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resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Exploring and Learning from the Gift of Life
I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to teach cadaver dissection classes and workshops with Stephen Cina at the New England School of Acupuncture over the past seven years, first through the Sports Medicine Acupuncture Program and later as a NESA elective course.
Adding Microneedling to Your Clinic for Results and Profit
Microneedling has taken the beauty world by storm over the last 10 years. Under the names dermaroller, microneedling or skin needling you will see these treatments listed in the services of nearly every fashionable beauty salon and day spa in the country.
Chiropractic Care and Risk of Stroke: The Shoe Moves to the Other Foot
For decades, numerous papers have linked upper cervical chiropractic care to the incidence of vertebral artery dissections and stroke.
The Winter of Life: A Personal and Chiropractic Practice Perspective
Last November, my wife and I invited an elderly relative, Uncle Josh, to spend the winter with us. He was 82 years old at the time and turned 83 during his stay. As soon as he accepted our invitation, we began preparing.
Melatonin: A Promising Natural Agent in the Prevention of ALS
A number of years ago, experimental studies suggested melatonin could block key steps in the development of Alzheimer's disease, primarily by acting as a brain antioxidant and inhibiting the build-up of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain.
Medicine as Metaphor
The practice of medicine is both an art and a science. We study and learn the system so that when the time comes to apply it, there is a greater possibility of successfully helping others.
Looking Back: Abstracts From Chiropractic History (Summer 2015 Issue)
The following abstracts are reprinted with permission from Chiropractic History, the official journal of the Association for the History of Chiropractic. Chiropractic History is the leading scholarly journal of the chiropractic profession dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of the profession's credible history.
Reverse Digit Span: A Useful Assessment Tool for Patients With and Without Concussion
Reverse digit span is an easily administered test of attention span. It is a component of the SCAT3 test, which is frequently used to assess concussion. It has been part of the armamentarium of cognitive assessment for many years.
Exercise Recommendations for Healthy Aging
Aging is inevitable, but how you age is not. Common physical signs of aging include decreased muscle mass, decreased muscular power, increased body fat, and decreased aerobic (lung) capacity.
Can Acupuncture Treat Knee Pain?
Recently, an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that, "neither laser nor needle acupuncture conferred benefit over sham for pain or function" among older chronic knee pain patients.
Research: Know What You're Talking About
Have you ever seen a patient in your office with multiple serious health problems you weren't sure exactly how to address?
The Source-Luo Point Combination, Part 3
Dr. Nguyen Nghi (NVN) was born in Vietnam and is one of the most important scholars, writers, teachers and practitioners of modern time. Many of his theories and applications are the source of modern teachers from Europe and the United States.
The Art of Creating a Healing Space
I always advise my graduates to examine their group practice or treatment rooms with fresh eyes after they leave my CE workshops. I tell them, "Ask yourselves - is your space qi filled, welcoming and healing? Or is it cold and clinical?"
Are You Making the Wrong Impression?
Taking a page from Stacy and Clinton of The Learning Channel's hit television program, "What Not to Wear," we recently published an article in the summer issue of Chiropractic History: The Archives and Journal of the Association for the History of Chiropractic, that explores the evolution of physician attire from prehistoric times to the present.
An Unexpected Superfood: All About Eggs
About 40 years ago, excessive dietary cholesterol was labeled a public health concern. Specifically, it was thought that there was a causal link between consumption of cholesterol-laden foods and increased risk of heart disease.
Merger Creates New Model of Care
Two San Francisco powerhouses of holistic healing, the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) and California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), are merging. Together they are building a visionary approach to applied integral health.
Abdominal Acupuncture for Eye Healing: The Sacred Turtle and Ba Gua Map
Our ideas about western medicine have shifted in recent decades, while the public is asking more from health care providers.
The Integrative Medicine Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together
The conversation is changing in the broader healthcare community with patients actually moving the discussion toward more integrative topics. Patients today want to know their options.
Colon Health and TCM
I still remember many years ago, the loud "Yuck" from my wife at the time when we were together watching the Chinese movie "Last Emperor."
Online Marketing Basics: Google Ranking, Part 1
We all know there is so much opportunity with online marketing. And, let's face it, if you don't have a presence online with a website and social media, you are probably not where you want to be.
The Roots of TCM in Depression Treatment
In traditional Chinese medicine, there is historical precedent for the treatment of so-called "Shen" (Heart-Mind) disorder, or disorder/dysregulation of the spirit, which is also considered as distinct but not separate from the cognitive function of the brain.
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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