By Ellen Brenner, Certified Aromatherapist
Happy New Year!
If you are like me, the advent of a new year brings the desire for a fresh start. New Year, New You!
Tradition and popular culture tell us to set new goals and go, go, go! But, many of us find our resolutions lose our attention until the best of our intentions melt away with the winter snow.
Most often, our resolutions revolve around the most surface level of our beings — our physicality and our personality. On a physical level we often focus on our looks and fitness. Exercise more. Eat better. Lose weight. On a personality level, we might focus on better behaviors. Be kinder. Be more patient. Listen more.
While the desire and success of these outcomes are worthwhile, I believe we need to start by going below the surface, where our longer-term well-being is more deeply rooted within our inner selves. When we start from the inside out, we support whole being by removing blocks to our better selves.
Our physicality and our personality are often the most visible to ourselves and others, so it can feel natural to want to start there. But, this can be akin to trying to tune up your car’s transmission by changing the tires.
When we start with making over our outward selves, we may be ignoring issues influencing us from within. Left to fester, these concerns can manifest as symptoms we experience more externally.
If you ignore checking and changing the oil in your car’s engine, eventually you are going to run into transmission trouble. This is true with our own innermost workings as well.
So, I suggest switching gears. Instead of focusing first on resolutions for regimens to polish up our outsides, let’s start by setting our intentions to restore our sense of vibrancy from the inside out by releasing our natural energy flow.
Tuning In and Tuning Up our Chakras
In holistic approaches to care, we talk about mind, body and spirit. Together, these three interconnected aspects of our selves comprise our whole being and impact our overall well-being.
When we are working with the “spirit” part of our being, we can also refer to that as our subtle body. Our subtle body is that most amorphous part of our being. It includes our natural energy flow which we may be considered as our our life force. It is what animates us and brings a sense of vitality and vibrancy when we are in balance.
When this vital balance to our natural energy flow is disrupted by stress, negative thinking, wounds or traumas, it can bog down and create blocks. Left over the long-term, these blocks can begin to impact our overall well-being.
One way of tuning in to our natural energy flow is through the chakra system which comes to us from ancient Ayurvedic medicine and modern energy balancing techniques. From this perspective, we have 7 major chakras aligned along our spine located in ascending order from base to crown. Each chakra intersects with specific functions of our mind and body.
These chakras, which translate to “wheel” take in energy and move it throughout our beings as they turn. Our overall well-being depends on these chakras being open, and their ability to move energy through a pathway of freely flowing open channels from one location to the next.
This state of being in balance supports our bodies’ own natural healing mechanisms. When our chakras are out of balance, it can bog down our vibrancy and sense of vitality leaving us feeling flat in mind and body. Disruptions in our energy flow, left unchecked, can create blockages that affect our ability to bounce back into a state well-being eventually appearing as physical concerns and conditions.
The good news is we have the ability to tune in and tune up by adding some self-balancing technique to our self-care routines.
Simple Ways to Start
This blog is not intended to deal with the deepest of imbalances, but rather to introduce you to some simple steps to get us started . Like aromatherapy, the study of our chakra system and its effects on our wellness can be an endless exploration of study — an exciting one that I encourage, if it interests you.
What we want to do here, is to begin by checking under our hood to see where we might need to nourish and replenish our sense of vitality. If we can do a tune-up ourselves, great! But if there are more serious issues, it is always worth considering professional support.
Instead of waging war with our superficial selves, we are going to practice peace within our innermost selves. To tune into our own inner workings, we are going to look at some common imbalances with each chakra, see if they might inspire our own inner awareness, and add some simple self-balancing techniques.
Aromatherapy combined with practices to be present and purposeful in calming the mind, body and spirit, can create a wonderful synergy to enhance our experience in restoring our sense of balance, harmony and well-being within our whole being.
In this practice of subtle aromatherapy we use aromatic essences to help support balance in our natural energy flow by choosing those that can resonate with certain chakras . You can read our previous blog, “What Exactly is Subtle Aromatherapy” for more detailed information.
I hope this information will inspire you in getting started with a new and better you from the inside out, while encouraging you to continue your exploration to enhancing your wellness from within.
Choosing a Synergy to Support Your Chakras
When you embark on an expanded study of subtle aromatherapy, you will find many ways to choose essential oils to enhance balance in your chakra system.
For the beginner, those on the go, and experienced practitioners alike, Plant Therapy offers the Chakra Synergy Essential Oils for ease in accessing your practice. Each synergy was created with the intention of supporting balance in for each of the unique chakras.
To invite inspiration and intuition, I have offered some examples below of experiences so common they get expressed in our everyday language. These are often outward reflections of an inner imbalance, though we may not have thought of them that way.
If you find these resonate with your experience, you will find the chakra most often associated with these concerns, as well as suggested synergies and self-balancing practices. Please keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list, but simply a guidepost to start you on your own exploration through introspection and greater self-awareness.
“She is such a worry wart.”
Possible Imbalance: 1st Chakra/Root
Location: Base of Spine
In Balance: a sense safety, security, and trust in the world, while feeling grounded and present in our body.
Synergy: Grounded Foundation
Intention: Use to help ground, soothe, calm and relax when you are feeling disconnected and distressed. Helps to create a sense of security, protection and hope.
“I get bad vibes from her.”
Possible Imbalance: 2nd Chakra/Sacral
Location: Lower Abdomen
In Balance: Ability to experience emotional security, passion and pleasure in creative expression and connection to others.
Synergy: Joyful Creation
Intention: Encourages harmony, warmth, and enthusiasm in relationships. Helps to clear energetic blocks related to relationships and creative expression.
“She doesn’t stands up for herself.”
Possible Imbalance: 3rd Chakra/Solar Plexus
Location: Solar Plexus
In Balance: Sense of self-esteem, self-worth, self-respect and self-confidence while retaining warmth and graciousness toward others.
Synergy: Self Manifestation
Intention: Strengthens our sense of self-empowerment with enthusiasm, stamina and motivation. Nourishes our sense of self-worth with courage, confidence and optimism.
“She is cold-hearted.”
Possible Imbalance: 4th Chakra/Heart
Location: Center of Breast Bone
In Balance: Open to love, acceptance, forgiveness and compassion for self and others
Synergy: Loving Compassion
Intention: Comforting and calming, this synergy helps to ease wounds of the heart and nourish the spirit. Promotes unconditional love for self and others with compassion and acceptance.
“She sounds so phony.”
Possible Imbalance: 5th Chakra/Throat
Location: Center of Throat
In Balance Ability to identify and speak your true needs while in integrity with yourself and others.
Synergy: True Expression
Intention: Use this synergy to support clear communication in integrity with yourself and others. Helps to connect to our inner essence, as well as higher consciousness, so that we may know and outwardly express our authentic selves through truth.
“She has no vision.”
Possible Imbalance: 6th Chakra/Throat
Location: Center of Throat
In Balance: Ability to clearly “see” conceptually and symbolically through intuition, perception, visualization and imagination.
Synergy: Clear Intuition
Intention: Use this synergy to quiet the conscious mind and encourage introspection. Promotes the ability to “clearly see” through intuition, insights and clarity. Invites creation energy and inspires possibility.
“She seems to have lost her way.”
Possible Imbalance: 7th Chakra/Crown
Location: Top of Head
In Balance: Sense of connection to a higher consciousness, higher purpose, and higher self while remaining firmly grounded.
Synergy: Higher Connection
Intention: Use to help strengthen your purpose and ability to connect to higher spiritual consciousness. Gently encourages strength in our spiritual growth to know greater love and deeper purpose.
Choose a Mindfulness Practice
Subtle aromatherapy works best in combination with mindfulness practices to help bring balance to our well-being. You may wish to choose from these practices below, or perhaps you already have something that works best for you.
Intentions – setting a clear purpose and using your synergy with that purpose in mind.
Suggested Usage: direct inhalation
Affirmations – replacing negative thoughts positive thoughts in the present tense
Suggested Usage: direct inhalation, anointing
Visualization – using your mind’s eye to create a healing image on which to focus.
Suggested Usage: diffusion, direct inhalation, anointing
Meditation – calming the conscious mind to allow for inward introspection and higher information
Suggested Usage: diffusion, direct inhalation, anointing
Choose a Method of Application
Once you have chosen your chakra to bring into balance, selected your synergy for support, and focused on a practice to bring balance, it is important how best to integrate your aromatic essences to enhance your experience.
You will find below some suggested methods of application for the chakra synergies in combination with each mindfulness practice, but feel free to choose what works best for you.
Because you are working with your spirit, or subtle body, we recommend you use these synergies at much less intensity than you would for your emotional and physical needs so as not to overwhelm the senses.
Topical Application – dilute to 1% in jojoba carrier oil or organic fractionated coconut carrier oil. You may wish to anoint your chakra pulse points, or nearby areas of the body. For the first chakra, you may use the soles of the feet and/or touch behind the knees.
Combination – add drops diluted to 1% to the hands and then anoint the chakra, pulse point or body area desired. Then, bring the hands up to inhale and relax into a mindful balancing practice.