century, modern science has known that the chemical constituents found in essential oils have therapeutic value, and that essential oils offer a multitude of chemical constituents that are effective against a wide variety of pathogens.
Recent photographic technology that magnifies plant secretory cells gives us an intimate look at the amazing structures that produce these remarkable essential oils. The biological activities of these components have been well researched and are potential healing adjuncts in holistic and integrative medicine as well as conventional palliative care. Through their scientific analysis and obvious efficacy in treating different disorders, it is reasonable to view them as potent healing agents for the physical body. There are various applications and implications of these functional fragrances in wide ranging therapies from traditional medicine to spa application, and they are being effectively used throughout the world in medical facilities that have open-minded health policies.
This information is useful and progressive from the perspective of today's need to revamp most medical models, but healing the physical body is only one aspect of true healing. With the new millennium's foray into quantum healing and psychoneuroimmunology, science has proven what many ancient healing traditions have inherently known - that dis-ease begins with emotional/spiritual disharmony that later manifests as physical symptoms. Essential oils offer us more than the physicality of their biological activity. These same chemical constituents and their aromas offer the opportunity to create a deeper wholeness through balancing body, mind and spirit, thus allowing us the opportunity to achieve true and lasting health. Essential oils can heal at both a cellular and spiritual level, weaving the two into a wholeness that is undeniable and inseparable.
Human beings all share a biological familiarity with plants. Our physical bodies have evolved over countless generations with plant allies as food, medicine and spiritual partners. Our cells are encrypted to recognize the chemical constituents in plants and utilize them in the most efficacious ways. Though we may have strayed in the last hundred years or so through the use of newly developed chemical food substitutes and pharmaceuticals, we are still inherently programmed to distinguish these compounds, and it benefits us greatly to consume and utilize them in a variety of ways.
Dis-ease, at its most basic core (the emotional level), occurs through the perception of separation from Spirit. This is the deepest misconception that humans buy into, and it is arguably the thing that ultimately makes us ill. Many researchers in the field of quantum healing have proven that we need not be victims of our DNA and that we have the ability to heal ourselves at the deepest levels (see Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief). I believe that plant scents have a vital role in this arena. Every culture with a long history of traditional healing has one thing in common: that of breath practices. It is commonly acknowledged that this is the doorway to prana, chi, and life force. The word "inspire" means to breathe in, but also to possess and emanate passion. In the Greek language, spirit and wind are the same word. We all share inspiration, our breath, and it hangs in the ethers. Aroma is the link between spirit and matter, between what is physical and what is unseen. It taps our deepest emotions and carries us to our oldest memories. Through the aroma of plants we are offered something less concrete but just as real - the opportunity to connect to nature and our own Source Energy, and the reminder that we are whole at our truest level. It is here that we create our own spiritual wholeness and 'Wellth.'
When we consider that the process of olfaction occurs in the limbic brain, it makes sense; this primitive brain, which is often referred to as the reptilian brain, processes memory and emotion. We unconsciously monitor the air around us with every breath we take, sniffing out the possibilities that affect our very survival - food, danger, mating and more. Modern day physicians acknowledge that mood is most effectively and quickly changed through the sense of smell. Pleasant aromas can uplift the spirit and reduce stress which accounts for up to 90% of medical visits. Stress reduction is the first step in finding peace within, and it is waiting for us with every fragrant breath at our disposal when we are among plants.
Emotional pain, the precursor to physical imbalance, resides in the cellular memory of our bodies. Many aspects of quantum healing show us that it is possible to reformat the energetic patterns that create imbalances. Scent is a communication system that holds information; given the right aromas, this communication system has the ability to unravel false beliefs about ourselves that keep us separate from our impeccable and perfect uniqueness. These aromas have the ability to recreate the fractal blueprint that allows us to find balance and reinforce the knowledge that we are all perfect reflections of Spirit and that we are worthy of echoing that knowledge in our daily lives with every inhalation (inspiration).
The Ancients have associated certain plant fragrances with being able to link us more effectively with the body of knowledge that lies within us all - that which is our birthright as living souls in physical form. One might be so bold as to connect this portion of the mind with the link to All Knowledge, or as we were told in Star Wars, The Force. Some of these recognized sacred scents in history include rose (Rosa damascena), frankincense (Boswellia cateri), sandalwood (Santalum album), palo santo (Bursera graveolens), cedar (Cedrus atlantica) and countless others, depending upon what plants are native to specific cultural regions. Even the most common essential oils -- such as lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) or ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) -- can have spiritual connotations, especially if they are aromas that you find appealing, connecting and comforting.
Whatever scents you choose, utilizing them in a way that helps you calm, center and breathe more deeply will help you to listen to your own inner voice, the place with all the answers you will ever need. We are living in a time of transformation which will rebirth us into a more enlightened era. This new cycle of creativity is calling forth ways in which we can become fundamentally more of who we are meant to be. It requires a great deal of letting go of old routines and philosophies, ushering in new dynamics of presence and being open to new experiences. Regardless of your spiritual or relaxation practices, I encourage everyone to breathe in essential oils, still yourself, listen and be inspired.
 Secretory Structures of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants: A Review and Atlas of Micrographs, Katerina P. Svobada and Tomas G. Svoboda, 2000
This article was originally published in the ARC (Aromatherapy Registration Council) March 2012 Newsletter and republished in the NAHA newsletter with permission from the author.
Mindy Green is an esthetician, nationally certified Registered Aromatherapist and professional member of the American Herbalists Guild. An active educator and consultant, her vast credentials and positions in botany, aromatherapy and skin care include her current role as committee chair for botanicals in cosmetics for the American Herbal Products Association and as an advisory board member for the American Botanical Council, publishers of HerbalGram magazine. From 2003-2009 Mindy worked in the botanical research division of Aveda's Research and Development department as their clinical aromatherapist. She enjoys writing and is the author of three books and 55 published articles. To learn more about Mindy, please visit her website: http://www.greenscentsations.com/
Click here to purchase Mindy's Teleconference Presentation: 'Aromatic Medicine in a Clinical Setting'.
Click here to purchase Mindy's Teleconference Presentation: 'Graceful Aging - A Holistic Approach'.
Click here to purchase Mindy's book co-authored with Kathi Keville: Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Arts.
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