What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Sometimes it’s called essential oil therapy. Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils medicinally to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. It enhances both physical and emotional health.
Does Aromatherapy Really Work?
Aromatherapy is thought of as both an art and a science. Recently, aromatherapy has gained more recognition in the fields of science and medicine.
Today we are going to talk about some garden plants that you may already have or might be inspired to get after this blog. We will start with the elders of the garden. The first flower we have is a yellow flower together with berries from the elder tree. The tree is called mother elder and there are rumors that her spirit was either a goddess or a dryad or a wish that could heal all different kinds of things. In the past, the word witch meant either holy or knowledge or wisdom. The wise woman had a lot of healing to give to other people. The word has a different meaning today. Over time, the elder tree that grows in the canyons can now be used as medicine! The botanical name of the flower is Sambucus Mexicana. Although, other trees that are also called elder, are not suitable for any kind of healing. As a result, it is very important to know the exact botanical name, genus and species of a plant before using them for healing or essential oils. The elder is a very flexible plant. You can use its berries for is elderberry syrup and its flowers for tea. The syrup is particularly helpful for a facial wash while the tea can help with the fever.
Another interesting flower is this sage plant also known as “salvia officinalis”. “Salvia” means to save and the plant is also considered a healer with many different uses. The second part “officinalis’ refers to the plant’s medicinal use. In former times, people would go to the monk’s office to get their medicine.
The garden sage is related to the white sage which is often burned to create a sacred space in many different cultures. It has the same genus but belongs to a different species. Its botanical name is salvia alba.
Sage, once again, is used for many things. It is not only a warming herb but also a drying herb. Latter is really good for colds, flu or even a runny nose because it dries up extra flam.
Additionally, Sage is also used for wisdom, more specifically to help increase brain activity and health. You can also use Salvia Rosmarinus or rosemary. Rosmarinus stands for a rose by the sea and is also an officinalis. It has many purposes such as facial washes or as a hair product. Old indigenous people used to take long pieces of rosemary and comb their hair with it. Rosemary can also act as a vasodilator which means it widens the blood vessels which in turn increases the oxygen flow to the brain. Many tests and studies have been done to prove that rosemary does indeed stimulate brain activity. The plant appears in different forms depending on where it grows which has an effect on the chemotype. If it has the cineole chemotype, it’s great to expand the lungs, circulation, and respiratory system
To learn more about the holistic health program at ICOHS College >>CLICK HERE<<
Holistic Health 101: An Alternative Approach to Western medicine
An Introduction to Holistic Health
What Is Holistic Health?
A Brief Overview of Holistic Health Treatments
Holistic Health Programs at ICOHS College
Our Final Thoughts on Holistic Health 101
Have you ever caught yourself holding your breath while concentrating, focusing or just in your day to day activities?
It is really amazing that in this day and age we are so busy that we forget the life-saving miracle of breathing.
Yes, Breathing. I know that we tend to think; ‘if wasn’t breathing, I would be dead’ how true that is!
However, The quality of breath can make the difference between having a heart attack, High Blood Pressure, alleviating unexpected sharp pains, releasing tension and stress and it can also be used to help you assess if your pain needs emergency attention or not.
A quote I like states:
“focusing on the act of breathing clears the mind of all daily distractions and clears our energy enabling us to better connect with the spirit within.” Unknown Author.
The type of breath taken makes a difference when we’re talking about pain, discomfort or stress alleviation. In our modern hustle and bustle, dead-lined, rush to do’s, to complete or to maintain mostly causes us to sustain our lives with shallow breathing or intermittent breathing. I propose at the minimum we take 3 deep intentional breaths every hour. Know that, these breaths require you to breathe in through your nostrils and exhale a Hawww releasing Sound out of your mouth. (not a Whoo, shoo or light controlled release; just a Hawww releasing sound 3 times consecutively per hour. Yes, other sounds can be adapted for varying focuses.
In Chinese medicine, we have elementals/meridian/organ sounds. The meridians are associated and or resonate with each organ sound. On the meridians are Points that when stimulated can produce specific and desired outcomes based on the goal or reason they are utilized. There are varying ways to utilize sound and or elemental sounds.
In Chinese medicine when in good health one practice is cycle breathing of the sounds in the order of the 5 elements, 5 Transformations or 5 generation cycle in the element rotation to maintain good health: these sounds are She/(Xū) associates with (Wood/Liver/or springtime)→ Hawww/(Hē) sound associates with (Fire/Heart/summer time)→ Whoo/(Hū) sound associates with (Earth/SP/St/or all seasons)→ sssss/(Sī) sound associates with (Metal/Lungs/Autumn time)→ shu/(Chuī) sound associates with (Water/Kidneys/Winter time) and the → Sheee/(Xī) sound more pronounced than the 1st time we used (Wood/Liver/spring time). These sounds are so-pose to help with maintaining good health when you are in good relative health producing an energetic, physical and organ balanced.
Along the same lines if trying to promote healing and or rebalancing imbalances another practice using those same sound in a different order is called the Ko or controlling cycle of breath those sounds are Hawww/(Hē)sound associates with (Fire/heart/ summer time) → Ssss/(Sī)sound associates with (Metal/Lung/autumn time) → Shee/(Xū) sound associates with (Wood/Liver/spring) → Whoo/(Hū) sound associates with (Earth/St/Sp or all seasons) → Shu/(Chuī) sound associates with (Water/Kidney/winter) → Sheee/(Xī) sound associates with (Wood/Liver/spring time) again.
Both of these techniques do work and are also used in the 5 element treatment of imbalance of which I may get into another time. Even though in Chinese medicine the Whooo sound as the anytime sound. In my practice, I have found that the Hawww (he) sound worked best at alleviating constriction, tension, pain, discomfort and has a calming effect on the mind and body at any time.
In the physiological function of breath in many practices, express inhalation of air in lungs through the use of the diaphragm which is located under the lungs and exhalation through the nostrils is often used in meditative practices. Where instead of Breathing into the diaphragm ones inhales down to their Dan Tian (area below the umbilicus [navel]) and releases a relaxed exhalation out of the nostrils while maintaining either an open light non-specific gaze or relaxed closed eyes.
Our focus is inhalation through the nostrils which helps build energy than doing a releasing Hawww sound to then releases constrictions & tension or incorporating visualization of the breath breathing in positive energy and expelling negative energy. Breathing in light, health, and harmony and breathing out negativity, disease and disharmony… there are many forms of breath exercises that can be done.
However, in my experience, It’s very important to maintain this particular Breath practice when trying to alleviate natural tension or restore better function (Breathing in through the nose and exhaling a releasing Hawww sound out of the mouth) In an effort to resolve spontaneous dysfunction, pains, headaches or tensions. Releasing Hawww sound especially, when you are experiencing palpitations, anxiety or worry as well; slow and steady but exaggerated breaths. Immediately followed by holding water in your mouth for 10sec or more (b4 & after breath) remember this practice is to be done 3x’s/hr. In my next blog, I’ll express the importance of hydration “the second neglected need”. Speak with you again soon.
J Emanuel Hodge MSAOM, HHP
Integrative Medicine Physician