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Welcome to Reiki Retreat! A place for both the novice and seasoned Reiki practitioner to drop by for inspiration, information, and ideas. My hope it to have an engaging community where lightworkers gather and share what we are doing as we move ahead in these exciting days of spiritual evolution..

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Enhancing a Session: Aromatherapy Part I


I love doing Reiki. I love doing self-treatments. I love giving Reiki. I love working with clients. Reiki is such a gentle healing modality that lends itself to so many possibilities. Many other techniques can be incorporated into a session. At times I find that using Aromatherapy along with Reiki is in the receiver's best interest. Below is a little background on Aromatherapy if you are not familiar.

So What Exactly is Aromatherapy?
It is the therapeutic use of essential oils found in plants. The term "essential" is used because the oils contained within the plants are highly potent forms of aromatic energy that manifests as the life force of the plant. When oils are extracted from their source they are "volatile" meaning they change from their liquid form into an aromatic vapor once they are exposed to air.

From What Parts of the Plants are EO'S Found?
They are found in various parts of plants: roots (Ginger), leaves (Basil),bark (Cinnamon), flowers (Lavender), peels (Bergamot), seeds (Anise), Resin (Bensoin), bulbs (Garlic), nut (Nutmeg), and fruit (Black Pepper).

What are Some of the Methods of Application?
The following are the various ways that EO's can be used: full bath, sitz bath, hand bath, foot bath, massage oils, used in products as an exfoliant for the skin or for a stimulating body rub, inhalation methods, added to heat sources to release the aromatic molecules into the air, used to make perfumes, used in floral water, and used in compresses.

How Many Drops of EO Do You Use?
It depends on which EO you are using and by which method. There is no one fits all formula for using Essential Oils. They are very concentrated and must be used with care and respect. Certain EO's have contra-indications and should not be used in specific cases. If you are interested in working with aromatherapy it is absolutely necessary to get yourself a good book to read to make sure you are following the proper safety guidelines. Also what would be considered a normal rate varies with adults, children, the elderly, and the sick.

Can EO's BE Applied Directly to the Skin?
As a general rule, EO's should not be applied directly to the skin without being diluted. The exception is Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) and Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). A person can have a severe allergic reaction to direct skin application. A skin patch test is used to test sensitivity. Dermal irritation may occur if an oil is administered incorrectly in too high a concentration or if you have sensitive skin or allergies.

How Do You Do a Skin Patch Test?
Place 1 drop of the EO being tested in a very small amount of carrier oil such as almond oil and apply it to a clean, dry area of the forearm. Wait 24 hours, then check the area tested. If there is no reaction, then you have passed the test! If there is any indication of sensitivity or reaction, it will appear as a red spot, itching or blistering. If that is the case, substitute it for another oil.

How Can I Create an Aromatherapy Bath?
Run your bath water, make sure the bathroom door is closed so vapors do not escape. Then add the recommended drops of EO's to the bath. Use just one EO. There are several Essential Oils that could be used but below are few that are effective for stress relief and relaxation. The recommendation is to soak for 20 minutes, so grab a good book, play some soft music, and let the day dissolve into the water. To continue the benefits of an aromabath, wrap yourself in a towel, get into bed under the covers and Reiki yourself for another 10-15 minutes.

What are Some Recommended EO's for a Stress Reduction and Relaxation Bath?

Lavender (Lavendula officinalis): has a steadying effect on the psyche, which aids in removing indecisiveness and emotional conflict. Helps to create a feeling of peacefulness. Good for depression. Dosage: 5-10 drops in a full bath. No known contra-indications

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus): clears the head of mental exhaustion and the inability to concentrate. Balances extreme moods. Helps cool heated emotions whether verbal, physical, or emotional. Its aroma creates a feeling of space. Also good for clearing out sinus congestion. Dosage: 3-5 drops in a full bath. Cautions/Contra-Indications: Do not exceed stated dosage, do not use with homeopathic remedies, do not use undiluted on skin, use with caution if taking medication, it can reduce the effects of the medication, contra-indicated if there is a history of epilepsy, hypertension, gastrointestinal inflammation or liver complaints.

Lemon (Citrus limonum): This clean, fresh, lively scent helps dispel sluggishness, indecision, and lack of humor. It aids stimulation of the body into action and clear thinking. Dosage: 3-6 drops in a full bath. Caution: It can cause irritation skin sensitization and may be phototoxic, use in moderation

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens): is both calming and refreshing to the psyche at the same time. It is successful in lifting depression and treating anxiety states. It assists in balancing the mind and helps us to gain control of our lives when we are feeling depleted and blue. A good mood adjuster. Dosage: 3 drops in a full bath.Cautions/Contra-indications: not to be used in early pregnancy, it can irritate the skin in some sensitive individuals, and cause insomnia and restlessness.

As I stated these are just a few of the available choices. Dosages are stated for full baths. So if the stress of the day gets to you, why not try a bit of relaxation with Aromatherapy in the tub to rejuvenate your spirits!

If you have any questions about Aromatherapy, or a specific essential oil- its application, dosage recommendation, or cautions/contra-indication concerns…just askthem and I'll be glad to answer your questions.

NEXT POST: Buying, Storing, and Caring for Essential Oils.

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