The use of aromatherapy, especially in combination with massage, can be extremely helpful for individuals (all ages) suffering from any kind of handicap. As I said before, touch transgresses everything as do the essential oils. They reach into the very deepest part of a person to balance and sooth. I want to tell you about Jane, one of my clients some years ago. She was, at the time, aged 24 and suffered from hypotonic cerebral palsy (CP). She was living at home except for some holidays and her parents were wonderful and loving people, doing all they could to make her comfortable. Jane was in a wheelchair, unable to move at all which had, over the years, made her skeletal structure crooked and brittle so she had been through surgery a few times to be able to stay in the wheelchair. She had no communication-possibilities at all since she had no control over her face or body. Her respiratory system was very weak resulting in repeated bouts of pneumonia when she would have to spend time at the hospital. Her digestive system was also weak, and sometimes she wouldn’t take nutrition so then she would go to the hospital for feeding. She was also given medicine to help with the cramping.
When I saw her the first time she was strapped in her wheelchair, hands tightly clasped against her chest. She kept moving her head from side to side, gnawing her teeth. I sat with her and her mother for some time, chatting and bringing out the oils. I made a selection of oils for Jane to smell. I could see by the way she moved her head what oils were interesting to her, they made the motion of her head slow down. In this way she chose:
Orange (citrus sinensis) 14 dr, Lemongrass (cymbopogon citratus) 8 dr and Lavender (lavendula augustifolia) 10 dr. Blended in 100 ml blended vegetable oil + 50ml macerated oil of Marigold (Calendula officinalis)
Together with her mother, we massaged her hands and arms, one hand each. Soon she started relaxing her fists, allowing her hands to lie open in her lap. Once the hand-massage was finished, the hand massaged by her mother stayed relaxed and open longer. I then massaged her legs, showing the mother how to enhance circulation. By this time Jane was meeting my eyes and her head was stiller. I just had this flash that she was suffering from headaches (constant gnawing of her teeth) so I asked her. Tears started rolling down her cheeks and I made an oil-blend for her face and neck which I massaged her with; feeling the tension leave her head as I massaged her scalp.
In a blend of 25 ml veg.oil blend + 5 ml of infused Teebalm (monarda fistulosa) + 3 dr of Neroli (citrus aurantium ssp amara var. pumilla).
I showed her mother and father the massage and made oils for them to use: Massage of legs, feet and stomach every morning, massage of face, head and hands 3-5 times during the day. A month later I visited again and Jane, was visibly happy to see me again. She basically stayed with the oil-blends above with small changes in the essential oils to help with circulation and relaxation. When I left Sweden I referred her to another very good aromatherapist in the area. Jane is still doing fine on the oils, her life (and that of her parents) a little bit easier. Over time her respiratory and digestive problems have lessened with a lot less traumatic days in the hospital.
Her movements are involuntary, which makes the observations very interesting, proving that massage (and) essential oils have an impact on the central nervous system.
For info on Cerebral Palsy (CP): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebral_palsy
Posted in Aromatherapy, Scents
Tagged Aromatherapy, calendula, cerebral palsy, cramps, essential oils, handicap, headaches, lavender, lemongrass, Massage, monarda, neroli, nervous system, orange, Scents, vegetable oil
There are so many different ways to use essential oils, depending on what result or effect you are looking for. When it comes to mood-enhancing, this will happen whatever way you use the oils, since they enter your system. Even if you have lost your sense of smell, the oils will have an effect on your moods and feelings.
Important: If you are sensitive, always use lower doses. You can also test the oil by rubbing a drop of essential oil mixed in vegetable oil onto the inside of your arm. If it itches or turns red, lower the dosage even more or avoid that essential oil/blend. Don’t ever use pure essential oils on your skin. Our sense of smell gets quickly used to a new scent and we don’t smell it anymore. This might make some people use higher doses than necessary. If you are not sure about the scent – leave the room, breath some fresh air and come back.
- Room fragrance: You can use an electrical aroma-fan which diffuses the oils without heating them – this is the best way to disperse oils in a space, especially to clear the air from bacteria. Aroma-burners use a tea-candle (heat) to disperse the essential oils, this is excellent for fragrance and mood-enhancing. Aroma-stone is an electrical appliance that disperse the oil with the help of heat without using a candle, better to use in childrens room or such. When heated, the oils loose some of their antiseptic qualities, so they are not as effective in, for example, a sick-room.
Tips: If you don’t have an appliance you can drop your essential oil onto a tissue or cotton-ball and lodge by the radiator – make sure there is no risk of fire. Or you can use a bowl of hot water in which you drop your oil.
Dosages: In a small to medium room or a childs room use 2-4 drops. Do not refill more often than once an hour, especially in childrens room where you would also use fewer drops. In a large room you can use up to 10 drops. Bathrooms are easily scented by dropping a drop of essential oil in the wash-basin and rinse it out with warm water. Some people use scented pot-pourri, you can easily scent it with essential oils instead of synthetic fragrance. There are plenty of ways to use essential oils as air-fresheners, room scents etc. Use your imagination and enjoy.
- Baths: Pure essential oils are irritating to the skin and mucous membranes so you need to mix them in something since they do not disperse in water. You can mix them in vegetable oil, unscented soap or body-lotion. You can also use cream (like Cleopatra). Soap, lotion and creme will mix the oils with the water – just swish around – vegetable oil will lie on the surface. If you want bubble-bath use the soap! Always add the essential oils when bath is ready.
Dosages: 5-10 drops of essential oils in a carrier. For children 2-5 drops in a carrier. If bathing a child in a smaller bath, use only 1-2 drops in a carrier. For babies; avoid essential oils unless a certified aromatherapist has given you advice.
- Skin-care: Essential oils are wonderful for skin-care. You can mix essential oils in any un-perfumed lotion, soap, shampoo, conditioner or creme. Try using as natural products as possible to maximize the effect of the essential oils.
Dosages: 10-20 drops of essential oil to 100 ml of lotion, soap, shampoo, conditioner. 2-5 drops of essential oil to 50 ml of face-cream.
Tips: Always start with the lower dosage; it is easy to add more if you like. This way you can control the strength of the scent.
ESSENTIAL OILS (following oils are very useful for emotional imbalances. They are not too expensive and blend well with each-other. They are a good start for aromatherapy.)
- Lavender (lavandula officinalis, lavandula augustifolia) Wonderful calming and relaxing oil. It is a very good oil for skin-care; dry skin, acne, irritations etc. Helps heal small wounds and burns. Excellent after-sun if burned, use with Aloe Vera gel. If you have problems falling asleep, lavender can help you. Take a lavender-bath before bed or use it as a room-fragrance. (Tips: put one drop on the front of you pj’s or by your pillow when you go to bed.) When there is stress, worry, anxiousness or fear; lavender is calming to the mind. Place a few drops on a tissue and inhale from it. Lavender is a wonderful oil for children; skin, fretfulness, problems sleeping. Wonderful for childrens baths and room-scenting. OBS: use low dosage on children – max 2 drops for sleep – higher doses tend to have the opposite effect.
- Orange (citrus sinensis) Uplifting to the spirit and safe to use also for children. It brings sunshine into our souls. If really low and unhappy, orange is wonderful to use. It is a versatile skin-care oil especially for oily skin and acne. OBS: orange essential oil is sensitive to oxidation and stays good only about 6 months. If the oil is cloudy, don’t use it. Once it is oxidized, it becomes a skin-irritant.
- Rosewood (aniba roseodora) Calming and strengthening in character it is a wonderful oil that is safe to use also for children. It helps when there is insecurity and depression, anxiety and mood-swings. Excellent skin-care oil especially for dry, mature skin and acne.
- Bee Balm (monarda fistulosa) Tonic, up-lifting and releasing for the emotions and spirit. Balances when there is slight hysteria. Useful for oily skin.
- Geranium (pelargonium graveolens) Balancing oil which is highly useful when there are mood-swings, irritation and PMT. Good general skin-care oil balancing for most skin-types.
- Frankincense (boswellia carterii) Relaxes and deepens the breathing. Good when there is anxiety and stress. Opens the mind to meditation and quietens inner chatter. Good for oily skin, mature skin and acne.
- Ylang-Ylang (cananga odorata var. genuina) Euphoric in nature, this oil lifts the spirit and creates a sense of euphoria. Do not use when concentration is needed. For some people it can help when there is a problem with falling asleep – especially when the reason is mental worries. It is extremely helpful when there is anger. In skin-care it is especially useful with oily skin and acne. OBS: The scent is very strong and can, in higher doses, give head-ache and/or nausea. Use with care.
Posted in Aromatherapy, Scents
Tagged Aromatherapy, bath, children, essential oils, feelings, frankincense, geranium, lavender, monarda, moods, orange, room fragrance, rosewood, sensibilities, skin-care, ylang-ylang