Annoint thyself with essential oils

Anoint thyself with essential oils
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on February 26, 2013.  Posted with permission.

kerry stewman

Kerry Stewman

It seems like medicine is coming full circle.  After 4,000 years, back to the garden seems like a good option. Essential oils are a good place to start for natural healing.

Start by sniffing them.  When it comes to senses, taste is over-rated.  Your taste buds can only detect about half-a-dozen flavors.  But your nose snags around 10,000 scents.  In fact, most of what we think we are tasting we are actually smelling.

Your nose offers a direct path to your central nervous system.  In your nose is a patch of neurons with protruding cilia. When objects evaporate, tiny molecules float up into your nose and meet the cilia. Once the molecules hit those neurons, not only do you smell something, but the molecules go to work in the body.

Clove oil can be pain-relieving.  Grapefruit lifts the mood.  Lavender soothes the mind and heals the skin.  Peppermint picks you up.

“Smell has weight,” said Kerry Stewman, licensed massage therapist and an Episcopal priest with Iona-Hope Church.

Stewman has logged hundreds of hours studying therapeutic benefits of essential oils.  As a general rule, essential oils shouldn’t be ingested, nor should they be applied directly to the skin.  Some of the best carriers for essential oils are organic massage oils such as almond, sesame or coconut oil or jojoba.  Or, try a few drops mixed with organic milk or jojoba in the bath.  A scented, hot water compress for your face.  A drop or two on your pillow.  Carry an inhaler.

Working with oils requires creativity and knowledge of their therapeutic properties.  Stewman has mixed oils for clients suffering from respiratory distress, insomnia, anxiety and sore muscles.  Some oils have anti-fungal and anti-microbial qualities.  Others are believed to enhance memory.  Some are aphrodisiacs. Still others are cleansing, detoxifying, cooling, healing.

It takes time and study to create exotic blends.  The oils are like music with top, middle, and base notes, or, better yet, frequencies.  When oils are blended from each note, they are called chords, and as expertise develops, they tend to be melodic.

Begin exploring oils with scents that resonate with you.  The body knows what it wants.

Notice the notes of your preferences.  The lower notes such as cedarwood, frankincense, ginger, myrrh, patchouli, and sandalwood, are, energetically, grounding scents.  They are calming and stabilizing.  Meanwhile, the higher notes such as basil, mints, citruses, and eucalyptus lift the energy.  Your attraction to different fragrances shifts as your body energy shifts.  You can even use oils to create a shift.

Earlier in my adult life, I always gravitated to amber, sandalwood, and patchouli base notes.  Yet, in recent years, I can’t get enough of lavender, rose and gardenia.

Metaphors, anyone?

For essential oil information, supplies, instructions and ideas, visit or


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