It’s not surprising that the busier we become, the more we are searching for spirituality in our lives. Whether that is in the form of organized religion or seeking higher consciousness, just a quick look at some search results reinforce this:
- 683,000,000 Google hits for "spirituality"
- 450 plus meditation apps in the app store
- 10,289 research articles on National Library of Medicine (PubMed) for spirituality
Spirituality can be defined as:
"The quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things."
Symptoms of spiritual distress can include:
- Feelings of anger and hopelessness
- Addictive behavior
- Feelings of depression and anxiety
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling abandoned by God
- Questioning the meaning of life
- Questioning the meaning of suffering
- Questioning beliefs
- Doubting your previous spiritual belief systems
- Chronic negativity
It seems the more we have the more we lose doesn’t it?
A study done by King DE and Bushwick B. states that 94% of patients admitted to the hospital for their study believed that spiritual health is as important as physical health.
This study also found that 77% believe that their physician should consider their patients spiritual needs.
Dr. Jeff Levin, PhD, MPH, who has done extensive research on the matter, went as far to make the bold statement:
“By excluding matters of spirit from clinical research and practice, physicians run the risk of leaving out a large piece of what it means to be a human being. If physicians sincerely wish to treat the whole person , they will first have to see their patients as more than just a body and a personality, or, worse, a collection of isolated organ systems.”
Functional Aromatherapy® is about treating the whole person. About understanding that “all the petals complete the flower”.
Lets’s look at how this connects.
When one typically thinks of spirituality, two parts of our bodies are mentioned: mind and heart. In Aromatherapy, inhalation is the fastest way to quiet the mind.
We use our limbic system (physical) to process the inhalation. Settling our mind seems to settle our heart in this care.
In other cases, people use meditation as a form of spirituality, like yoga, to connect our mind and heart together. Using Aromatic Medicine during these times can strengthen and build this mind heart connection.
Gabriel Mojay in his book Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit uses a Chinese Medicine model in his exploration of mind and spirit. He incorporates the yin and yang polarities to this thought process.
In Functional Aromatherapy we bring all these ideas together to create the petal of Spirituality. Using oils we can make time for ourselves and how we want to live.
We believe that the key to all spirituality is in gratitude. Gratitude for everything you have.
Whether you are giving gratitude to God, to the universe, to Allah, to Uncle George that has recently passed. It doesn’t matter. The minute you put your gratitude into the world you change the energy field around you and like a pebble in a pond, eventually it vibrates out.
It is known that plants can feel and hear energy patterns.
Look at YouTube for the strawberry experiment, where two strawberries are put in two separate containers and are from the same plant. The strawberry that is told "I hate you" grew mold, the one that is told "I love you" does not.
Are the plants picking up on the words? No, they don’t understand that, but they do understand the energy that those words give in our language.
So if words can do that to plants, what can words internally and externally do to us? Do we grow mold on our hearts? Maybe.
Cleveland clinic states that Candida, a fungus otherwise known as Thrush, can be caused by stress. So maybe yes, we do grow mold and fungus in our body because of less that stellar spiritual practices.
Putting it to practice.
When dealing with the spirituality petal, although aromatherapy can make a big impact, here are some other suggestions to ease spiritual distress.
University College in London has just done research on how long it takes to make something a habit.
In 1960’s Maxwell Maltz, a cosmetic surgeon, said 21 days although it was never studied or researched. Recently University College has and has found that it actually takes 66 days to form a habit, so a little over two months.
Spirituality starts with habits. You can’t just wake up one day and start a new habit. You will most likely fail. You need to think about it. Plan for it.
Pick one oil that resonates with you. This is hard to gauge for this petal because what may work clinically for you, may not work mentally.
This will be the first part of your spiritual practice.
If you need help knowing where to start, look to the citruses for energy, to Frankincense, Myrrh and Patchouli for depth, or Lavender, Coriander, or Neroli for sweet plant smells.
A simple sniff of the oil, whether from an inhaler or cotton ball, with a simple word of gratitude in the morning is a simple start to enhancing spirituality.
To go further there are journals out there that you can write your gratitude for the day, or even put it in your phone.
Using resins of Frankincense, myrrh and opoponax (sweet myrrh) on a charcoal disk while doing yoga is another way to bring spirituality and aromatic medicine together.
Besides giving you that deep feeling the resins are known for, the aroma also helps you calm your mind and help your anxiety, build up your respiratory systems, assist your digestive system and help your heart.
Making a cream for your body as part of your gratitude habit is wonderful in itself so as you go to rest you can assist in insomnia and other issues that ail you. For instance, marjoram, lavender, tea tree, nialoui and bergamot for digestive issues, like candida.
So how will you bring about spiritual balance and decrease your spiritual distress for more complete lifestyle wellness?