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Essential oils – Why do we need them

In a society that simplifies everything in order to render life cost-effective we lost something that no big pharmaceutical company can’t replace. We lost contact with nature. Nature gives us all the medicine and food we need as long as we are willing to use it. Plants are a great way to balance your health in all aspects: physical, hormonal, mental, emotional, etc. They contain essential substances for a healthy life.
No drugs can replace the beneficial effects of plants.
It would be too complex and too expensive to create the synthetic alternatives and the substitutes might not work. The alternative are the essential oils. Aromatic plants are slowly disappearing from our alimentary habits. We don’t drink herbal tea anymore we don’t prepare food with a variety of spices. In the past plants used to be our main source of medicines. They were used in our daily diet as tea, spices, jams, alcoholic beverages and they were used as medicines in various forms, (decoct, infusions, inhalation, tinctures, powders, aromatic bags, etc…) A nice walk in a pine forest was a great way to benefit of the strong therapeutic properties of the pine resin through inhalation.
We slowly isolated from nature in big urban agglomerations. It is not possible anymore to live the same lifestyle as our ancestors. This is a fact and is undeniable, at least for now. This is where the drug industry comes and replaces some of the gaps made by this separation from nature. But synthetic substances are covering only part of the new medical problems and usually they only treat illness once installed. What about prevention which is the better medical approach. The answer is to recreate the bond with nature. There are many things we can do to reconnect with nature: make more trips outside the city, take a walk in the nearby park, grow plants in small pots in our apartment, plant trees around the house, consume herbal tea, prepare our meals using raw fresh raw food, diversify our food, use as much as possible organic food, use good quality essential oils at least a few times per week.

What are the essential oils, and why are they important?

Essential oils are plant extracts, (from flowers, roots, seeds, etc) that contain the plant’s essence – a substance with high therapeutic potential. Almost all the active substance in the plant is extracted. Essential oils, if used properly, can highly improve our life quality. They are best used as a preventative health measure and they can help in almost all areas: Boost immunity, protect from germs, improve digestion, help to relax, relieve stress and tensions, help focus, relax muscles, improve sleep, balance emotional and hormonal, detoxify our body, etc…
The essential oils are very different from plant to plant and they have different healing properties and it’s important to know what these properties are in order to use them properly. Sometimes, if not used properly, essential oil can harm. Some of them are highly volatile and they would disappear in minutes in an open environment, some are more stable. Some essential oils are toxic in higher quantities so you want to make sure you respect the right dosage. For a list of massage oils and their properties visit www.head-massage.net.
The science associated with the use of essential oils is called Aromatherapy and is an Alternative Medicine. Aromatherapy, however is not recognized as a medicine branch in North America. On the other hand in France prescribing essential oils is regulated and Aromatherapy is part of the conventional medicine.

How can we use essential oils?

You can use essential oil in different ways depending on the kind of oil and your preference:

Use it on an old Potpourri that lost its scent onto a small piece of cloth while drying your clothes in your drying machine Add a few drops in a spray Put a few drops in water in a potpourri pot or in a micro-diffuser. Add a few drops in a bathtub. Add a few drops in your humidifier. Add a few drops to a base oil like Sweet Almond or Grape-seed oil and massage yourself. Add a few drops to carrier that is very quickly absorbed such as Jojoba oil and massage your head and face. This is very healthy for your skin. Put a few drops of essential oil on the heat filters. Fir or Cinnamon Bark or Eucalyptus would be a good choice for flu prevention. Add 3-5 drops in a in facial steamer or in a bowl of warm water and cover your head and the bowl with a large towel. This is great as a skin care treatment or for inhalation. Add a 3 drops to moistened clay and apply as a facial mask. Use a few drops to a warm water compress and apply to the sore muscles.

Cautions have to be taken when you use essential oils. The concentration should be between 1% and 5% depending on the oil. Some oils are highly irritant so never apply directly on the skin or in higher concentration than recommended. Do not ingest essential oils, some of them are toxic. Some aromatic oils increase your sensitivity to the sun so avoid using before going out or to a tanning booth. Do a patch test if you have allergies. Avoid direct inhalation of oils, (from the bottle), as some of them have a very high rate of volatilization and you would inhale too much substance.

Skin treatment essential oil blend
Add a few drops of Lemon oil (therapeutic grade) and a little more of Sea-buckthorn oil in a base of a highly absorbed oil such as Jojoba or Grape-seed. Use this combination to massage your face for a healthy skin. You will be amazed by the results obtained in days.  

Sensual Massage blend
You can make your own sensual massage oil blend. Use 1 oz (30 ml) of Jojoba or Grape-seed oil as your carrier. Add 4 drops of Rose essential oil and 6 drops of  Ylang Ylang essential oil. Make sure you use therapeutic grade oils. If you plan a longer massage you can mix in a 50/50% the Jojoba and Grape-seed oils because Jojoba gets absorbed very easy.

Dorian is an Massage therapist who is involved in promoting touch as a life changing instrument. He contributes at www.Head-Massage.net with articles and a step by step “how to massage”. You can check the online Massage Manual, part of the promotional campaign at: http://www.head-massage.net/manuals.
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