Aromatherapy for Women
Throughout history, in this patriarchal society, women have found it challenging to stand in their power as many times when they have been their most powerful, they have suffered cruelly. Even now, in some parts of the world women are being kept from power by not having a vote, by being chattel, by being ostracized from religious traditions, and by being kept from government positions. Women have been made to feel ashamed of their bodies and the natural flows of their cycles. Women have been made to feel “dirty” or unclean when menstruating and men have gone so far as to isolate menstruating women by sending them from society. Menstruation was considered “the curse”.
But what is interesting is that when a woman is in her menstrual flow, it is a time when she is in her most powerful state both emotionally and psychically. It is in the sacral chakra where the energy of a woman’s cycles is created and from where it flows. And it is this chakra that is considered the woman’s seat of power, where her inner strengths lie. The 2nd chakra is where a woman creates – not only new life as when she is pregnant, but also song, dance, art, and intuitive understanding. The Goddess sits on her throne in this lower abdominal energy, so when a woman is menstruating, it is a time when the energies are their most flowing, when heightened creativity can flow out. When a woman can truly enjoy being a woman.
But it seems in this busy age of deadlines and schedules, women can no longer take the time to connect to this powerful happening. They often have to over-ride their natural instincts to be quiet and go ‘into their cave’ to meditate and create. Yet is important to allow the natural rhythm of life to be celebrated and honored, otherwise the body creates signals of dis-ease and discontentment. Menstrual cramping, PMS, tension, irregular cycles all can be signs that the natural flow of energy is being interrupted.
Essential oils can help bring harmony and ease back for a more comfortable menstrual pattern. For premenstrual tension, burning oils in an aroma lamp can create a calming and relaxing atmosphere. Oils like clary sage, jasmine, rose, rosewood and ylang ylang can help bring an inner peace and contentment to stress and irritability. A soothing bath with these oils included can also bring balance to a tense energy pattern. Add aromatherapy candles to this bath experience and it can feel like sheer heaven! For water retention during PMS, oils such as cypress, fennel, juniper or geranium can help by either massaging the body with these oils in a carrier oil, or else by bathing in them. This releases the odema and stimulates stagnant fluid flow.
For menstrual cramping, massaging the belly in a clockwise direction with a carrier oil containing a combination of bergamot, clary, cypress, ginger, jasmine or peppermint oil can help to relieve symptoms; as can soaking in a warm bath with oils. Stimulating blood flow by placing a cloth impregnated with these oils over the belly with a hot pad on top can also work wonders with cramping.
For a woman, taking time to be with herself; time in quiet meditation or self-reflection at the beginning of her period can be powerful and profound. Inner secrets and truths can be more readily accessed when the psychic and intuitive feelings are heightened in this time of flow. Adding essential oils to one’s life during the menstrual cycles can really bring an added dimension to this energetic and healing time.