Tag Archives: benzoin

AROMATHERAPY & CHILDREN

I have quite a few children brought to me for different reasons, ranging in age from 5 to 16 years old. There are plenty of reasons why a child / adolescent would need to see a therapist not least because of stress. Growing up is not so easy and there are so many different signals and pressures in a child’s life to make it confusing. At different points in life we need different back-ups – I am one.

Today I want to tell you about one child in particular – with the permisson of his parents. I will call him Joe.

Joe’s parents brought him to me when he was 11 yrs old. He had been vaccinated with the rubella-vaccine while he had a cold and after that he had slowly slipped into a non-communicable state. He would not make eye-contact, hardly played, very quiet, disappearing into himself when spoken to. He was hunched over with his arms across his chest, facing the floor. His whole posture screamed of protection and tuning out the world. He was failing badly at school and his condition just seemed to get worse. His parents had tried everything; doctors, psychiatrists, nutritionists, homeopathy…to no avail, he would not connect with anybody. When they asked me for help I told them that we could try, but there are never any guarantees in my line of work. Still they wanted to give it a try.

The first time I met Joe he would not meet my eyes or talk to me. Trying out oils for him would not function in the normal way and, of course, I could not get close to him or touch him. So we set up a meeting where some of his friends from school would be around and I joined them in their games. By doing this I could get some connection to Joe and through this connection choose oils for him. The oils that came to me were: Angelica (angelica archangelica), Frankincense (boswellia carterii) and Orange (citrus sinensis). I blended these essential oils in vegetable oil for the parents to massage him every evening before bed during one month.

When I saw him one month late he was much changed. He carried himself straighter, met my eyes for short moments and would even play with me and the other kids. He was curious about the oils and watched me intently when I chose “his” oils. Still he would not take part in the choosing. The moment I talked to him or tried to connect, he would withdraw into himself. This time the oils chosen were: Patchouli (pogostemon patchouli / p. cablin), Cypress (cupressus sempervirens) and Mandarine (citrus reticulata) again they were blended in vegetable oil for the daily bed-time-massage.

One month later he was like an extremely shy boy; the school had commented on his positive changes. He even played the flute on stage with the other children at school. His parents were very happy. He would look at me and talk to me, but refused to choose oils, though he was definitely curious. Oils chosen were: Vetiver (vetiveria zizanoides), Mandarine (citrus reticulata) and Rose absolute (rosa damascena). Blended in veg. oil. Same procedure with the evening massages, but this time for a 3-month period as I felt he needed to “land” in himself with the help of one oil-blend.

The 4th time I saw Joe, 3 months later,  he was good. He was like any boy; back straight, met my eyes, talked and chose the oils himself. He was doing much better at school; both in his work and connection with other children. He had started to play football. He told me that he loved the oils, that “they made him feel safe so he didn’t need to live in his box”. (his words) The oils he chose were: Bergamott (citrus bergamia), Rose otto (rosa centifolia), Benzoin (styrax benzoin). Blended in veg. oil. Same procedure with the massage at bedtime. At this point I terminated the treatments of Joe, telling him that he could come back anytime he wanted but that he didn’t need me anymore. Joe was very proud.

A little more than a year later, Joe came back since he wanted some oils just for the times he felt low. He chose: Patchouli (pogostemon patchouli / p.cablin), Orange (citrus sinensis) and Elemi (canarium luzonicum /c. commune) blended in veg. oil.

Last year (almost 4 years later) I saw him at a fair, helping children climb a pile of crates. He looked so strong and happy, next to him stood his girlfriend.

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SWINE FLU & AROMATHERAPY

So now I am finally going to address this latest hysteria. I have been watching the development and the debates with raised eyebrows, wondering what all the drama was about. I also watched two of my children having the swine flu, and I must say I don’t get the fuss. It is an influenza, that’s all. There are other flues that hit a lot harder and kill a lot more people. I am now suspected of having it – the swine-flu; I have an insistent cough, sore throat,  muscle-ache and tiredness. I am told that I must not see people and that I am for the coming days a pariah to society – a walking killing-machine! I have seldom felt this healthy when I was sick. I had the bird-flu some years ago – now that’s what I call sick! That was the last time I was sick, so maybe I just pick up animal-diseases? I do not believe in vaccines, and I outright refuse the N1H1 vaccine. I believe that if you live according to health, you can handle disease such as flues. Besides which, I read a report that one of the side-effects (very small % mind you, but I wouldn’t want to be that %) is irreversible respiratory muscle collapse. On top of which, the company that has created this vaccine (and markets it after a less than minimum trial period) has been granted relief from all responsibility if there are negative side-effects – no law-suits for them! Now why would this be done? I leave it to you to figure it out. Please comment if you wish.

Today I would like to share with you my aromatherapy usage during this illness. It all started with a slight tickling discomfort in my throat that I recognized as that of an infection in the brewing. I quickly started my gargle-routine with 2 dr. of Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia) in luke-warm water. I did this morning and night for the first day, a bit more often for the second day and realized on the third day that I had been lazy and nonchalant in my self-treatment (being busy enjoying myself instead). So the third day I increased the gurgling to every 2nd hour. I also massaged a blend of oils on my throat: Red thyme (thymus vulgaris), Benzoin (styrax benzoin), Lemon (citrus limon) and Niaouli (melaleuca viridiflora) = 6 dr of each in 20ml vegetable oil. This blend is very soothing to an infected respiratory system. During the night I would wake up from coughing (3 times during the night); then I took 1 dr of Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus) straight; I put the drop on the back of my hand and lick it, washing it down with some water. This gave me wonderful, instant relief during my 12 hour sleep.

I have an aroma-fan in which I diffuse oils of; Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus), Cloves (eugenia aromatica) and Lavender (lavandula augustifolia). These oils are calming, anti-bacterial and cleansing in nature. The scent of cloves reminds me of Christmas so it does double duty as season-enhancer.

For my achy muscles I use a blend of Marjoram (origanum majorana), Black-pepper (piper nigrum) and Roman Chamomile (chamaemelum nobile) = 10 dr of each in 30ml vegetable oil. I use it in the morning and before bed at night.

As an all-round “pick-me-up” I use Orange (citrus sinensis) for the warm, light and happy feeling it induces.

I eat plenty of garlic, vegetables and fruit. I drink masses of water and herbal teas such as mint, fennel, chamomile, rose-hip and green tea. I rest a lot, read a lot, study texts I didn’t have the peace to study earlier and I use this time to focus myself on how I want to live my life. Except for this really irritating cough, I can’t say I am suffering.

ESSENTIAL OILS AND EMOTION

essential-oilEssential oils are wonderful mood-enhancers. I have many clients experiencing depression and anxiety from stress. While stress takes time to balance, the emotions involved can quite readily be helped with essential oils.
Usually the scents/blends I use for people are chosen specifically for them and then used in a massage. This way the system is programmed for relaxation from this specific blend. I have found this to be an effective way to “open the door” for further work with stress. An overloaded system and/or brain can not assimilate information…this is one of the reasons the downward-spiral of stress is so debilitating; handling stress comes from knowledge and conscious choices. You learn to handle stress, it doesn’t just happen.

When stressed or depressed we are very bad at helping ourselves. Even if we know how to do it, we don’t manage to do it. Everything is too much, and nothing feels very important anymore. The only thing we feel we can do is close our eyes and hope for it all to go away.

This is where the brilliance of essential oils come in: It is actually enough to open the bottle and inhale deeply from it to feel some release. When I say inhale, I mean inhale. Take a deep breath and bring the scent of the oil as deep into yourself as you can. Close your eyes while doing it, and feel what happens to you.
This is the simplest and most basic way of using an essential oil for mood-enhancement. You can also put a few (3-5) drops on a tissue or handkerchief and carry it around with you for use during the day. Since essential oils are volatile, you might need to refresh the oil after a few hours.

The choice of oil is individual. It is all about what you feel. Smell essential oils and see what they do to you. Remember that your system usually can handle only about 5 different oils at a time, then it is suffused. Go outside, breath some fresh air and then you can smell some more. This, of course, is highly individual.

ESSENTIAL OILS:

Woody oils are grounding and strengthening:
Cedar (cedrus atlantica) Warming and calming.
Cypress (cupressus sempervirens) Strengthening and balancing.
Rosewood (aniba rosaeodora) Balancing, relaxing and uplifting

Resinous oils are protective and warming:
Frankincense (boswellia carterii) Uplifting, deepens breathing, meditation.
Myrrh (commiphora myrrha) Warming and emotionally healing.
Benzoin (styrax benzoin) Warming, euphoric, calming, protecting.

Floral oils are calming uplifting and emotionally releasing:
Geranium (pelargonium graveolens) Very balancing when there is also anger, frustration or irritation.
Lavender (lavandula officinalis / augustifolia) Wonderfully calming when there are also sleeping-problems.
Ylang-Ylang (cananga odorata) Uplifting, euphoric and very good where there is anger. (High doses can give head-ache and/or nausea)

Citrus oils are uplifting and refreshing. They also blend well with the above-mentioned oils. Citrus oils carry sun-energy and this can be helpful during the wintermonths.
Orange (citrus sinensis) Sweet, uplifting.
Lemon (citrus limon) Refreshing, clears the mind
Mandarin (citrus reticulata) Sweet, helps the inner child.

Another great oil when there is sluggishness, tiredness (physical & emotional):
Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) Uplifting, clears the mind, stimulating.

Orange blossomNote: Essential oils are not drugs. They work with the body. If your system is exhausted and you need to sleep, even the most stimulating oil will not keep you alert.
Also note that if depression is severe it is good to bring in some stimulating oils (citrus, rosemary) since the more calming oils can enhance depression in higher doses.

QUALITY: Buy good quality oils. If the oil is of an inferior quality, you will not have the benefits. Essential oils are natural, they have life-energy. If they are handled and stored wrongly they will lose their properties. E.O are quite costly but they go a long way. Always look for the latin name on the label, this way you are sure that you get the real thing. (There are many different cedars, for example, and one of them is slightly toxic to the system.)
The label should also say 100% pure essential oil.

WARNING: Essential oils are highly concentrated and can be irritating to the skin and mucous membranes. Do not use them internally, do not use neat on skin, keep away from eyes, children and pets.