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The Beneficial Use of Essential Oils

"Disease is in essence the result of conflict between soul and mind. So long as our souls and personalities are in harmony all is joy and peace, happiness and health. It is when our personalities are led astray from the path laid down by the Soul, either by our own worldly desires or by the persuasion of others, that a conflict arises."

Dr. Edward Bach

One way to help resolve the conflict of soul and mind is through the use of essential oils. According to aromatherapist, Michele Renaud, "Aromatherapy works with your body in a very natural, holistic way, by gently activating the body's own healing energies. It helps to restore a balance to your body, mind and spirit."

How does this all happen? Scents create an invisible world that constantly surrounds and engulfs us. From the moment we enter this world our mind creates a sensory bank of smells that we come into contact with. The sense of smell is thousands of times more powerful than any other of our physical senses. Our brain creates connections between smells and what we related to at the time we were introduced to them. This association process can help determine the mood or feeling that is stimulated by a specific fragrance. Smells we collect during our lives, as well as our memories, are stored in the limbic system of the brain, which is also the repository of much of our creativity. Thus our subconscious, spurred by subtle influences such as fragrance, provides a never ending resource of creative impulses. These impulses can then be stimulated at any given time through the use of aromatherapy.

The olfactory influence of the biochemical composition of pure essential oils have been used to stimulate, relax, soothe, calm, rejuvenate or energize the body, the mind and the spirit. Historical documentation illustrates humans using the power of scent for well over 6000 years. Neolithic people used oils and herbs to heal. The Chinese believed that each oil carries a masculine or feminine (yin/yang) essence that stimulates specific areas of the body into finding a harmony with the mind, thus creating a balance of body, mind and spirit. The ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Babylon and Egypt were renown for their use of essential oils. In fact, legend says that Cleopatra had the sails of her ship soaked in Jasmine to attract Mark Anthony and then used a special combination of oils as an aphrodisiac.

Today the use of essential oils is becoming more available to everyone. The scope of aromatherapy and its uses is unlimited. Scientific research has shown and is continuing to document the fact that certain scents have a direct connection to specific moods. Pure oils may be added to a bath, diffused in a scent pot, on a light bulb ring or in a specially designed diffuser. With the stress and tension we have created in our lives today, aromatherapy is an affordable and practical way to help us all achieve a more harmonious balance of body, mind and spirit.

For a complete list of essential oils and their characteristics, or to purchase essential oils, click here. Be sure to read about aroma therapy recipes. I often include essential oil recipes in my monthly newsletter, The ShirleyGram, too.

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