Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Aromatherapy | Tips And Information.

Aromatherapy massage is a holistic and natural for of massage, which treats the whole person not just one aspect. Aromatherapy actually treats and helps to balance the mind, body and spirit of a person, and also looks after their overall health. The various areas that are looked at and check out are, what type of diet do they have, do they use any relation techniques to help deal with every day stresses, are they worried about financial issues, whether they have just had a bereavement or maybe the birth of a child, do they have a disability, suffering from a disease or just worn out and run down, all these and more are checked out before a treatment is given.

Aromatherapy massage is a mixture of using massaging techniques, along side the procedure of selecting a composition of essential oils, which have been specifically picked for the person being treated. Aromatherapy is a unique treatment procedure, because of this unique fact, the combination of the selected oils that have been chosen, will never follow a ridged pattern. The essence of Aromatherapy is, that it is tailored to suit any person seeking help - it is not a production line, every single one of the people treated remain an individual, with personal needs.

Aromatherapy will try to get to the root of the problem, and in this day and age, with the wide ranging selection of oils to choose from, there is an inexhaustible supply in which to use to treat a certain condition or ailment.

Aromatherapy essential oils are created by using the many different parts of a plant, flower, tree or even fruit, by extracting their natural aroma and using the oil extracted for a particular illness, whether it is physical or emotional, or mental, the oil is used to rebalance the client. Oftentimes one particular plant will have different parts used, for different ailments. Take for example, Lavender essential oil is considered one of the safest essential oils to use, and some say it can be used neat on burns; it is classed as non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitising.

The use of aromatherapy incorporated within life, has been around for a very long time in fact its been around for many hundreds of years, but it is virtually new to the modern world, as it is still occasionally regarded with mistrust and scepticism, it is only in recent years with the help of training facilities, and the fact conventional medicine is starting to come around to the idea that the use of essential oils are occasionally of more benefit to a individual, than the use of proscription medicinal aids, that aromatherapy is becoming more mainstream. aromatherapy essential oils do not have to be used incorporated within a massage, they can also be used at home, in a hot bath, or a oil burner, used as an air freshener, or mixed with a carrier oil, such as almond, to rub on the body and because of these uses, aromatherapy is becoming more widespread, and is continuing to advance as a fundamentally accepted part of society and the way in which individuals live on a day to day basis. People no longer think twice about going and getting a stress relieving aromatherapy massage, in there lunch break, in fact, many companies are encouraging them to do just that!

So to conclude, aromatherapy definitely has a great deal to offer all of us in our day to day lives. It can and does help with issues that include, stress at work and home. Essential oils can also be used for bathing and help to make the home smell fantastic. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so why not check it out.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/aromatherapy-tips-and-information-127957.html

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Why Essential Oils are Essential to Good Skin Care

Essential oils, also known as volatile or ethereal oils, have been used to improve skin quality for thousands of years. Indian Ayurvedic medicine has advocated aromatherapy skincare for more than three millennia, and essential oils have been discovered in King Tut’s Egyptian tomb. Essential oils continue to be highly prized today because of their ability to heal on physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual levels.Unlike the synthetic drugs and chemicals of modern pharmacology, essential oils are non-toxic and can not harm human tissue. This is due to their natural derivation as a concentrated, hydrophobic liquid containing aromatic compounds from plants. The term essential indicates that the oil carries the distinctive scent (essence) of the plant.Many common essential oils, such as lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus, are produced from distillation. In this process, raw plant material, including flowers, leaves, bark, roots, seeds, or peel is put into a distillation chamber over water. As the water is heated, the steam passes through the plant material, vaporizing the volatile compounds. These vapors flow through a coil where they condense back into liquid, which is then collected in a receiving vessel. Other techniques may also be used to collect essential oils. Most citrus oils are expressed mechanically through a cold press technique. Because flowers contain very little volatile oil for mechanical expression and their chemical components are delicate and easily denatured by the high heat used in steam distillation, their essential oils are often extracted with the help of a solvent such as hexane.When used to improve the delicate skin of the face, essential oils penetrate deeply into the dermis to stimulate cellular activity. This helps to regulate both overactive and under-active oil glands, stimulates skin cells to grow more quickly and be more vital, and supports the production of collagen and elastin. To avoid irritation or allergic reactions when they are applied directly to the skin, essential oils are first blended with a base oil such as olive, almond, hazelnut or grapeseed oil. Essential oils may also be included along with other active ingredients in skin care products to help boost overall efficacy. A typical ratio of essential oil to base oil or product is 1% – 5%, depending upon the essential oil’s purpose. However, essential oils can differ widely in quality, depending upon the plants from which they are derived. Oil obtained from healthy, organic plants is typically vital and potent, while oils produced from unhealthy plants, including those that have been over-treated with chemical pesticides and other products, is often less potent.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/cosmetics-articles/why-essential-oils-are-essential-to-good-skin-care-196925.html

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How to Use Water for Natural Stress and Pain Relief

We all experience some form of stress in our lives. Clinically, stress is a negative element that can threaten our physical and emotional health. One form of stress can diminish our resistance to other forms of stress. Therefore, stress seems to take on a momentum or it's own i.e. stress can cause more stress. When our healthy resistance, i.e. our immune system, begins to break down under too much stress, physical damage and disease results. In addition to physical stress e.g. sore muscles, pain, aches, tension, overexertion, exercise and inactivity that causes back pain, minor strains and sprains, we also experience emotional stress as well. Emotional stress can come from many sources. Emotional stress, as we know, comes from discord in our work and personal relationships, economic pressure, loss, grief, anger, fear, etc. Over time, stress actually builds up toxic deposits in our cells. Stress can create physical pain and chronic fatigue that leaves us without energy or rest, leaving us accident prone and effects our emotional and cognitive abilities leading to even more stress. Again, stress builds upon itself and causes a vicious cycle. Our lives can be charted in a energy wave pattern with healthy activity being at the high point of the wave and rest being at the lower point of the wave. If one phase suffers, it effects the other phase. Our energy wave pattern becomes almost flat. We then experience restlessness, lack of energy, depression, insomnia, muscles tension, less frustration tolerance, exaggeration of emotional reaction e.g. constant anger of a feeling of our wanting to cry constantly. This in turn strains our work and personal relationship and our relationship with ourselves. Sleep and relaxation interrupts this vicious cycle of stress and restore a healthy energy wave pattern of activity and rest which interrupts stress building on itself and causing us to experience emotional and physical distress. Water can play a vital natural role in helping us experience the rest and relaxation we need to end the cycle of stress and pain we are experiencing.

Our natural, innate relationship with water is both primordial and present. We live in water for months before we are born. Our bodies are composed of a large amount of water. We could say that we are water. We all know the natural attraction we have to creeks, lakes, and the ocean. Although not always in our conscious awareness, we instinctively "know" that water is vital and "alive". All our physical, intellectual, and emotional functions are modalities of water functions. Water provides all living things/beings with a flow of nutrients as well as a means of elimination. All living forms exist within the Earth's great hydrosystem. Water is the origin and present source of all life. In a full hot bath we become surrounded by water, the source of all life. This stimulates our primordial security feelings and responses and provides us with comfort, relaxation, and pleasure. Heated water relaxes our muscle tension that restricts fluid and energy flow. The magnetic fields of our nervous system flow through the surrounding water malecules. We experience the profound and relieving effects of water's releasing us from stress and pain.

We can turn our bath into a therapeutic anti-stress, anti-pain treatment. Our bathroom should be warm and we should have clean towels and a robe ready for coming out of our bath. We just fill our tubs with hot water increasing or decreasing the temperature as is comfortable for us. When our tub is as full as we can get it, without running over as we get into it, is the right temperature for us, we can note the time. We need to stay in the bath for 15 to 20 minutes, not longer. Submerge yourself with only your head above water. Let your thoughts drift into the quietness of your awareness of your breathing in and out. Inhale and exhale fully, which releases tension from our muscles. Relax into the water and become "one" with the water. Add hot water if you need it, but beyond that, stay as still as possible. When time as passed, rise slowly and towel off lightly and put on the robe. This process will greatly help reduce stress, break the stress cycle, and allow our bodies to fall into a deeper rest. Regular use of anti-stress, anti-pain bath will release many stress factors through relaxation. This allows us to recover our energy and stimulate a stronger natural resistence, enhance our immune system and recover our health.

We can further enhance the effectiveness of water's stress and pain reduction by adding herbal extracts and essential oils to our therapeutic bath. Herbal extracts and essential oils are made from natural plans by various means of distillation. Essential oils, e.g. Lavender, provide a relaxing aroma that in itself reduces stress and pain. These essential oils are used in the treatment modality of aromatherapy and can be added to our bath water for added benefit. We can also use aromatherapy candles by our bath to add even more effective benefits to our therapeutic bath experience. Aromatherpy candles add a soothing light and aroma to ease stress and pain.

In natural thermal pools found in nature are many dissolved minerals that also have an effective therapeutic benefit. Minerals play an important role in water conditioning. Natural sodium (salt) minerals such as sodium borate, sodium caronate, and sodium cloride neutralize metals and provide a mild electrolyte solutions which disperses botanicals evenly throughout the water and helps attract the botanical molecules to our skin. Aromatherapy bath salts and minerals added to our bath water helps us receive full benefit from aromatherapy essential oils that we have added to our bath

Water is a powerful therapeutic natural source of stress and pain relief. We are water. Water is life. We often take this for granted and therefore do not make full use of this natural healing agent. Many of us do not even drink enough water. If we are wanting to manage stress or to break a vicious stress cycle, we need only remember that water is a powerful resource. The next time we are feeling stress, we can remember to simply wash our hands, splash some water on our faces, or take a soothing drink of water. If possible spend time with creeks, rivers, and where possible with the ocean. If possible, we can introduce swimming to our exercise program. If this is not possible, we can naturally soak away stress and pain with hot baths enhanced with aromatherapy bath salts, aromatherapy mineral baths, aromatherpy essential oils or stress and pain formulas specially designed to be used with water such as ABRA Herbal Hydrotherapy Muscle Bath or ABRA Hydrotherapy Stress Bath.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/how-to-use-water-for-natural-stress-and-pain-relief-215479.html

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Aromatherapy Candles Gift of Health

We are all aware of how various aromas impact our thoughts, feelings and especially our memory.. Take, for example, the thoughts, feelings and memories aroused by the aroma of fresh baked bread, the scent of flowers in the garden, the aroma of honey suckle, the aroma of pine trees in the woods, lemons, and an infinite variety of other aromas. In fact, aromas impact us physically by making our mouths water, our bodies relax, and even the way we move our bodies without conscious thought. Given these effects of aromas, it would only be reasonable that we would intentionally use certain aromas to produce the pleasant and beneficial thoughts and feelings that we are seeking. The practice of doing this very thing with the aromas from essential oils distilled from flowering and other plants as well as herbs has come to be known as aromatherapy.

The history of aromatherapy dates back over 6,000 years ago with the Egyptians. They and we have used fragrances and aromas through the centuries to acquire emotional and physical health benefits from the essentials oils of plants and herbs. Aromatherapy uses natural essential oils distilled from plants and herbs, in contrast to the many chemical, synthetic substances used to scent many of the products we use today. Chemically based, synthetic aromas can produce many undesirable effects on our physical and emotional health. This makes it very important that we use aromas and fragrances that are distilled from natural sources.

Those of us familiar with all natural essential oil based aromatherapy products think most often of aromatherapy in the forms of lotions, soaps, bath salts and massage oils. Many of us are finding the value of using natural essential aromatherapy oils in the form of candles. Aromatherapy candles produce a flow of aromas from natural essential oils from herbs and plants into the air as the heat from the candle flame warms the essential oils contained in the candle. As we breathe in the air, the aromas from the essential oils produced by the heat of the candles, flows through our bodies and our brains allowing our minds and bodies to receive the health benefits of the aromas. Aromatherapy candles relieve stress, enhance concentration, relax our bodies, calms our moods, help us gain rest and renew increasing our physical energy and create a warm visual atmosphere as we enjoy our primal, innate attraction to the warmth and light of fire.

Some of the fragrances that hep us relieve stress and experience emotional balance are lavender, chamomile, rose and others. Lemon, orange grapefruit or bergamot fragrances help enchance our concentration. Peppermint, cinnamon, vanilla and rosemary help us revitalize our bodies and gain extra energy. For a sensual mood or to enhance relationships, we can use vanilla, rose or sandalwood.

Another important factor for us to consider is the material of the candle itself that contains the essential aromatherapy oils that we desire. There is a great advantage in using candles made from soy, a natural plant product, rather than candles made from paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is an petroleum product. Paraffin wax releases toxins into the air when they are burned. Paraffin wax produces unhealthy carcinogens that we remain in our lungs after we breathe them. Also natural cotton wicks burn clean without releasing smoke into the air we breathe. These toxins from paraffin wax also negate the benefits we are trying to receive from natural essential aromatherapy oils. Soy is also a renewable resource and is not imported as are petroleum based products. Aromatherapy candles made from soybean wax can be produced in this country and therefore, provide us some financial savings i.e. they are less expensive. Soybean wax candles also last twice and long as candles made from paraffin wax. Soybean wax is also more easily cleaned up with warm water and soap should a soy candle accidentally be dropped or tipped over. Paraffin wax is almost impossible to remove without professional cleaning.

There are some social advantages to using aromatherapy delivered in the form of aromatherapy candles. Aromatherapy benefits can be easily delivered to everyone in a group gathering or social event. Aromatherapy candles add an extra benefit of warmth, light and visual pleasure with glowing flame. Aromatherapy candles provide a wonderful aroma for the whole room that everyone can enjoy. In addition to providing aromatherapy in a very convenient form, aromatherapy candles make great gifts to express caring, appreciation and gratitude as well as delivering emotional and physical health benefits for those who receive aromatherapy candles as a gift.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/aromatherapy-candles-gift-of-health-267323.html

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Making Beautiful Music For Your Nose With Essential Oil Recipes

There are a lot of benefits to aromatherapy. Perhaps you want to help heal minor problems. Perhaps you want a sensual massage. Perhaps you need to calm down or wake up. Or perhaps you want to smell something pleasing. Whatever your reason, you will soon discover that your nose has its own likes and dislikes. What essential oil recipes work for one person might not work for you, much in the same way jazz music is both loved and hated. You have to spend some time learning what scents you like and what you dont. This way you can make your own essential oil recipes that best benefit you.

Notes Of Scent

Creating your own essential oil recipes can be a lot of fun for many people, like playing or listening to music. With your first essential oil recipes, stick with just three oils until you get the hang of it. Otherwise, they will clash. Also, considering the price of some essential oils, it will be a lot cheaper.

There are three kinds of oils that you need in your mix to make it the most effective. These types of essential oils are called notes. You need a top note, and a middle note, and a base note. You can also make some good essential oil recipes with one top note and two middles. Experiment and see what works best for you. Note what scents bring about what kind of feelings brought up in you. Its safer to blend essential oils with a carrier oil like olive or jojoba than just to use the pure essential oils if you mean to put the oil on your body. Its also a lot less expensive! When burning oils for their scent alone, it is best to use the pure essential oils.

Top Notes

Top notes are like the lead vocals of an essential oil recipe. They are usually the first thing you notice. They also dont last too long, letting the other notes take over. Many fruity and floral scents fall into this category. Common top note essential oils are lemon, bergamot, eucalyptus and orange.

Middle Notes

Middle notes are like the guitars in a band. They are more subtle than top notes and tend to last a lot longer. Spicy, floral and herbal kind of essential oils tend to fall into this category. Some are listed as middle notes OR base notes, depending on what aromatherapy book you read. Smell them and determine for yourself how long the scent lasts in your essential oil recipes. Common middle note oils are lavender, geranium, patchouli, rose and rosemary.
Base Notes

Base note scents are the percussion and rhythm of the scent band. They provide the beat that the rest of the band has to follow. The base note oils linger the longest in you essential oil recipes. Many spicy and woody scents fall into this category. Common base note oils are sandalwood, cypress, frankincense and myrrh. Some also list patchouli and even rose in this category.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/making-beautiful-music-for-your-nose-with-essential-oil-recipes-367358.html

Monday, March 9, 2009

Using the Best Massage Oils Enhances Your Experience

One of the most beneficial parts of going to get a massage is the extraordinary aromas coming from the massage oils that you therapist uses during your session. But are you aware that some massage oils can trigger reactions in the brain or arouse certain moods that make your experience particularly gratifying. Here are some tips that you can use when selecting your massage oils.


First, you must determine if you are using your therapy sessions to better sleep patterns, to relieve muscle tension, or improve your mood as well as gain energy. This will help you to decide whether you want the scent of the massage oil to be calming and subduing, or a scent that is vibrant and induces energy.

You also should set up your spa massage to include perfumed oils that you selected when you made your appointment. You can also bring along the massage oils yourself so that your therapist can make you a customized oil combination for you.

Massage oil is applied during your sessions to make the skin soft and flexible, making kneading and the muscle stimulation more effortless and comfortable. The herbs, flowers, and plants that are used in massage oil are also related to receptors in the brain that change the mood your in, which is why you leave the spa in a relaxed and better mood.

So, if you want to calm yourself after a long day's work, you can try massage oil that integrates lavender, which has been acknowledged to relax the senses as well as detoxify your skin. Vanilla is also an excellent scent to use during a session, since it arouses the senses and provides the body with a calming, centered feeling.


If you want to get a massage that gives you a burst of energy to your current day, you can select an oil with scents of citrus fruit, such as grapefruit, lemon, or bergamot. These oils are known to awaken receptors within the brain, making it less problematic for you to remain focused on the tasks of the day and preserve energy as well.

Oils that are instilled with ginger works excellent as well to enhance mood and gain energy, and ginger can also assist in removing pollutants from the body, because the root can take out mucus from the sinus cavities and keep harmful fluid away from your muscles.

You can find massage oils in a number of different places, for instance your local grocery, cosmetics store, health food store, or at your spa. Be sure to ask your physician about which the are the best massage oils for your skin type, and also have a skin test done if you have sensitive skin. You can even utilize your massage oils at your home to give you an immediate pick-me-up, and can they can also be used in the bath or shower to provide your skin with a boost.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/using-the-best-massage-oils-enhances-your-experience-410060.html

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tips For Storing Your Essential Oils

Essential oils, CO2S and absolutes are usually sold for use in small bottles. Commonly they are sold in 5ml, 10ml and 15ml bottle sizes. More expensive oils are sold in 2ml and 1 dram bottle sizes. These oils should be stored very carefully because they can easily get damaged by ultraviolet light and get deteriorated very fast at the blue end of the spectrum, as compared to red. They can lose their therapeutic benefits and deteriorate over time. For instance, citrus oil oxidizes and begins to lose aroma and its therapeutic properties; but not every essential oil loses its value, like sandalwood and patchouli oils.

You should always store essential oils in an amber colored bottle and if you are keeping the oil in a blue color bottle then keep it in a dark place, this is not so important for brown colored bottles. Dark glass bottles like amber or cobalt blue bottles can keep the sunrays out. Try and avoid purchasing any essential oil that comes in a clear bottle with a rubber dropper incorporated into the screw top cap because the highly concentrated oil has the capacity to turn the rubber bulb into gum. Never buy oils that are being sold in plastic bottles. There are some vendors who sell essential oils in aluminum bottles, but these bottles are acceptable if the interiors are lined. Always store the bottles in a dark and cool place because these oils cannot take high temperatures and they evaporate quickly. Most of the oils come in a bottle that contains an "orifice reducer" which is a small, clear insert inside the bottle opening and acts as a dropper. You can easily tip the bottle and dispense the essential oil drop by drop. Remember to replace the cap quickly after use and make sure that the cap is closed tightly, when not in use.

Whichever essential oil you buy will last approximately for three years from the date of bottling. But if you provide excellent storage conditions then the oil can be stored for at least five years. There is dramatic reduction in the shelf life once the oils are diluted with carrier oils. A blend will be effective for approximately three to six months if you store it in an amber colored bottle in a cool place. With wheatgerm oil being added, the shelf life is about six to nine months. Remember to discard the oil if there is an alteration in the smell or when vegetable oil becomes rancid.

There are few points that you need to keep in kind when you buy an essential oil:

• Buy oils in amber colored bottles

• Check for the date when it was bottled and how old it is

• The oils should not be kept in direct sunlight

• Check if all the essential oils are of the same price. This is an indication that you are being cheated. For instance, rosemary or lavender oil will be less expensive than rose oil.

• Check if the essential oil that you are buying is blended with any other carrier oil and if yes, then find out when it was diluted.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/tips-for-storing-your-essential-oils-707739.html

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Relieve Stress Naturally With Aromatherapy Tips

Nowadays, almost everybody experience stress in his life. Stress term describes any mental, emotional or physical reaction that is abnormal. Stress is a natural part of our life. Sometimes it is beneficial because it keep us focused and persistent on our goal (work, study, etc.), but generally stress is one of the major threat of our mental and physical health. Feeling stress, especially on a daily basis and for a long period, may cause several health disorders, such as anxiousness, headaches, blood pressure, hair loss, depression, even heart attach. According to recent surveys, the 3 major causes of stress in developed world are job, family and health issues.

Many stress management strategies have been developed recently by psychologists. However, nobody can claim that every patient who may follow his treatment will totally eliminate stress from his life. In this article we will present you some of the most efficient aromatherapy tips that can help you reduce stress level and achieve emotional and physical well-being.

Throughout history, some scented plants and their aromatic water have been used for relaxing and smoothing purposes. Holy basil is a native herb of India (where it is known as tulsi), sacred plant of the Hindu civilization and used for thousands of years for healing. Scientific studies on natural properties of Holy Basil have found that it reduces body hormones named corticosterone and cortisol, which are intimately connected with stress, anxiety and mental clarity. Consequently, Holy Basil is one of the best antidepressant therapeutic grades and its essential oils are highly recommended for stress alleviation.

Other, more well-known, essential oils which can be used for soothing nervous tension and reducing stress are: Lavender essential oil, Ylang-Ylang essential oil, Chamomile essential oil and Geranium essential Oil. Lavender’s scent has calming and anti-depressant properties. Ylang-Ylang is described as euphoric essential oil that helps in uplifting mood. Chamomile essential oil can relax body and mind and can provide restful and peaceful sleep. Geranium oil, is another sedative and relaxing essential oil, that can balance adrenaline.

Before, suggesting some aromatherapy recipes for stress relief, I want to underline that dealing with essential oils might be dangerous especially for inexperienced persons. Keep in mind that essential oils are concentrated potent substances and should never be placed directly on skin. Use carrier (base) oil for dilution and after you can apply it on skin. Moreover, remember that only few essential oils can be taken internally and used during pregnancy.

Aromatherapy oils can be used in burners and diffusers. Add 5-10 drops of your favourite essential oil to water in the bowl and heat it. Sit back and relax, while the essential oil vaporises and its perfume creates a soothing atmosphere. Another way to benefit from essential oils is by inhaling them. Put few drops on a tissue or a cotton pad, put your nose near and just inhale. Keep in mind, that this is the easiest and the only one way to benefit from essential oils when you are outside your home and you want to relieve tension (at work for example).

Additionally, you can reduce stress with aromatherapy bath and massage. Add 4-6 drops of essential oil to your warm bath water and stay in it for at least 15 minutes, allowing the oil to penetrate your skin and indulge yourself with the advantageous vapours. Finally, you can add 5 drops of essential oil to every 10ml of base oil and massage your body. The ideal parts of your body for relaxing massage are around the neck, shoulders and back.

In conclusion, stress is an unavoidable piece of our modern way of living, but there are some easy to follow techniques that can enhance the body ability to cope with emotional and physical stress. The most sweet-scented is Aromatherapy.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/relieve-stress-naturally-with-aromatherapy-tips-150016.html

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Smudging and Smudge Sticks for Health and Aromatherapy

Many of us have used smudge sticks for years and felt it's many benefits. Smudging is such a common, continuous practice that it almost seems modern. Yet smudging is a practice so ancient that we don't know just when or how it came to be. Perhaps quite by chance or by internal inspiration people have come to realize that the smoke from burning particular herbs had emotional, cognitive, and even physical benefits. Modern science has proven that the smoke from some herbs have cleansing effects changing the molecular structure of air and energy. In fact the aroma of sage has been found to actually increase the oxygen supply to the brain and also produce a physical relaxation of muscle tension.

We have come to experience that smudging has a purification benefit for our bodies, our living space and our consciousness. Some of us have come to believe that the smoke from burning some herbs acts like a messenger to realities and energies beyond our conscious comprehension and understanding. People from China, India, Asia, Europe and, of course, Native Americans have used smoke from herbal mixtures in their healing and spiritual rituals.

Many of us have come to realize the benefits of a soothing bath or shower to cleanse and refresh our bodies as well as experiencing the emotional feeling of well being from the cleaning. We have found that the use of water changes the structure of our physical and emotional energy pattern. Like water, the use of smudge sticks, a blend of certain herbs, for smudging is equally effective. Like the Native cultures around the world, we have found that the burning of herbs for spiritual, psychic, and emotional purification helps us relax and feel the balance of our physical and emotional energy. The rational for how smudging works, is that the smoke molecules from the herbals blends being burned, attaches to the negative energy and clears it away or actually changes the molecular structure of the energy.

Our sense of smell connects us to a deep instinctual part of our brain. We have all experienced this with the use of other forms of aromatherapy. Smudging is very effective aromatherapy form and very useful when we have been feeling depressed, angry, fearful, frustrated, resentful, grief or unwell. We have also found it to be useful when we have experienced irritation and conflict in our relationships. In fact, a space, e.g. a room, can also be "cleansed" of this uncomfortable energy. In addition, we can use smudging to enhance a celebration, special occasion, or ceremony. Smudging can help us experience a relaxed, open, meditative, and calm state .

Sage is the herb we most commonly use for smudging. The botanical name for sage is salvia which is from the Latin root savare meaning to heal. Smudge sticks usually made of white or another variety of sage or a are a blend of sage and another herb. Lavender is well known in aromatherapy practice, as a calming, soothing, balancing aroma. Lavender when combined with sage in a smudge stick provides wonderful benefit and experience. Cedar is a traditional cleansing herb used by Native people. The "spirit" or energy of cedar is considered to be very ancient and powerful. Cedar can also be bundled with sage to create a wonderful smudge stick. Sweetgrass is a toll wild grass with a musty, sweet aroma. Sweetgrass is often woven into braids similar to braiding hair and used for smudging as a single herb. Sweetgrass has a wonderful essential oil quality that contributes to it's burning slowly. Sweetgrass has beome rare in the wild because of development. Sweetgrass aroma promotes a very meditative, open conscious awareness. Sweetgrass is often used after the cleansing benefits of sage or cedar. However, blending and bundling sweetgrass with sage in a single smudge stick, provides an awesome aromatherapy and meditative experience.

There are various traditions and patterns of using smudge sticks. One powerful method when using a smudge stick is after lighting and adding the energy of breath to "fire" the embers, is to move the stick from foot to head on the left side of the body representing "female" aspect of receiving, then on the right side of the body representing the "male" aspect of taking action, than bringing the stick around the body clockwise representing bringing one's self into the "circle of life", and finishing with touching the stick to the floor/ground acknowledging Grandmother Earth and raising it above the head moving the stick in a circular manor acknowledging Grandfather Sky/Sun. When cleansing a space or an object, the smudge stick can be moved in a counterclockwise circle representing unwinding or undoing i.e. cleansing and releasing. Whatever tradition or pattern of ceremony or method of use of smudge sticks with which you are comfortable is quite acceptable and beneficial.

When using smudge sticks, be sure to practice the commonsense considerations that you would whenever using something that involves fire and burning. Extinguishing the smudge stick with water will ruin the stick for further use. It is best to extinguish the smudge stick by "smothering" the embers in a cup, bowl, jar, or other nonflammable container.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/fitness-articles/smudging-and-smudge-sticks-for-health-and-aromatherapy-235408.html

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Create Your Own Aromatherapy Oils

Aromatherapy usually involves a massage, however, it can be induced in a bath or filling the room with an aroma. Even though the essential oils used in aromatherapy are from plant extracts, these oils are very concentrated and should not be applied directly internally or externally.

Extracting essential oils is a lengthy process, and it means spending a lot for a small quantity of oil. Purchasing essential oils is also costly; however, you can get the therapeutic benefits of essential oils and aromatic oils quite inexpensively at home.

Step 1: Carrier Oils

In view of the fact that essential oils are very strong, they should be mixed in a different oil, also known as the carrier, before using it as a massage oil or perfume. You have various options for the carrier oil. Sweet Almond oil is the most favorable choice as it is absorbent and lightweight still it has the right fragrance of essential oils. Coconut, aloe-vera and avocado oils are natural moisturizers and therefore the best for dryer skin, whereas grape seed is best for oily skins since it is very light. If you are not sure about using the oils, buy extra virgin olive oil from the local grocery store. Even though we know this oil is best for cooking, it makes an exceptional carrier. Extra virgin is the premium type of olive oil. Besides, if it is good for ingestion, than it is definitely good for your skin!

Step 2: Essential Oils

You can find wide range essential oils at any health or natural food store. At these stores you are sure to find a range of various essential oils. If you cannot find them at these stores, there are websites that sell these essential oils. Try to find the ones in blue or dark brown jars; compared to clear glass as these colors keeps the oils much better. You can try only one or mixture of various essential oils for producing a particular effect.

• Relaxation: ylang-ylang, lavender, sandalwood, chamomile and vanilla

• Energy: spearmint, peppermint, lemongrass and eucalyptus

• Meditation: sandalwood, ylang-ylang, frankincense and myrhh.

These are only some suggestions; there are various essential oils with medicinal properties. An important aspect you should keep in mind about essential oils is that the smaller the amount you use, the more beneficial it is for you! Essential oils are very strong, so you need not to use more to create an effective, strong fragrance.

Step 3: Mix and Use

Wherever you get hold of essential oils, you must find small dark colored glass bottles. Ensure that you check how many fluid ounces every bottle holds. Put 10 to 12 drops of essential oil for every ounce of carrier oil, and use just 15 drops of essential oil for every ounce of the carrier. Consequently, if you are making an ounce of relaxing massage oil, put five drops of chamomile and five drops of lavender. After a day or so add more drops if you want a stronger fragrance.

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