As humans we tend to strive for order. We read the end of a book before the beginning or use hints in Candy Crush when stuck on a level, and that is simply part of human nature. We get satisfaction from organization and categorize even unconsciously, so it should come as no surprise that we categorize ourselves. By categorize I am not referring to labels on race, gender or religion, but through personal traits, specific to each, systems like the Five Elements categorization have come to fruition. This is a system that has contributed in the effectiveness of Chinese Medicine for centuries since its creation. It consists of five different categories to which an individual can be grouped into, in accordance to various factors such as their personality, physical attributes, energy levels and even health complications. So, without more a due, here we the five elements in order from least to greatest energy levels.
Water- Related to winter.
Water is the most tranquil of the elements for various reasons. Although those who form a part of the Water element are strong minded people, you will usually find them being followers rather than leaders. By no means does this present challenges for them, as their ability to adapt makes up for however indecisive they can be.
The kidneys and bladder are the organs related to this element as people who are considered to be a part of this group tend to endure urinary problems and issues pertaining metabolism.
With the holidays around the corner, cold season on the way, and the weather getting a little cooler, it's the perfect time to gather some essential oils to keep you and your family healthy. Essential oils are known for their therapeutic benefits and have been used since Biblical times for their antibacterial and antiviral properties.
One of my favorite essential oils to use is a blend created by the company Young Living. This oil, called “Thieves,” is a blend of five different essential oils: clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary. This combination of oils is specifically designed to boost immunity and support the body's natural defenses.
The “Thieves” blend has been used for thousands of years, since the Black Plague of Europe in the Middle Ages. The blend was discovered when a small band of thieves was captured in France. These thieves robbed the people who died of bubonic plague. Although this plague was highly contagious, not one member of this band of thieves ever contracted the disease despite having so much contact with it. The reason? They rubbed a specific combination of plant oils over their bodies, which protected them from the plague. Since that time, this blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary oils has been known as “Thieves."
In my practice at Benessere Miami, I add aromatherapy and essential oils into many of my treatments. At the request of several patients, I decided to put together a short list of my favorite oils for the winter season. Here they are:
Known for its toothache-remedying powers, clove oil is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antibacterial. In my practice with Traditional Chinese Medicine, I also use food-grade clove oil for digestive and respiratory support.
The health benefits of cinnamon can be attributed to its antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, astringent, and anti-clotting properties. Cinnamon is one of the most popular herbs for flavoring and widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Although cinnamon oil has numerous health benefits, it can cause skin irritation. This oil should only be used topically and with caution.
Eucalyptus has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, and it is often found in cough drops and ointments because of its decongestant properties. Eucalyptus essential oil stimulates the immune system and combats inflammation in the lungs, helping break down mucus. I love using eucalyptus to make a steam inhalation remedy, great for healing sinus infections, colds, and congestion.
Lemon has a strong, purifying citrus scent that is both revitalizing and uplifting. Lemon essential oil has antiseptic and astringent properties that help remove mental fatigue, exhaustion, dizziness, anxiety, nervousness, and nervous tension.
An energizing oil, rosemary is beneficial for restoring mental alertness when experiencing fatigue. This essential oil has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, perfect for use in skin care products.
If you are looking to begin your collection of essential oils, I suggest starting with lavendar. It is the best all-purpose essential oil. Lavender is the most commonly used essential oil in massage and wellness treatments because of its antidepressant and bactericidal properties. Lavendar’s calming scent makes it an excellent tonic for nerves and anxiety issues. It is also helpful in treating migraines, headaches, depression, nervous tension, and emotional stress.
Easy Ways to Use Essential Oils
Diffusing antibacterial and antiviral essential oils in the air several times per week will help keep your environment healthy and aromatic. My favorite diffusers use cool mist, so I suggest the Do Terra Aroma Lite or the Ultrasonic Young Living Diffuser. To diffuse oils, add six to eight drops of essential oil to one cup of water and let the diffuser run for 30 minutes.
2. ROOM AND BODY SPRAYS
I enjoy making room and body mists because they are easy to make and fun to create. At Benessere Miami, I always have three or four different mists on hand with varying aromas. To create a room or body mist, add ten drops of your essential oil of choice to a two-ounce spray bottle filled with water. Shake well before each use, as the oil and water will separate.
3. AROMATHERAPY YOGA
I love using essential oils to enhance my yoga practice. Put a small drop on your pulse points as aromatherapy during your session. It encourages deep breathing and deepens relaxation during shavasana.
May your winter season be happy and healthy!
For more information about the Thieves blend or to purchase essential oils, please visit YoungLiving.com. For more information about Benessere Miami, please visit BenessereMiami.com. Our spa menu features several aromatherapy treatments that enhance both health and relaxation.