The Path of Beauty, Nurture and Stillness - by Robbi Zeck ND
Published in the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists ( USA ) and New Zealand Register of Holistic Aromatherapists Magazines
In complementary and orthodox therapies there is an awareness of the importance of taking a wholistic approach. What we think and feel can influence our health and it is unusual to fall ill when we are feeling on top of the world. Research has shown that positive emotional states have an effect in reducing stress and regulating immune function.
We are well aware of how our sense of smell ties in with our emotions, memories and general sense of wellbeing. An aroma has an immediate impact on us whether it is emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually. There are times in life when we are not as resourceful in maintaining our emotional well being as we would like to be. Combining aromatherapy principles with modalities such as kinesiology and TCM we are able to explore emotions, images, thoughts and beliefs in the management of the mind-body connection.
Some pathways to health and wellness may include, nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathy, aromatherapy, counseling, chiropractic, stress management, relaxation, meditation, kinesiology, flower essences, massage, psychotherapy and exercise.
Aromatic Kinesiology is an innovative therapeutic model that provides a framework for enhancing physical and emotional wellbeing through the use of essential oils in conjunction with Kinesiology, TCM and Counseling Practices.
Stress factors are identified using Kinesiology and muscle response biofeedback techniques, and the TCM meridian system is utilized along with application of essential oils and the use of The Essential Oil Reflections as metaphors to reduce stress levels and enhance emotional equilibrium.
Aromatic Kinesiology promotes insight, awareness, self-responsibility, participation and education as important factors in any healing process.
We are living in times of monumental busyness. Our world is growing smaller, life is moving faster and is too full of doing, doing, doing. We must achieve more, be more and acquire more and at some loosely defined point in the future we can then possibly relax and enjoy it all. Maybe! No wonder stress related illness is at an all time high. Modern living places a strain not only on our minds but on our bodies as well - "time to be", has become the ultimate luxury.
Amidst the turbulence, there is a quiet revolution demanding that we change the way we live our lives. We are beginning to recognize that it is imperative to stay connected to the things that harness our energies. We yearn for the tranquil moments that bring the opportunity to look inward, to reflect, reassess and replenish. We are discovering that as we reduce stress, enjoy emotional renewal and revitalize our energies, we change the way we view the world around us. We also alter the experience of our own inner world.
We need to ask - what is it that makes us feel centred and balanced? How can we refresh and invigorate ourselves? How do we slow down and take the exit from the fast lane? How can we let go of busyness and experience "time to be", in order to maintain a healthful way of living. The more connected we are to the things that do bring us energy the less likely we are to succumb to illness.
Healing involves education, re-assessment, changing many of the conditions under which we are living and re-examining the structure of our lives. If life is holding us back, we may need to question our habits, desires, behaviours, beliefs and even our relationships.
In Sanskrit, the word for health is swasta, meaning to be stabilized in oneself. Health is experiencing a balanced life and a quality of stillness that comes from being centred. We heal towards the things we deeply desire, creating a movement away from any fears and concerns we might harbour. It often takes considerable courage to re-work the patterns of our lives so that we can move forward positively and be open to greater levels of self-understanding. Sometimes, the desire for change and healing may be hidden or blocked deeper down in the subconscious and we need assistance to locate it.
The healing journey is a very personal process for each of us and as we move along the path, we will notice changes in our inner life and in the stories we tell ourselves. By creating an environment where we have integrity with ourselves and the world on a daily basis, we draw greater experience into our lives and liberate ourselves from the things that hinder us from creating the kind of life we truly desire to live.
When I began my work with Aromatic Kinesiology in 1990, essential oils were not generally used from a metaphoric or symbolic perspective. Over time, I developed a narrative style of working with essential oils that I have called "The Essential Oil Reflections".
I have found that when the human spirit is motivated through the heart, thinking and feeling become expanded, allowing an experience to be viewed in an entirely different manner. Stories are a wonderful medium that can transport metaphor and image into an evocative and transformational experience.
Stories and narratives are a part of life and always in the background of our everyday conversations. The stories we tell ourselves reflect our hidden inner world and shape the decisions we make and the actions we take. Stories can provide a powerful context for creating meaning about our lives and act as a bridge from what holds us back, to moving towards what we really want.
During consultations with clients, I have found that the symbolic expressions of essential oils enhance their capacity to look at life differently. Clients more easily release symptoms, restore balance and open into a broader way of thinking and feeling. The Essential Oil Reflections can offer a pathway to gaining a deeper understanding of our journey through life. This is a concept that is simple, easy to apply and encourages clients to expand their thinking about unwellness and discomfort.
The subtle quality of an essential oil can penetrate an area of our consciousness that has been stuck, allowing us to view a situation from a different perspective. The purpose of each Essential Oil Reflection is to enhance our awareness of an aspect of life that we may need to change or embrace differently. Each of the Essential Oil Reflections awakens the recognition of the pertinence of all our encounters and assists in reframing emotional issues.
The Essential Oil Reflections can:-
Research shows that there is a strong relationship between olfaction, memory, mood, emotion and thought. In every moment there is instantaneous communication between all brain and bodily functions and processes. What we think and feel influences our body and our body can influence our mind. Essential oils have the potential to affect positive change through the olfactory/mind link but each person has a unique set of experiences that flavours their responses to a given situation.
Dr Candace Pert, the author of Molecules of Emotion, discovered with her groundbreaking research that there are chemicals of emotion and that changes in chemistry occur following the way we think and feel about things.
Aromatic anchoring can be valuable in changing present time perceptions, creating new options and allowing positive behavioural changes. Essential oils have the capacity to touch at the core of the soul effecting the deeper, unconscious mind, dissolving old emotional patterns. The energetic qualities of essential oils play an important role in stimulating the body’s electromagnetic fields, to activate the natural healing process.
A fragrance can influence you from the etheric to the physical, educate your system to function with finer awareness and can place you into a finer frequency as you set new goals to align your innermost processes. The subconscious is always drawn to colour, sound and fragrance for their vibrational healing qualities.
The meaning we give to something shapes our attitude towards it. For that reason you will not find the same essential oil being required when people are going through similar experiences. Physical illness and stress are often emotionally based. Each person has their own individual and unique way of experiencing their inner world. Therefore, their emotional responses will vary. In my experience as a therapist for almost 30 years now, physical illness always has an associated component of unresolved emotional stress.
We all know what stress feels like. Stress is a part of living and the body’s systems are finely tuned to deal with stress. Too many emotional stresses and strains can overload the body systems and when this occurs the potential for illness increases. Research shows that many medical complaints contain a strong emotional or psychological component. There are some that say that all disease has its origin in an unmet emotional need of some kind.
We may ignore the symptoms of stress, because we think those symptoms are simply part of living in a complex society, being productive, creative and pushing our physical and emotional resources to the limit. Ignored stresses, pile up and so do the physical / emotional effects of stress. In order to best manage chronic stress we need to commit to maintaining our health and well-being. Kinesiology and Aromatherapy are excellent tools to help manage stress and change easily.
We easily recognize stress effects such as butterflies in the stomach before a presentation, a pounding heart when feeling afraid or a lack of appetite after a heated argument. Most of us have an area in the physical body that becomes vulnerable when we are tired, run down or emotionally stressed. Have you ever become unwell after a stressful experience? Consider which part of your body succumbs when you are under stress. Most people can respond readily to this question. And yet not all stress is bad, as not enough change and stimulation can also be a threat to our well being. Balance is the key.
The Aromatic Kinesiology approach to dealing with stress, enables the client to gain a symbolic understanding of the underlying pattern of their physical problem or their presenting issue.
Stresses are created when the forces in the outside world interact with an individual. Simple physical changes, such as taking a walk, enjoying the sunshine and having fun, can improve how we feel, think and behave. Conversely, how we think, feel and behave, can effect how our body operates.
Depending on how we think about them, many situations may make us feel uncomfortable, leading to changes in the nervous system, endocrine glands and other parts of the body. When the body/mind recognizes situations as stressful, it strains to cope with them and if stress continues without relief, the body/mind exhausts its physical, mental, emotional and spiritual resources and we can become unwell.
When under stress, a person may not necessarily know what it is they need to relieve that stress. Their behaviour may be played out in all kinds of ways rather than addressing the real issue at hand. Through using simple testing of the body’s energies with kinesiology, we can track the best way to bring a person’s system back into equilibrium so that they may better equipped to handle any similar stress that may be experienced in the future.
It takes a different quality of consciousness to solve a problem than the kind of consciousness that created it. By changing the geography of our mind and inner life, we place ourselves in a higher frequency. Fragrances can help old emotional patterns to fall away and reduce the emotional charge around current stressful issues. It is easy to create a powerful change like this and you can do it too. When your energies are clear and vibrant, what you make a shift towards shifts towards you.
How do we gauge how we are tracking in our life? Our internal compass is set to keep us on track. When we become stressed our tracking mechanism can go awry. Just as a compass always shows the direction of true north, our internal compass is one that instinctively tells us that we are headed in the right direction.
The Aromatic Kinesiology model was developed over a period of time, mapping clients’ emotions and moods, alongside certain words and essential oils that correlated with their experiences and feelings. The Essential Oil Reflections have the capacity to relieve emotional stress, through the art of quiet reflection and release negative patterns that may be contributing to physical symptoms. Additionally, the flow of energy through the acupuncture meridians is an important factor in keeping us on track and ensuring that our internal compass is indeed facing true north.
The meridians, and their associated acupuncture points, are like signposts on the map of the body. They indicate where imbalances lie, often manifesting as physical and emotional disorders in the body. The meridians could also be viewed as a pathway for a particular stream of consciousness. All physical conditions or imbalances make a statement about the state of a person’s consciousness. Each meridian is related to a specific organ and muscle and many things influence the subtle way in which they work. Your diet, posture, thoughts, feelings, habits and the way you function can have a positive or negative effect on your meridian system. The consciousness or the awareness of a person may therefore, determine the patterns of unwellness that develop in the physical body.
Emotional blockages have a strong potential to create imbalances in our energies as they can be locked away in our subconscious. Undigested events can show up later in life as unwellness, affecting you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Emotions are a normal response to stimuli from the external environment. Within normal limits, emotions cause no real problem in the body. However, it is when our emotions become overpowering and uncontrollable, overwhelming us with their constant presence that problems can occur. Unresolved emotional issues and mismanaged emotional states can cause serious disruption to the chi and open the door to ill health.
Suppression of feelings such as love, worry, grief, fear and anger, can lead to an imbalance in the meridians and the related muscles and organs. Emotional suppression may be conscious or unconscious, and it is not the intensity of an emotion but rather the extended duration of an emotional state that can rob you of your energy and vitality.
Over the years, while working with thousands of clients and students, I have found that specific essential oils consistently bring balance to the meridians when muscle testing the energy of the body. Clients report that they feel better, enjoy a more even temperament, are easier of mind and heart and have greater vitality.
Energy testing of an indicator muscle that is associated with a corresponding organ, gland or meridian, can determine a state of stress or imbalance. For example, pectoralis major clavicular is a muscle linked with the stomach meridian. As well as activating digestion it is also connected to our emotional world. Peppermint essential oil is commonly used for digestive upsets. It also stimulates the function of the stomach meridian and enhances the digestion of new ideas.
During consultations meridians can be traced with essential oils, aromatic blends placed over acupuncture points and also over various meridian reflex points located on the body and the head. Essential oils have the capacity to act as catalysts to connect the points of energy along the meridians.
Liver Meridian Heart Blossom Point - Liver 4
On each of the meridians there is a specific acupuncture point where emotional stress is concentrated called the "Heart Blossom Points". These points when activated settle the Emotional Heart. They are the quiet achievers for clearing emotional turmoil and balance the energies in the meridians. These powerful acupuncture points shift blocked emotional energies very easily. The Heart Blossom Points are illustrated clearly in The Blossoming Heart – Aromatherapy for Healing and Transformation.
By applying an essential oil or blend to a Heart Blossom Point and rubbing it firmly for a short time, energy flowing through the meridian is enhanced and emotional congestion begins to be released.
Activate the Heart Blossom Points to:-
We have all the resources we need in order to make changes. It is just a matter of accessing those resources to assist us to shift towards a different state of mind and heart. Once our awareness is heightened then we can choose to move from a present state of mind, to a more positive state of being. Our life blossoms when we can shift gear from thinking negatively, to expecting the best.
The following case studies illustrate the power of the Aromatic Kinesiology model. Each essential oil has a paired set of emotions found on my "Aromatic Emotional Barometer Chart" which has four sections - Spiritual, Emotional, Mental and Physical.
Mandy was 35 years old, suffered from frequent colds and flu, mid-thoracic pain, central adiposity, craved sugars, overcommitted, always agreeing to do things for others, often felt alone and always tired.
She felt that she was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders and this was reflected in her body language and facial expression. Mandy’s way of dealing with stress and her inability to say no to anything and anyone was having an effect on her immune and other body systems.
She was obsessed with "doing the right thing" and worried so much that it was compromising her health.
Mandy certainly felt and looked defeated and was far too tentative in her life. She certainly wanted to be motivated and definite about how she moved through her life.
During the initial consultation, two essential oils, Ravintsara and Spruce presented as being important for Mandy.
Ravintsara ( Cinnamomum camphora ct cineole )
Ravintsara, with its Eucalyptus-like aroma, encourages the setting of personal boundaries. A boundary delineates what is included within as well as what is excluded.
Learning to define your boundaries determines your identity and maintaining healthy boundaries is absolutely integral to your self-empowerment. Your emotional and physical wellbeing will be compromised if your boundaries are unstructured. Learn to say no! And remember, ‘no’ is a complete sentence.
Make a stand for yourself. Identify where you need to be more empowered. Move away from being too tentative, set some boundaries and be committed to maintaining them. By becoming aware of your own needs and educating others about how to treat you well, a true caring of your self and others can develop.
In this instance, kinesiology testing indicated a link with the spleen meridian and its related muscle, latissimus dorsi, a mid-back muscle. The spleen meridian is associated with the immune system, digestion and sugar regulation. It also responds to our internal dialogue instantly and is strongly affected by our ideas and beliefs.
While Mandy and I discussed the relevancy of each Essential Oil Reflection, I held for a short time the Emotional Stress Release points located at the frontal eminences on the forehead enabling Mandy to think more clearly and quietly about her life situation.
I then applied a dilute blend of the two essential oils in almond oil carrier over her spleen neuro-lymphatic reflex points and spleen meridian Heart Blossom Point - Spleen 10.
Mandy continued to apply the blend over her spleen meridian Heart Blossom Point each day for 4 weeks as well as repeating the Heart Blossom Affirmation for Ravintsara – This was the more important of the two affirmations initially.
"My boundaries are clearly defined."
The pathways to wellness for Mandy, also included walking daily, avoidance of sugar, supplements of vitamin C, vitamin B complex, magnesium and protein powder. She also had massage treatments over 4 weeks, focusing on her back, neck and feet, with a massage blend of Spruce and Ravintsara.
As she gained more emotional resolve and physical strength Mandy then began to explore some of the deeper issues running through her life to turn off the ‘Pleaser’ part of her personality.
Within 4 weeks Mandy had lost 5kg, her mid-thoracic back pain had diminished. Over a 12 week period she continued to lose weight, reduced her craving for sugar and had no recurrence of cold or flu. After 12 months Mandy looked a totally different woman and one who was in charge of her life.
John was referred to me by a medical practitioner. He had mild Rheumatoid Arthritis and suffered panic attacks, which sometimes bordered on hysteria. The attacks had worsened and were more frequent just prior to having the consultation. John developed Rheumatoid Arthritis after he lost his business some years ago to an unscrupulous business partner, which left his body in a permanent state of emergency and shock.
Muscle testing indicated that his Triple Warmer meridian was involved and also the Solar Plexus chakra. Triple Warmer has an association with the immune system and can present as either over-vigilant, as in John’s case, or exhausted, it just gives up and retreats from the battle. The Solar Plexus chakra is linked to personal power, self-esteem and survival issues.
John knew he needed some extra assistance to change his attitude so that he could move forward again in life. Lemongrass presented as the essential oil of choice, which I applied in a blend of almond oil to his Triple Warmer Heart Blossom Points - Triple Warmer 15 and then held those points while we talked about how limitation was affecting John’s life.
I then began clearing the energy field around the Solar Plexus chakra and a great wall of yellow heat emanated from his body. The heat was immense, his skin became flushed from head to toe and it seemed that he was undergoing a flushing out of toxic, congested emotional matter. This effect lasted for only a few minutes.
Expanded - LEMONGRASS – Restricted
The intense, radiant energy of Lemongrass inspires expansion on all levels. Whenever there is a sense of restriction or limitation in life, Lemongrass lifts the spirits and gets things moving again.
Lemongrass enables the mind to shift towards fascination about what is possible, encouraging you to embark on a glorious voyage of discovery. Imagine the circumference of your life experience expanding. If something has been achieved out in the wider world then know that it is possible for you to achieve it too.
Change the patterns of your restrictions. Visualize having unlimited access to all that you require to expand your stance in life. Lemongrass motivates you to move beyond any limitations and opens the way for you to step into your best possible future. Live your dreams!
I showed John how to hold his own stress relief points on his forehead to reduce the load on his mind and body on a regular basis. For when he was feeling out of control, I also showed John how to momentarily sedate the Triple Warmer meridian by running his fingers just above his ears, from the temple and back to the mastoid process.
Following the consultation, John applied the Lemongrass blend to his Triple Warmer Heart Blossom Point and over his Solar Plexus chakra each day for about 6 weeks. Additionally, when he was feeling panicked he carried Lemongrass with him to smell as often as required. John also repeated the Blossoming Heart Affirmation for Lemongrass often.
"If it’s possible in the world, it’s possible for me."
Within a few weeks his panic attacks had subsided and John was beginning to think differently about life.
In subsequent consultations we began working with the Australian essential oil Kunzea, to relieve the pain and inflammation in his joints. A blend was applied to his hands and feet twice daily and he repeated the Blossoming Heart Affirmation for Kunzea often.
Safe - KUNZEA – Hurt
"I breathe in …..I breathe out….. I am safe."
Use of this essential oil significantly reduced his pain and John continues to use Kunzea when he has a very occasional flare-up.
Everybody has the potential to achieve optimum health, and each person has their own unique pathway to wellness and vitality. We need to tune in to the subtle cues that our bodies offer, nourish our body systems with care and compassion and practice daily regimes that build up our energies.
Integral to the healing journey is time to spend in quiet reflection and creating an environment that is healing to our bodies and our minds. The power of restoration and replenishment comes fully alive when we take a tranquil pause and from this place we can truly listen to the longings of the soul.
Aromas coupled with the power of imagery can unlock our transformational forces and essential oils lead us beautifully down this healing path.
Aromatic Kinesiology is a powerfully synergistic blend of:-
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