Award-winning 2019 bestselling new release (also published in Traditional Chinese), this hands-on guide demonstrates how essential oils can support and enhance meditative and mindful practices.
For millennia, the spiritual power of odour – such as from incense or frankincense – has been used to symbolise intention, stimulate awareness of our spiritual self, and accentuate rite and ritual. Drawing on this power, as well as their healing qualities, essential oils can provide the perfect complement to meditation or mindfulness practice.
Outlining the practice and benefits of meditation and mindfulness in combination with the use of essential oils, Heather Dawn Godfrey explains how these practices hone and sustain a conscious awareness of “being” in the present moment, focusing attention on what you are sensually experiencing and leaving no space for regrets, traumas, fears, anxiety, or anticipation. Providing the latest scientific research on the restorative, rehabilitative, and psycho-emotional healing effects of essential oils, she explains how the sensory experience of odours can immediately draw your attention to the present moment, trigger a specific state of consciousness, such as a deeper meditative state, or offer a way to regain composure quickly when dealing with life’s ups and downs. She shows how many essential oils naturally reduce stress and anxiety, promote a peaceful attitude, support concentration, regulate breathing, and stimulate serotonin and GABA pathways in the brain, making them ideal aids to mindfulness and meditation.
Explaining methods to incorporate essential oils into your practice, Godfrey introduces readers to the “Serenity” essential oils–a group of oils specifically selected for attaining and maintaining a state of mindfulness, as well as a broad spectrum of therapeutic properties–and she provides an easy-to-follow chart to help you select the oil that is right for you. Offering a hands-on practical guide to integrating essential oils into mindful and meditative practice, the author shows how each of us has the ability to self-generate a calm, tranquil, and worry-free state of mind.
Why is this book different?
Essential Oils for Mindfulness and Meditation brings these practices together in away that enables the reader to understand how they work, how they complement each other, and how to apply both effectively. This book provides knowledge and easy-to-follow instruction. Content is supported with evidence, both academic and experiential. There is also a bonus chapter providing information about diet and nutrition, relaxation, and basic exercise. A truly practical, holistic perspective; your ‘go to’ hand book.
Who is this book aimed at?
Short answer: anyone and everyone. Anyone who is interested in maintaining their locus of control over their health, wellbeing, and peace of mind. Meditation spans generations, genders, social and economic groups, and cultures. Although meditation is applied in religious practices, perhaps as focused intention or prayer, this does not mean the practice of meditation is itself religious. Meditation is a practical experiential process. Essential oils are antimicrobial and skin healing, and also influence psycho-emotional-spiritual dynamics, for example, they can enhance memory, uplift and ground mood and emotion. Anyone and everyone can derive benefit from one or both….so pleasantly.
Also available in traditional Chinese
Aromatherapy is a complex treatment modality that combines the influence of scent on the psyche and effect of the molecular activity from the essential oils [EOs] of flowers, trees, and grasses in the bloodstream. UK-licensed aromatherapist Godfrey presents a well-organized treatise on the use of EOs as companions to meditation, mindfulness, and relaxation, but goes beyond this initial premise to provide a thorough primer on how they work in the body and on the brain. Important safety and dosing guidelines are based on biochemical rationales for eight different application methods that can be applied to all kinds of EOs. After identifying 15 oils specifically known for their effectiveness in calming and focusing the mind, Godfrey details how each interacts with our physical and mental health. The last chapter includes complementary wellness techniques that probably belong in another book but nevertheless round out the material here. The extensive bibliography is a gem for anyone interested in further reading on the subject. VERDICT An excellent introduction to essential oils for beginner and intermediate-level aromatherapists as well as for readers seeking to enhance their self-care routines.
I wanted to read this book because its title included the words essential oils for mindfulness and meditation. Such a title presumes not only information about essential oils and their application for the mind and emotions, but points to the deeper esoteric use of essential oils and meditation together, as other books from Healing Arts Press have.
The book’s author, Heather Dawn Godfrey, PGCE, BSc is a highly accomplished author and therapist. Currently in private practice, she provides therapy in the United Kingdom for physical well-being and mental outlook. Her website is at aromantique.co.uk. She is also a Fellow of the International Federation of Aromatherapists, and member of theFederation of holistic Therapists (FHT).
A handbook in size and tone, Essential Oils for Mindfulness and Meditation summarises 3 areas: mindfulness, essential oils and their application, and complementary wellness. Seen as a lifestyle, the three would typify a healthy approach to body, mind, and spirit.
At the heart of the book, Godfrey discusses essential oils in all their practical aspects, how they affect the limbic structures of our brain, and their use, whether by inhalation or application to the body. Godfrey highlights the qualities of a group of 15 essential oils that offer the most calming benefits.
The author selected her set of oils to represent the psychological-emotional influence oils have on humans. She also advocates their use because among hundreds of essential oils, her list represents those that are the least irritating or those not known for causing discomfort or safety issues. She comments on a number of biological studies regarding the use of essential oils, substantiating their benefits.
Since we detect them by their scent, essential oils affect our senses first. We are aware of scent as a collection of “notes,” a word that denotes the relative position of scents to each other: top, middle, and base. In the list of 15, Lavender and Frankincense are examples of middle and base notes, respectively, while Cajeput and Galbanum are top notes. Top, middle, and base note information is worth knowing for effective blending, but also because essential oils are volatile—they evaporate easily, and at different rates.
A leading essential oil in terms of popularity is Lavender. From the graphic tables in the text, we see how Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) affects the limbic structures of the brain which then impacts our endocrine and autonomic nervous systems. When you smell Lavender essential oil, you open up the possibility of relieving anger, depression, and grief, as well as other difficult situations you may encounter.
Emotions or reactions such as joy and fear, Godfrey says, are psychological responses which can be addressed with essential oils. This kind of detailed study of scents brings together the sciences of neurology, anatomy, biology and provides rationale for the use of essential oils when we are suffering emotional strain or psychological stress.
Another aspect of using essential oils is to apply them in specific ways for the results you want. Godfrey’s descriptions of containers and diffusers are helpful when deciding between simply inhaling a scent, rubbing it onto your wrists or temples, or selecting from the many types of diffusers available.
Finally, the author proposes that living a healthy life, with exercise, relaxation and a clean diet, is how you’ll create the conditions in your lifestyle that are conducive to optimal health.
Essential Oils for Mindfulness and Meditation is a package of information on living your life for optimal health because you need all parts of your being–body, mind, and spirit to function well. The author’s intent was for the pieces to work together, holistically, for this to occur. From her perspective it can be achieved by adopting her routines for body–complementary techniques; mind–the right essential oils; and spirit–mindfulness and meditation.
Essential Oils for Mindfulness and Meditation’s best parts are the ones which show distinctions between essential oils, how they are capable of providing relief from stress, and how they relate to our least understood body part, our brain. Most of all, the use of essential oils in the areas of emotion and psychology are clearly connected to science and may be taken seriously as a type of medicine for stress.
Essential Oils for Mindfulness and Meditation by Heather Dawn Godfrey is a comprehensive guide on how to best use oils for health and well being. Using the right oils to get the best results for your meditations is one subject that I really enjoyed studying. It’s a hands on book that teaches as it goes. A wonderful resource book that I think that everyone will be able to use whether you are really into oils or jut dabble. I loved it.