resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
April, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 04
Absorbing Essential Oils Through the Skin
By Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT
I have always told students that an immediate and very effective form of aromatherapy is inhaling the aromatic molecules. It is a proven, powerful way to deliver the effects on body, mind and spirit.Even when body workers apply a lotion or oil product containing essential oils during a session, both the client and therapist are breathing. As such, both are receiving the effects of inhalation.
The question of absorption via the skin has been fairly mysterious and full of controversy for many years. Essential oils can and do affect the skin cells, but do they get into the body via lymph or bloodstream this way? Old research showing lavender in the bloodstream within a half hour after diluted skin application did not factor out inhalation.
The case against absorption through the epidermis begins at the uppermost layer, the stratum corneum that is designed to keep things from passing into the body. The other layers do not contain lymph or blood vessels, the reason why a cut needs to pass into the dermis and the subcutaneous layers to produce bleeding. How much of a product that will manage to reach the dermis has also been addressed. Aromatherapist and educator Robert Tisserand1 has said in his answer to whether a topical essential oil application could interact with a medication, "Only about 10% of that would be absorbed by the skin, so 10% EO applied becomes 1% EO absorbed." And any product containing true essential oils that has a detectable aroma indicates that an amount of the essence in the product is vaporizing, becoming a gas that is diffusing into the air (again, to be inhaled).
Medicinal products relying on skin absorption are frequently applied on areas of thinner epidermal layers, such as the axillary region. One might then assume that this would be true for essential oils, too. Some have suggested that fragrant molecules were more easily absorbed in openings in the skin, such as hair follicles and sweat glands. This gave rise to the idea that applying essential oils (often neat) to the feet, well known for their ability to sweat, was a potent way to deliver desired properties.
However, it appears that pores created by follicles and sweat glands have an exterior directed function and are not really a reliable delivery route. An article posted by Aromatherapy United2 titled, "Myth — Apply to Feet," listed some other interesting articles and research about dermal penetration including the following: "Absorption via the pores and follicles is considered to be insignificant because the orifices account for only 0.1% of the skin area and diffusion along sweat ducts is against an outward aqueous flow."
And these statements that also argue against the efficacy of dermal application to the feet and elsewhere: "The stratum corneum of the palms and soles is very thick (400-600 µM) whereas that of the arms, back, legs and abdomen is much thinner (8-15 µM)." "Normally, cells in solid tissues (for example, skin or mucous membranes of the lung or intestine) are so tightly compacted that substances cannot pass between them. Entry, therefore, requires that the xenobiotic have some capability to penetrate cell membranes. Also, the substance must cross several membranes in order to go from one area of the body to another."
More recently, researchers studying absorption methods have conducted an experiment to study dermal penetration via the feet. This study was not about essential oils, but sought to investigate an urban myth claiming people could become drunk by submerging their feet in vodka. (BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c6812 (Published 14 December 2010)) The conclusion proved that this was false and alcohol was not detected in the blood when samples were taken every 30 minutes for a total of 180 minutes.
Despite the clinical approach to reflexology that uses no type of lotion or oil product, I have taught a CE course in the past on aromatic foot massage with reflexology. It combines soothing massage of the feet with aromatic oil, warm moist fragrant towels and some standard reflexology moves. While I agree with the clinical reflexology practitioners that their method is adequate and needs no additions, this class was designed as a spa treatment. Again, my primary idea was that the specifically chosen essential oil aromas would be inhaled by the client and affect desirable changes in that way. The soothing massage would enhance the receptivity of the client, increasing those effects. In practice, this seems to be the case.
Click here for more information about Shellie Enteen, RA, BA, LMBT.
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