resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
November, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 11
Topical Application of Essential Oils
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
When working with essential oils in massage, it's helpful to understand the way they enter the body. Inhalation and the process of olfaction are well-documented and understood. However, the amount and action of essential oils absorbed in topical application is not as understood, nor can it be completely and accurately described at this time.
During inhalation, the volatile molecules of essential oils become a vapor and pass rapidly from the cilia lining in the nasal passage to the olfactory nerve, where they are transported to the olfactory bulb and into the brain.Here, they may enter the limbic region and, reaching the hypothalamus, continue on to either the ANS or the pituitary gland to stimulate hormone activity. Other molecules will pass into the cerebral cortex, stimulating memory, learning and emotional responses. Blood circulation is immediately accessed via the nasal mucosa and the alveoli in the lungs.
Dermal penetration presents a more difficult route, beginning with the fact that percutaneous absorption requires that the essential oil, in liquid form, enters the stratum corneum, the thin outer layer of the skin that is equipped to protect the body from invading organisms. Hair follicles, eccrine and apocrine glands, which account for only 1 percent of the skin's surface, provide easier access than the cells and keratin content of the stratum corneum. Thus, certain areas of the body are said to be more permeable: forehead and scalp, soles and palms, genitals, armpits and mucous membranes.
According to aromatherapist and educator, Salvatore Battaglia, if the essence is able to permeate the complex biological functions of the stratum corneum, a variety of things can occur. One potential is for the essential-oil molecule to remain in the skin itself, where it might be metabolized by cutaneous enzymes. (It is speculated that enzymes might convert some components, such as safrole, methyl-chavicol and carvacrol, into potentially harmful substances.) Another possibility is that the essence remains in the skin, forming a reservoir by binding to the stratum corneum or subcutaneous fat, where it may slowly be released into the capillaries. The best- case scenario is that all or part of the essential oil components will reach, and be completely absorbed into, the cutaneous micro-circulation.
Essential-oil components also might bind with proteins in the skin, which creates the sensitizing response of allergic contact dermatitis. Skin permeability might be increased by:
Following the idea of increasing circulation for increased permeability, it would seem that the extreme local hyperemia created by massage cupping also would enhance the absorption of whatever essences might be in the carrier oil used for "slip."
Research where the inhalation factor has been completely removed has not yet been accomplished, so these speculations about skin absorption rates have not been clinically proven. None of these studies or speculations takes into account the vibratory action of the essence when it touches the body. These effects can be experienced, if not measured.
Sylla Sheppard-Hanger writes, "Just because whole essential oils may not be absorbed into the bloodstream creating a systemic reaction, beneficial skin effects and certainly the mental effects (relaxation) are very much possible with essential oil treatments. ... Certainly the beneficial mental effects induced when using a pleasing fragrance cannot be denied."
The lack of full dermal penetration might be the very reason why Sylla concludes, "The safest and most pleasant method of delivery is the external use of essential oils (highly diluted), usually in the form of massage."
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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