Rabu, 22 Februari 2012

What Is RainDrop Therapy?

RainDrop Therapy is a soothing healing technique that uses pure Young Living essential oils. RainDrop Therapy combines aromatherapy, reflexology, massage and moist heat to create healing and cleansing through structural and electrical alignment of the body. The purpose of the treatment is to bring about complete relaxation, harmony, and wellness to the mental, physical, and emotional body.

RainDrop Therapy was created by Gary Young. Gary Young has researched aromatherapy and herbal medicine for over 20 years. He credits the creation of RainDrop Therapy to the Native American Lakotas, the Hunza people of the Himalayan Mountains, and the people of Inner Mongolia for his inspiration. The philosophy behind RainDrop Therapy is that the use of specific antimicrobial oils applied in a particular sequence followed by massage and reflexology techniques will reduce the inflammation in the body and destroy any viral presence. A hot compress is then applied to facilitate absorption of the oils and to relax the muscles. The oils penetrate the soft tissue within 20 minutes. Its soothing effects are incredibly relaxing. Even though the original theory behind RainDrop Therapy is to heal problems of the spine, modifications can be incorporated into the therapy to treat other conditions.

9 different Young Living Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils are used in the technique plus a V-6 Mixing Oil and Ortho Ease.

1. Valor - Blends of Rosewood, Blue Tansy, Frankincense and Spruce
2. Oregano
3. Thyme
4. Basil
5. Cypress
6. Wintergreen
7. Marjoram
8. Peppermint
9. Aroma Siez - Blends of Basil, Cypress, Marjoram and Lavender

The Health Benefits RainDrop Therapy:

1. Pain Relief: In a study published in the August 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 60 fibromyalgia patients were surveyed. Aromatherapy, heat and massage were rated most effective.

2. Reduction of Inflammation: Several studies have identified many essential oils as being powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Thyme, wintergreen, and peppermint are three anti-inflammatory oils used during a RainDrop session. For example, wintergreen essential oil contains a high content of natural methyl salicylate which is shown to inhibit inflammation.

3. Improvement of Circulation: A 2004 Russian study tested 100 patients with known brain circulation problems and found that massaging the back of the neck resulted in a significant improvement of cerebral circulation and functional state of the brain.

4. Improvement of Immune System Function: A major study published in 1995 at the University of Miami School of Medicine evaluated the effects of massage on HIV positive men, and concluded that massage was associated with improvement in several measures of immune function relevant to cytotoxic capacity.

5. Release of Repressed Negative Emotions: Bessel A. Van Der Kolk, MD of Harvard Medical School stated that severe emotional stresses can produce subconscious neuroses which are essentially physioneurosis, stored in the amygdala. Inhalation of essential oils can help activate and release subconscious emotional stress.

The benefits of the RainDrop Technique can help improve every aspect of health for better quality of life, physically, mentally, and emotionally. A variety of chronic pain issues may be relieved with one RainDrop therapy treatment.

Selasa, 21 Februari 2012

Organic And Pure Essential Oils

Aromatherapy depends on the ability to procure organic and essential oils, which are the essence of certain plants. They are not available on the mass market because deriving the oil is a considerable task, involving not only taking the oil out of the plant, but the process to turn it into actual oil is a complicated procedure, and a different processes are used depending on the plant it's being extracted from. Here is a good explanation of what an essential oil actually is, and how it's produced.

One ancient way of producing the oil is called enfleurage. It dates back to the time of the Egyptian pharaohs, and it's been done in many centuries since. It works on one simple principle: fat dissolves essential oils, and thereby absorb their aroma. But the oil is just what comes off the plant itself. A combination of that essence mixed with fat, but it's only a process to increase its potency, as it's later separated. The ancient way of doing it involved smearing a piece of glass at the bottom of a wooden crate with lard, and leaving the fresh flowers to essentially marinate the lard for a few days, meanwhile adding new flowers to the batch continually until the fat had fully absorbed the plant's oil. Then, the oil, which was called "pomade", was dissolved by alcohol. The alcohol separates the plant oil from the fat, and then it dissolves entirely, leaving just the plant essence-pure aromatic oil from the original flowers.

Whereas historically people commonly used lard from various animals, today it's common to use what is essentially vegetable fat, like palm oil. Sugar cane is used too, and these are the cleanest oils to use. So while the oil can be made from an ancient method, there are contemporary changes, or adjustments, to suit the times.

The other essential component is the flowers themselves. Enfleurage is a labour intensive means of gaining the oil, but when it's done properly with homegrown plants, the result is practically magic! It takes a great deal of plants to produce a relatively small amount of oil, so it's no surprise that more people don't do it, but when the process of enfleurage is carried out locally grown tuberoses, roses, lilies, and gardenias, the smell is something to behold, and it's got wonderful healing properties. This is the pure, organic oil, and by now it's easy to see how difficult it is to produce on scale, and therefore, how rare it is.

It shouldn't be surprising that aromatherapy has a wonderful hold on us: it's well known that memories are tightly connected to smells, and one whiff of a particular smell that has a certain association attached brings us right back to another time and place. With this in mind, once one understands what a real organic oil actually is, it's easy to see how it can make people feel recover from what's ailing them, and put them in a better headspace.

Senin, 20 Februari 2012

Basics of Aromatherapy - Helpful Hints to Get You Started

When using essential oils, it is important to know and trust the source that you get them from.

There are different grades of oils - some are used for perfumery, some in the food industry, and only therapeutic grade oils are used in the legitimate aromatherapy industry.

As a guideline, when purchasing your oils, make sure the botanical name of the plant is on the bottle. For example, Lavender could have Lavandula angustifolia on the bottle. Ginger could have Zingiber officinale.

Sometimes the botanical names will be different, depending on the variety of plant used. For instance, there is more than one type of Sandalwood. One variety would be Santulum album, another would be Santulum spicatum.

So you need to know what you are looking for. Make sure the botanical name is on the bottle.

Another good guideline is to ensure the bottles of oils are not all the same price. Oils can range from under $10 for a 15ml bottle, right through to more than $150 for a 3ml bottle. It depends on the availability or scarcity of the plant or flower being used. There are many varying factors and they all come in to play to influence pricing.

There are cheap 'fragrant' oils available, but these can be petroleum based and have no therapeutic value at all and are definitely not used in aromatherapy. Some of them could actually be harmful to your health. These oils though, will not have botanical names on the bottle, and will generally be around the same price regardless of the scent, and the price will usually be only a few dollars.

The non therapeutic essential oils are quite easy to spot if you know what you are looking for.

Another interesting factor with essential oils, is that they are either top note, middle note or base note. The particular note an oil belongs to is relative to the molecules in the oil (mostly small, mostly large or a mixture of both) and how quickly or not the oil evaporates.

Top note oils are generally for wellbeing and uplifting. Citrus oils are top notes, and they are known for their cheery personalities and uplifting qualities. They are very helpful if you are feeling down or depressed.

Middle notes are for normalizing and balancing. Lavender and geranium bourbon fall in to this category. They will bring harmony to out of balanced emotions, helping you feel balanced and centered once again.

Base notes are calming, relaxing and sometimes sedative. Base notes include such oils as ylang ylang, frankincense and rosewood. They are usually stronger smelling, and you normally would only need a couple of drops if using them in a blend. They can sometimes be overpowering if too much is used.

When mixing a blend, it is a nice balance to have an oil from each note in the mix.

Aromatherapy is a wonderfully healing practice on all levels. It can work in conjunction with other modalities or on its own. But it is most important to have a trustworthy supplier for your essential oils so you know you are getting therapeutic value.

If you have a pre-existing condition it is also most important to consult your doctor or qualified aromatherapist for advice.

Minggu, 19 Februari 2012

Lavender Essential Oil - The Most Versatile Of All

Of all the pure essential oils, the most popular and well know would have to be lavender.

Lavender is such a versatile oil and it is one of only two oils that can be used neat on the skin. The other oil that can be used neat is tea tree. They are both gentle oils but have great strength in the service they provide to us. Always try a test dab first before just using over the whole area.

It is a middle note oil, and as such, has a great balancing and harmonizing effect for the body. There are different types of lavender and the one we are talking about here is Lavandula angustifolia.

It has an affinity with the skin and when using essential oils for skin complaints, lavender should always be considered. It is great for burns, insect bites, acne, eczema and other skin conditions and wounds.

Modern day aromatherapy is actually attributed to a French scientist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who burnt his hand in a laboratory accident, and plunged it into a vat of lavender oil which was nearby. The healing effects were so great that Dr. Gattefosse changed his direction of study and shortly after that released his first book on 'aromatherapie'. It is believed this is where the current term of 'aromatherapy' came from.

It is helpful for sunburn when used in conjunction with peppermint. When using peppermint low dosages are recommended as it is a very strong oil, and not suitable for everyone. This, of course, should not be applied neat to the skin. The essential oils should be mixed into a carrier oil, lotion or cream to apply to the skin.

Sore or aching muscles can benefit from a mixture of lavender with ginger and lemon, making a great blend for this purpose.

If you have trouble getting off to sleep, mix it with frankincense for a very helpful solution. You can, of course, use lavender on its own for this purpose. It is normalizing and settling for the nervous system which in turn promotes relaxation and de-stressing.

Lavender calms the mind which helps with alleviating anxiety and it is also uplifting at the same time.

It is helpful for colds, flu, and throat infections. It could be mixed with tea tree and eucalyptus for this purpose.

Due to its affinity with skin, it can be used for any skin type as part of a cleansing and skin maintenance routine - this includes anti aging routines.

Of course, when it comes to children, lavender can play a large part in aromatherapy as it is so versatile. It can be used to help children settle at bed time, if they have a sore that needs dressing, a headache or a cough or cold. It is great for calming kids down and can assist with a better night's sleep as well.

As you can see, lavender is extremely useful and should be one of the first choices of essential oils for the first aid kit.

It is very important to know who you get your essential oils from, because the pure oil can be mixed with cheaper alternatives to make a lower grade oil. To get therapeutic effect, you must use a therapeutic grade oil.

Sabtu, 18 Februari 2012

Which Camomile Essential Oil Should I Use?

When we think of Camomile, we think of an essential oil that is relaxing and soothing on both mind and body. We may also be aware of an anti-inflammatory oil that is gentle, safe and easy on the skin. We probably know that it may aid sleep, and could be great for stress relief.

But there are a number of different essential oils that come under the name of Camomile, and while their actions overlap to a great extent, there are subtle but important differences. So let's have a look at them and try to clear up any confusion.

Camomiles belong to a plant family called Asteraceae (formerly known as Compositae). This is a massive family of plants that includes the Daisy, Sunflower, Arnica, and a number of essential oil producing plants such as Yarrow, Tagetes, Wormwood and Calendula.

The oils with which we are most familiar are probably Roman Camomile and German Camomile, the only 'true' camomiles. We may also be aware of Moroccan (Wild) Camomile. And then there is the little known Cape Camomile, and Blue Tansy which is sometimes known as a Camomile.

German Camomile (Matricaria chamomila or Chamomilla recutita) is also known as Blue Camomile, because of its incredible deep azure colour. This striking characteristic is due to the presence of a substance called chamazulene, which is a very strong anti-inflammatory agent.

The quality of German Camomile essential oil can vary considerably, depending on when it is harvested, and how it is distilled. Chamazulene is not present in the plant, but is produced from matricin during the distillation process. Now matricin is interestingly is ten times stronger as an anti-inflammatory agent than chamazulene; and slow distillation may lead to increased concentrations of this substance and a stronger anti-inflammatory effect.

A really fine oil will contain good concentrations of bisabolol, another powerful anti-inflammatory. But this precious ingredient is present in much smaller quantities when the plant is harvested in the middle of the day, so it is always good to check the concentrations of this substance, if this information is available.

German Camomile has the strongest anti-inflammatory qualities, so use it for burns, allergic reactions, inflamed or sensitive skin, sprained ankles, other signs of inflammation (pain, redness, immobility, swelling, and heat). It can be used to soothe digestive problems and release muscle spasms, and also for insomnia.

German Camomile is mild and safe, a good children's oil. It is non toxic, and non irritant, and can be good for mild allergies (obviously consult a doctor in case of severe reactions). However some people are allergic to all plants from this family so there could be an outside possibility of contact dermatitis.

German Camomile has a sweet, warm, herbaceous aroma. You can feel the warmth of the sunshine in it. Use it as an inhalation oil, in massage (especially on the abdomen to soothe the digestion), a drop or two in a bath, or for localised use in a compress. All camomiles help to regulate the female menstrual cycle, so it would be safer to avoid using them in the first three months of pregnancy.

Roman Camomile (Anthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum nobile) has a sweet, hay-like, herbaceous scent with a hint of apples. Chemically it is quite different from German Camomile, being composed mainly of esters, yet the properties and uses overlap considerably. Perhaps you can think of Roman Camomile having a more direct 'hammer' effect, while German Camomile is maybe a little softer. While it retains the calming, relaxing, soothing qualities of German Camomile, it is more uplifting and balancing.

Use it for its direct and straightforward effect on nervous tension, anxiety, insomnia and also skin problems, but it will not have such a strong anti-inflammatory effect as German Camomile. This would be the oil of choice for menstrual pain (abdominal massage).

Moroccan (or Wild) Camomile (Camaemellum mixtum or Ormensis multicaulis et mixta) grows wild in north Africa, especially in the Atlas mountains of Morocco. It is probably the number one camomile for insomnia and depression, and can also be useful for headaches, especially if they are stress-related, and stress-related skin disorders. It also has a significant effect on regulating the female reproductive cycle.

The aroma in some way reflects the harsher mountain environment where this plant thrives. It is still sweet and agreeable, but definitely has an 'edge' to it, suggesting understated efficacy. It contains about 5% 1,8-cineole (found in eucalyptus oils) which gives it a freshness, and may help it with mucous like conditions.

This is a great calming, relaxing 'anti-stress' camomile, which also has aphrodisiac properties. It is the least costly of the camomile oils, and although it has a history of use in perfumery, this is an oil with a relatively short history of therapeutic use. Therefore information is a little sketchy and it would be best to proceed with a degree of caution. A great selection for skin conditions and also insomnia, but better not to use in pregancy and with young children. Use it in massage and inhalation.

There is something of the 'new kid on the block' about Cape Camomile (Eriocephalus punctulatus). As the name implies, it is native to South Africa, and contains significant amounts of azulene, which give it an anti-inflammatory and analgesic property. It can be used in creams and ointments and is good for skin care, especially skin that is irritated or dehydrated.

The aroma is extraordinarily sweet, with a hint of boiled sweets. Again a tremendous oil for stress, with a gentle anti-allergenic effect. It is good for irritability and depression, and you could also use it in a massage blend when treating back pain, neuralgia, rheumatism, etc. Use this oil at times of change such as the menopause, and puberty. It is high in monoterpenes and esters, low in camphor and linalool.

Cape Camomile seems to be very sensitive to locations, with the oil varying within a very short distance of where it grows. We may expect to see chemotypes of this oil being defined in the future.

This is a superb oil for an overstimulated mind, and you can use it in inhalation, massage, and the bath.

Blue Tansy (Tanacetum anuum) is a lovely oil, which is high in chamazulene. Use it as an anti-inflammatory oil, and for soothing allergies, hay fever, asthma (with Ravensara), bruises, sore muscles and joint. However it contains 12% camphor which can accumulate in the body, so avoid extended use over a long time.

Nature has provided us with an abundance of different oils, and in some cases the selection is relatively clear. However it is a good idea to avoid using any particular oil over an extended period of more than a week or two, so ring the changes with these camomiles, and see what works best.