Dr. Adam Baumgardner

Aromatherapy 101

 

Tea Tree Oil

Overview

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses essential oils and other aromatic substances to treat and prevent disease, manage and reduce pain, alter mood, improve cognitive function and memory, and support overall health and well-being.  Aromatherapy is generally delivered using three modes of application: aerial diffusion, direct inhalation, and topical application.  The specific treatment or desired intent determines which of the three modes is used within an individual session.  Many aromatherapy practitioners offer a holistic approach to the treatment of illness and chronic conditions that includes promoting relaxation and internal harmony and restoring balance. 

History

People have believed that aromatic compounds have healing properties since ancient times.  Aromatherapy recipes can be found in the Bible and have been uncovered in the ancient tombs of the Pharaohs.  Infused oils were included in medical texts as far back as the first century and the use of essential oils as tools for healing can be found in the historical record of China, India, the Middle East, and ancient Rome.  Advances in distillation opened new doors for the creation of essential oils and allowed for significant advancement in the art and science of aromatherapy.

Despite this long history, the practice remains an alternative option for treatment in much of the western world.  Critics doubt the effectiveness of these treatments without acknowledging the rich history of plant compounds that have contributed to medical treatments and the role plants play in most of the modern medicines used today. 

How it Can Help

Aromatherapy works with the body to activate critical systems for healing like the limbic and immune systems.  When paired with complimentary techniques, aromatherapy treatments assist the body in finding natural healing paths and support the natural healing process.  Some treatments rely on the part of the brain that responds to smell to trigger these healing responses.  Other treatments use the pharmacological properties of the essential oils to produce the desired result through direct application to the skin. 

Most Popular Oils

Peppermint oil, made from the plant menthe piperita, is used to treat both headaches and muscle aches and can be helpful in treating some problems with digestion.

Ylang Ylang oil, made from cananga odorata, promotes relaxation, eases tension, and can be used to aid with depression.

Lavender Oil, made from the plants lavandula angustifolia and lavandula vera, is also used to promote relaxation and ease depression in its inhaled form.  Helpful for restoring hormonal balance in women, it can also be used to treat skin injuries including burns and wounds.

Eucalyptus oil, from eucalyptus globulus or eucalyptus radiate, is beneficial in the treatment of respiratory problems like coughing and asthma and can alleviate tense muscles.

Lemon oil, made from citrus limon, is used as a disinfectant in a variety of circumstances ranging from wound care to household cleaning.

Rosemary oil, from the plant rosmarinus officinalis, is used to stimulate the mind and body.  It is also helpful for engaging the immune system and the digestive system.

Tea Tree oil, from the melaleuca alternifolia, is known for its ability to boost the immune system and for its natural anti-fungal abilities.

How I use them

I have found that this is an especially helpful tool with children in cases where I don’t want to have them take herbs as they are to powerful.  Applying them to the skin allows the oil to be absorbed as the body needs.  Two companies that I see as very good at making pure oils are YoungLiving and BeYoung oils.  Both companies are actually founded by a set of brothers and they go to great lengths to make sure the oil is so pure you can even ingest it!  Ask me about it and I’ll be happy to tell you who I use to get the oils from.  Then you can get them yourself!!!  One of the best things about oils is anybody can learn how to use them and get them from a good source all by themselves.  You can be the one to help your family!

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4 Myths about Acupuncture

 

Myths About Acupuncture

Acupuncture is one of the alternative treatments that is helping to bridge the gap between the practices of Eastern medicine that have been around for thousands of years. It is also a very good adjunctive therapy to the Western medicine most Americans use as their primary method of managing their health.  Despite being available in America for more than 30 years, many people still do not understand the health benefits of this holistic practice.  Myths and misconceptions about how much acupuncture hurts, how much it costs, how safe it is, and whether or not it is effective keep people from getting the benefits of this ancient art of healing.

Here are 4 of the most common myths about acupuncture and the facts that dispel the myth.

1.   Acupuncture Needles Hurt

Acupuncture needles are very fine and thin with very sharp ends… sharper means less painful when talking about needlesJ. The needles used for acupuncture are very different from those used for injections in Western medicine.   Most patients do not feel the needle being inserted and those that do feel, only feel a tiny pinch or prick that goes away almost instantly. 

Once the needles are inserted, they are left in place for a period of time ranging from 5-20 minutes.  The needles are so thin they do not generally cause tissue damage on insertion or removal and rarely leave a mark on the sign after removal.  When they do it is generally gone the next day.

2.   Acupuncture Only Involves Needles

While needles are the most common tools used by acupuncture practitioners, they do use other tools to treat their patients.  Especially if the patient is afraid of needles.

Some of the most common alternate types of stimulation of acupuncture points are:

  • Acupressure (simple pressure to the AcuPoint use a finger or rod)
  • Acustim (light electrical current to the AcuPoint)
  • Aculaser (Cold laser directed at the AcuPoint.  The replaces Moxibustion in most cases)
  • GauSha (Rubbing of the area around AcuPoints to increase blood flow)

3.   Only People Who are Sick or in Pain Can Benefit

Many people believe that acupuncture is only beneficial for people who are in pain or who are sick, but this is not true.  Acupuncture is gaining popularity as an accepted therapy used in chronic pain management but it can also be beneficial in boosting overall health and wellness.  Because acupuncture is a tool for restoring balance in the body, it can be used for a variety of treatments and has a place in any preventative wellness program.

Acupuncture has also been used to treat addiction and aid in weight loss.  As a preventative therapy, there are many potential benefits offered by the various acupuncture techniques.

4.   You Have to Believe in it for it to Work

Perhaps because of its origins in Eastern medicine, many people continue to doubt the effectiveness of acupuncture and attribute some kind of placebo effect to those who claim it is beneficial.  In essence, they believe that in order for it to work, you have to believe that it will.  However, because acupuncture causes physiological changes on the body, its effectiveness is not reliant on your belief that it will work.  By releasing endorphins, improving circulation, and other physiological changes acupuncture creates positive changes throughout the body.  It can be used to reduce stress, restore balance, and support immune system function… and much more.  If you would like to know if acupuncture might help your condition call and ask.  I’ll be happy to share what I know! 

 

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