I can’t think how many years I’ve been meaning to start writing a blog – and now with an embargo on hands-on treatments I definitely can’t use the excuse of being too busy, so it’s just a case of deciding what to write about. Something close to home? Pretty obvious really; as a Holistic Therapist specialising in Aromatherapy, it has to be essential oils.
Every day I use essential oils in different ways – in the bath or shower; in my skincare; in the natural perfumes and room fragrances I create. And I’m always intrigued about what guides me to each day’s choices. Even though I know each oils’ effects, it’s usually a much more instinctive reaction to the aroma, based on how I’m feeling and what mood I want to conjure.
Today was a Frankincense day.
It’s an oil I’ve always loved and used a lot over the years. It comes from the resin of a small shrubby tree that grows in Oman, Yemen and the Horn of Africa, including Somalia and Ethiopia. The milky looking resin is harvested by making incisions in the bark; it then solidifies into a solid amber gum.
Sadly the tree population in many areas has been over-harvested and is subject to habitat loss, meaning that the essential oil is under threat*, so it’s more rare and precious than it was – although still not as precious as when it was literally worth its weight in gold, back in the 1st and 2nd Centuries. It’s been used for over 5,000 years by Egyptians, Greeks, Hebrews and Christians among others, but at that peak of popularity traders used to transport caravans of the precious resin across the desert via a chain of cities and watering places that sprang up to service the merchants on their way to the Mediterranean, where the resin was shipped to destinations throughout Europe.
Over the millennia Frankincense has been used for many purposes – in cosmetics, as healthcare, in religious ritual. It is still the incense used in Catholic churches today. In Aromatherapy it is valued for its beautiful sweet, balsamic, gently citrus aroma, which evokes a sense of ancient mystery and spirituality. Physically its action is in the respiratory and immune systems – very appropriate at the moment – and for helping the skin to heal and regenerate. Emotionally it has long been renowned as an antidepressant, with the ability to calm and yet revitalise the nervous system. To benefit from its emotional effects, it’s enough simply to sprinkle a few drops onto a tissue or into a room fragrancer and inhale, taking a few deep breaths to start rebalancing. You may notice Frankincense naturally slows and deepens your breath, bringing a welcome feeling of peace and serenity.
Frankincense helps if you can’t see the wood for the trees – it lifts you and gives you the sense that you can see over and beyond your current anxieties, to a clearer and brighter future.
Is there anyone who wouldn’t treasure that feeling right now?
Anne Murray Holistics
Telephone 01923 779990
Mobile 07798 775 615
*If you’re buying Frankincense essential oil, please choose a supplier who only uses sustainable and fairly traded sources.