Mother Earth Living

Aromatherapy: Unplug, Reconnect and Bond with Memory Maps

By Staff

Brenda Stansfield is a licensed massage therapist, certified clincial aromatherapist and the creator of the Clear My Head product line, sold in spas nationally She belives aromatherapy should be simple and easy to incorporate into a hectic lifestyle.

Lately, I’m noticing a trend and I’m not liking it either. I watch as so many of us (and yes, I am guilty myself) are overly connected with our electronic devices. Yes, it’s often time well spent in front of our computer screens updating our friends through Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, and yes we all get a little thrill when we open our “mail” to find a note (not just a forward, forward, forward) from a good friend. But ask yourself…would you rather have a ::hug:: or a real hug? 

The problem becomes clear as we watch our children communicate through more text messages and spend less time hearing a voice on the other end of their phones. How does one learn social skills or pick up non-verbal cues any more? After all, intonation in a voice can tell you wonders about a person’s well-being. The big question is how do we reconnect with our loved ones? The answer can be, surprisingly, aromatherapy. 

Use essential oil of lavender for a compassionate hand massage.

Over the years in my massage therapy & aromatherapy practice, I’ve encountered the “disconnect” of families. I’ve taught many workshops that bring people together and can open up a safe environment for conversations. Here are a few quick tips to help you turn down the electronic clutter in your life:

Children: Small children (3-6 years) are often antsy and on the move. Getting them to focus is challenging (if not impossible). These formative years are also when they are developing good routines and coping skills. A wonderful gift you can give your child is the ability to allow themselves to slow down in the evening. Prepare them for a good nights sleep with four drops of lavender essential oil in a warm bath–this will help them unwind and sleep more soundly. Taking baths are a great time for singing songs and other soothing activities–they’ll never know they’re getting clean in the process.

Teenagers: Teens are a little tougher to pin down and even harder at times to get to open up. A shame, since this is a time they need the guidance of a parent even more. Boys in particular are very resistant to keeping communication open. A way to get your teen to relax with you, and a nice time to catch up on the day, is with a nice peppermint foot rub (6 drops peppermint essential oil to 1 ounce lotion). The sensation on the feet is exhilarating and they’ll sit still for it. Athletic teens and the over-achievers are often very unaware of the toll stress and a lot of activity can take on their body and mind. A 10 minute foot rub will help with fatigue and also teach them about giving to others.  

Our Elders: Often times I’ve been asked to call on a client’s family member in Hospice or Alzheimer wards. The elderly, and especially those in the last days or weeks of their life present emotional difficulties for both the family and the individual. A wonderful thing happens when we visit and offer a bit of compassion in the form of a hand massage. A suggestion of oils for this would be lavender, clary sage, bergamot or cedarwood (3 drops in 1 ounce). I’ve always felt in the grace of God during these visits. You needn’t be a professional therapist for this. Your touch is comforting to the patient, the fragrance is soothing and the time is well spent. Often, in their final days, our loved ones cannot communicate with us. However, I promise the look in their eyes will tell you what they cannot. You will notice love and understanding and you will reap rewards that will be revealed to you later. It is not uncommon when I create blends for my clients to use with their loved ones that after the person has passed on they tell me that they use the aromatherapy lotion to feel the presence of their loved one again. This is understandable, since our sense of smell imprints emotions into us through our limbic system. Once we “memory map” our essential oils to a specific action, (one that is soothing, calming, joyful, and compassionate) we have set in motion a powerful way to communicate.

So today, unplug the cell phone, turn off the computer, even if it’s just for 20 minutes, and go find someone who is getting “lost” in the digital age and bring them back to their senses!

  • Published on Sep 3, 2009
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