Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blogathon Article: Karine Johnston

I've had the pleasure of working with Karine Johnston after having met at the 2009 Holistic Happening.  She has kindly donated to the Blogathon and given us a great article on essential oils!  Thank you very much, Karine. :)

Do Essential Oils Feed the Brain?

  Have you ever wondered whether there were natural alternatives to traditional psychotherapeutic drugs like Prozac and Abilify?

Luckily, the answer is yes! Nature has given us what are called essential oils.

Essentials oils are the potent liquids pressed from plants and are often referred to as the soul or essence of the plant. Though they are the by-products of secondary plant metabolism and not essential to plant life, essential oils are nature’s natural medicines and have been used in healing and spiritual anointing since before written history. For medicinal uses, scent is not a priority as some indispensable healing oils actually have funky smells, such as Helichrysum italicum, also known as Immortelle. This oil has curative and restorative properties and luckily only a few drops are needed.

Essential oils are electro-magnetic in nature and governed by the laws of “qi” (or “chi”) flow. Essential oils deeply modulate neuroendocrine functions through neuropeptide activation and so are helpful in treating psychological, physiological and energetic imbalances in an all natural manner – a manner in which your body recognizes as biosynergistic, without any digestive burden.
Essential oil molecules are small enough to cross the blood-brain barrier and able to enter into the brain. So, essential oils are profound tools that do affect the brain’s chemistry. The brain recognizes essential oil molecules as natural and instinctively “knows” how to process them without any digestive burden, as opposed to chemically synthesized medicine like Prozac where there is always a toxic load on the organs.
Essential oils nourish many of the body's systems by carrying oxygen and other nutrients to the cells. The cells of the brain are no different than others in this regard. Essential oils contain a mixture of both large and small compounds – molecules small enough to cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain itself.
Essential oils trigger areas in the brain (e.g. the amygdala) that relate to the emotions – the parts of the brain that store trauma and pleasure, as well as memory. This is why essential oils are helpful in psychotherapy to help release fears and change belief systems. It also explains why smelling the same oil while studying and writing a test helps with recall of information.

Essential Oils for Better Learning

Almost any essential oil can help with learning and studying skills, depending on your needs: most oils have either stimulating or sedative properties, either refreshing the mind or calming those who are worried about their performance. Be aware, however, that results will vary greatly with the quality of the essential oils used – adulterated oils (poorly pressed, or with junk chemicals added) can make people feel drowsy or distracted.
Several oils are known in particular for their ability to improve mental acuity and focus. These are: frankincense which stimulates the limbic system; rosemary which clarifies the  and the emotions; and peppermint which boost energy, creativity and learning skills.
For the animal lovers, essential oils are safe to use on dogs and horses, but do keep them away from cats as they do not have the proper liver enzymes to process the oils.

Karine Johnston is a licensed psychotherapist (LICSW) in private practice with specialty training in individual, marriage and family therapy; as well as systems work, group therapy and trauma recovery.
Karine is a holistic psychotherapist and helps clients stimulate a greater awareness of one’s inner life and unifying the bridge that connects body, mind, and spirit. She studies Ayurvedic Medicine, Yoga Philosophy (she is a yoga instructor), Shamanism, Sufi Mysticism, and Holistic Care for People and Pets beyond her traditional studies in psychotherapy (which include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Couple's Therapy). She currently offers therapy alongside her beloved K-9 Mika, a certified Therapy Dog, and Napoleon, a therapy-dog-in-training. 
Karine is also an aromatherapist and has created Holistic Aromalogy™ a line of essential oil products for psychological well-being, to help issues such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and ADHD/ADD. For more information on products please visit
Karine is committed to a holistic perspective and would welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and offer you the most compassionate and natural service in the psychotherapy field today.
For additional information on products and services please visit
and or Karine can be reached at 508-615-0551 (located in Central Massachusetts).

Thank you, again, Karine! 
If you enjoyed this article, consider joining Karine in supporting the Bay State Equine Rescue by clicking on the apple below and donating securely through PayPal.  Thank you!

Click the apple to donate now to help the BSER horses!


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