Although a therapy in its own right, aromatherapy can be enhanced by combining it with many other traditional therapies; such therapies include massage, reflexology, crystal healing, and Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient Indian practice that dates back thousands of years. Such medicine focuses on balancing the body: in mind, body, and spirit.
Within the traditional practice of Ayurvedic medicine is the element of Chakras. Chakras, when unbalanced, can cause a number of emotional and physical problems for the body. Combined with aromatherapy, it is possible to try to bring each Chakra back into balance with a suitable essential oil for a particular Chakra.
What are Chakras?Chakra is translated from the Sanskrit word for wheel. Chakras are tiny wheels that vibrate with “cosmic” energy; their existence was widely accepted by ancient cultures such as the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Indians, and Chinese. The center of each Chakra is “fixed” on a major nerve bundle and, although Ayurvedic medicine recognizes seven major Chakra centers aligned vertically along the spine, there are believed to be many more located within the body (Arewa, 2001).
Chakras do not “exist” anatomically but some theories do link them to the endocrine glands located within the body and the subsequent hormonal changes associated with each gland (Keville and Green, 2009).
Image source: The Relax Inn
The seven main Chakras are:
- solar plexus
- third eye
Chakras are believed to spin in a clockwise direction and transport energy throughout the body.
Balancing Chakras with Aromatherapy
Essential oils, in aromatherapy practice, can be assigned certain therapeutic properties that make them most suitable for one Chakra or another. This knowledge is drawn from ancient beliefs, practices, and current thinking of holistic healers.
Essential oils can be applied to a particular Chakra in order to bring the Chakra back into balance.
Methods of Application
Essential oils can be used to balance the Chakras in a couple of ways. Increasingly popular is the wearing of a Chakra bracelet. Each bead on the bracelet represents a Chakra. By anointing the bead associated with each Chakra, with the appropriate essential oil, it is thought to bring the Chakra back into balance.
A more direct method is the application of the essential oil to the Chakra on the body. The appropriate essential oils can be diluted in a carrier oil base and used to anoint each Chakra during mediation, quiet time, or a ceremony. Dilution rate should be 5% or less to avoid sensitivity to the skin.
Other ways of balancing the Chakras with aromatherapy include diffusing essential oils during yoga practice, personal inhalation, affirmations, and during quiet time or meditation.
The Seven Chakras and Essential Oils
Although there are several essential oils associated with Chakra balancing, the following essential oils can be used as a start:
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizaniodes) and frankincense (Boswellia carteri) for grounding, balancing, and unity.
Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) for balancing yin and yang; rose (Rosa damascena) to connect with spiritual love.
Solar Plexus Chakra:
Carrot seed (Daucus carota) to remove mental barriers; juniper (Juniperus communis) to protect your personal space.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) to recognize and use your skills; lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) to balance higher and lower Chakras.
German chamomile (Matricaria recutica) to be able to speak the truth calmly.
Third Eye Chakra:
Helichrysum (Helichrysum angustifolium) to encourage creativity; rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) for clarity of mind.
Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) to connect with the Divine.
Essential Oils for Chakras
Both the practice of aromatherapy and the practice of Ayuverdic medicine are practices which have been used for thousands of years. Although some concepts and understanding of each practice have changed over time, the basic principles remain the same.
- Arewa, Caroline Shola, 2001, The Way of Chakras UK: Thorsons
- Keville, Kathi, Green, Mindy, 2009, 2nd Edition, Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, US: Crossing Press