Soothing the Senses: Gulf Weekly Online


By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

According to advocates in Bahrain who believe that traditional therapies can play an important role in modern life, if used correctly, ancient mood-boosting oils become an essential tool in the fight against stress.

Essential oils are concentrated extracts from the roots, leaves, seeds or flowers of a plant to retain its smell and flavor. They can be made up of 20 to 100 natural chemical compounds that impact the body in many ways as part of the aromatherapy armor.

“There’s a massive boom of people turning to nature to support their health and lifestyle,” said Bahrain-based clean life educator Magdalena Cervenkova. “Essential oils have been around for thousands of years, so it’s no surprise that more and more people are discovering their benefits.”

Studies have shown that essential oils can help improve mood, relieve stress and anxiety as well as improve sleep and relieve headaches.

Other supporters include Bahraini therapist Fati AlSaad and German physiotherapist and aromatherapy expert Verena Reinfelder.

Magdalena, 39, began studying clinical herbalism and homeopathy after having her two children.

“Before becoming a mum, I spent 15 years in private aviation traveling all over the world,” said Czech-born Magdalena, who lives in Diyar. “It was when I got pregnant with my eldest that I started exploring essential oils and how to use them on a daily basis.

“I was totally blown away by what the oils could do for me and how they helped me take care of my baby.

“I have also incorporated essential oils into my skincare and my skin has been transformed – finally giving me the confidence to stop wearing makeup. I also use essential oils in all aspects of my life for cleansing, cooking , help me sleep and manage big emotions or daily stress.

“I continue to pursue my passion for essential oils, herbs and everything involved in ‘healthy living’. I always educate myself through research, books and courses.

One of her favorite blends is lavender, frankincense and cedarwood producing what she describes as a “soft, uplifting scent that makes her feel instantly at home.” She likes to diffuse it during bedtime to help set the mood for sleepy hours.

Eucalyptus is Fati’s favorite essential oil as she says it’s great for breathing, relaxing and can also be energizing.

“I also love incense,” said Fati, 39, who is an educator who has studied Reiki healing, Pranic healing and the foundations of basic process psychotherapy, and resides in the Amwaj Islands.

“One of my favorite blends is actually eucalyptus with frankincense and lavender. It’s delicious for a tired mind and body. Another blend I like is rose and clove. Clove. The warmth of clove and the sweetness of rose come together beautifully, creating an embodied sensation. It’s great for ingrained self-love and confidence in my opinion.

She added that the combination plays an important role because “too much or too pure” amounts can irritate the skin.

Fati began using essential oils and making his own blends soon after high school, and his research deepened as he got older.

She started making her own oils in 2016 and her family and friends quickly picked them up.

“It feels good to help people in a way that is simple and accessible to everyone,” she added. “I even gladly give my recipe to people if they want to make their own at home. The joy isn’t just finding out what you can put together.

She also advises people to trust their noses and their reactions to smells. “Take time and allow yourself an inner awareness of how a particular fragrance or blend of fragrances makes you feel, as opposed to ‘follow or wait for what it says on the bottle,'” she said. added. “I use aromatherapy by burning incense at home or making blends that I use as body oils, or even in hot salt baths.

“I think more people are now aware of oils and aromatherapy. However, it’s important not to follow something like a trend, but rather to understand what is healthy for you on a personal level and work with it. Just because something relaxes me doesn’t mean it will work the same for you.

Verena, also a mother of two children, was introduced to essential oils during her professional training as a physiotherapist in Germany. At that time, she had no interest in essential oils and thought they might be “good smelling placebos”. Indeed, when she was offered to take an aromatherapy course as part of her training as a physiotherapist, she kindly refused.

“I only started diving into aromatherapy in 2019 after they helped me and my son so much,” said the 40-year-old from Manama who moved to the kingdom in 2009. to work as a head of physiotherapy at the German Orthopedic Hospital. “I decided to deepen my knowledge and took an aromatherapy diploma program, as well as other courses with the Tisserand Institute.

“I now have a whole new perspective on health and essential oils are helping me to stay proactive about my health. What I never realized back then was the immense effect of essential oils on our emotions.

According to Verena, smell has an immediate impact through nerve connections to the limbic system, where people process their emotions. It can stimulate and influence mood, behavior and feelings.

After discovering all the possibilities that essential oils can offer, she felt empowered to teach others how to enjoy their benefits as well. Verena added that there are over 20,000 studies on essential oils. “Certain oils can promote the release of melatonin, which helps us fall asleep, or stimulate our parasympathetic system, which helps us relax,” Verena says.

“Other essential oils support increased oxygen levels in the brain, which is good for our focus, and the list goes on and on. You just need to find the right essential oil for your body and you will be blown away by the positive impact!

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