Aromatherapy has played an intrinsic role in spiritual and healing practices throughout history. This is because essential oils, aromatic herbs, and incense can be used to promote a sense of relaxation, and grounding, and even inspire a connection to spirit. Combining aromatherapy with other spiritual and healing modalities can be incredibly powerful and many practitioners across complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) tap into the power of essential oils to enhance their practice and enrich the experience of their clients. In this blog, we will examine how essential oils can be combined with 7 healing and spiritual realms, including crystal healing, reiki, meditation and breathwork, visualisation, hypnotherapy, reflexology and chakra healing.
Crystal healing is an alternative technique that aims to tap into natural healing energy of crystals and gemstones. These are used to enable positive, healing energy to flow into the body and to help restore spiritual, mental and physical balance.
It is believed that crystal healing is ancient, dating back at least 6,000 years to the time of the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia. Ancient Egyptians are also known as being among the first people to have adorned themselves with crystals — including lapis lazuli, carnelian and turquoise — to ward off negative energy.
In crystal healing, the energy of the stones interacts with the energy field of the body. Crystals and gemstones are assigned various properties, though healers have different ideas about which stones possess which properties. Amethyst, for example, is believed by some to be beneficial for anxiety; rose quartz helps the heart; jade provides mental clarity.
During a treatment session, a crystal healer may place various stones or crystals on your body, such as in the regions above the head, on the forehead, on the throat, on the chest, on the stomach and so on.
What are the benefits of essential oils and crystals?
Essential oils and crystals can work synergistically as both are fully natural, earth-derived materials and part of the earth’s ancient healing gifts. Each one is effective on its own but together, they are seen as incredibly powerful. Essential oils and crystals can work in perfect harmony with each other and are a potent combination, because they form the perfect union by stimulating your mind, body and spirit at two different levels. Through visual and olfactory sensory, their wonderful colours and enticing aromas transform the vibrational energy and cleanse the aura.
What essential oils are good for crystals?
Pairing essential oils with specific crystals can enhance and amplify each other's healing properties. Choose essential oils and crystals with the same vibrational and energetic composition. For example, the soothing quality of lavender is perfectly paired with purple amethyst, which is a protective stone that is believed to help to relieve stress and anxiety.
Essential oils and crystal pairing
Reiki is a method of natural healing which is centred upon universal life energy, which is the meaning of the Japanese word reiki. The therapy was named after Dr Mikao Usui, a Japanese theologist, who promoted the art of healing by transferring this universal life energy. To benefit from the technique, it is preferable to be initiated into the reiki energy which is done by a reiki master. There is no division of reiki energy into positive and negative but when a person undergoes a session of therapy, they allow the energy to be taken into themselves with beneficial effects.
Reiki treatments offer many benefits to the recipient, including relaxation, boosting the immune system, reducing tension and stress; and increasing vitality.
In terms of the reiki treatment, the practitioner places their hands on the client using light touch or by placing their hands just above the client’s body. They work by drawing in the energy of the universe and channelling this positive, healing energy to the client. The client may feel this as a warm or tingling sensation in the body.
How can essential oils be used for reiki?
Using aromatherapy essential oils can enhance reiki treatments. During Reiki treatments there are many ways to introduce aromatherapy oils, they can be rubbed on the palms of the hands, scented burners or scent sprayed near the recipient of reiki. When used with the energy contained within essential oils, the reiki session will direct the energy to where it is needed. A Reiki session combined with aromatherapy essential oils can be a very relaxing session. Essential oils can be used in a diffuser in the room where the reiki treatment will be performed or an aromatherapy blend can be sprayed around the room while the reiki treatment is performed.
Before the reiki session, the practitioner can select a selection of oils that can appeal to the client most because it reminds them of a past pleasurable experience or childhood memory, to bring even more pleasure and relaxation during the reiki treatment experience.
3.Meditation and breathwork
Meditation is a technique which aims to focus the mind and gain awareness and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. Focusing on the breath helps us become more aware of our thoughts, act more compassionately toward ourselves and others, and connect with the present moment.
In this way, meditation is the practice of focused concentration which can reduce anxiety, stress and depression. According to the meditation app Headspace, meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective.
How to use essential oils when meditating?
The sense of smell can be used in a powerful way when meditating, allowing your mind to focus on the sensation of the scent and any memories that it may evoke. There are different ways to meditate with essential oils, but one of the easiest is to use a diffuser. Diffusing an essential oil in your space will enable you to enjoy a relaxing fragrance while you unwind. You can also use a room spray or apply a simple, diluted blend of your essential oil to your temples or behind your ears before you meditate.
Read our blog here for 3 Mediations with essential oils
Best essential oils to use when meditating
Certain essential oils, for example frankincense, myrrh, and sandalwood are known to enhance meditation. If an individual associates an aroma with meditation, at some point the aroma itself — or even just imagining the smell — can place that person in a meditative frame of mind.
Frankincense is one of the most sacred essential oils for spirituality. It has been used in different spiritual rituals and ceremonies – for healing, cleansing and enlightenment – in many different cultures, for thousands of years. It helps to increase our faith and connection to higher self.
Myrrh was used in ancient temple worship as an ingredient in the holy anointing oil for consecrating priests and kings. Myrrh has one of the highest levels of sesquiterpene in an essential oil. Sesquiterpene’s delete bad information in cellular memory so inhaling this oil can help to eliminate negative thoughts. It can help reduce stress, bring focus and can assist in a deep spiritual “opening” while bringing calm and tranquillity.
Sandalwood has been used for thousands of years to calm the mind and relieve anxiety, reduce signs of aging and skin inflammation. It has spiritual significance and is said to bring devotees closer to the divine. Sandalwood is very helpful in healing emotional and spiritual wounds, as it opens the heart and helps to promote trust. It’s also quite grounding.
Neroli or orange blossom has a pleasant floral fragrance and can help you to be more self-accepting, face your fears and accept the work you need to do for yourself. The fragrance can also inspire creativity and encourage a regular spiritual practice.
Rose is the fragrance of love, both the human and the Divine kind. It opens the heart to receive love, particularly self-love and a deeper connection to the spiritual world.
Vetiver is extremely grounding and can be especially beneficial if you tend to wander and lose focus during your meditation practice.
7. Palo Santo
Palo Santo is a cousin to Frankincense and loosely translated means Holy Wood. It has been used for hundreds years by healers for spiritual applications. It is grounding and calming and can elicit a sense of peacefulness and calm.
Cedarwood encourages us to focus inward. It can also help to illuminate your need for meditation and return you to your spiritual path when obstacles have made it difficult.
Lavender is one of the most versatile oils. It is readily available and there are many different varieties. Lavender is known for its relaxation properties and helps promote sleep. It blends well with most other oils.
Bergamot has an underlying floral and citrus scent which has an emotional uplifting affect and is great for helping alleviate depressive, sad or grief stricken emotional states.
11. Ylang Ylang
Ylang Ylang is a deeply calming and sedative oil. It can help release feelings of anger and tension and mixes well with patchouli and frankincense.
Sage is cleaning and purifying and can assist in removing negative energies. It is grounding and restores both balance and energy.
4.Visualisation and manifestation
Visualisation is a mental technique that involves imagining yourself in a certain situation to help yourself actually get there in real life. It is believed that by using the power of imagination, visualisation can help you make progress towards achieving your goals, help reduce anxiety, and achieve mental clarity. Manifestation is the idea of bringing something you want into existence through aspirational-thought practices, including visualising such inspiration.
"Seeing" yourself succeed helps you believe that it can happen. In neuroscience, visualization activates more of the right brain’s creativity, intuition and inner peace which is balanced with the left brain's analytical and strategy building functions. Frequent visualisation is believed to help change neural pathways into achieving a more positive outlook on life. When you imagine every step of an event or activity going well, you get your mind and body ready to take those steps in real life.
Similar to meditation, using essential oils during your visualisation practice can be incredibly powerful as you are activating your olfactory system (i.e. the sense of smell). Fragrance is the language of the subconscious mind and your brain can associate the scent of the oil with the pictures you are evoking in your mind. In other words, using essential oils can help you ’see’ or be aware of what it is you want to manifest, which becomes more tangible and real. This occurs because the subconscious doesn’t distinguish between what is imagined and what is real.
Best essential oils to use for visualisation and manifestation
Peppermint is a popular oil for visualisation that is said to stimulate the mind to help support memory, focus, concentration, and mental performance.
2. Sweet orange
Citrus oils like lemon and orange are very uplifting to the mind and body. Lemon, when used aromatically, promotes physical energy and purification.
Bergamot oil helps us in the areas of self-love, self-worth, self-acceptance, self-judgment, and self-loathing. This oil helps do the work necessary to step out of one’s fears of not being good enough, and habits of holding back for fear of rejection.
In addition to alleviating depression and low mood, Frankincense is known as the “Oil of Truth”, revealing deceptiveness and false truths. It invites the individual to let go of lower vibrations, insults, and negativity. This oil helps create new perspectives based on integrity and enlightenment.
5. Patchouli Essential Oil
When diffused, Patchouli can help alleviate nervous tension and worry and is a soothing oil for meditation. The aroma removes nervous exhaustion and restlessness while also increasing mental activity in preparation for conscious dreams.
According to the NHS, there are different types of hypnotherapy whereby a hypnotherapist leads you into a deeply relaxed state and use agreed methods to help you towards your goals. Most people feel refreshed and relaxed and fully in control when under hypnosis. However, hypnotherapy is not recommended for people who have psychosis or certain types of personality disorder, as it could make such conditions worse.
We have five senses. Four of them — sight, touch, hearing, and taste — go through interpretive areas of the brain. In contrast, the sense of smell involves tiny molecules drift high up into the nose to a set of receptors linked directly to the olfactory bulb and a primitive part of the brain associated with emotions and memory. This provides a subconscious, unfiltered link between strong memories and aromas. Hypnotherapy, like the sense of smell, works at subconscious level to alter or influence behaviour. Using hypnosis and essential oils simultaneously offers multiple access points to the subconscious.
Thus, through combining essential oils with hypnotherapy, the healing benefits can be increased in a synergistic interaction of mind and senses manifesting a wellbeing experience. Hypnosis can be compared to active meditation, where we move past the analytical mind and connect with the subconscious part of the mind which can then be guided to support positive change. During your hypnotherapy journey, the sense of smell is activated and the scents of essential oils enhances the experience.
Reflexology is a technique that applies gentle pressure to your feet or hands. It aims to bring about a state of relaxation and help the body's own healing process. Reflexology works in a similar way to acupressure and acupuncture on certain points on the feet and hands. Reflexology rests on the ancient Chinese belief in qi or “vital energy.” According to this belief, qi flows through each person. When a person feels stressed, their body blocks qi. This can cause an imbalance in the body that leads to illness. Reflexology aims to keep qi flowing through the body, keeping it balanced and disease free.
Reflexologists can also apply essential oils to reflex points to enhance their treatment. The pores on the bottoms of your feet are the largest on your body. This makes your feet a uniquely absorbent place to apply essential oils that can help support your self-care routine. Applied topically, it takes only 2-3 minutes for an oil to reach the bloodstream.
Chakra Balancing is a form of energy healing that focuses on channelling energy into the seven chakras. The name “chakra” is the Sanskrit word for "wheel." In yoga, chakras are used to describe the way energy “moves” throughout the body. Each of the seven chakras are said to correlate with different abilities, expressions, and types of health. When we talk about treating chakras we are referring to treating the energetic body. Blocked chakras can manifest themselves in different ways. You could experience an emotional imbalance through negative feelings of insecurity, loneliness, and greed, or physical issues like headaches, indigestion, and colon problems.
Chakra healing and essential oils are a powerful combination for unblocking energy channels that flow between the chakras. Some holistic practitioners use essential oils to balance the chakras, with specific oils offering different effects for each chakra. They use essential oils for chakras to access the information contained within a chakra centre and to be able to direct very specific energies towards personal growth and healing.
Read our blog on Essential oils and Chakra healing