Saturday, April 14, 2007
Frankincense, Acupuncture and the Individual Prescription
Frankincense resin and the tree
My favourite essential oil is distilled from Frankincense resin. You can imagine its sweet, calming, heady smell. Frankincense has been used for many religious rituals, it stills the mind for meditation. One of my clients, a lapsed catholic, said that once he had got over the fact that it reminded him of priests, he then liked it very much! I was using a combination of Frankincense and Cardamom for his Spleen at the time. Frankincense is both an Earth oil and a Metal one. It's sweetness nourishes the earth but there is a quality to it which makes us breathe deeply and strengthen the Lungs, which is a metal element quality. Being an earth oil, it helps the mind be calm - which makes it an ideal oil for exams and anxiety. I get a lot of comfort from Frankincense - it makes me stop when I am in a stressed and hectic place, it helps me to look from a higher perspective and let go of the little niggly details, it's sweetness warms me and reminds me to also breathe in the sweetness of life.
Frankincense is a great wound healer and famous cosmetic element in skincare and anti-ageing creams. It is often mentioned in the same breath as Cleopatra, well..and also embalming! It's great, especially if you have dry, irritable skin - it can be soothing and hydrating.
I am using Frankincense and Roman Chamomile for cough at the moment. Frankincense for its Lung strengthening and soul soothing properties - Roman Chamomile for its antispasmodic effect on muscles (relieves spasm - a cough is like an involuntary spasm of the muscles) and its very calming effect. I've put them in a base oil of St John's Wort - a lovely red rich herbal oil (made by soaking the chopped herb in sunflower or olive oil). It has anti-inflammatory properties and is soothing to skin - but don't go sunbathing in it as it has the potential to make the skin more sensitive to the sun. This blend is right for me, because of the kind of cough I have, my emotional state and the fact I don't live in a very sunny country at the moment. It won't cure just any kind of cough. Aromatherapists like me believe very strongly in the Individual Prescription - the blend has to be crafted for you and your immediate situation. No two persons blending the same recipe will result in exactly the same smell - this is known as an energetic signature - a theory that the person who handblends for you puts a little of their energy into the blend which makes it unique. There, a little aromatherapy mystique for everyone.
My friend Hux used to wander around Borneo as a young man with his acupuncture needles, I must get the full story from him sometime. He has just returned to practice after a break of 10 years - he says himself he doesn't know why - as we have been all asking him this because he is so good at it. Now I don't particularly like the needles myself, no no. Only Hux could persuade me, as he is very open minded and also trained in Tui Na (Chinese Massage) and agreed to put the blend on me as well as the needles. Here is a picture (yes, this is my actual hand):
Hux has put the needles in the Lung Meridian - Lung 9 and 10. He also put them in lots of other spots but we don't need pictures of those too! I felt like a pincushion. Then he also twanged them! I could feel the deep swirling and tingling sensations go through the channels. This is the first time I have been able to look at the needles without flinching - and take a picture! Perhaps it is also a testimony about how brave blogging has made me. Let's hope I get better soon - with a little help from my friends!