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The website of Author/Writer and Psychic Medium Astrid Brown. Making the most of 'YOU' i.e. how to achieve well-being and beauty from within ourselves. A truly holistic blog providing information on all aspects of psychic mediumship, spiritualism, philosophy, holistic therapies, nutrition, health, stress, mental health and beauty with a little bit of Wicca for good measure. Feeling and looking good is as much a part of how we feel inside as the outside.

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I am a great believer in Karma, but just what is it? Karma comes from the Sanskrit and ancient Indian Language with the underlying principal that every deed in our lives will affect our future life. For example, if we treat others badly during our lifetime we will have negative experiences later on in that lifetime or in future lifetimes. Likewise, if we treat others well we will be rewarded by positive experiences.

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Monday, 4 March 2013

AROMATHERAPY GUIDELINES

AROMATHERAPHY IS A VERY GENTLE SOOTHING THERAPY
BUT DANGEROUS IF SAFETY RULES ARE NOT ADHERED TO



Aromatherapy is a very gentle soothing therapy and can be very effective however aromatherapy oils can be dangerous if safey rules are not ahered to. Essential oils MUST always be diluted the only exception is Lavender and even then as a precaution should be patch tested. There is information on Carrier Oils later in this article.



WHAT IS AROMATHERAPY? 

It is the systematic use of essential oils in Holistic treatments to improve physical and Emotional well being. Essential Oils are extracted from plants and possess distinctive therapeutic properties, which can be used to improve health and prevent disease. Both their physiological and psychological effects combine well to promote positive health. 

Essential Oils can be applied in a variety of ways such as in massage, baths and inhalations. They are readily absorbed into the skin and have gentle physiological effects and Aromatherapy is an especially effective therapy for stress-related disorders and a variety of chronic ailments

Aromatherapy has its roots in ancient civilisations i.e. the Ancient Egyptians and the Romans used plants and herbs and oils extracted from these for religious, medical and cosmetic purposes and in the Ancient Egyptians used Essential Oils for Embalming and Preserving. 

What are Essential Oils? 

Essential oils are aromatic, volatile substances extracted from a single botanical source by distillation or expression. They are found in leaves, the hairs on leaves, in flowers, in tree bark or roots, in fruit pulp and peel. Similar to animal hormones, they are sometimes referred to as the plants’ ‘Life force’. The cells containing essential oils are generally close to the surface but they can only be seen with the help of a microscope. The essence is either stored in the cell where it is made or, as is the case with citrus fruits, moved to special storage sacs. 

Essential Oils are: 

• Aromatic, have a distinctive and often fragrant smell 
• Volatile, evaporate quickly in the air and to varying degrees depending on the oil 
• Very powerful when neat, are usually blended with a carrier oil for massage purposes 
• Flammable, must be kept in a cool place away from heat and/or naked flames 
• Soluble in oil and alcohol, (in water they will form a suspension) 
• Liquid, exceptions include Rose Otto and Benzoin, which are semi-solid Non-greasy, despite their name, the oils are generally light and not oily Expensive, producing the plants and extracting the oil is labour intensive and thus not cheap.
WHERE DO ESSENTIAL OILS COME FROM? 

Essential Oils come from various parts of the plants. Some plants only produce one oil e.g. 
• Basil oil from Basil leaves 
• Carrot from Carrot seeds 
• Pine from the needles and sometimes the cones of Pine trees 

Other plants produce several oils from different parts e.g. each Sweet Orange tree produces three essential oils 

Petitgrain from the leaves and branches 
Neroli from the blossom 
• Sweet Orange from the peel 

THE SAFETY OF ESSENTIAL OILS 

How should oils be stored? 

Essential oils are delicate and expensive; it is therefore wise to look after them. They should be stored: 

• Away from extremes of temperature, heat will evaporate them and cold can affect their composition 
• In dark, amber/blue glass bottles, essential oils are sensitive to ultraviolet light, they should not be stored, or bought in plastic because it affects the molecular structure of the oil 
• In tightly sealed bottles, to protect them from evaporating in the air and to stop contact with the air from changing their composition 
• Out of the reach of children. 

Are Essential Oils Safe? 

Used correctly essential oils are very safe, mainly because they are used in such tiny amounts. When used in the wrong dilutions and in the wrong conditions they can produce adverse effects. Certain oils should never be used, under any circumstances and some should not be used for specific conditions. 

N.B. Essential oils are very strong and should not be swallowed. If oil gets into the eye rinse it immediately with lots of water. If necessary seek medical advice. 

N.B. Essential oils should never be used in the first three months of pregnancy. For the rest of the term, Mandarin is the only oil, which may be used. 

N.B. & ONLY USE THAT IF AN EXPERIENCED, QUALIFIED & INSURED AROMATHERAPIST 

HOW DO ESSENTIAL OILS WORK ON THE HUMAN BODY

What are the specific effects of Aromatherapy?

Using Essential Oils affects the Human Body 

Pharmacologically, essential oils are chemical and so are humans. Once essential oils have been absorbed into the body, either through the skin or inhalation, the chemicals in the oils enter the blood and other body fluids and interact with the chemistry of our bodies e.g. hormones, enzymes and neurotransmitters are all chemicals and the presence of another chemical (the essential oil) can affect the way they work. 
• Physiologically: physiology is the way our body works. Essential oils can affect this by changing the chemical messages and impulses sent around the body and thus changing the way the systems of the human body function e.g. if an oil has relaxing and de-stressing properties, it may help to relieve the symptoms of stress displayed by our bodies e.g. slowing heart rate and breathing rate or encouraging tense muscles to relax. 
• Psychologically: the way essential oils affect our mind is more difficult to describe, mainly because everyone’s mind id different. However, our sense of smell is closely linked to our memory so that particular smells can cause particular responses: e.g. if you dislike the smell of Roses, Rose oil is unlikely to relax you; if Jasmine reminds you of a good holiday then its smell will bring back happy memories and provoke a positive response. 

General effects of Aromatherapy

There are certain effects from using essential oils which result from most treatments, especially since relaxing and/or hands-on application methods like massage and baths are very common in aromatherapy. 

General effects include:

• Reduction in Stress & Tension 
• Feeling of Well-being, Balance and Calm 
• Antibacterial effects of oil help the body to heal and support the immune system. 

How do essential oils penetrate the skin? 

There are two ways that oil can safely penetrate the body: 

1. Smell/Inhalation 
2. Absorption via the skin Ingestion, i.e. swallowing them is not safe. 

Smelling & Inhaling Essential Oils. The Nose & Olfactory Tract Smell is the fastest way for Essential Oils to penetrate the body. The molecules travel up the nose and there are two results: they send a message to the brain and nerves which respond to the new smell and they pass into the blood stream via the lungs and the respiratory system. 

In order to understand how this works, it helps to understand the structure of the Olfactory Tract. 


Most of the nose is concerned with breathing: inhaling air into the body and exhaling it out, however it is the organ of smell and thus very important in a therapy based on the power of aromas! At the top of the nose there are two areas of pigmented tissue known as Olfactory Membranes. They contain the olfactory, or smell-sensing cells, which have fine hair-like protrusions called cilia. The olfactory cells connect to nerves in an area known as the Olfactory Plexus. Once triggered, these nerves send messages along the olfactory Nerves to the Brain, particularly the Limbic System. This is the area of the brain that deals with Memory, Emotions, Our Basic Instincts and Mechanical Functions. When essential oil molecules pass over the olfactory cells, it is thought that these cells trigger receptor areas, which send an impulse via the olfactory plexus and nerves to the brain. Here the information is processed and interpretated (with either positive or negative associations). Depending on the interpretation, the brain sends messages to other parts of the body to elicit a response e.g. Grimace! The brain may also react to different chemicals in an essential oil and produce particular effects e.g. a relaxing or sedative substance may cause the brain to send out a message of relaxation either to the whole body or a particular part. 

How do Oils Penetrate the Skin? 

Essential oils are absorbed through the skin. In order to understand this, it helps to understand the skin’s structure. Being the largest human organ it is water resistant, but extremely minute substances, such as the molecules of an essential oil, can enter the tiny pores of the Epidermis, as well as penetrating through the hair follicles and the sweat glands. From here they enter the blood capillaries in the dermis. Once the oil reaches the blood and the circulation it is transported around the whole body. 

BLENDING & CARRIER OILS

Essential Oils are almost always used in a blend. They are blended with Carrier oils for use in massage and in some cases, baths. The correct blend is very important because essential oils are potentially toxic if used undiluted. They are also highly concentrated and will therefore not go very far in a massage on their own! 

What is a Carrier Oil? 

Carrier oils are known as fixed oils because unlike essential oils, they do not evaporate when heated. They are extracted from plants, flowers, nuts and seeds and those generally used in aromatherapy do not have a strong smell as it might interfere with that of the essential oil. Some carrier oils contain fat-soluble vitamins e.g. A, D, E and K, minerals and proteins in differing amounts, so have healthy benefits of their own. 

Carrier Oils Used in Aromatherapy are:

• Of vegetable, nut or seed origin 
• Refined preferably cold-pressed 
• Stable, not volatile 
• Used neat 
• Non sticky 
• Lubricants for aromatherapist’s hands thus giving a smooth massage. 

There are several suitable carrier oils, which can be used alone or in a blend with other carriers. Some are lighter than others and often the thicker denser oils, which are more expensive and may be used, mixed with a lighter oil to make them go further. Lighter oils are better for a full body massage because they allow smoother movements whereas the thicker oils are more useful for massage on a small area. 

Recommended carrier oils are

Grapeseed Evening Primrose Calendula Sweet-Almond Avocado Macadamia Wheatgerm Jojoba Peach-Kernel 

DILUTIONS What are the correct dilutions? 

Dilutions depend on two factors i.e. the treatment and the scale of the treatment. The following are just guidelines and the more experienced Aromatherapist will adapt them according to circumstances. Treat dilutions and blends like a medical treatment i.e. a prescription must provide the right drug and dosage for the condition and patient. The same care should be used to create blends i.e. use the right oils for the problem in the appropriate amounts. For a treatment to work, just like a prescription, the quantities and qualities of both essential oil and carrier oil must remain constant. 

How much Essential Oil should be mixed with Carrier Oil? 

Usually from 1 % to 2%, the maximum dilution should be 2.5% of Essential Oil. 

How do I work out & measure these percentage? 

1 % equals one-drop essential oil to 100 drops carrier and 2% blend equals two drops essential oil to 100 drops carrier. 
Does that mean I have to count out 1OO drops of carrier oil? – No, 100 drops of oil is equivalent to 5mls or one teaspoon, therefore 1 % dilution would be one drop of essential oil per 5mls and 2% would be two drops per 5mls. 
Are there any instances when these dilutions are wrong or need changing? Use a maximum 1 % dilution when treating:

• Clients with sensitive skin 
• The elderly 
• Children 
• The weak/convalescent 
• Pregnant or breastfeeding 

How much oil is needed for different treatments? 

Full body massages require about 20-25mls carrier oil i.e. 8 drops essential oil per 20mls. 

For face massage only about 5mls of carrier is required i.e. 1-2 drops of essential oil per 5mls. 
Absolutes may contain traces of solvents so a weaker solution i.e. 1 % blend should be used. 

Baths essential oils float or sink so drops should not be added directly to the bath water but should be mixed with a small quantity of an emulsifier such as a fragrance-free shampoo, bath gel, liquid soap or even full cream milk before adding to the bath. 

Those with sensitive skin should use a lower concentration and take care with those oils known to cause skin irritations. 

Burners use two drops of the chosen oil in water 

Compresses soak the cloth in 100mls of water and add two drops of the chosen oil. 

Steam inhalations use one drop of essential oil to a bowl of hot water, two for a stronger effect. 

N.B. When using essential oils, always be very careful if in doubt, don’t. 

How Long do Blends Last? 

The average shelf life of a blend lasts approximately 3 months however by adding 10% Wheatgerm oil this can be extended to approx. 6 months. 

Can oils be used undiluted? 

Only in specific circumstances i.e. Lavender or Tea Tree, though some may be sensitive to the latter. Blending Oils that blend well Oils that are in the same botanical family to which they belong blend well i.e. the citrus e.g. Grapefruit & Lemon etc. 
Botanical Families & Examples Woody Cedarwood & Pine Herbaceous Marjoram & Clary Sage Citrus Bergamot & Lemon Floral Geranium & Rose Resinous Galbanum & Frankincense Spicy Ginger and Black Pepper 

A general guide to blending can be gained by looking at the ‘Note’ of the individual oil. The Note is a measure of the volatility of the oil, of which there are three main categories.

Top Notes 
• Fresh & light in aroma 
• The fastest acting • The quickest to evaporate 
• The most stimulating & uplifting to both mind and body 
Middle Notes 
• Moderately volatile 
• Primarily affect the functions of the body systems e.g. the digestive system etc. 
• Affect the general metabolism 
Base Notes 
• Are rich & Heavy 
• Slower to evaporate and therefore mixed with top notes, help to ‘hold back’ the volatility of that oil 
• The most sedating & relaxing 

A Frenchman named ‘Piesse’ developed the categorisation of oil notes during the 19th century. He classified aromas according to their harmony with other oils and based their grade on the musical scale; each aroma forming perfectly balanced chords or harmonics when combined with other oils. The simplest ratio being 3:2:1 i.e. Three drops top note, two drops middle and one drop base. 

Contra-indications for aromatherapy are the same for any massage with the proviso that certain oils will not be suitable depending on the client’s condition. 

MPB (c)



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PSYCHIC QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

PSYCHIC QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE TO FORECAST THE FUTURE AND OTHER QUESTIONS?

I am often asked various questions pertaining to the spirit world and various aspects of the psychic, here are some of them: I will in time feature more questions and answers as this webpage evolves

Q. Is a psychic or medium a fortune teller?
A. It may surprise you to know psychics and mediums are not fortune tellers
Q. Is it possible to forecast the future?
A.Well not 100% and this is because of free will.
Q. What is free will?
A. Free will is YOUR right to decide what you want to do about a situation, it is a choice
Q. How does free will affect a situation?
A. Well before we incarnate as Spirit in a human body, we decide on what experiences and challenges that will benefit our spiritual growth. However we are given the choice (free will) as to whether we go through with the experience or challenge. In effect we are allowed to change or mind.
Q. So are you saying we all know what lies before us?
A. Well in a way we all do. Remember we are 'Spirit' in a human body and your spirit does retain a memory but it is deep in our subconscious. This memory is retained deeply for a reason to help us fulfill our experiences and challenges we ourselves chose. However it is also at this deep level so we are not so aware. If you knew what lay before you would you go through with it? Probably not but we still retain this memory deeply and this reflects in our Aura.
Q. So what is the Aura?
A.The aura is The Aura is an electromagnetic field that surrounds living bodies, this includes people, animals, plants and crystals and is composed of several layers that are constantly moving. The Aura links us to whats known as Universal energy i.e. that is all the knowledge in the Universe past, present and future. It is on this aura that psychics are able to tap into and access your past, whats going on in the present and the possible future and I say possible specifically if your goal or desire is dependent on other people, for remember every person involved in a situation has free will.


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Astrid Brown (Author)
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