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Frankincense, Vetiver and Mindfulness


Frankincense is an oil I use a lot in my practice. It has been used for not just centuries but millennia as an aid to achieving a meditative state of mind, long before the Catholic Church started using it and of course it was one of the gifts given by the three wise men to the baby Jesus.

As an oil it is an anti inflammatory agent which helps with many skin conditions but it is for its psychological properties that I value it most in my practice.  Along with Vetiver which also has a long history of use in temples, these two oils are probably the best oils for helping those who suffer from anxiety. Along with their action of stilling the mind, they are also effective in working with depression and it is through a long time working with those with severe mental health problems that I saw in practice that what I learned while training in Aromatherapy actually worked with these two oils.

I have used these two oils in conjunction with massage for almost 30  years now and it never ceases to strike me how they help me to stay centred while working and help me do a better massage.

When I still worked in mental health, I specialised at one time in therapy with those who suffered from PTSD and also Borderline Personality disorder. Two groups with a lot of crossover between them and who both really benefit from practising mindfulness.  Massage using these oils really helped them achieve this. But you can also use them in a vapouriser for a maximum of about half an hour at a time. I tend to favour Frankincense over Vetiver for this means of delivery as some people get a headache if they breathe in too much of the aroma of Vetiver.

I have recently discovered Brazilian Frankincense which has a slightly greener aroma and is a little more cooling in its action. It shares many of the same properties and its cooling action amkes it the choice for eczema and related conditions but also good for those who struggle to hold their temper.

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