..The Intuitive Times
Complementary Therapies



by Rita McDonald

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For the ancient Egyptians, Aromatherapy was a way of life, both in religious rituals and in medicine. They were masters in combining the oil from several different plants to control emotions, disease etc. Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, was the first physician to believe that an aromatic bath and scented massage were the way to good health.

Stress is a common problem in today's technological society. It is something that is difficult to measure yet it is known to be the result of excessive demands for energy, mental or physical and can actually make you sick. Some have a very high tolerance for stress while others find it very difficult to cope with everyday demands and reach their limits quickly. A certain amount of stress is normal. The hormone adrenaline is made by the body in increasing amounts during periods of stress. Prolonged production of adrenaline can lead to headaches, hypertension and in some people, insomnia. Stress can lead to numerous other major or minor illnesses.

Balance is the key, and this is where Aromatherapy can play an important role. An experienced Aromatherapist knows how to combine essential oils to bring balance and treat many different disorders. As with many herbal remedies, essential oils can be used to for many purposes. The same herb or oil (like lemon balm) can be stimulating for certain body functions while having a sedating effect on others.

The following explores some of the uses of Aromatheraphy.:

* Skin problems are often caused by the build up of toxins in the blood. Antiseptics oils from thyme, sage, eucalyptus, tea tree, clove, lavender and lemon are beneficial for things such as insect bites, spots, and cuts.

* For the circulation, muscles and joints, massage or inhale hyssop oil. It has a balancing or regulating effect, reducing blood pressure if is too high or stimulated it if it is too sluggish. For stress try sweet marjoram, or lavender.

* For the respiratory system, such as nose or throat infections, eucalyptus, pine and thyme oils are helpful. They can also be used for sinusitis, coughs, bronchitis, etc. The fastest way the oils are introduced into the blood stream is through inhalation.

* For the digestive system do not take any essential oils orally as it is safer to inhale or massage. For pain and indigestion use chamomile, caraway or fennel. * For the endocrine systems, oils such as hops, sage and fennel have been found to contain a form of estrogen that influences the menstrual cycle, lactation and secondary sexual characteristics. It is very difficult to get results with oils in regards to the kidneys, and bladder because a diuretic in essential oil form is non-existent. For urinary problems, use bergamot, chamomile, tea tree and sandal wood oils.

* For the immune system, essential oils have bactericidal properties and by promoting the production of white blood cells they can help to prevent and treat infections such as cold and flues etc. Oils to use are basil, cajeput, tea tree, and lavender.

* For the nervous system, most people benefit from sedative oils such as bergamot, sandalwood, valerian and hops. Stimulant oils are jasmine, peppermint, and angelica. How the mind perceives odor is dependent on a variety of factors such as how the odor was applied, how much was applied, and under what circumstances (i.e. age, sex, and personality type.) All serious illness requires the advice of a medical doctor.

Rita MacDonald can be reached at 687-1511 and uses Aromatherapy on a daily basis both professionally and personally.

Sampler of Aromatherapy Treatment to try at home

Take time to unwind after your day. Take a warm-to-hot bath with about eight to ten drops of a relaxing essential oil such as lavender, nerloi, ylang ylang, or orange just to name a few. After you bath, drink a hot tea such as chamomile or mint and relax with a book. This a simple but effective way to manage your stress.

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