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About Shanti Dechen:

Shanti Dechen, is a Level 3-Certified Clinical Aromatherapist member in good standing with NAHA. She is the founder and director of the NAHA Level 3 approved school Aroma Apothecary Healing Arts Academy, the author of Harmonized Aromatherapy for Seasonal Wellness, a Senior Instructor of Chi Nei Tsang through the Universal Healing Tao, a board-certified massage therapist of good standing with NCBTMB (National Certification for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork) Practitioner and Approved CE Provider, and NAHA Regional Director of Southern Colorado. You can learn about Shanti by visiting her website at: https://www.learnaroma.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Bodymind Connection: Psychoneuroendoimmunology
by Shanti Dechen, CCAP, CAI, LMT

Many things can happen in our lives to disrupt our emotional balance and create thoughts and feelings of stress, sadness or anxiety. Unresolved negative thoughts remain in the body and affect every area of our lives, from sleepless nights, poor health, relationship, or financial challenges. Emotional stress is linked to chronic inflammation, lowered immune function, increased blood pressure, and altered brain chemistry.

Psychoneuroendoimmunology (PNI) is the study of the mind’s effect on health and resistance to disease. Psycho (mind/emotions), neuro (nervous system), endo (endocrine system), immunology (immune system). 

PNI researchers have studied how emotions and thoughts impact the brain, hormones, nervous system, and the immune system’s ability to protect. Research has shown that people in stressful situations have measurable changes in physical responses to injury, whether it be slow wound healing, a higher incidence of infection, or a worse prognosis as in a debilitating illness. Emotional stress is linked to chronic inflammation, lowered immune function, increased blood pressure, and altered brain chemistry. These are promising scientific discoveries on the mind-body connection.

Being aware of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are the first steps toward maintaining emotional health. Emotionally healthy people have learned ways to cope with stress brought on by challenges that are part of life. Learning to incorporate a healthy routine of adequate rest, proper nutrition, exercise, and letting go of adverse situations can be enhanced by aromatherapy.  

Essential oils can be applied in various ways, including diffusion, a nasal inhaler, body oil, and baths. Here are a few essential oils that can be incorporated into your day to help manage the everyday emotions we experience:

Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) – Soothes the mind, creating an atmosphere of peace by helping to eliminate anxiety, irritability, and nervousness. Chamaemelum nobile is a wonderful addition used in a bath.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – Promotes consciousness, love, peace, and a sense of well-being. Lavender aids verbal expression and helps address fears.

Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides) – As a very grounding oil, Vetiver assists an individual in becoming more rooted. It is profoundly relaxing and well-suited to reduce anxiety, insomnia and nervous tension.

Balancing Bath Blend 

1 TBSP Dispersant- Solubol or jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) 

4 drops Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

3 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

2 drops vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides

Blend the ingredients together in a small bottle. Add the blend to the running bathwater. Soak for 20 minutes or more. Focus your awareness on deep breathing, relaxing, and letting go of any tension. Lower the dilution to three drops total for children under 5 years of age.

Healing Deeper Emotions

There are times when emotional pain can be severe, inhibiting our ability to enjoy life. A divorce, the death of a loved one, physical abuse, or caring for someone very ill can trigger emotional reactions and create more significant problems in the form of physical pain or disease. Healing these lower emotions requires you to access them into your conscious awareness, where they can be released.

Essential oils can provide us with the energy needed to enter the emotional realm and raise the physical body’s vibration. As the body lives in higher vibrations, lower energies, such as repressed emotions, become unbearable. These feelings want to release themselves. Sadness, grief, stagnant anger, and low self-worth cannot exist in an environment of peace and balance, which essential oils help to create. They support the individual through their healing as feelings surface and are released. 

A compassionate healer for the heart is rose (Rosa × damascena) essential oil, which emulates a beautiful frequency. It is calming and supportive and is of benefit to reduce nervous anxiety and insomnia. The embrace of rose (Rosa × damascena) is revealed through its ability to heal emotional wounds by bringing soothing comfort and warmth to those wounded or abused. Rose touches the deepest of despair.

When we are overburdened or oppressed by the past and weighed down by over-attachment, neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara (flos)) essential oil can help us break free. It can be used for agitation and worry states or when the mind is distracted and overwhelmed by thoughts. Balances both emotional and physical challenges.

Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) essential oil aids those with a history of challenging life circumstances, loss, or abuse and has the power to break through the most negative of emotions. Helichrysum can loosen the hardest of knots lying deep in the psyche, restoring compassion for others and hope. Following healing and transformation, it teaches an individual to have gratitude for their trials.
These essential oils may be diffused, used in a nasal inhaler for use three to six times per day, or diluted (one to two drops of each essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil) and applied to the body.

Compassionate Healer Blend

In a 1-oz. amber glass bottle mix together: 

jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) OR St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) oil (which is photosensitive) 

5 drops neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara (flos)

5 drops helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum

3 drops rose (Rosa × damascena

Apply blend topically as need, particularly on the areas of the heart, upper chest, and abdomen. For adult use only.

Mindfulness Moment

Training your bodymind awareness on a daily basis will assist in developing healthy patterns, strengthening your immune system, overall radiance, and vitality in life.
Find yourself in a quiet space. You can be seated or lying down with your spine straight. 
Choose your favorite relaxing essential oil and either put a couple of drops on a cotton pad or in a nasal inhaler. Breathe deeply, allowing the essence to penetrate. Close your eyes and bring your gaze to focus on your navel and feel the centering. 

Next, bring your attention to the bottom of your feet and feel the connection to the earth. 

Continue to focus your awareness on your breath into the upper chest, abdomen, and back ribs, relaxing and letting go of the tension. 

As you feel a sense of grounding and become more relaxed, then slowly open your eyes and carry on in a calm and centered manner. 

While essential oils foster an environment for healing, they will not do the work for us. We must release trapped negative emotions before we can receive positive feelings. Meditation, journaling, and being present with your feelings can facilitate the healing process.
 

“The natural state of our body is relaxed and free of pain.
The mind is at peace emanating spacious inspiration and pure joy.”
Shanti Dechen

 

Resources:

Zen Stones picture; https://pixabay.com/illustrations/zen-stones-zen-stones-balance-1076850/; Retrieved May 16, 2016.

2.Azar, Beth; A New Take on Psychoneuroimmunology; http://www.apa.org/monitor/dec01/anewtake.aspx; Retrieved May 13, 2016.

Chopra Bodymind Health; Healing the Source of Emotional Pain; https://chopra.com/articles/healing-the-source-of-emotional-pain/; Retrieved May 13, 2016.

Tisserand, Robert and Young, Rodney; Essential Oil Safety, Second Edition; Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; p. 244, 309, 325-328, 363, 404-405, 466, 467.

Mojay, Gabriel, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, Healing Arts Press, Rochester, VT, 1997; p. 60, 61, 70, 71, 90, 91, 100,101, 112, 113, 124, 125.

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