“As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled, so I, born in the world, raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world
To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals.”
The Buddha -- Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Aromatherapy with Floracopeia

When we breathe that perfume, we are breathing the breath of the living soil. ~ David Crow

I am having so much fun playing with the essential oils from Floracopeia. It's like creating therapeutic painting with beautiful scents :-)

I went to a 5 days aromatherapy certification retreat early September (9/7-9/11) and met so many wonderful people. I flew to to Sacramento from Long Beach and shared the drive with my two new friends Pamela and Sara to the retreat. The scenic drive was quite beautiful and many times it reminded of the drive to my favorite Yosemite National Park. We made a short stop at downtown Nevada City and i had a wonderful custom order crepe (with organic bacon, cheese, garlic, pesto, kale) from the roadside tent stand. We arrived at retreat center at around 4:30pm and checked into our rooms. I shared a big room with 4 bunk beds, 1 twin, 1 full bed with only one roommate, Lisa, who was so nice and we got along great! :-)

The intensive and interesting lectures were given by the eloquent David Crow (i love his book "In Search of the Medicine Buddha") and the knowledgeable Jade Shutes. Everyday we started with the optional Yoga exercise at 7am until 8am when breakfast was served. Then the lectures began until 1pm to break for lunch then lecture continued at 2pm until 6pm break for dinner, then lecture again from 7pm to almost 10pm! There was so much material that at time it seemed quite overwhelming to me but i savor every moment of it. I love the hand-on sessions which we got to created aromatic massage oil and spritzer. Jade created for each of us a natural version of Vics, and an inhaler. Jade's lecture on blending was great! I found David's slide presentation of the plants where the essential oils came from quite excellent. I particularly love the smelling of the oils where each of us got a perfumed strip dipped in oil and learn how to appreciate the aroma. David's meditative approach to savoring the scent was quite profound, imho. I also love the idea of incorporating concept of Ayurveda into aromatherapy.

We did have some breaks during the lectures so i got to walk to the nice 'shady creek' one afternoon and one time before breakfast to have a few meditative minutes with my roomate Lisa.

I also went to visit the organic garden where some of the vegetables we ate came from.

The beautiful retreat center Shady Creek was about 30 minute north of the charming little town of Nevada City ( i can see myself living here :-) ). The main lecture hall was beautifully built with a wooden dome shape and skylight at the top.

We had all of our meals outside and the weather was perfect.

The delicious vegetarian food was mostly if not all organic which get a big thumb up from me! The salad bar was full of colors and the beautiful home-grown heirloom tomato was so meaty, juicy, and sweet. I am not a raw tomato fan yet i kept loading my plate with the delicious chunks. There were about 8 different kinds of dressings ranging from the regular range to tahini, rasberry, avocado ... and even wild dulse from the Atlantic. The cooked food was also hearty, flavorful and so were the wonderful cookies, scones, croissants, and a wide variety of organic herbal teas.

The retreat was truly a fantastic introduction to the world of aromatherapy for me. The Floracopeia staff was outstanding. I had a great time meeting people from all over the US as well as some from Japan, Brazil ... with different background but have the same interest in hollistic medicine and healthy lifestyle.

Since returning from the retreat i have been creating many synergies for spritzer, diffuser, and massage oil and gave them to family, friends to try, besides myself of course since i have been having problem with sleeping ( too much exciting readings :-) ) and muscle pain ( maybe from my Yoga workout :-) ) ... I am still learning the therapeutic effects of the oils so it's fascinating to experiments with the 24 oils i got from the learning kit. Some of my favorite scents are pinon pine, silver fir, and the uplifting citrus oils like mandarin, lemon, bergamot. The heavy, grounding, and meditative aromas like vertiver, patchouli, frankincense ... are more like acquired taste at the moment.

Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit: Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils
The Art of Aromatherapy: The Healing and Beautifying Properties of the Essential Oils of Flowers and Herbs
The Practice of Aromatherapy: A Classic Compendium of Plant Medicines and Their Healing Properties
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health - Beauty - a Safe Home Environment