Balance in life. Like the Buddha’s “middle path”, the desire and quest for balance in our physical, emotional/mental and spiritual life is innate.
Our physical symptoms are the body’s way of telling us that some system needs to be brought back into balance. The moods of happiness and unhappiness are reflections of our emotional balance, unhappiness telling us that something is out of whack. It could be our thoughts, company, or what we do. When we feel that “something is missing”, an intangible yearning or thirst, it is our spiritual voice calling for balance.
Truly, what a great work we human beings have come into this world to perform. With this great laboratory of life in which to perform our experiments we go about the life of being human, seeking to find and rest in that state of balance.
Essential oils can deeply influence our physical imbalances, psychological well-being and our spiritual equilibrium. They act on holistic principles-affecting body and soul.
Essential oils are the life force of the given plant, flower, tree, shrub, root, bark, resin from which they are distilled. Like human beings, they are alive, both chemically and electrically. They have a direct effect on the brain through the olfactory system and skin absorption.
The olfactory bulb, which is just above the top of the nose, is actually a part of the brain which extends from the limbic system. The limbic system is a link between the voluntary and involuntary nervous centers and a link between left and right brain. Essential oils connect directly into the hippocampus and amygdala areas of the limbic system, which are where emotions and memories are stored. This is why essential oils are so effective in rapidly evoking and affecting our moods and emotions.
Essential oils are soluble in lipids, or fats, which is why they are easily absorbed through the skin. Once essential oils enter into the bloodstream they will be transported into the nervous system and eventually into the brain. Because the size of the molecules in essential oils are very small, they are able to pass from the olfactory through the “blood-brain barrier”, gaining entrance to the brain. This is why essential oils, especially those high in the chemical constituent sesquiterpenes,(frankincense, sandalwood) are able to allow gentle and effective emotional release from memories that are stored in the cells of the body.
All of this rather technical background lays the foundation for our further discussion of the use of essential oils for balance. We know that through our thoughts and emotions we can make ourselves happy or sad, healthy or sick. It is said that with a strong mind we can do anything, even cure disease in our own body. This is called the mind-body connection and has been widely written about and discussed by great luminaries in the field such as Deepak Chopra and Andrew Weill.
With a little educational background, we are better able to understand how these wonderful essential oils can be effective for physical, mental/emotional and spiritual well-being.
When beginning an essential oil treatment with a client (usually in conjunction with massage, on a massage table), I begin with an essential oil blend called “Valor”, created by Dr. Gary Young, founder of Young Living Essential Oils. “Valor” is a combination of Spruce, Rosewood, Frankincense and Blue Tansy. It has been created to balance the electrical and structural energies within the body. A “Valor” balance, which lasts 3-4 minutes, gives a feeling of courage, confidence and self-esteem. It builds a bridge between the body and the oils allowing the higher frequency oils to raise the frequency of the body thus promoting well being on all levels. Let’s take a look at the oils in the blend “Valor”:
Once the body has been balanced using “Valor”, the next step would be to apply oils for the specific goals of the individual. It is not possible to cover every balance of every system of the mind/body, but let’s explore some of the most common requests for balance.
This is an area of concern for both men and women. There is a lot of misinformation about hormonal balance out there. I subscribe to the research and writing of Dr. John Lee, who has made it abundantly clear that in this day and age we are suffering from estrogen dominance. Dr. Lee considers the “sea of petrochemicals” in which we live one of the contributing factors to our progesterone deficiency, and recommends that we use a TRANSDERMAL NATURAL PROGESTERONE CREAM.
NATURAL PROGESTERONE increases libido, stimulates new bone tissue and is capable of reversing osteoporosis, protects against fibrocystic breast disease, prevents cancer of the womb, hydrates and oxygenates the skin, helps eliminate depression, alleviates “hot flashes” and other female symptoms and increases vitality and renews emotional balance. Synthetic progestins unfortunately create a long list of negative side-effects, some of which are quite severe.
I use EssPro7, a natural topical progesterone cream, developed by Dr. Gary Young. Included in the formula are the essential oils most effective to balance the hormonal system:
One of the most common requests is for mental/emotional balance, to combat the effects of stress. The desired result is an increased sense of peace, calming and relaxation. The most important oil for balance in every area of life is Lavender, often called “the universal oil” I carry Lavender around in my purse and dispense it for everything from burns, cuts, rashes and bites to stress, jet lag, panic attack, tense muscles and loneliness. It is truly your first aid kit in a jar. Other wonderful oils to combat stress and bring emotional balance are:
To do justice to this daunting topic, I will simply address some of the major systems of the body, noting which essential oils are the most applicable for balance in those areas:
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM: (Heart, blood vessels, blood)
DIGESTIVE: (GI Tract, salivary glands, liver, gall bladder and pancreas)
LYMPHATIC AND IMMUNE SYSTEMS:
Last, and not least are some essential oils that can support our balance in the spiritual domain of life. Most of the oils are recognizable as the holy anointing oils from the times of the Egyptians to the Old and New Testament.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in a subject that is almost infinitely deep. Perhaps we have originated from a place in memory that is the ultimate experience of balance, and throughout this life we look for clues and support to help us return to that desired state. Essential oils, a gift from the bounty of nature’s pharmacy, are ready, willing and able to magnify the frequency of our intention to reach balance.
ABOUT JOAN APTER, CMT Joan is a Certified Massage Therapist with 13 years training in the use and application of essential oils. Joan uses Young Living Essential Oils exclusively in her practice. She recently returned from Ege University in Izmir, Turkey, where she had advanced training with Dr. Gary Young. She currently resides in Woodstock, NY, and can be reached at 845-679-0512 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on how to order Young Living Oils. Your questions and comments are encouraged and invited. Please send to Aromatherapy Corner, Healing Retreats and Spas, 24 E. Cota, Suite 101, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.
Next month: Most often asked questions about the use and application of Essential Oils.
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