Healing with Essential Oils
We will repeat it many times on this site because we have found it to be true in our own
lives: the ultimate reward of integrating essential oils into your daily life is the gradual
improvement in your lifestyle. You can restore and maintain your physical, emotional and mental
balance by the daily choices you make. We suggest enjoyable, practical ways to make those
changes. Ways that can even save you money.
Touching makes you healthier
(Continued from the home page)
Get a rubdown
Anyone who's ever gotten a massage -- even a quickie at a mall kiosk -- knows that it helps you unwind. That's not just a mental sensation: Getting massaged causes muscles to unclench, a racing heart rate to slow, heightened blood pressure to fall, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol to drop. In that relaxed state, your body is able to regroup and recharge. One happy result: a more robust immune system.
"Cortisol suppresses the immune response," explains Roberta Lee, MD, vice chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. "Anything that increases the relaxation response triggers the restoration of your immune response."
Recently, researchers measured immune function in healthy adults who got either a 45-minute Swedish massage or 45 minutes of lighter touch. The massaged group had substantially more white blood cells -- including natural killer cells, which help the body fight viruses and other pathogens -- and fewer types of inflammatory cytokines associated with autoimmune diseases.
It's too soon to know whether regular massages will, say, keep you from catching a cold, but "it's not an unreasonable speculation," notes lead study author Mark Rapaport, MD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.
Hug it out
The act of embracing floods our bodies with oxytocin, a "bonding hormone" that makes people feel secure and trusting toward each other, lowers cortisol levels, and reduces stress. Women who get more hugs from their partners have higher levels of oxytocin and lower blood pressure and heart rates, according to research done at the University of North Carolina.
But a hug from anyone you're close to works, too. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison tested that when they analyzed stress levels among volunteers giving a presentation. Afterward, participants who got hugs from their moms saw decreases in cortisol levels an hour after the presentation.
Hold hands with your honey
Twining your fingers together with your one-and-only is enormously calming. James Coan, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, discovered this when he administered functional MRIs to 16 married women while telling them they might experience a mild shock.
The resulting anxiety caused the images of their brain activity to light up like Christmas trees. But when the women held hands with one of the experimenters, that stress response subsided -- and when they held hands with their husbands, it really quieted down. "There was a qualitative shift in the number of regions in the brain that just weren't reacting anymore to the threat cue," Coan says.
Even more intriguing: When you're in a happy relationship, clasping hands reduces stress-related activity in a brain area called the hypothalamus -- which lowers the levels of cortisol coursing through your system -- as well as in the part of the brain that registers pain, which actually helps keep you from feeling it as much.
No surprise -- after all, lovemaking involves total-body contact. All that skin-to-skin stroking (not to mention orgasm!) floods us with oxytocin and feel-good endorphins that do wondrous things for our emotional well-being.
Regular sex also does the physical body good, possibly even preventing us from getting sick as often. People who had sex once or twice a week had 30 percent more infection-fighting immunoglobulin A (IgA) in their saliva than those who didn't do the deed as often, according to a study done at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Not partnered up? Solo sex counts, too: At least one study links masturbation with lower risk of depression.
Cuddle up with your pet
If you're a pet owner, you've no doubt noticed you're less tense when scratching your animal behind the ears. In fact, research shows that people's blood pressure drops when they pet dogs, particularly if it's a dog they know and love. Dog petting has also been shown to improve immune function and ease pain, or at least the perception of it.
"You're focusing on the animal, not on you, so your mind isn't able to ruminate about the pain," explains Brad Lichtenstein, a naturopathic physician and assistant professor in the counseling and health psychology department at Bastyr University in Seattle. (Experts say snuggling with any furry pet should be just as soothing.)
So don't resist when your pet curls up with you -- spending quality time together may be just what the doctor ordered.
Copyright Health Magazine 2010
Five minutes of Exercise in Nature Improves Mental Health
Recent studies in psychology have shown that spending time or exercising in natural settings—even urban parks and gardens—have benefits for one's mental health and sense of wellbeing. But a new study in the journal Environmental Science & Technology pushes our understanding of the link between nature and health even further, finding that only five minutes of exercising in a 'green space' will provide one with both mental and physical benefits.
"For the first time in the scientific literature, we have been able to show dose-response relationships for the positive effects of nature on human mental health," co-author Jules Pretty said in a press release.
The study found that just a five-minute 'dose' of exercising in nature provided the biggest boost in people's self esteem.
Analyzing over twelve-hundred people from ten studies in the UK, the authors were able to show that a myriad of activities, including walking, gardening, cycling, fishing, boating, horse-riding and even farming, in natural settings helped people's mental health. While the study found that all ages benefited from the 'green exercise', the greatest changes were seen in young subjects and subjects who already suffered from mental-illness.
The study further found that being active in green species with water provided additional improvements in people's mental health.
"We believe that there would be a large potential benefit to individuals, society and to the costs of the health service if all groups of people were to self-medicate more with green exercise," says co-author Jo Barton.
Pretty added that the economic benefit of a wide policy initiative encouraging exercise in natural settings could prove substantial.
A previous study has shown that walking in green environments significantly improved the concentration-abilities of children with ADHD, and in some cases was even more effective than medication.
Health & Exercise:
by Michael Harings
Miracle Healing from China
by Charles T. McGee, M.D. with
QiGong Master Effie Poy Yew Chow, Ph.D.
with Dr Chow
I was sick for a long-time with chronic fatigue. Western doctors shrugged me off. I went to a psychologist to see if my problem was psychological. She said I was neurotic, but to go back to the doctors. I tried all kinds of things. One was acupuncture, which I thought of as a kind of voodoo. But I tried it and was amazed. The acupuncturists insights into my health convinced me I was ill, and not crazy, which was really helpful. However, the treatments were temporary, and although they helped, the results weren’t lasting.
I was getting desperate. One day a lady talked my ear off about how Dr. Chow helped her out so I decided to give it a try. Long story short, a one hour appointment with Dr. Chow was going to cost me $350! She and her assistant worked on me for an hour, also consulting the write-up I did for her prior to our appointment. Dr. Chow said to just do the Qi Gong from her book, three times a day. And to do some foot and leg pressure points also listed in her book. (For that amount of money, I was going to do it, just in order to get my money's worth!!!)
So after a few weeks, I felt my energy start to return. (Although it was really difficult for me to do 1/3 of what she wanted me to do on a daily basis.) I’d tried Qi Gong and Tai Chi and hatha yoga before, (and have done hatha yoga for decades), but didn't do them enough I guess, to make a difference. Thank you Dr Chow!
I was also an integrating the exercises into my daily life — good posture as I catch myself — I’m leaning over my keyboard too much at the computer! remember to breathe, walk upright, etc. (Thanks to Ross Keen, a bodyworker from New Zealand who says: “Posture is the king of yoga.” because it’s what you’re doing 18 hours or so a day.)
Dr Chow’s intro Qigong class is $2000, so I started to look around for other teachers because I can’t afford to pay that kind of money. There are many books and videos out there, and I started at Amazon and went with popular ones. Videos are easier to see and follow along, but books can go more into depth. Like local yoga classes, you can often find local Qigong teachers who will charge in the range of $10 for a lesson.
Notes for other Articles:
Qigong: Essence of the healing dance
by Garri Garripoli and friends
Video by Garri Garripoli:
Qigong Beginning Practice
This is the most popular video on Amazon, it has 74 stars. The next group of stars has 39 (Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming: doing the 8 Piece Brocade), with Garri coming in with his second title, Qi Gong for Cleansing at 31 stars. The first part of Garri’s video has the exercises, the second part tells his story of how he got involved in Qigong, which is quite moving. You can get the video for around $11-$13 at Amazon, and you can also rent the video from Netflix.
Lee Holden Videos
Although I like Garri's book on Qigong and it’s philosophy, I tend to do the simple routine Lee Holden teaches because I can do it in 25 minutes! With Garri’s routine, by the time I’m done with the 3 warmup exercises I’m tired out and don’t have the energy to do the 18 main exercises and the closing 11 Shaolin exercises. So I do Lee’s in the morning, and if I have time/energy, do some portion of Garri’s “Wuji Qigong” at night.
Finding a Qi Teacher
Is it necessary to have a teacher?
© by Roger Jahnke O.M.D
The first answer to this question is that one must have a teacher. In traditional terms, that is ancient Chinese tradition, the secrets of healing could only be gained through a teacher. The honor and reverence that is bestowed upon the teacher is a part of the "belief" system that empowers the student.
It is very difficult to learn from a book, an audio tape or a video. The exposure to constant input from a teacher is indispensable. In traditional terms it is believed that one should choose a teacher and stay with their lineage of teaching to gain access to deeper knowledge.
Most of the greatest teachers will tell you that "the practice is the teacher" and that "the Qi (Ch'i, human life force and self healing energy) is the teacher". If the practice and the Qi are considered to be teachers then it is logical to conclude that one could refine the practice of Qigong (Chi Kung) without a teacher. There are many stories of individuals who have generated remarkable self initiated healing without a teacher.
The second answer to this question is that it is not always necessary to have a teacher. Particularly in cases of severe illness where the individual can begin to practice a simple form of self healing Qigong, it would be unfortunate to insist that the individual have a teacher.
Perhaps it would be fair to say that it is useful, in most cases, to begin with a teacher. However, some of your greatest learning experiences will come from within your own personal practice. If you are in a situation where you cannot access a teacher, please feel free to learn and practice Qigong through your own enthusiasm. One blind man learned Qigong from one of the sets of exercises in the practice library just by listening to a voice translation of a text file and following along.
The “Namaste Yoga Series by Kate Porter” on TV
This was fun to watch because the models are all lovely young ladies in scenic backdrops, and I recorded all 24 shows. However, when it came time to actually DO the routines, I noticed that they were all moving too fast. I'm used to doing yoga as a form of relaxation, and working slowly into the stretches as Im not very limber, but the show was just move move move more like an aerobics dance class. (The young ladies are all very attractive, wearing very little, so that makes the show attractive, but if you’re doing the exercises you’re not actually watching them much.) I went online and discovered that others considered this show “soft-porn”! :-)
Scents of Health
Aromatherapy can help with many common ailments. Use essential oils as natural alternative treatments for a cold, indigestion or a headache when you can. Many of the herbs have been used for centuries in remedies. Some of these essential oils are strong, so please do a
on your skin to see if you're sensitive to the oil before starting to treat yourself.
Benefits of EOs:
- Compact to Carry
- Work with, not against you
- Go directly to the affliction
- Work Quickly
- Leave Quickly
- Have few side effects
Seven Ways to Use
- As an oil
- As a bath oil
- As a tincture
- As an aloe-based preparation
- with an Inhalant
- As essential oils diluted with water
- As a compress
The Three Types of Germ Killers:
Potent Antibacterial Oils (which also happen to be potent skin irritants):
- Bay Laurel
- Clove Bud
Gentler Antibacterial Oils:
- Tea Tree
Good Antiviral Oils
- Black Pepper
- Clove Bud
- Tea Tree
On to the Anti-Funguses
- Black Pepper
- Clove Bud
- Lemon Eucalyptus
- Tea Tree
Help Your Immune System
- Bay Laurel
- Know what's wrong before trying to treat yourself!
- Don't wait for a medical problem to get out of hand
- Always dilute
- Experiment! If one oil doesn't help, try another with similar properties
You may also be interested in reading this article
by Ron Guba, a keynote speaker at NAHA
conventions, regarding taking essential oils internally, and toxicity.