The Zen Garden

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The Zen Garden

Post by Miss Valentine on Wed Oct 03, 2007 2:46 pm

*Crosses legs and sits comfortably*

It's been a while since I've done this, for lack of the appropriate forum, but this seems like a nice place to bring back my little thread that was quite popular in olden days of other forums.

I call it "The Zen Garden". It's a place where people can come to discuss various complimentary therapies and natural remedies, what I call "earth medicine". I will discuss different topics over time, and I can answer some questions about various remedies too. My experience lies mostly in Herbalism and Aromatherapy, but I also know a little about other methods such as Yoga, Meditation, Reiki and some others.

I'll kick this thread off with my favourite topic- Aromatherapy. This is quite a loose term, as it can be split into areas such as Aromatherapy massage, Aromacology, Aroma-psychology and even Aroma-Genera. Don't let this scare you though, because sometimes the simplest uses of Aromatherapy are the best, as simple as knowing which bottle to turn to for headaches. I know quite a lot of useful remedies and would love to hear about favourite smells (mine is Ylang Ylang).
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Terminus Est on Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:56 pm

As much as I love my bubble baths and all, I know very little about Aromatherapy and the like...are two even related?

If such methods truly work, might you recommend some to aid in sleep inducement?

As well, in particular, I would love to hear more about ''aroma-psychology''...what exactly does such entail?

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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Miss Valentine on Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:19 pm

Indeed, the classic bubble bath and Aromatherapy can be related, it depends on the bubble bath you buy. Lots of bath products these days have more natural products such as herbs and essential oils added to them, as there is much more demand for products to have less chemicals and more of the good stuff. Usually you can tell when you look at the bubble bath ingredients- any natural product in there will be referred to by its Latin name eg. Lavendulus Officinalis. It's waht I would call an indirect aromatherapy, because you chose that rpoduct because it appeals to you, you find the smell comforting and so forth.

That's one of the most basic things about Aromatherapy- smell signals travel more quickly to the brain, and are more acutely linked to your memory and emotions, probably why we have such specific "favourite smells", just like as in music. You may have had an experience just like with music, where a certain smell, however slight, has triggered a big wave of emotion. That's basic Aroma-psychology, and it develops from there. Aromatherapists have to be really careful when choosing which oils to use for a client, in case a certain one sets the client off on a bad vibe, because of some memory they have. But it also works that you can become very attached to certain smells, like a comfort blanket, sometimes without even realising it!

Okies, so here's some remedies I would suugest from insomnia, you can get these things easily from the local health food shop (in England we have Holland and Barrett, just find the equivalent where you live)-

1. Rub a tiny amount of neat Lavender oil on your temples (be sure to buy the proper stuff, it usually also has the Latin name on the bottle, usually a dark amber coloured bottle too), go really gently for a couple of minutes. This is also a good headache remedy. Sprinkle a couple of drops on your pillow too. If Lavender is a bit too "old womany" a smell, then a drop of Chamomile oil mixed into a teaspoon of almond oil is just as good, and it smells like banana bread!

2. A strong hot cup of Chamomile tea before bed is almost certain to make you feel quite sedate, which should help sleep. Other teas are Valerian (though not if you're depressed, it's really potent) and Skullcap.

3. Finally, of course, the good old bubble bath. Best ones to use are ones with things like Lavender, Chamomile, Sandalwood, Marjoram and Rosemary (also good for muscle ache). These can also be bought in oil form, just 5 drops swished around in the bath if you're not in the mood for bubbles (like that could happen!)

Hooo there's a lot here, hope some of it is helpful. Let me know how you get on!!! sunny
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Firesnakious on Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:07 pm

there is one thing that always help with me.... sitting underneath a waterfall...
seeying that there are no watterfalls here in holland I only can do that abroad but it is very relaxing
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by JET73L on Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:40 pm

I like laying down in a forest, or near a forest, preferably with running, non-stagnant, non-insect-breeding water nearby for the additional "water" smell. Can't be in leaves, though. Feels like spiders.
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Terminus Est on Sat Oct 06, 2007 1:06 am

Hooo there's a lot here, hope some of it is helpful. Let me know how you get on!!!

Aroma psychology...yes, I have experienced the emotional reaction to smells which you describe. (Some bad, some good.) How...strange...but very interesting. So, what exactly is the use of this? Does Aroma Psychology imply, or at least suggest, that triggering fond memories and good emotions is a healthy thing?
Aromatherapists must have many different concoctions of smells then, as I imagine that if my favourite smells are rather odd, other people's may be as well.

Yes, tea...people have suggested this to me so many times, and I NEVER try it. I had always figured that my sleeping troubles were far more rooted then the simple difficulty in finding sleep, but I really do not know. Therefore, I think I shall try it...one cup of tea before sleep is not going to kill me.

I appreciate the remedies and suggestions, and will definitely let you know how it works out.

Now I just have to try and find all those things...will remember the Latin authenticity, then.

I like laying down in a forest, or near a forest, preferably with running, non-stagnant, non-insect-breeding water nearby for the additional "water" smell. Can't be in leaves, though. Feels like spiders.

Looking at life within a swamp or small stream has always been fun for me, no matter how stinky it may be...I used to be fascinated by insects, and they still help to relax me when I watch them go about their business.

But yes, the smell of stagnated bodies of water...eeew. XD

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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by JET73L on Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:20 am


Yes, tea...people have suggested this to me so many times, and I NEVER try it. I had always figured that my sleeping troubles were far more rooted then the simple difficulty in finding sleep, but I really do not know. Therefore, I think I shall try it...one cup of tea before sleep is not going to kill me.
It would be a good idea to make sure it's caffiene free, however. And not black tea or breakfast tea.
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Miss Valentine on Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:49 am

Good point there JET73L, though most herbal concoctions are naturally caffeine free anyways, with of course the exception of green and white teas, where you can get the decaf variety. Chamomile is really the best, it's really potent.

Hmm yeah I got into Aroma-psychology a lot, and Aroma-Genera, which classifies people within certain scent-groups, in order to assertain their personality and how best to make a remedy for them. It certainly is to do with bringing out those emotions, in the same way as a normal psychologist will probe his patient with questions and encourage them to express their emotions. Though I think doing it in an aromatic environment must be more gentle and progressive, because smell is such a sensitive direct thing. It's also less intrusive than all those questions! And about combos, that's one of my favourite parts of Aromatherapy, and probably does cover your taste in smells. I make a lot of my own massage mixtures, and some of my own toiletries too (I made a natural moisturizer, which was fantastic, though it didn't last long because I used no preservatives), and the blend is so so so important to get the right effect. Blending can also be used to recreate certain smells that cannot be captured, such as Sweet Pea. My favourite blend is Frankincense, Orange, Bergamot and a touch of Vanilla. It suits me really well, so yeah you probably came across an intricate blend that you really liked at some point in time.

I totally agree with you guys about being in nature as a way to relax and find comfort. After all that's the way it should be, our ancestors were much closer to nature than we could possibly imagine (btw there are meditations you can do if you can't get to one of these places, it's nowhere near as good but at least you will get some of the same feeling). It's really hard to find places that are still so naturally beautiful, and it's a total shame.

Which brings me onto my big beef with the man-made world. The other day I went to visit The Body Shop, as I heard it had products which were almost completely natural, and needed some more shower gel. I bought one which was apparently supposed to smell like Neroli and Jasmine (one of my favourite combos), but when I got it home I kicked myself for not reading the ingredients- not only were almost all of them synthetic, but the only natural ingredient in it was Chamomile, which if I remember rightly has absolutely nothing to do with Neroli or bloody Jasmine!! AAAAAA!!!

I was once told that as we humans have evolved, we have obviously adapted over the centuries to the planet's flora, we have lots of immunities against some of the bad effects and we respond well to the good. But our bodies don't have the conditions in place to deal with modern chemicals, so really we don't know how much damage our shower gel is doing to us. What do you guys think?
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by JET73L on Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:34 am

That's why animal testing occurs, so we have at least a vague idea if new chemicals or chemical combinations will most likely be harmful. However, aside from the 'inhumane' factor, very few animals react the same to even some chemicals, like how either pigs or rhesus monkeys have no effect from cyanide, or rats die from half the chemicals beneficial to humans. Testing on volunteers would be both more accurate and more humane (since animals don't speak human, and thus can't volunteer.) Sorry, tangent there. Ah, yes: "Modern chemicals are changing the human species in unimaginable and unpredictabvle ways. As we adapt to some complex chemicals, related chemicals may change their effect and even become harmful. Some chemicals may have unintended side effects, such as Mido and Excedrin causing headaches in many cases, or sunscreens becoming carcinogenic. Even natural things, like sugars (unrefined), some fats, and many of the bacteria our ancestors' bodies thrive on have become harmful or deadly as our lifestyles and immune systems have been flung about over the last few decades, or, in many now-unremarked examples, centuries." And so says J.R. What say you?
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Miss Valentine on Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:32 am

Aha somebody that thinks like me!!!!!!

I once offered to be a test subject myself, I agree it would be much more reliable than testing on animals. And I certainly never buy products tested on animals, it's cruel and inaccurate.

Oh yes, it's hard to believe that so many things in our modern life are killing us. Even toothpaste! I don't understand why dentists recommend fuoride toothpastes when not only are they not very effective (I use a Tea-tree oil one instead), but they can be poisonous even in the small amounts we use. And then they go and flouridate our water supplies too! Sometimes I wonder if they do it on purpose for some reason, which is a horrible way to think, but I really do.

Obviously we can't escape every chemical in our daily lives, that's been made impossible by the big-bucks companies who make our medications and even our foods, but I try and make changes here and there to lessen the effect. I use toiletries and cleaning products which are as close to natural as possible, or try and make my own using essential oils and herbs. Tea-tree oil is 10 times more potent as a cleaning agent that carbolic acid, so it makes sense to me to make a vinegar and lemon solution with that oil to clean my kitchen with (it's safer for the baby too, his little hands get everywhere!!)

Do you make much use of essential oils or herbs? I love discussing them as I can find uses for them in just about anything, from headache remedies, to cleaning, to feeding plants!!! Any thoughts?
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Coeur de l'Ange on Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:05 pm

I myself, to add to the collection, am occupied with learning and utilising of both Tai Chi and Yoga (Though not simultaneously, that would be impressive dexterity).

Both have helped to calm me and steady my mind considerably... aswell as other cool things Very Happy

Disclaimer: I cannot put my legs behind my head yet!!!
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Miss Valentine on Thu Oct 25, 2007 2:16 am

Wow that's impressive! I did Kundalini for a few months, which is more about pranayama and chanting, but gave it up because it didn't really fit me very well, it's bordering on religious. Wish I had time for a more active form of yoga, like Ashtanga or such.

Hee hee I couldn't do any crazy asanas either. but there weren't that many in Kundalini, most of it was sitting cross-legged in easy pose. Maybe the reason I'm more stressed out these days is because I can't engage in any practice, too much going on. And I've put on weight since stopping! Crying or Very sad
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Firesnakious on Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:17 am

I can put my legs behind my neck and walk on my knees ^^
but what gets me really relaxed is just sitting and thinking about the great things in life... my friends,muffins,applepie,the girl I love (one of my friends Razz), etc
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Miss Valentine on Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:26 pm

Daydreaming as a form of escapism, the classic! Everybody must do that at some point in their life I think. Although my own daydreams tend to go along the lines of things that will never happen, but hey, it still relaxes me for some reason!
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Miss Valentine on Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:23 am

Don't forget, if anyone has a problem that they night want help with by some natural means, just let me know, either on this thread or by PM (even embarrassing stuff, but I don't blabber people's problems to the world so confidentiality is assured).
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Mr. Midgar on Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:37 pm

Miss Valentine wrote:Don't forget, if anyone has a problem that they night want help with by some natural means, just let me know, either on this thread or by PM (even embarrassing stuff, but I don't blabber people's problems to the world so confidentiality is assured).
Oh good, then can you recommend any kind of solution for my chronic erectile dysfunction? Don't tell anyone... oops, this isn't a PM is it? DAMN! What a Face
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Miss Valentine on Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:50 pm

That's just not very funny really
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Mr. Midgar on Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:28 pm

Really?! I thought it was pretty funny.

But since you didn't seem to have any solutions to anyone who might seriously have this problem, I will help... apparantly, taking regular low doses of echinacea has been known to raise men's libidos. So, that might help some guys out of some hard situations, pardon the pun.

Good to see you are back on the forum Miss Valentine, we thought you had forgotten about us here.
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Miss Valentine on Sat Aug 09, 2008 3:46 am

Did you do that just to get my attention? Razz

Ylang ylang, rose and sandalwood can also help, as well as the ol' chamomile to act as a sedative, since erectile function is often affected by nerves ^^
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Terminus Est on Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:25 pm

Whoever has a massive Gunblade of the Gods has no need for erectile enhancements...XD

You know MF I will never leave you alone with that now. Smile

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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Miss Valentine on Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:27 am

Lol my thoughts exactly Razz

Interesting cold remedy I concocted last night-

Cup of chamomile tea
1 tbsp apple juice
1 tsp dried sage
1 tbsp honey
1/2 shot brandy

It knocked me out and I slept for ages, then I woke up feeling almost cured Mr Green
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Terminus Est on Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:54 pm

Wow really? If it works that good, then I need some too. But what is dried sage?

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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Miss Valentine on Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:38 am

It's just a jar of the dried herb from the supermarket, where you buy all the spices and mixed herbs for cooking and stuff ^^

Edit- the recipe itself tastes horrid, but it does work Smile
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by Miss Valentine on Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:58 am

JET suggested that I compile a list of my most effective remedies on this thread, would anyone be interested?
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Re: The Zen Garden

Post by JET73L on Sat Aug 16, 2008 3:39 pm

I would be interested (obviously). We need a list of remedies to use without having to wait for a reply, colds are the worst when you don;t know which sources have tried the remedies and whcih are just passing on common sense (which is common, but requires no sense).

(and I was actually thinking more along the lines of you writing them down in a book, publishing them, becoming a millionaire author, and sending me a free copy. Razz)
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