YOLY Challenge #49: Amplify Your Awareness

For many years, the system of yoga was my “go to” method for health maintenance. After all, it is a terrific course for correcting imbalances in body, mind and spirit. Small episodes of pain and stress would come and go – there was always my practice to guide me through any discomfort.

Until this year. I experienced a rare facial nerve disorder (that I have still yet to diagnose). Although restorative yoga postures, breath work and meditation did help me to relax, the pain and other repercussions of this ailment forced me to search out a viable treatment.

So, I googled my options for healing. You could say that I went on a quest for healing.

And, along the way, I discovered acupuncture, aromatherapy and Jin Shin Jyutsu. Together with the modalities of massage and yoga, these therapies have paved the way toward my well-being.

Because my background is geared to yoga, I applied simple breathing and relaxation techniques to the acupuncture and Jin Shin Jyutsu sessions I received. At first, it merely helped me to stay calm with the uneasiness I felt in these new situations. However, as my comfort level increased, I realized that when I executed these yoga techniques within my treatments, I could awaken my body’s intelligence and amplify my level of awareness. butterfly-492536__340

After a relatively short span of time, not only did my symptoms resolve for longer and longer periods but, in the end, they nearly vanished.

Nowadays, I continue to receive massage and Jin Shin Jyutsu, utilize aromatherapy and am slowly incorporating a stronger yoga practice back into my daily routine. I feel like my body is finally in sync again, a sensation that I had been missing for nearly a year.

Each form of bodywork I experienced has taught me how important the awareness of the present moment is to overall health. I am so thankful that I was able to apply the yogic principles of relaxation and breath work to amplify each modality’s effectiveness.

In turn, I have reapplied this new heightened level of awareness back into my yoga practice. In general, I am staying even more open minded. My body feels a new alertness and there is a deeper level of harmony moving within.

I had discovered that the underlying meaning of each of these modalities is the present moment awareness. And, that, even in the midst of pain, you can lean in, stay attentive and surrender.

Your challenge this week is to locate your own method for generating increased awareness. You may wish to look into one of the modalities that I have mentioned or maybe you already have something simmering on the back burner.

Please keep in mind that whatever you choose should grant you a deeper connection to Self. It should awaken you to your true nature. Only then will you be able to see things as they truly are and live in the present moment.

Best wishes!

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Taming the Nerves With Essential Oils 

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It has been awhile since I’ve checked in with news of my essential oil experimentation.

As some of you know, late last summer I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia – an inflammation of the 5th cranial nerve which can cause intense facial pain.

In an attempt to get relief, I underwent a series of acupuncture treatments back in September/October. It was at that time that I was introduced to the medicinal usage of essential oils through my acupuncturist.

My first experience was with a particular oil blend called Peace & Calming II (Young Living). One of its main components, tangerine oil, contains certain esters and aldehydes which are tranquilizing to the nervous system. Periodically throughout the day I diluted a drop of the mixture with jojoba oil and breathed it from my cupped hands. In conjunction with the acupuncture, the oil blend was surprisingly effective in quieting my outbreaks.

Having had some success, I wondered what else the field of aromatherapy had to offer my condition. In researching,  I ran across many oils with the ability to soothe the nervous system. However, since I didn’t know the cause of my disorder – whether it was viral, bacterial or merely stress related, I felt the need to explore all of the possible avenues that these jewels presented. So, I purchased a starter kit that consisted of 11 different types of single oils/blends and a diffuser. This turned out to be one of my best investments yet.

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I began to experiment with various oil combinations by adding a few drops to the diffuser and letting its cool mist envelope the room. Some of my initial favorites included lavender (known for its anti-inflammatory properties), lemon (a general stress reducer and overall health promoter) and a blend named Thieves (university tested for its cleansing abilities and highly effective in supporting the immune system). An added bonus was the wonderful aroma that these essences lent to our home.

The experience was truly an eye… or should I say, a nose…  opener. Along with regular yoga practice and meditation, essential oils have tamed my fiery nervous system and nearly eradicated my neuralgia.

I look forward to sharing more EO experiences with you soon!

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QuintEssential Oils

When I first learned about Aromatherapy, I thought that it was just a pleasant way to enhance my environment. I was drawn to essential oils because I have a keen sense of smell.rose-177955__180

But I did not view them as critical components for my health.

Recently I attended a lecture on essential oils by Kayo Malik at Village Acupuncture here in Sedona.  She literally opened my eyes to the health benefits of aromatherapy and the medicinal ingredients of these amazing natural elements found in plants and flowers.

Here are my surprising discoveries:

Essential oils have the potential for treating virtually every ailment.

They are antiviral, antiseptic, anti fungal, anti inflammatory, aid in digestion, circulation and respiration. They can prevent hair loss, varicose veins, balance menstruation/menopause and reduce the effects of aging, cancer, and many other diseases. The list goes on and on…

The oils can penetrate the skin and actually enter into the body at a cellular level.

The chemical components of essential oils are taken from deep inside the stems, leaves/bark, buds, and even the roots of plants, trees and flowers.  They mimic some of the components within our own bodies and can therefore cross barriers to enter our cells.

Essential oils are oxygen carriers.

Oils are valued based on the percentage of O2 they can transport.  Increasing oxygen levels is key to fighting disease and generating overall good health.

Combining oils can enhance the individual benefits.

There is a synergistic connection between some oils that when combined make them even more effective than when they are utilized individually.

Internal organs have smell receptors.

Recent studies show that many internal organs like the heart, lungs & kidneys have their own smell receptors. Individually, therefore, they are capable of being influenced by specific oils.

The power of essential oils has been a wonderful discovery for me. Like the system of yoga, aromatherapy has been used for thousands of years. And, like the individual yoga postures, each oil has a myriad of benefits. ancient-essential-oils-information-1-1-800x800

As I begin to incorporate these precious gems into my lifestyle, I will be sure to share my experiences with you.

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