Sunday, November 27, 2016

How Essential Oils Work

Hi All,
I've been enjoying blending essential oils for a while now and love sharing my blends with clients and friends.
I want to be able to explain to anyone who buys my blends how and why these blends work from   a scientific perspective. So I did a bit of research. Here's what I found:

All essential oils are made from plants. Plants have chemical constituents that our bodies need and react to. Most of our modern day medicines have links back to plants, herbs, and trees. A few examples are: aspirin (from willow bark), and for heart problems nature has given us digitalis (from the Foxglove plant).  There are over a hundred organic compounds found in the plant world that benefit us. Learn more
So when we  use an essential oil, we are absorbing the chemical constituents of the plant the oil came from which has therapeutic effects on the processes and tissues of the body. We absorb these chemical compounds through our skin and through our lungs. Some essential oils such as Sandalwood, cross the blood/brain barrier and therefore are directly able to interact with our brains.

 Essential oils have the added benefit of being wonderfully aromatic in addition to being chemically therapeutic. Aromatherapy is the art and science of how smell effects us on a emotional  level.

How exactly does the sense of smell interact with our feelings and emotions?

When an odor molecule is inhaled, it is first sensed by olfactory cells inside our nose. These cells extend into our nasal cavity via  cilia (small hairs). There are receptors on these cilia that match to a specific odor. So when you inhale Lavender, for example, the unique  chemical structure of the  molecules of the scent Lavender zoom up your nose.  When the molecule finds the correct receptor it  locks into the receptor like a key fitting into a key hole.

 When the molecules "lock" into the appropriate receptor, a cascade of neuro chemical events occur. The  cilia send a signal to the olfactory bulb. The olfactory bulb is like a relay station sending signals to different structures within the brain. At this level, electrical and chemical signals are the same. The chemical constituents of the plant cause an electrical impulse to travel between synapses.

 The olfactory bulb routes much of its information to the limbic system. The limbic system is composed of the amygdala, hippo campus, hypo thalamus, and cingulate gyrus.

Lets look at the structures of the limbic system and how they interact with oils:

1. Amygdala: The amygdala is responsible for emotional learning, fear and aggression. The amygdala receives information from the olfactory bulb. This is why some fragrances are calming and deactivate the fear response. That's why some scents may cause a fear reaction if there is a negative memory or survival significance  linked  to the smell.

2. Hippocampus: The hippo campus is involved in long term memory storage. This is why a fragrance can remind us of a person, time in our life, situation or event. I remember clearly the first time I smelled Cedar. My Dad took me to get a puppy and the breeder kept the puppies in a clean bed of shaved cedar. The fragrance hit me and I instantly loved it! It was so different and so intense and it effected me in a way that was wordless but powerful. And now, when I have time and am paying attention, when I smell Cedar I feel more alive, more positive and I remember the feeling tone of the first time.
This ability for a fragrance to stimulate a memory maybe the reason why we like some aromatic scents and don't like others. Some people love the scent of pine, its fresh and reminds of us being outdoors and Christmas. But....if you had a negative experience in a pine forest or sad memories of Christmas gone wrong, pine can be an unpleasant smell for you. If it is pleasant smell for you, it will activate positive memories through your hippo campus and these memories will  have an actual bio chemical effect on our physiology in positive ways. All emotion is bio chemical event!!

3. Cingulate Gyrus: The Cingulage Gyrus regulates blood pressure, attention and heart rate. Essential oils have been shown to have positive effects on our cardiovascular system and some oils wake us up and help us pay attention!

There is another theory of how oils effect us. This is the theory of Energy Medicine. 

Energy Medicine  proposes that all living systems have a frequency. A frequency is the measurable rate of electrical energy between two points.The human body emits electromagnetic energy that can be measured in terms of frequency. Anything that has a frequency also oscillates (repeats). The principle of entrainment states that anything that oscillates will cause other oscillators in the vicinity to vibrate at the same frequency. For instance, when we listen to a sound that repeats, our brain waves start to oscillate at the same frequency. The Heart Math institute has done a ton of research as to how entrainment works, and specifically how the human heart acts as an oscillator that will entrain our brain waves and respiration.

So when we inhale an oil or absorb it through our skin, the cells of our body may resonate with the vibration of the oil. t In this way, essential oils are thought to effect the frequency of our electromagnetic system positively. We can only benefit from those substances that are vibrating at a frequency that is helpful and useful for the human body.

I hope this article has shone a little light onto the subject of how essential oils effect us in positive ways. I am enlivened by the idea that we are so connected to Nature!

 The fact that we have evolved to have specific receptors in our noses designed to smell and derive benefit from the plants around us is a testament of our connection to all of Nature. We truly have evolved to live in synchronistic relationship with the natural world. 

Be Well,
Sue Schmidt CMT, C.Ht
(720) 890 7453

References and Links

Connie Higley, Alan Higley,
 Reference Guide for Essential Oils, Twelfth Edition, Revised April 2010

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Wood Element Essential Oil Blend and Spring

Wood Element Essential  Oil Blend  and Spring

In 5 Element theory, spring is the time of Wood Element. 

Wood Element makes visible and known the energy of "pushing through". All the plants and trees are waking up and pushing out of the ground pushing out of their tight buds.

You can see this energy in the effort it takes a chick to peck its way out of an egg, a seed to crack open, a baby to be born. Have you ever seen a plant growing out of a crack in the sidewalk or a rock and wondered at how such a fragile thing could "push through" rock? That is the energy of Spring and Wood Element.

When this energy becomes blocked we experience anger. The anger gives us an extra umph to push through or go around or do things differently. It can be useful! 

If, however, we are not able to resolve the blockage our anger may turn to frustration or resentment and eventually depression. This is the shadow side of the Wood Element. 

The healthy balanced side of Wood is Power! The power to move toward what nourishes you and turn away from what doesn't. The energy to push through obstacles.

 The organs associated with Wood are Liver and Gall Bladder. At this time of year it is helpful to drink water with lemon, and eat lots of fruits and green vegetables. 

The blend I've created for Wood Element uses oils that are helpful for liver and gall bladder. On a another level, the oils in this blend are helpful for the release of anger and depression. The oils I chose also will help you manifest your dreams and push through obstacles.

Wood Element Essential Oil: 
Ingredients:  Cedar, Rosemary, Pine, Melissa, Rose, Geranium, Helischryum

On Sale 50% off!!

1 dram/3.7 ml                    $3.50
1/3 oz. Roll On/10ml         $7.50
15ml                                    $9.00

Click Here to Purchase Wood Element Oil

So......use your sense of smell to celebrate all the green and growing things! Use your power to manifest what you truly want and need and if you encounter obstacles remember the plant that grows through the crack in the rock. And sometimes if the ground is barren, we need to move to manifest our heart's desire. 

All the Best, 
Sue Schmidt CMT, C.Ht

5 Element Theory and Essential Oil Blends by Sue

Saturday, April 16, 2016

5 Element Theory

5 Element Theory and Essential Oils by Sue

Five Element theory is an ancient system originating in China  that organizes our experience on physical,emotional and spiritual  levels. 
It is based on the idea that human beings are as much a part of nature as a rock, a tree or rushing stream. Therefore, the elements of nature are used to organize our experience and physicality. 
In each one of us, the principles of the 5 Elements can be seen in our physical bodies, meridian energy, personality and gifts/challenges.

The five elements are: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood. The dominant element we express and manifest is called our constitution. 

I've developed a line of essential oil blends for each elementusing 100% oils from Young Living, Do Terra and Wyndemere Naturals. The blends are crafted to enhance, balance and strengthen each element as it is expressed in our bodies and spirit. 

Wood Element expresses itself most strongly in Spring and so Wood Element blend on sale till May 30. 
 Click Here to Purchase Oils/Learn More

Fire Element by Sue Schmidt
Fire Element
Season: Summer

Color: Red

Organs: Heart, Small Intestine, Pericardium, Cardiovascular System

Meridians: Yin: Heart, Heart Protector Yang: Small Intestine, Triple Heater, 

Balanced Emotion: Joyful, Creative, Passionate, Loving

Excessive: Loud, over excited, anxiety, hyperactive

Depleted: bored, dull, tired, "burned out"

Fire Element Essential Oil Blend: 
The Oils: Jasmine, Cedar, Ginger,Cinnamon, Basil,Rose, Rosemary

The oils in Fire Element blend are good for the cardiovascular system and are warming, and uplifting. They inspire a creative, energetic mood. They naturally enhance balance whether you are "burned out" or feeling anxious and hyperactive.
The blend smells warm, and sweet and joyful.

Earth Element by Sue Schmidt
Earth Element
Season: Late Summer or when the most Yin or most Yang energies are expressed e.g., at the Solstice and Equinox

Color: Yellow/Gold

Organs: Stomach and Spleen

Meridians:Yang/Stomach Yin/Spleen

Balanced Emotion: Focused. Grounded. Calm. Stable. Able to receive and give nurturing  both to oneself and others. Compassionate. In tune with the rhythms of nature and self. Good digestion. 

Excessive: Worry. Scattered thoughts. Overthinking. Overcaring. Co-Dependency. Lack of focus. Digestive Problems. Difficulty "digesting" emotions and ideas. 

Depleted: Sluggish, Stubborn, Stuck, Rigid in ideas and thinking. Digestive problems. Difficulty "digesting" emotions and ideas. 

Earth Element Essential Oil Blend:
The oils in Earth Element promote calm,focused, grounded energy. They are especially nurturing emotionally bringing  a feeling of security and calm. They benefit stomach and spleen. They help us digest our food. They help us to be receptive and open to receive the sweetness and nourishment of life.

The Oils: 
Vanilla, Bergamot, Orange, Lemon, Ginger,Vetiver

Metal Element by Sue Schmidt
Metal Element
Season: Fall

Color: White/Metal

Organs: Lung and Large Intestine

Meridians: Yang/Large Intestine Yin/Lung

Balanced: Able to take in what is needed and let go of what is not needed. Able  to move through grief and sadness in an appropriate way. Good boundaries. Good Immunity.  

Excessive: Overly rigid boundaries. Unable to receive. Stuck in grief or sadness. Unable to let go of emotions, thoughts and things. 

Depleted: Poor immunity. Unstable boundaries. Weeping, crying excessively. 

Metal Element Essential Oil Blend:
The oils in Metal Element Essential Oil blend benefit the immune system, lungs and large intestine. They help us release and let go of what is not needed. 
We have to let go in order to receive!

The Oils:
Grapefruit, Eucalyptus, Ravensara, Jasmine, Pine

Water Element by Sue Schmidt
Water Element
Season: Winter

Color: Dark Blue

Organs: Bladder and Kidney

Meridians: Yang/Bladder, Yin/Kidney

Balanced: Courageous, Able to Hold Center, Perseverance, Stable Nervous System, Resilient to Stress, Strong Kidneys and Adrenals, Able to Purify the body and emotions, Stable sleep, Strong bones. Healthy reproductive system, balanced hormones

Excessive: Driven, unable to relax, unable to flow with emotions and life, over preoccupation with time and deadlines, Insomnia

Depleted: Fearful, tired, very effected by stress, unable to persevere in the face of obstacles, scattered, depleted adrenals, Insomnia, brittle bones, fertility issues

Water Element Essential Oil Blend: 
The oils in Water Element blend help our nervous system to relax. They benefit the kidneys and bladder. They promote sleep, and rest so we have the energy to persevere.
The Oils: Ylang Ylang, Melissa, Patchouli, Clary Sage, Orange

Wood Element
Season: Spring

Color: Green

Organs: Liver and Gall Bladder

Meridians: Yin/Liver Yang/Gall Bladder

Balanced: Balanced will, able to manifest your dreams in 3D reality, appropriate expression of anger, able to overcome obstacles, able to work hard and rest when needed, knowing life purpose, able to purify body and emotions

Excessive: Angry, Impatient, Workaholic, Overdeveloped will

Depleted: Depressed,tired, unable to manifest dreams/desires, stuck, frustrated, stagnant

Wood Element Essential Oil: 
The oils in this blend help us to release anger, purify the emotions and benefit liver and gall bladder. They are good for manifesting our desires and dreams. 

The Oils: Cedar, Rose, Helischryum,Pine,Geranium, Melissa

The oils in Wood Element blend helps us to manifest our dreams with good use of our will. When we are free to move toward our dreams, anger and frustration subside. Good for liver and gall bladder

On Sale for Spring!! 50% Off click here

A Note about Balance:
It occurred to me today that for something or someone to be balanced there must always be the potential for movement. We continually wobble away from center only to come back into balance. To know healthy balance we must be off balance sometimes. The question is how quickly can we find balance again? 

We can be both excessive and depleted in an element at the same time. And we can find balance in that element as well. It is a dance, always coming back into alignment. Yin is always becoming yang, and yang is always being coming Yin. 

So its best not to hold balance as some sort of ideal we need to work to attain, but rather as a touchstone we can return to.

Essential oils are a way to express, align and balance our elemental natures.  And they smell beautiful!

Enjoy Spring, 
Sue Schmidt CMT, C.Ht