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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.
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.
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?."
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 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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
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.
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.
November, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 11
Adding a New Dimension: Sedative Essential Oils
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
Since a large percentage of massage clients come seeking relief from muscle and joint pain, it is good to know that the sedative group of essential oils can provide another level of lasting relief for these common issues.The sedative group of essential oils also provides benefits for clients whose issues stem from stress and those who simply have a need to relax. Sedative essential oils address all of these areas while adding a pleasing fragrant dimension to your therapeutic work. Within this larger "sedative" classification are other therapeutic properties. Knowing which essences have which properties helps the therapist select the right ones to make the most effective massage blend for an individual client. The properties found in the sedative essences are:
The most famous essential oil for pain relief and relaxation is Lavender. Distilled from the flowering tops, the best lavender oil comes from Bulgaria, France, England, Yugoslavia and Tasmania, though it can be grown all over the world. Lavender vera is grown in higher altitudes which produces more esters and a finer scent. Lavender has a long list of applications for skin and because of its anti inflammatory and cell regenerating properties, it can sometimes be applied neat, or undiluted, to the skin. This would be best when there is a burn, cut or immediate need for the infection fighting effects. Lavender is antimicrobial and antiseptic, making it effective in the treatment of wounds and as a front line defense against respiratory infection. It is tonic to the cardiovascular and digestive systems, lowers blood pressure and due to the presence of coumarins, helps thin the blood. Lavender is indicated for muscle spasm, sprain, strain, cramp, contracture and it aids rheumatic pain. It is sedative to the CNS and relieves headache, nervous tension, insomnia and can help balance mood swings. Spiritually, it is said to balance the physical, astral and etheric planes.
Because of Lavender's many therapeutic properties, many aromatherapists say that if they were stranded on a desert island with only one essential oil, they would hope it was lavender (it also takes the itch out of insect bites and helps heal sunburn). But here in civilization, what other essential oils can be called in to use? And what should be used if the client doesn't want the deep relaxation or sleep inducing effect of Lavender, or if they have a tendency toward lowered metabolism or low blood pressure? What if they need to relax because they are about to take an exam, give a presentation, walk down the aisle? It's a good idea to ask the client who indicates a need to relax what their stress is about and what life circumstances may be contributing to their pain cycle. This will help you select an essence that is most appropriate for their needs. Keep in mind, too, that when too much Lavender is used in a specific treatment or over time, it takes on the stimulating affect of a cup of espresso, so it's good for both you and your client to vary the relaxing, pain relief blend.
We'll begin with an exploration of aromatherapy for pain and stress and profile some of the other sedative oils. Space allows for only a partial listing of the properties and you can consult books such as The Aromatherapy Practitioner Manual, Vols I and II, by Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, by Gabriel Mojay and others for more information on each essence. When you want slightly less sedation but powerful pain relief, there is another type of lavender, lavandula latifolia, L. spica or Spike Lavender. Lavindin, lavandula-super, is a hybrid consisting of lavender officinalis and latifolia. It is less expensive and often used to adulterate true lavender, but is still a powerful antispasmodic, well suited for muscular, respiratory and circulatory problems and not as sedative for the mind.
Moving away from the Lavenders altogether, more information follows on the other pain and stress relieving sedative oils, Chamomile (roman, anthemis nobilis and German, marticaria recutita), Clary Sage (salvia sclarea), Helichrysum (H. angustifolium), Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana), and Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides). Chamomile is a highly effective anti-inflammatory. It eases headache, neuralgia, dull muscle pain, low back pain and TMJ syndrome. It relieves dysmenorrhea, PMS and stress that manifests as digestive symptoms.
Clary Sage (not to be confused with Sage, Salvia officinalis), is considered mildly intoxicating and euphoric and should be used in small quantity and preferably not before an evening of cocktails, as it augments the effect of alcohol. Apart from this, the ability of Clary Sage to relieve spasm, muscle ache and cramping makes it extremely useful in massage. It is a digestive aid and can be blended effectively with Chamomile for tension and discomfort due to PMS and dysmennorhea. Along with Lavender, it is one of the essences chosen to ease labor. It is also associated with dreams and increased inner vision.
Helichrysum has a long history as anointing oil, but well deserves an honored place in therapeutic massage. With many of the properties of Lavender, Helichrysum is also indicated for bruising and burns, for depression, shock and phobia and is helpful in detoxification from drugs and nicotine. Helichrysum is said to improve the flow along the meridians and to increase spiritual awareness.
Sweet Marjoram is highly sedative. It relieves pain, stiffness, sprain, spasm, neuromuscular contractions and is indicated for both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, dysmenorrhea and migraine. It has a powerful effect on the mind and emotions, relieving deep trauma, grief and heartache.
Vetiver is an interesting oil because it relieves arthritis, muscle ache, pain, sprain and stiffness, but increases venous circulation to help detoxification of tissues. It is said to balance the Central Nervous System and is grounding and revitalizing, while it relieves insomnia, tension and depression.
All of the sedative essences listed, apart from Lavender, are pretty potent and require few drops in a blend. More expensive but highly effective, the flower essences: Rose, Jasmine, Neroli and Ylang Ylang, relieve anxiety and have properties that induce relaxation and pain relief. Only a small amount of the flower oils is needed for the affect. Less expensive, the citrus oils: Sweet Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Tangerine and Mandarin, reduce tension and instill courage and optimism. Most of these, however, are phototoxic and must not be applied before prolonged sun exposure. Both flower and citrus oils blend well with the other sedative oils and add their own special dimension to the therapeutic experience. In the next Aromatic Message, we'll look at some of the stimulating oils used for pain relief.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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