Aromatherapy is a holistic healing method that combines the science of essential oils with the art of listening to the body, and applying the appropriate essences to re-harmonize the imbalances. The oils can be sniffed directly, sprayed, taken as inhalation, or more usually, diffused into the air using a burner or diffuser. They can also be used as direct applications to the body, as massage oil, or incorporated into soaps, bodycare items and even in household sprays and insect repellants. They are natural, safe, and pleasant.
Using essential oils to freshen your room will add energy to your life, and at the same time, ensure that the dust and dirt become lest harmful, and even germs disappear ( see below ). This should be preferred to using chemical deodorants that may be harmful and worsen our polluted environment. Once you know the healing power of essential oils, then you will understand that every breath you take will make you healthier. Aromatherapy is an easy way to practise preventive health.
Using aromatherapy essential oils for massage on the qi-energy meridians has enhanced therapeutic effects as there is synergy between the healing power of the essential oils and the beneficial effects of meridian massage.
Because the resources ( mostly flowers, herbs, seeds and spices ) are readily available, aromatherapy has been practised for thousands of years, with a very rich accumulated experience. However, very little scientific study has been done until recently. So even though the data available does not yet allow aromatherapy to be adopted into mainstream medical practice, which demands “evidence-based” claims, the available scientific information on the essences, or essential oils as they are known, may surprise you.
Being a medical doctor, I was very skeptical of aromatherapy. My attitude changed after learning through Sufi Healing that aromatherapy was first used by Prophet Sulaiman (King Solomon) and that some Sufi healers still use rose essential oil as the mainstay of their treatments. The rose is a very special flower. Thousands of flowers are used to extract its essence and it remains the mainstay of Sufi essential oils. I am sure it is true for other aromatherapists too.
Aromatherapy affects the physiological, mental and spiritual realms. In the past all the effects of essential oils were simply attributed to chemical structure that contributed to their smell or aroma that is thought to bring improvement in wellbeing, stimulate the body’s own healing systems, and even cure some diseases. Energy healers know that the essential oils have very strong life-force (qi) that can influence the various energy systems in the body. Since certain plants have high contents of qi, they are more suitable to use for healing. Their unique energy profiles would account for the different healing effects seen when essences of different plants are used. Modern technology has allowed the energy profiles to be studied and the profiles for each essential oil can be identified and their healing abilities predicted.
MANY TYPES OF PHYTOTHERAPY
There are many ways that plants are used for healing. Phytotherapy is a broad classification of therapy methods using plants, usually flowers. Bach Flower Remedy is one such method based on extensive studies on the healing properties of many flowers. In Phytobiophysics, a healing method using the unique vibrational energies of plants, the vibrational properties are transferred to carrier sugar-balls much like that used in homoeopathy. Some local practitioners have founded similar therapy methods which they call Colour Vibration Therapy and various other names, utilising the healing power of the different energies, colours and natural chemicals in the flowers. There are many other healing methods using flowers, or their essences.
I was privileged to have met the founder of Phytobiophysics ( Dame Dianna Mossop ) and she showed me that ultimately, the healing effects come through the energies that her pills carry. Part of the diagnostic and evaluation method involves using kinesthesia ( discerning changes in muscle strength and movements before and after holding the potential remedy ), which involves a transference of energy to muscular strength.
I also became more interested to investigate aromatherapy after my friend, who is a paediatrician, told me that essential oils ( placed in an aromatherapy diffuser by the bedside ) helped his own child recover from asthma and bronchitis when all the drugs at his disposal could not!
Pure essential oils are painstakingly distilled from flowers, seeds, shrubs or other parts of the plant and kept in special containers as the oils are volatile ( which gives it the ability to spread fast ). It is said that essential oils were the first known medicines, as prophets, pharaohs, princes and medicine-men were using them since many thousands of years ago. When King Tut’s tomb was opened in 1922, it was reported that 350 litres of essential oils were found. Many ancient Egyptian scrolls have been found to contain various prescriptions using essential oils. In ancient times it was a commodity more precious than gold, and was often exchanged as gifts between kings and emperors. The oils and their uses are also mentioned many times in holy books, especially in the Bible.
Modern day aromatherapy owes it renaissance mainly to the work of the French. Among them was Dr Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who accidentally discovered the immense healing power of lavender oil in his cosmetic laboratory. He had plunged his burnt hand into the oil thinking it was water, and was surprised to see rapid healing. He continued to apply the oil until it healed, leaving no scar at all. The rest is history…
During World War II, his colleague, Dr Jean Valnet, used essential oils to fight infections, when his antibiotics supply ran out, and saved many lives.
To this day, the French remain the leaders in the production and use of essential oils, and therefore also in the production of perfumes and fragrances. However, oils from eastern plants are fast gaining popularity as their healing abilities are also being researched.
SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE FOR AROMATHERAPY
Modern scientific research has shown that there are several reasons why essential oils can improve our health.
After the war, Dr Valnet and his students did further research and found that essential oils have powerful anti-infective capabilities, improve the immune system, and also enhance the delivery of nutrients into the cells.
More recent studies have shown that they have amazingly high antioxidant properties. We are all familiar with the importance of having enough antioxidants to fight the harmful free-radicals that damage our cells and slowly cause us to age and have chronic degenerative diseases. We know that fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, and among them, berries have among the highest contents of antioxidants.
The free-radical fighting ability of antioxidants are measured in ORAC units ( Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity ). Brocolli and spinach have ORAC values of 890 and 1260 respectively. The berries ( blueberry, strawberry, raspberry and others ) have ORAC scores of between 1200 to 2400 ( highest in blueberry ). But the superstar of berries, which is the Ningxia wolfberry or gou-ji, has ORAC value of over 25,000. It is also very rich in life-force.
Those of you who know my story will remember that my Qigong Master hails from Ningxia ( China ) and for many years was telling me the goodness of this berry in fighting disease and preventing tumors and cancers. I did not heed his advice until I discovered this scientific evidence. Now I take it in the form of supplements every day. At low doses, it is already beneficial for improving eyesight. At higher doses it has been shown to have rejuvenating and anti-tumour effects.
But even the best fruits do not come close to the ORAC power of essential oils. The weakest of them have ORAC values above 2000. Lavender essential oil has ORAC value of nearly 3700. Lemon essential oil is over 6000, lemongrass nearly 18000, cinnamon bark over 100000, and hold your breath – clove essential oil has ORAC power of over 10 million! With that kind of capacity to knock out harmful free-radicals, we should not be surprised at all that essential oils can heal.
Essential oils have long been shown to have antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic properties. These have been validated by recent scientific studies and have given rise to safe, natural alternatives to chemical drugs in the fight against microbes and other infections.
Apart from being able to trap harmful oxygen free-radicals, essential oils have the unique ability to use the oxygen molecules to help transfer nutrients across the cell walls, into the cells, and even into the cell nuclei. Thus it mops up harmful radicals while at the same time enables the cells to feed and become healthier and stronger to withstand any further damage, and to perform their functions well.
But the most fascinating discovery is that essential oils have the highest known bio-electric frequency. Bio-electric and energy studies have shown that the healthy human body has a frequency of about 62-68 Hz. When there is infection or disease, the frequency becomes low. Cancer patients have frequencies around 40Hz. The immune system and disease-fighting ability of the body can be restored by increasing the frequency to higher levels. And amazingly, essential oils are the champions among all natural substances. Their high frequencies make their presence incompatible to infections, apart from restoring the health of the body ( which can happen quite fast after inhaling the essential oil ).
And the highest frequency of all known natural substances belongs to the Rose oil, at 320 Hz. Didn’t I tell you that the rose is a special gift from GOD to us? The next time you get a rose, don’t forget to eat it too!
In the next article, I will teach you about qi-energy meridian massage using essential oils.