There are many dedicated people researching the vast dimensions of aromatherapy. Aromatherapy means to treat with aroma through inhalation. It is well known that aroma reaches and influences the deepest human instincts. When essential oils are diffused and inhaled, aromatherapy not only delivers the calming benefits of aroma, it also delivers the many health benefits unique to essential oils. We can begin to understand and appreciate the complexities of essential oils just as we learn about our own bodies and how they work. Essential oils are perhaps the most exciting life-sustaining substances in the world. Essential oils are subtle, volatile liquids that are distilled from plants, shrubs, glowers, trees, and roots. They are the lifeblood of the plant. It is interesting to compare the blood of man with essential oils. The tests from a newborn infant with those of a senior citizen have the same beautiful red and white blood cells with perfect blood chemistry. The senior citizen's hearing, eyesight, equilibrium, skin, and muscles have diminished with age. Yet, we can use a transfusion of the senior citizen's blood to give life to a child. The tissue may be old and weak, but the blood is alive and strong. Essential oils are similar.
With increasing pollution of air, water, and soil, we see plants degenerate, their fiber becoming thick, and their color becoming weak. Yet we see in the essential oil chemistry the same strong, vital life force it had 1,000 years ago. The essential oil still carries the ability to regenerate, protect, and sustain life.
Essential oils and human blood share several common properties: They fight infection, contain hormone-like compounds, and initiate regeneration. Working as the chemical defense mechanism of the plant, essential oils possess potent antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. They also ward off attacks by insects and animals. Both essential oils and human blood contain hormone-like chemicals. The ability of some essential oils to work as hormones helps them bring balance to many physiological systems of the human body. Essential oils also play a role in initiating the regeneration process for the plant, the same way the blood does in the human body.
This similarity goes even deeper. Essential oils have a chemical structure that is similar to that found in human cells and tissues. This makes essential oils compatible with human protein and enables them to be readily identified and accepted by the body.
Essential oils have a unique ability to penetrate cell membranes and diffuse throughout the blood and tissues. The unique, lipid-soluble structure of essential oils is very similar to the makeup of our cell membranes. The molecules of essential oils are also relatively small, enhancing their ability to easily penetrate into the cells. When topically applied to the feet or elsewhere, essential oils can travel throughout the body in a matter of minutes. Adequate circulation is vital to good health, since it affects the function of every cell and organ, including the brain.
Research indicates that when essential oils are diffused, they can increase atmospheric oxygen and provide negative ions, which in turn inhibits bacterial growth. This suggest that essential oils play an important role in air purification and neutralizing odors. Because of their ionizing action, essential oils have the ability to break down and render potentially harmful chemicals nontoxic.
In the human body, essential oils stimulate the secretion of antibodies, neurotransmitters, endorphins, hormones, and enzymes. They increase the uptake of oxygen and ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the fuel for individual cells.
European scientists have studied the ability of essential oils to work as natural chelators, binding with heavy metals and petrochemicals and ferrying them out of the body.
Today approximately 300 essential oils are distilled or extracted, with several thousand chemical constituents and aromatic molecules identified and registered. The quantity, quality, and type of these aromatic compounds will vary depending on climate, temperature, and distillation factors. Ninety-eight percent of essential oils produced today are used in the perfume and cosmetic industry. Only about 2 percent are produced for therapeutic and medicinal applications.
Because essential oils are composites of hundreds of different chemicals, they can exert many different effects on the body. Because of their complexity, essential oils do not disturb the body's natural balance or homeostasis: if one constituent exerts too strong and effect, another constituent may block or counteract it. Synthetic chemicals, in contrast, usually have only one action and often disrupt the body's homeostasis.
Tracing the path of essential oils throughout the olfactory system is fascinating and telling. The olfactory membranes are very tiny and well protected by the lining of the nose. They contain about 800 million nerve endings that receive the microfine, vaporized oil particles, carry them along the axon of the nerve fibers, and connect them with the secondary neurons in the olfactory bulb. The impulses are then transported to the limbic system and the olfactory sensory center at the base of the brain. They pass next between the pituitary and pineal gland and move to the amygdala, which is the memory center for fear and trauma.
Only in 1989 was it discovered that the amygdala plays a major role in storing and releasing emotional trauma and that aroma has a profound effect in triggering a response from this gland. Dr. Joseph Ledoux, of the New York Medical University, theorized that this could be a major breakthrough in helping to trigger the release of pent-up emotional trauma.
Olfactory nerves are like other nerves and organs in the body. They respond to electrical signals and impulses that form coded messages dispatched to various areas of the body. This may be why inhalation of some oils will increase the production of endorphins, neurotransmitters, and antibodies. Aroma is one of man's greatest enjoyments, bringing back memories and creating feelings of security, grounding, and well-being. Clinical research has shown that therapeutic essential oils have the highest frequency of any natural substance know to man, thereby creating an environment in which disease, bacteria, virus, fungus, etc. cannot live and act as a healing agent for various diseases.
For years in Dr. Gary Young's clinical practice, he researched what may be called "chi" or life force. Looking for natural ways to increase kinetic energy led to the research and subsequent discovery of the power found in pure essential oils.
How do you define the power of life force? Although essential oils have been used for thousands of years, only now has science developed the ability to research them on a cellular level. Dr. C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D., wrote that "Quantum physicists have confirmed the reality of the basic vibratory essence of life." He also noted that "life energy is not static; it is kinetic."
Experiments using a high-resolution microscope that magnifies greater than 1,000 times and utilizes dark-field technology have shown an incredible difference between different brands of essential oils. The difference of light, vibration, and rapid motion as captured in live-motion videos. This pulsing movement seems to indicate active coenzymes, minerals, oxygenating molecules, and more.
While science is still determining what to call this type of energy (life force, Brownain motion, kinetic energy, eloptic energy, or biological energy field), even more intriguing ideas have been investigated. In "The Living Energy Universe" by Gary E.R.Schwargtz, Ph.D. and Linda G.S. Russek, Ph.D., the authors propose the theory of "systemic memory"-meaning that the alcohol compounds contained in roses, for example , will have a different systemic history than the very same alcohol compounds created chemically in a laboratory.
"This implication may help explain why aromatherapy and other natural remedies such as herbs work. When the distiller extracts the 'essential' oils from a plant, he or she may be extracting the 'essential systemic memories' that reflect the wholeness of the plants themselves in addition to the unique combination of physical components that comprise the individual plants".
Could plants that are lovingly raised in a natural environment provide essential oils with an enhanced systemic memory and more a powerful life force?
Research indicates that kinetic energy of essential oils have the ability to help maintain and improve the body's life force for optimal health.
With an increasing need for health giving properties in our modern world, essential oils, man's first medicine, are truly a gift to mankind.
*excerpts from Dr. Gary Young
Written by: Aroma Vitality
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