Naturally extracting essential oils from plants and trees, Aromatherapy ensures a harmonious healing of mind, body and spirit, with increased vitality and an overall sense of well-being.
"Aromatherapy's a branch of herbal medicine," explains Marianne Bogoslowski, CAHP, "It is a science in respect to the distillation process (extraction from the plant), and an art due to the "blending". This is where you become creative. If you want something calming, you can blend together Roman Chamomile (1 drop), Lavender (2 drops) and Sweet Orange (5 drops) with carrier oil (10 ml) to form an aromatherapy massage."
"As far back as the Egyptian times, essential oils were used for ritualistic and ceremonial events; anointing statues of Gods as offerings of gratitude." Myrrh, sandalwood and lotus oils were widely used in ancient Egyptian embalming and purificication rituals. "The Egyptians strongly believed in the afterlife and preservation of the body. Stuffing the head of the body with plant material and essential oils, the Egyptians had their own primitive distillation process."
"There are many Bible references for essential oils," says Marianne, acknowledging the anointment of Jesus for example. All four Gospels record Mary of Bethany anointing Jesus with alabastron, an exorbitant ointment.
In addition to their healing properties, essential oils activate memory, recall and concentration. "When you inhale a scent, whether it's incense or essential oils, it invokes memory and takes you back in time."
"When taking essential oils internally, medical supervision is imperative," advises Marianne. "If you abuse essential oils internally or on your skin, it can be dangerous." On the road to continuing education, Marianne schooled in Provence under the tutelage of Dr. Daniel Penoel, a leading specialist in Aromatic Medicine and the internal use of essential oils. "Although used in France, the use of essential oils is not permissible in Canada."
"If you're not using essential oils properly, they can be toxic," warns Marianne. "Research is key; there is a list of oils that are toxic to your skin. You can find beautiful, wonderful aromatherapists on the Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists website. See somebody who knows what they are talking about."
Working at Long Term Care facilities for the past eight years, Marianne shares her gift, travelling to 5 different homes offering massage to the elderly. "They love it because of the loneliness and isolation they encounter. The company, pleasant smells, therapy, the listening, the touch; it's all very healing for them. Decreasing the aches and pains they have (depending on where the pain is), I'd use an anti-inflammatory oil blend, massaging it into the area of concern."
"Essential oils are safe for pregnancy, such as Tangerine and Neroli," suggests Marianne. "It's beautifully scented and good for preventing stretch marks. Use them with a nice carrier oil, such as sweet almond, avacado, grape seed or olive oil."
"For depression, anxiety, PMS, menopausal symptoms, sleep disorder, and insomnia, I would create a blend of clary sage and lavender."
"A relax mixture of lavender, mandarin, geranium (the leaves of the geranium and not the petals; wonderful for balancing hormones and the adrenals), and patchouli," comments Marianne, displaying a vial of essential oil, "Is a great blend, if you're stressed out; always running!"
"Lemon balm is a beautiful plant for depression. The oil extracts are calming and soothing. Citronella keeps away predators, such as mosquitos. With any plant you can rub the leaves to benefit from their healing qualities. Essential oils and plants are vibrational. They are a life force; the essential oils being the blood that keeps them alive."
When seeking the essential oil that is right for you, Marianne recommends finding the botanical name on the label, and the origin. "Jasmine would be jasmine officinalus. Tea tree oil comes from Australia; sandalwood from India; birch (uplifting energy & decreasing muscular pain) from Canada.
With Valentine's on the horizon, Marianne suggests essential oils for your sweetheart. A healing aromic massage not only makes scents, it's the best way to say "I love you!"
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