Category Archives: aromatherapy

Ayurveda on the 5 Senses-Deepak Chopra-Find Your inner Pharmacy

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In this very moment, you are seamlessly connected to the cosmos. The same deep intelligence that streams through the rivers flows through your bloodstream, and the same breath that nourishes your cells animates the life of a rain forest. Although it may seem like you are separate from the world “out there,” in reality your body and the universe are made up of the same molecules, obey the same principles, and are inextricably connected.

More than 5,000 years ago, the Vedic sages of India understood what quantum physicists are just beginning to recognize: we are all part of an infinite field of intelligence that orchestrates all of the activities in the universe. With every breath, we exchange our personal energy with the energy of the universe, and we are constantly taking in impressions via the five sense organs—the ears, skin, eyes, tongue, and nose.

In Ayurveda, sensory impressions are considered crucial to health. Just as the food we eat creates our bodily tissues, our sensory impressions determine the quality of our thoughts and emotions. If we want greater physical and emotional well-being, we can use sounds, feelings, sights, tastes, and smells to balance and heal our selves. At the Chopra Center’s Perfect Health program, patients learn how to awaken their inner pharmacy using the tools of the five senses. Here are a few suggestions that you can use in your own daily routine.

 

Sound Therapy

 

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Every sound has a physiological effect. When you listen to a beautiful piece of music or inspirational words, a cascade of pleasure-producing chemicals course through your body, supporting health and wholeness. In contrast, studies of urban environments show that people subjected to ongoing noise pollution are more likely to suffer from stress and lowered immune function.

Ayurveda recognizes that music is a valuable therapeutic tool for balance and healing. The specific sounds that will benefit you most depend a great deal on your mind-body type, known as your dosha in Ayurveda. If you don’t know your dosha, take the Chopra Center’s complete dosha quiz online to find out. It is also important to simply tune in to your body and discover which sounds are healing and inspiring for you. If you feel refreshed, joyful, and alert, the music is working.

 

Healing Sights

 

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The visual impressions you take in have a surprisingly profound effect on your mind, body, and emotions. Watching violent movies or television shows triggers your body’s stress response, creating jittery cells and suppressing the immune system. In contrast, looking at peaceful or beautiful images creates a cascade of soothing neurochemicals in the body.

Surrounding yourself with images that uplift your spirit is as important for your health as nutritious food. Spending time in nature is healing for your mind, body, and soul. When you view a gorgeous sunset, look into the eyes of your beloved, or see a magnificent painting, you cultivate the power of your inner pharmacy.

Aromatherapy

 

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The most primitive of the senses, smell connects us directly with our memories, emotions, and instincts. When we smell something, we are actually absorbing some of its molecules, making aromatherapy a form of natural medicine. Here are some specific suggestions for balancing fragrances:

Invigorating            Cooling            Calming

Lemon                  Jasmine            Lavender

Orange                  Mint                  Vanilla

Clove                  Lime                  Sandalwood

Cinnamon            Rose                  Neroli

You can also use a process known as neuroassociative conditioning to consciously link a healing response to a given smell. First choose a favorite aroma and inhale it whenever you are feeling relaxed, calm or happy. Your body will begin to associate pleasurable feelings with the smell. Before long, just a hint of the fragrance will invoke your inner healing response.

 

The Sense of Taste

 

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Ayurveda categorizes food into six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent. Each of the tastes has a unique effect on our mind-body physiology and provides the flavor that makes eating a pleasure. If you include the six tastes in a meal, you will get the nutrients you need and will feel completely satisfied and energized. If one or more of the tastes are missing from a meal, however, you may feel full but unsatisfied and find yourself snacking two hours later. You can find more in-depth information on the six tastes here.

 

 

 

Therapeutic Touch

 

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Touch is fundamental to health and well-being. When your skin is stimulated by loving touch or massage, it releases many healing chemicals that enhance immune function, improve circulation, and promote restful sleep.

You can give yourself the healing benefits of touch every day with an Ayurvedic self-massage or abhyanga. For those who are feeling excessively stressed and ungrounded, use heavy, warm oils such as sesame or almond. If you are feeling irritated or overheated, try cooling oils such as coconut, sunflower or olive. Finally, if you are feeling sluggish or lethargic, massaging yourself vigorously with oils such as safflower, sunflower or mustard will help invigorate you.

  • Being by pouring a tablespoon of warm oil onto your scalp, vigorously working in the oil. Use small circular strokes to massage your entire scalp, as if you were shampooing your hair.
  • Now move to your face and ears, massaging more gently. Put a bit more oil in your palms and massage your neck, front, and back, moving out to your shoulders.
  • Vigorously massage your arms, using a circular motion at the shoulders, and back-and-forth motions on the arms. Then massage your chest, stomach, and lower abdomen using gentle circular motions. Use a straight up-and-down motion over the breastbone. Reach around to your back and spine and massage them as well as you can.
  • Energetically massage your legs, using circular motions at the ankles and knees, and back-and-forth motions on the long parts. With the remaining oil, thoroughly massage your feet, giving your toes extra attention. Massage your body with love and tenderness—your state of mind is as important as your technique in creating a healing experience for yourself.
  • Leaving a thin, almost imperceptible layer of oil on the body is extremely beneficial, toning the skin and warming the muscles throughout the day. It’s therefore recommended that you use very mild soap and lukewarm water to rinse your body after the massage.

Link : http://www.chopra.com/articles/healing-through-the-5-senses

LAVENDER LEMONADE FOR HEALTH

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So many people suffer from anxiety and headaches these days. I believe this to be a mixture of our lifestyles and many of the changes that are taking place in our world that are pushing people to question what we’ve been doing as a society repetitively for many years. You know what I mean… that feeling that there is something more than just going to work, making money, coming home, eating and repeating it all. It may sound cliche, but it’s evident.

Deep down we can feel it, that something isn’t quite “right” with our world anymore and there’s a certain sense of freedom from it all that is calling us from deep within ourselves. Not knowing what that feeling is exactly or what to do, we sometimes will feel anxiety or overwhelm as we look at our lives. How do we deal with these things? There are a number of actions we can take to address the core issue which you can explore here.

It’s important that we begin to explore this feeling inside. That knowing that things can be different, that our world doesn’t have to be the way it is. Whether it is people getting fed up with the 9 – 5, feeling disconnected from themselves and others or feeling the desire to do what we love and are passionate about, our patience with avoiding these things is continuously growing thin. It’s time, it’s time to explore it!

Other than inspiring people to begin that exploration and letting them know “you’re not crazy, many people are feeling this too,” I also wanted to share something simple that can aid us while we are making more long-term adjustments.

Lavender Lemonade

Pure lavender oil is an incredible essential oil to use for your own health and wellness. It’s among the gentlest of essential oils, but also one of the most powerful, making it a favorite of households for the healing properties and uses of lavender essential oil. Lavender oil  has a chemically complex structure with over 150 active constituents, which explains its effectiveness at helping with a lot of health ailments. Lavender oil possesses amazing anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifier, hypotensive, and sedative properties.

Florida researchers have found that lavender oil benefits include reducing anxiety and lowering pulse rates in nursing students taking stressful tests. And in hospital settings, lavender aromatherapy has been demonstrated to decrease pre-surgery distress and to be more relaxing than massage or merely resting.

Lavender essential oil has medicinal properties as well. It has been shown to reduce depression, improve insomnia and ease labor pains. And anecdotal evidence suggests that lavender oil benefits those with headaches, hangovers, sinus congestion and pain relief.
“Much prior research on lavender has focused on the administration of lavender via an olfactory route. The anxiolytic activity of lavender olfaction has been demonstrated in several small and medium-sized clinical trials. The efficacy of aromatherapy of lavender is thought to be due to the psychological effects of the fragrance combined with physiological effects of volatile oils in the limbic system. These calming effects of lavender oil and single constituents may be the origin of the traditional use of lavender. Lavender oil olfaction has been shown to decrease anxiety, as measured by the Hamilton rating scale,51 and can increase mood scores.



The following are selected examples of clinical trials on lavender aromatherapy:

  • Dunn and colleagues demonstrated anxiolytic activity of lavender oil aromatherapy in patients in intensive care units. Subjects received at least 1 session of aromatherapy with 1% lavender essential oil. Significant anxiolytic effects were noted in the 1st treatment, though 2nd and 3rd treatments did not appear to be as effective.
  • Alaoui-Ismaili and colleagues found that the aroma of lavender is considered by subjects to be very pleasant and is correlated with changes in the autonomic nervous system.
  • Tysoe and colleagues conducted a study of lavender oil in burner use on staff mood and stress in a hospital setting. A significant number of respondents (85%) believed that lavender aroma improved the work environment following the use of the lavender oil burners.
  • Diego and colleagues demonstrated that people receiving lavender oil (10%) olfaction for 3 minutes felt significantly more relaxed and had decreased anxiety scores, improved mood and increased scores of alpha power on EEG (an indicator of alertness), and increased speed of mathematical calculations.
  • Lewith and colleagues investigated the effects of lavender aromatherapy on depressed mood and anxiety in female patients being treated with chronic hemodialysis. The effects of aromatherapy were measured using the Hamilton rating scale for depression (HAMD) and the Hamilton rating scale for anxiety (HAMA). Lavender aroma significantly decreased the mean scores of HAMA, suggesting an effective, noninvasive means for the treatment of anxiety in hemodialysis patients.
  • Lavender aromatherapy, with or without massage, may also reduce the perception of pain and the need for conventional analgesics in adults and children, though more rigorously controlled trials are needed.

DIY Lavender Lemonade with Lavender Essential Oil

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 12 cups pure water
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • 6 lemons, peeled and juiced
  • Lavender sprigs for garnish

Directions

Mix all ingredients together and chill. Add more water or raw honey if needed.

Other ways you can use Lavender Oil for Anxiety and Headaches

  • Mix 5 to 6 drops of Lavender essential oil to your bath water if you have dry skin.
  • Diffuse 10 to 12 drops of Lavender into the air during your workday for natural stress relief.
  • Add 2 drops of Lavender per ounce of your favorite lightly scented, unrefined organic oil (like almond oil or olive oil) for a body oil with all the benefits of lavender for improving your skin, relaxing your mind, warding off insects or helping you sleep.

4 Health Benefits Of Aromatherapy!

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The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy defines aromatherapy as “the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.”

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Aromatherapy uses essential oils which can be extracted from flowers, seeds, barks, herbs, and roots. While there is not much evidence to support its effectiveness in treating or preventing any illness, there are several clinical studies that have found it to be an effective complimentary therapy method.

And hey, who doesn’t love the smell of a good essential oil during a massage or bubble bath?

Benefits Of Incorporating Aromatherapy Into Your Life

1. Reduces stress

Aromatherapy sounds relaxing, right? Well, there’s science backing it up. Aromatherapy using lavender scents has been shown to reduce stress.

In one particular study, participants who were using aromatherapy felt less pain and had reduced stress levels during a stressful situation, compared to participants who were not using aromatherapy.

Other studies showed reduced stress levels in cancer patients who had undergone aromatherapy treatment.

2. Fights depression

Citrus and vibrant aromas have uplifting tendencies that tend to reduce the effects of depression. If you’re down in the dumps, get a massage with essential oils and see if that helps put a smile on your face.

3. Manages pain

One of the best benefits of aromatherapy is that it can relieve pain. Clary sage is a great natural scent used for the reduction of pain, and is most commonly known for its success for relieving menstrual pains.

4. Improves blood pressure

Aromatherapy has been shown to lower blood pressure in patients with hypertension. If you’ve got high blood pressure, aromatherapy may allow you to relax enough to get your blood pressure levels closer to a healthy range.

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How to Use Aromatherapy

There are three ways the essential oils of aromatherapy are most commonly distributed:

1. During your massage

Due to their high concentration levels, essential oils are diluted with natural carrier oils, which are generally composed of olive, almond, soya, and grape-seed. These carrier oils are necessary to spreading the essential oils and avoid any negative skin reaction. The aromatherapy is then rubbed all the body and allowed to soak into the skin.

2. By breathing in

There are a few different methods that are commonly used for the inhalation of essential oils. One method is to apply a few drops of the desired oil onto a handkerchief, hold it under your nose and breathe deeply.

Another method is to heat a bowl of water, add a few drops of essential oil and inhale the steam. The last method is using an essential oil burner to allow the oils to fill the entire room.

3. By soaking in the bath

Adding a few drops to a bubble bath is a relaxing and effective method of use for aromatherapy. The heat of the water creates vapors that can be inhaled, while the oils are soaking into the skin. Sit back, relax, and let the vapours sink in.

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The Takeaway

Although it’s often used to relax, there are also health benefits of aromatherapy. From stress relief, to pain management, to improvements in blood pressure or depression, aromatherapy could be just what the doctor ordered.

So if you’re feeling down or just want to boost your mood, get a massage, breathe in, or take a bath using some essential oils and feel your worries drift away.