© The Herbal Health Coach 2023
The Herbal Health Coach Health & Wellness Magazine - Autumn 2021 Issue
- What’s On
- Feature: Acupuncture May Stimulate Anticancer Immunity via Activation of Natural Killer Cells
- Feature: Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Part 3 – Esoteric & Spiritual Applications
- Article: Skin Care and Why It’s Important
- Contracting before Expanding
- Feature: Acupuncture May Stimulate Anticancer Immunity via Activation of Natural Killer Cells
Welcome to our Autumn issue. We hope you will enjoy the articles we have included in this issue and find the interesting and informative.
Article - Acupuncture May Stimulate Anticancer Immunity via Activation of Natural Killer Cells
by Michael Francis Johnston, Elizabeth Ortiz S‘anchez, Nikola L. Vujanovic, and Wenhui Li
This article presents the hypothesis that acupuncture enhances anticancer immune functions by stimulating natural killer (NK)cells. It provides background information on acupuncture, summarizes the current scientiﬁc understanding of the mechanismsthrough which NK cells act to eliminate cancer cells, and reviews evidence that acupuncture is associated with increases in NK cellquantity and function in both animals and humans. The key contribution of this article involves the use of cellular immunology and molecular biological theory to interpret and synthesize evidence from disparate animal and human studies in formulatingthe ‘acupuncture immuno-enhancement hypothesis’: clinicians may use acupuncture to promote the induction and secretion of NK-cell activating cytokines that engage speciﬁc NK cell receptors that endogenously enhance anticancer immune function.
For reasons we describe below, we think that one acupuncture point is pivotal although we also expect that treatment protocols involving synergistic points will produce better results. But this detail should not distract the reader from our overall theme:acupuncture can be employed to improve the function and level of NK cells. Our main theme is of great importance to patients with cancer (and the conventional providers who treat them) because NK cells are immune cells known to play a key role in directly killing cancer cells and regulating anticancer immune functions [16–18]. To develop the hypothesis that acupuncture enhances endogenous anticancer immune functions with implications for molecular-level carcinogenic control, we begin with a primer on acupuncture and a review of studies that have investigated the impact of acupuncture stimulation on NK cell function in animals and humans. We then provide an overview of the advancing molecular biological under-standing of NK cells. Our key contribution follows in the subsequent section, where we harness cellular immunology and molecular biological theories to interpret and integrate disparate research ﬁndings in formulating a hypothesis.
Speciﬁcally, we hypothesize that acupuncture stimulation enhances NK cell stimulating cytokines and NK cell anti-cancer cytotoxic activity and proliferation through speciﬁc cellular and molecular mechanisms, thus enhancing host resistance to cancer in both rodents and humans. As a ﬁnale, we assess the evidential basis of our hypothesis and point to fresh research frontiers
You can access the whole article here
Article - Feature Article
Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Part 3 - Esoteric & Spiritual Applications
by Susan L. Siegenthaler
The third and final part of this three part series on Aromatherapy and Essential oils deals with the more esoteric aspects of Essential oils. There is a long history of Essential oils being used for spiritual purposes and in rituals. Incense is just one example of essential oils being used in religious ceremonies and for inducing a ‘spiritual’ environment.
The Way Essential Oils Effect the Etheric Body or Psycho-spiritual Level
The historical use of aromatic oils and resins goes back many thousands of years in human history and traverses many cultures and civilizations on our planet.
In China, incense was burned to purify the atmosphere and rid the environment of evil spirits, in India, incense was and is used in all temples of all persuasions to sanctify the devotions; in Mexico, incenses were used in rituals to induce trance-like states in the participants to make them more accepting in their role of living sacrifice to the Gods; in Northern Europe the Druids used incenses which were sacred to the Earth Mother; the Greeks and Romans also used essential oils and fragrant herbs in all aspects of their daily lives, and many of their practices were learned from the Egyptians and Mesopotamians who were without doubt, the absolute masters in the Art of “Aromatherapy”.
The first people to dispense aromatics as medicines in Ancient Egypt were the priests – they were the first Aromatherapists. As the use of aromatic substances became more common, they were also used by the physicians.
At Heliopolis, the city dedicated to Ra the Sun-God, incense was burned 3 times a day: sunrise, noon, and sunset. This incense was called Kuphi or Kyphi and contained 16 ingredients including cassia, Calamus, Citronella, Cinnamon, Peppermint, Pistacia, Juniper, Acacia, Henna, Cypress, Myrrh, Raisins, Frankincense, and Morning Glory.
Aromatherapy was used in the healing temples in both Egypt and later in Greece, which also incorporated the use of colour healing utilizing solar light. Great glass windows of various colours were built in to the ceilings of these temples at specific points, corresponding with the journey of the sun across the sky. The patient was placed in the stream of coloured light and incense was burned or oils applied to the patient as need dictated. This form of healing is called Heliotherapy.
Even as recently as the Middle Ages in Europe, fragrant herbs were known to possess special healing properties by virtue of their fragrances, and were burned in the streets to counteract the odour and ill effects of the poor hygiene of the times. During the time of the Great Plague this method was also used to antisepticise the air.
Essential Oils, via their own innate LIFE FORCE ENERGY, can help change energy imbalances in our Aura (Etheric body). They can adjust the way in which we perceive, feel and think about both ourselves and our environment working from the Spiritual Level ‘downwards’.
They can help us have a more positive, relaxed or energetic mood, help us to concentrate better, develop our “psychic awareness”, and act as a bridge to help us access “deeper” or “higher” levels of consciousness. This function of Essential Oils overlaps with the effects oils have on the Brain, but it must be remembered that the Nervous and Hormonal Systems are the physical “translators” of the Etheric dimensions.
The use of Aromatic plants as Incense in religious and ritual practices is based on this knowledge. Incense purifies, acts as a libation or gesture of respect to higher intelligence’s and gives us a “doorway” for entry into the Astral realms.
It is believed that Essential Oils, when used in the form of “incensing”, are signals to those other dimensions where we find our Guardian Angels, Spirit Guides, Gods and Goddesses and states of pure “Cosmic Consciousness” and form a means whereby we can show our intention or willingness to open our consciousness to those realities. The result being that these Beings are able to communicate with us or through us more easily.
By developing our sensitivity to other levels of energy/being and other levels of our own consciousness, we are better able to develop our healing powers and accelerate our own personal/spiritual growth.
Because we are conditioned from birth to relate primarily to the physical plane of existence we tend to have some degree of difficulty in shifting to the spiritual levels without some assistance. Essential oils can help us with this.
The Sense of Smell and Etheric Energy
From an energy point of view, the sense of smell relates to the Element called AKASHA or ETHER. This is the Universal and All-Pervading element, the Element of Spirit, and it has the ability to transform itself into anyone of the forms of Elemental Energy. It is also closely related to the Element of Air, which is related to the sense of taste.
Man’s sense of smell is not as acute as that of a dog or a moth, however, it is never the less quite acute, and man is capable of distinguishing many thousands of odours. The exact way in which odour perception takes place is still quite a mystery to medical science. There is sound knowledge of the structures involved in odour perception, but the function itself still has many unanswered questions.
By developing the sense of smell we are provided with a means by which we may use essences and aromatic substances to create a mood, a feeling, an atmosphere, or change our state of being to one which is more in harmony with our True Selves, and which aids the development of our higher senses.
Most people think of incense in the context of ‘joss sticks’. To many people, incense is something that gives a nice fragrance to an environment and little more. But the act of burning incense is more than this, and fragrances have quite profound effects.
Perfumes and aroma have a great power to influence the mind and to lift the consciousness. They can arouse memory and distant recollections, as well as soul memories (past lives).
Use of incense sharpens the perception beyond the ordinary and encourages better powers of discrimination.
When we decide to extend our consciousness we must first pass through the different layers of our own psychological makeup. ‘Incense’ helps to ease the passage through these layers of self to the Universal light, creating a link or channel between us and the formative energies of the Universe and our own Being.
When essential oils, resins or gums are burned, their substance ‘etherealises’ and passes to the subtler planes opening the way for the return flow of energy.
By being consciously aware of the incense or oil we are using, and by being aware of its properties, and in tune with our intention, we can work more effectively and more powerfully, whether it be in healing or meditation techniques.
Essential oils form a bridge commonly used by Auric Healers to set a communication link between the physical and etheric bodies. The radiations from natural aromatic substances also nourish our natural energies and spirit. Odours are known to give off vibrations which fit into the known electromagnetic scale and are thought to vibrate in the Infra-Red end of the colour spectrum. This is also known as the “invisible colours’.
Colours and odours are said to have a parallel, also odours and music, and odour and shape. The notes of the Diatonic Scale (A,G,C,B,D,F,) have been correlated to odours, and various compounds in aromatic molecules are known to have certain shapes, e.g. round molecules tend to have a camphor-like smell, disc shapes to have a floral odour, and wedge shapes to have a Peppermint fragrance.
These facts present a definite argument in favour of the ‘Vibration’ theory, and the way odours have an effect on the “Sixth Sense”.
Taking these correspondences a little further it is of interest to note that some essential oils are pigmented, which often relates to their therapeutic properties, for example:
- Benzoin is red and is used to promote healing;
- Bergamot is green and is used in the treatment of urinary tract disorders;
- Lemon is yellow and is used in the treatment of the digestive system;
- Chamomile is blue and is used against inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes of the body.
These colours also have therapeutic applications in colour therapy, in which red is considered an energizing and warming colour, green is balancing and harmonizing, yellow stimulates the digestion, and blue is relaxing and cooling.
Essential oils also have Yin and Yang properties:
YIN being those characteristics of passive, contracting, inwards looking, empty, dark, cold, moist, sedating, inhaling, venous blood, parasympathetic nervous system, fear, caution, and the colour blue.
YANG being those characteristics of active, outward going, expanding, opening, full, light, hot, dry, stimulating, arterial blood, sympathetic nerves, also anger, courage and the colour red. The qualities of Yin and Yang represent the forces or energies of opposites in the natural world.
There are 3 things to remember when using essential oils and aromatic substances in meditations and Psychic Healing:
- Be aware of your breathing. This can be accomplished through the practice of simple breathing techniques, in which you can calm your thoughts and emotions by slowing and deepening your breathing cycle.
- Choose oils which will enhance your experience and balance your energies.
- When using oils as ‘incense’, remember that the “incense” becomes charged with your personal energy. Purity of motive and purpose, and sincerity are essential requirements in the art of sensing. Clearness of intention is also important.
Skin Care and Why It's Important
Susan and Danny Siegenthaler
The importance of skin care cannot be underestimated. Did you know, for example, that the skin is the largest organ of the human body? Mostly we take our skin very much for granted and don’t spend much time thinking about the skin’s functions and their importance, until some problem occurs or we injure ourselves.
The following article provides some insight into why good skin care is important and suggests a simple skin care regime anyone can follow to help your skin perform at its best. In addition, it discusses some lifestyle factors which will improve your skin if followed. It’s not rocket science, really it is just common sense.
Our skin’s functions are too many to go through here in detail, however it protects our ‘insides’ from the external environment, acting both as a barrier and a filter between ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ our bodies.
The skin helps in regulating our body’s temperature, like when we have a fever or we’re physically working hard, we tend to sweat, which is the body’s way to lower the temperature.
The skin also protects us from harmful substances entering our body, and it eliminates many toxins introduced through ingestion or even via the skin itself. This takes workload off our Liver and Kidneys to filter out by-products from our body’s metabolism. The skin also breathes and plays a major role in our immune system!
These are just some of the important functions of our skin and as you can see, looking after your skin is vital, not just for your outer beauty, but for maintaining your inner health and well being.
Now there is skin care and there is skin care…
Boy! Is this term over used or what? Skin care this and skin care that. Every day we hear about some new ingredient and how it will make your skin look 20 years younger in seconds…..
Well, we all (hopefully) wash our body (skin) every day and we may even rub some expensive cream on our bodies, and that is pretty much that, thinking it will be good for our skin. Women (most) go one step further when they make-up their face. Often using a cleanser and then a moisturiser before applying make-up. But is that really skin care?
I think not. I would consider it an assault on the skin rather than caring for it. You see, most of the products marketed to women are full of artificial colours, synthetic fragrances, stabilisers, emulsifiers and other chemical compounds, which are supposed to help in achieving a ‘beautiful complexion’, but actually do nothing of the sort.
Some products are advertising hormones, which are supposed to make your skin re-gain that youthful (no wrinkles) look – but more often than not these ‘hormones’ are artificial or synthetic and may well cause problems with the hormonal balance of the body. This is NOT Skin care – this is plain old manipulation and marketing, based on our vanity.
Real skin care is much more than that and is more than just skin deep. Your skin is a living, breathing organ of your body. As such, just like every other organ in our body, it needs to be fed from the inside – it requires nutrients.
There are 4 basic ingredients to feeding the inside:
Good nutrition: keep it simple, fresh and unprocessed. That is the best nutritional advice I can give. The simpler the food, the less processing and the fresher your food is, the better it is for you. Fresh fruit and vegetables contain so many of the nutrients we need to maintain our health. Sure have the odd processed, high in fat meal when you’re enjoying a meal out or have to attend a Luncheon or what ever. But make sure you have more natural foods than not. Keep the diet varied – don’t eat the same old, same old… risk a new veggie – one you haven’t tried before – you might like it …
Adequate rest and relaxation: don’t work yourself to an early grave – it’s not worth it. Make sure you get the sleep you need. Did you know that a study in England showed that your IQ (intelligence) drops if you do not have 8 hours sleep per night? Think about it, do you get more work done if you feel well rested? Can you concentrate better if you’re not tired? – I bet you can.
Well, why not invest some additional time into rest and relaxation so that you gain an increase in energy and concentration? I’m sure you will find you will get more work done in less time if you’ve had sufficient rest.
Sufficient water intake: that’s a big one. Most people (irrespective of were they live) will utilise around 3 litres of water per day – hey, don’t believe me, all the medical texts say so. Our body simply needs water to function. Water is necessary to keep cells from dehydrating, to help in eliminating toxins from the body – you know, if your urine is dark and smelly that you have to drink more water, right? Well, that is just one sign of not drinking enough water and many more are not as obvious until it is too late.
If you do not drink at least 3 litres of water per day, every day, your body will either not function well (on some level) or it will take it from where ever it can. That is called dehydration. You know, dark urine, dry lips, dry flaky skin, parched mouth, cracks on you tongue, premature wrinkles… the list goes on. So, drink up (water, mind you) or shrivel up – it’s up to you.
Fresh air and sunshine: well, what can I say. Taking a deep breath of air and tell me it doesn’t feel great… Well? Oxygen is the stuff of life. Fill your lungs with it. Here I could go into how most of us do not know how to breath properly, but I have already written about it in a previous article.
So what does all this have to do with skin care?
Well, that is the point of putting expensive, beauty products on your skin, when you do not give it the stuff of life from the inside? The cells that make up your skin need the right nutrients for proper development, growth and all that… You can help your skin by using good quality skin care products, but you have to support this from the inside as well. Only in that way can you expect to get good results from proper skin care.
So what’s proper skin care?
Well, for starters there are 3 basic steps.
1. Cleanse and Condition
2. Hydrate and Tone
3. Moisturise and Revive.
OK. Cleansing the skin seems obvious and I know, you do know how to use soap – wrong, this is one sure way to make your skin dry-out quicker. Most soaps remove the natural oils of the skin, change the natural pH levels and do nothing to remove the dead layers of skin, which can block your pores and lead to blackheads. And, oh no, not pimples!
The skin produces oils and acids to help it function, to protect it from loss of excessive moisture, to form a barrier… etc. So please do not use soap or detergents unless it is necessary.
Using a loofah or a gentle ‘scrub’ will remove the dead skin cells and this in turn will promote better blood circulation and help your skin to breath.
The next step is to hydrate and tone the skin. Say what?
Well, you’ve just removed the dead skin layers, rubbing the skin with a loofah and or a specially formulated cleanser, now it’s time to remove the residue, sooth the skin and prepare the skin for getting a good feed of nutrients from the moisturiser.
Preparation of the skin prior to putting on the moisturiser is not dissimilar to preparing a surface about to receive a new coat of paint. You wouldn’t just paint over a wall that hasn’t been cleaned and prepared for the new paint, would you? It would be a waist of time and money… well, good skin care is the same. You first get rid of the old layer of paint, than you give it a primer and finally the top-coat.
Ah, I already use a moisturiser…
Great, at least that’s a step in the right direction. But, have you looked at the ingredients? Are they natural, or are there numbers and words you don’t recognise on the label? If so, then consider that your body absorbs these substances and if they are not useful, (preferably of a natural kind) then the body has to eliminate them – and that’s more work and not necessary.
In some cases, the body actually can’t eliminate these substances and has to store them. This is a potential problem and could cause health issues down the track. Pure essential oils, or herbal extracts are usually good ingredients to have in your skin care products.
So there you have it – the importance of good skin care. These steps, if you follow them, will help you to achieve the results you want and your body will thank you too.
Contracting before Expanding
It is a natural part of being, that our lives sometimes contract before expanding.
Sometimes our lives contract before they expand. We may be working hard on ourselves spiritually, doing good in the world, following our dreams, and wondering why we are still facing constrictions of all kinds — financial, emotional, physical. Perhaps we even feel as if we’ve lost our spirituality and are stuck in a dark room with no windows. We may be confused and discouraged by what appears to be a lack of progress. But sometimes this is the way things work. Like a caterpillar that confines itself to a tiny cocoon before it grows wings and flies, we are experiencing the darkness before the dawn.
When things feel tight, it’s easy to panic or want to act in some way to ease the feeling of constriction. We might also spin our wheels mentally, trying to understand why things are the way they are. However, there is nothing we need to do at this time other than to be patient and persevering. We can cling to the awareness that we are processing the shift from one stage to another, and the more we surrender to the experience, the more quickly we will move through the tightness into the opening on the other side. Just like a baby making its way down the birth canal, we may feel squeezed and pushed and very uncomfortable, but if we remember that we are on our way to being born into a new reality, we will find the strength to carry on.
Even as we endure the contractions, we can find peace within ourselves if we remember to trust the universe. We can look to the natural world for inspiration as we see that all beings surrender to the process of being born. In that surrender, and in the center of our own hearts, is a willingness to trust in the unknown as we make our way through the opening.
We hope you enjoyed our latest Edition of our Wellness Magazine. We are always open to constructive feedback and ideas for future articles. If you have a particular topic you would like us to cover relating to yoga, alternative medicine, meditation, etc., please let us know and we will include it in an up coming Magazine
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Page last updated: 26th June 2019
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