resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
April, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 04
Methods: Inhalation and Topical Application of Essential Oils
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
It's my hope that the information and guidelines presented in this and following articles on the basics of aromatherapy, culled from more than 20 years of experience, will help propel Massage Today readers in the right direction on a journey through the wonderful, welcoming and profitable world of essential oils.
When working with essential oils in massage, it is helpful to understand the way they enter the body. There are two basic pathways that we utilize in a massage practice: inhalation and topical application.
Inhalation and the process of olfaction are well documented and understood. During inhalation, the volatile molecules of essential oils become a vapor which contacts the sensory nerves in the nasal passage. Now, the vapor is converted to an electrical charge that is carried via the olfactory nerve to the olfactory bulb and into the brain. (At this point, there are several theories of how the charge is recognized.) However, it is then conveyed to the limbic region and reaches the hypothalamus, where it will 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 during inhalation via the nasal mucosa and the alveoli in the lungs.
Inhalation of essential oils is achieved through diffusion via machine or air sprays in the office or treatment room. It is also the most direct pathway of the aromatic blend or essence used during the massage. The therapist and other clients or office staff will also receive essences diffused into common areas via inhalation. Because of this, it's good to note that regarding true essential oils (versus synthetic fragrance), once the brain recognizes and transmits the information of the essential oil molecule, the sense of smell is satisfied and the fragrance may stop being detected -- unless we leave the room and re-enter, causing this to become "new information" for the olfactory nerve to deliver. However, the molecules remain active and in the air for hours.
Unless an air purifier is used between clients, the treatment room can become a muddled mixture of blends. This will tamper with the purity of the specific aromatic treatment. For example, if the goal is to relax a client, but stimulating essences are still in the room, the relaxing effect will be lessened ... and vice versa. The buildup can also become overpowering for the therapist. For these reasons, using an air purifier to clear the aromatic molecules in the room while the sheets are being changed is a very good idea. And because the constant diffusion of essential oils will also build up in the waiting room, a time release diffuser is preferable. It is best to use essences that are neither too sedative or stimulating, such as those from citrus and wood, for common areas. For greatest purity of experience, use no fragrance at all in the rest of the office or in the treatment room.
Unlike inhalation, the amount and action of essential oils absorbed in topical application is not as well understood, nor can it be completely and accurately described at this time.
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 may be metabolized by cutaneous enzymes. (It is speculated that enzymes may 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 be slowly 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 may also bind with proteins in the skin, which creates the sensitizing response of allergic contact dermatitis. Skin permeability may be increased by:
Research about skin absorption rates have not resulted in a clinically proven pathway to date. In addition, 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, even if not successfully measured.
Regarding the topical method, Sylla Sheppard-Hanger writes, "Just because whole essential oils may not be absorbed into the bloodstream creating a systemic reaction, beneficial skin affects 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 combination of inhalation, vibration and potential dermal penetration, coupled with the caring touch of the therapist could well be the reason 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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