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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Frankincense, Acupuncture and the Individual Prescription

Frankincense resinFrankincense Tree
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!


Kak Teh said...

Did i read anti ageing cream?? Right, when and where can we meet?

Kenny Mah said...

Msiagirl, if you and Kak Teh meet up, do make sure you take picture together ya? Two wonderful ladies I admire in one place, can't miss that! ;)

And I love Frankincense too! Used to buy bottles of them from Body Shop to use in an oil burner (using water). Not been doing this for years, though, not since I left university. Should start again. I remember mixing Frankincense with Ylang Ylang --- not sure if it's cos I read about the mix somewhere or just cos I like their combined scent... :)

msiagirl said...

Kak Teh, your comment made me laughlah - will bring you anti ageing cream anytime I come up to London!

Kenny together with frankincense, ylang ylang is very euphoric and relaxing (highlah!) - and err..very sensual ;)

Kenny Mah said...

Ya, I like relaxing scents. No comments on the sensual bit, haha.

Oh, and thanks for your lovely comment on my latest entry. It meant a lot to me, and writing my response to it made me think some more, which is always good. :)

Kak Teh said...

msiagirl, lots of happenings soon in London so do come down. Asia House is organising a Malaysia week with films, books, talks etc. and Also another malaysia week by Malaysian Covent garden, food, cultural dance etc. Come lets go joget lambak! (pssst dont forget anti ageing cream..must use that before taking pix for kenny!)

msiagirl said...

Kak Teh I am trying to come up to London more but I have school age anak anak so have to plan big to come to big smoke. It made me smile to think of joget - its the dance, right - maybe last time was form 4 school showlah! Amazing there are so many events (because Malaysia 50?)- orang tidak duduk di London tiada informasi.You let me know when and I will try to come (with some aa cream) to take pic with you! Depends on childcare though - everything does!

msiagirl said...

Kenny, really enjoyed all the thoughtful discussion on your last entry, getting to know your enquiring mind. A good little mutual taste and admiration society going on, soul brother! Galaxyquest - haha!

Tunku Halim said...

Msia girl - I love using essential oils too. Especially putting in into a bath. Very relaxing. But I don't use Ylang Ylang!

Kenny Mah said...

May I ask why not, Tunku? It's a delightful scent... but I'm sure everyone has their own preferences. :)

msiagirl said...

Kenny,now I know what essential oil to do next! Ylang Ylang eh?

Aromatic Baths saved me in cold countries, nothing better than sinking into hot, foamy water and all the cold aching bones go ahhhhhhhh!

Going to go have one now for my cold - lots of pine, eucalyptus and lavender spike. Refreshing!Crucial for my day's survival.

Thanks for coming by Tunku Halim - not only have I been priviledged to meet such amazing Malaysian Bloggers, but to find they like essential oils as well...that has to be my cherry on top of the Schwarzwälderkirschtorte.

Now why do I never eat Black Forest Cake in England? (Actually I don't eat a lot of dairy that's why - but I am thinking I would prefer the real stuff.)

Kenny Mah said...

Schwarzwälderkirschtorte. Mmmmm, I miss that. I actually had a slice packed in my bag before I trekked into the Black Forest so I could tell people I ate Black Forest Cake in the Black Forest. Geeky, I know... :P

david santos said...

thanks for you work and have a good week.

Kathryn said...

Isn't frankincense also a turpenoid? This is what a local aromatherapist told us and recommended putting it on Ellie's feet (diluted) because it is one of the only essential oils that can penetrate the blood brain barrier to bring oxygen to the brain. Good for healing. If this is the case I can also understand why it would be anti aging. Great post. Hope you are feeling better soon!


Kenny Mah said...

May I ask what a turpenoid is? Sounds like something beneficial...

msiagirl said...

Kenny, that's exactly what I would do if i went to the Black Forest!

Kathryn do you mind if I jump in on terpenoids? Many essential oils are made up of terpenes and terpenoids - that is a term for a group of hydrocarbons.All essential oils have the ability to penetrate the blood brain barrier - that is why they have to be used respectfully. Pharma companies use terpenes in drug patch delivery technology in order to deliver their pharma drugs which may have bigger molecules - they piggyback them onto terpenes extracted from plants - the terpenes carry the drugs into the bloodstream from the patch on the skin. Amazing huh? But this means all essential oils have the potential to deliver effective healing into the bloodstream if used correctly.

Frankincense does have terpenes, but its main constituent is something called an ester - which is linked to its strengthening and calming effect. The mystery of essential oils is that their actions can not be isolated by simply dissecting their chemical components. They act as a whole. The components give us insight to the science of it and are being feverishly studied by people who need to prove that essential oils work. A whole post on its own!

Welcome, David to the site.I hope you enjoyed some info on essential oils!

Kenny Mah said...

Thanks for the explanation, dear. Makes me more intrigued than ever. I must revive my essential oil "ceremonies" within the comforts of my room again! :)

msiagirl said...

I hope you do! Essential oils are more than just beautiful smells.I use them and live with them everyday, they changed my life for the better!

Kathryn said...

Thanks for that on the terpenoids. I still have a question though - then why is Frankinscence recommended as a carrier of oxygen to the brain?

Inquiring minds... ;-)

msiagirl said...

Kathryn, you may have to clarify with your aromatherpist there - but I guess she said that because Frankincense is likely to increase circulation, it moves the blood, so as it penetrates the blood/brain barrier it also increases the circulation there, therefore the phrase "carrying oxygen to the brain". I probably wouldn't use that exact phrase because IMO e.o's don't really work that literally. There are a few other oils which may do that, but none as strengthening and suitable for Ellie. I feel that Ellie is the one who will best choose the oils she likes and the way that you offer them to her is the best way.

Kathryn said...

Yes - that makes sense now. And that is why it was important for Ellie at that phase (about 2 years ago). Increasing circulation to her brain is paramount. Thanks for the clarification!

I love it that Ellie knows so clearly which oils she likes and needs and which ones she doesn't. She even knows when she should not have them. It's amazing how quick, clear and automatic her responses are. There is no mental second guessing just her spirit telling me what to do. Thank God for that too!

Ok - am really loving your blog! yay for you and your readers!