When Aromatherapy and Spirituality Meet
We've lost touch with the art of touch.
Doctors prescribe pills & rarely touch their patients today. The technology of medical care has become a necessary burden for nurses, leaving little time to offer a soothing touch, hold a hand or wipe a tear.
The Lost Art of Touch
Contact is Essential For Survival
Studies show that human touch is essential for survival. Both social isolation & loneliness are associated with increased mortality of the elderly. Orphaned infants exposed to the bleakest of conditions in eastern European institutions exhibited impaired growth & cognitive development, as well as an increase in infant death. (1)
"Aromatherapy & Subtle Energy Techniques" is a practical book that introduces the concepts of subtle energy techniques & energy therapies including Therapeutic Touch & hands-on-healing. Aromatherapy can enhance these modalities & is an effective compliment to the art of healing touch. (2)
Essential Oils & Natural Healing
The world of Essential Oils is a fascinating walk through nature's pharmacy.
These amazing oils release their essence in ways that heal, protect & regenerate beyond our full understanding. Their volatile molecules are easily dispersed into the air & are easily absorbed through the skin, making their healing properties readily available. Although fragrance provides some therapeutic benefit as it evokes memory & stimulates the pleasure center in the brain, Essential Oils are effective even when the smell cannot be detected.
Varying philosophies exist about the "energy", the "vibration" & the spiritual connection of essential oils. From a scientific view, it is the chemical components of an oil that give it therapeutic properties. When oils are released through diffusion, massage or topical application, the molecules break apart & reconnect with those of the air & the surface of the skin. They are volatile. They vibrate at a molecular level. They transfer, convert & connect on a molecular level.
Energy, as defined by Wikipedia: "In physics, energy is a property of objects which can be transferred to other objects or converted into different forms, but cannot be created or destroyed.” (3)
The healing energy of Essential Oils cannot be denied.
Ayurvedic medicine for centuries has used the healing energy of botanicals to promote healing of the body, mind & spirit. The Chakras from the Sanskrit tradition of India are thought to be energy focal points within the body. This theory teaches methods of balancing the energy centers through yoga & other practices. (4)
Traditional Chinese Medicine is a centuries old style of traditional medicine built on a foundation of Chinese medical practice. It includes various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, exercise, & dietary therapy. (5)
Where spirituality & science meet
Even if you question the validity of these ancient practices, the basic principles can be incorporated into a life of health, wellness & spiritual wholeness. Adding the healing powers of Essential Oils not only enhances wellness, it brings the art of healing touch to the practitioner's or caregiver's regimen.
My spirituality lies in Christianity & has to do with my connection with and love for God & with my fellow humans. It is a spiritual energy that flows through my hands as I apply an oil to a client that completes the healing formula. I can't think of a better way to administer to the sick & suffering.
I'm not against taking pills when necessary & traditional medical care is sometimes necessary. But I'd rather have the soothing touch of my husband applying oils to my neck & shoulders when I have a headache than to take a hangover causing narcotic. If there is an Essential Oils remedy, I'll try it first. How about you?
Note: Essential oils & other aromatherapy products are not intended to treat, cure or otherwise prevent disease nor take the place of conventional medical treatment & advice.
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About The Author - Janie ODell RN CCAP
Janie ODell is a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist, nurse & aromatherapy educator.
Her passion is to teach appropriate & safe use of Essential Oils. Over the course of her career, she has become an advocate for conservation of medicinal plants & is raising awareness of Essential Oil waste & the destruction of threatened species of plants caused by over-marketing & increased demand for these precious oils.
She also holds a membership with the NAHA & The Alliance of International Aromatherapists and United Plant Savers.