Jump Start Your Senses
Palo Santo is a wild tree native to Peru and has been used medicinally and therapeutically for many centuries. Palo Santo means "sacred wood" or "holy wood". I will use Palo Santo personally and professionally to uplift energy, calm anxiety, to help support in healing colds or flus (immune support), and during the meditation portion of breath work as I have seen it enhance and further people into transcendence,
Essential oils are one plant medicine I work with and whole heartedly believe in on a personal and professional level. The healing benefits behind these healers are abundant. They support in healthy digestion, can improve brain function, assist in creating a more calm and tranquil state which can reduce stress and anxiety, they help with energy levels, they can support skin rejuvenation, and more. Natural healing can benefit EVERYONE. Aromatherapy is perfectly partnered with breathwork, in my experience, for several reasons and here is why I have invited these powerful tools into my practice:
1) Through my own studies, extensive research, and personal experience, various essential oils have assisted in balancing and opening our energy centers- I will use specific activating essential oils to support a dormant/blocked space or variety of calming oils to support an overactive space.
2) Creating vision- as we go throughout life, we will have reminders of the past and some of those can come from smell alone. Smell is a powerful sense. Smells can prompt and guide us almost immediately back to a place in time or perhaps to a lost memory and even support in processing through specific memories that hav not been addressed. The mind forgets over time, but the body always remembers.
3) I will use specific essential oils to awaken intuition and help clients tap back into their physical bodies. If some clients are unaware of specific blockages, I may start with a smelling exercise with the oils to help guide the client toward that specific area of interest. This will result in clients gaining insight on their energetic/emotional blockages and can be extremely useful during the breathing portion of the session- awareness is a huge tool to healing. And the action step is the breastwork. When there is a specific reaction towards a smell such as recoiling, this could be an indication of one energy center we may focus on during the experience.
I fell in LOVE with this powerful, aromatic herb at a healer training with David Elliott back in 2017. I built a relationship immediately with this scent- completely comforting, welcoming, and nurturing. In Native American tradition, sweetgrass is considered one of the "four sacred medicines". When educating myself and building a relationship with sweetgrass, I realized my clients, along with myself, were taking complete goodness from it. Every time I invite sweetgrass into my practice, I use it as a symbol of positivity, celebration, and healing. I will generally use sweetgrass a few minutes into a session, mindfully, over the client's heart area and at the end of the session, in unison, with Palo Santo.
One of my favorite stores to explore in and one that has created meaningful vision is "The Latest Thing" in Costa Mesa, California. I stopped by the store one day with the intension of buying some candles for a breath work event I had that night. As I was walking around the store, I was entranced with this beautiful wind chime, gong- fragile, yet powerful. The minute I held it, and from the powerful vibrational current it created, I knew it was going home with me. During a session, I typically use the gong as an assistant to help quiet the mind, to invite vibration in to support physical healing benefits, to help create movement in areas where one may feel stuck or have tension, to take the client deeper into experience, to heighten the intuition surrounding visualization, and more. I have never met an instrument that was so powerful that it had/has the ability to transport you from the mind straight into the body within seconds.
Sage is a potent cleansing and clearing tool I always use before, during, and after sessions with my clients and in my personal time. Fun fact: Sage is loaded with antioxidants and has the potential to support your overall health! So, of course benefits are there for the body, but they are also there just as abundantly for the mind and spirit. I will use sage prior to my clients experience and just before the active breathing portion of the session to help eliminate nervousness or anxiety and to help create a clearer space to have a sense of calm when engaging in the breathwork. Keeping a clear space, clear mind, and clear body is important, so I love to invite sage into my space every day. Our bodies need maintenance on a continual basis and so do our spaces. So having this cleansing tool nearby could help keep a fluid current moving.
The fluidity and grace of a human's single breath is stunted by life's stressors, pains, losses, disease, trauma, heart break, and so on. As babies, we naturally breathe from the stomach area, as we have complete internal freedom first coming into the world going unscathed. As time goes on, we start to experience life. The breathing transfers up to the heart space, light and restricted. The body learns to store and carry tension from these events. This powerful and intensive breathing technique (a form of Pranayama) is custom designed to break through those barriers of stress and tension and allow energy to move freely throughout these spaces that were once stuck. This is a two part breathing technique- in through the stomach, in through the chest, and out through the mouth. This breath pattern is done all through the mouth since breathing through the mouth can move more air in and out of the lungs, bringing us out of the mind and dropping into the physical body. One of my favorite scientific facts when learning about breathing through mouth is how it's a natural way to bring our bodies pH back up. By doing this, carbon dioxide is released, allowing you to take rich, full breaths without that tightness or stutter to follow. This intensive breath technique also serves as an ego softener, allowing productive thinking to enter. Vacuuming through emotional blocks, a restorative feeling in achieved. Fresh perspective and insights are obtained. Breathwork is what prepares us for a rich and abundant meditation, without loud head chatter. We do the hard work in the beginning to get that delicious and powerful reward at the end where you will transition into regular breathing, and experience a higher level of consciousness. My job as your guide is to encourage and motivate you to stay present and conscious with the breath to eventually part ways with destructive thought patterns and transition into a state of liberation, vibration and openness in the body.
I was holding a breath work circle with a very dear friend of mine back in California and she said, "Hey, feel this. It's a tuning fork." Many other practitioners had done work with the tuning fork when working with clients, however, I had zero experience with this vibrational healer. The wave pattern I felt circulate my heart space was other worldly. I didn't want her to stop using it. Tuning forks assist in releasing tension, stuck energy, help create emotional balance, create a sense of deep relaxation, improve brain function, and more. This leads the pack with healing tools I love to use!
One of my favorite places in the world to adventure to is The Inn of the Seventh Ray, nestled in the heart of Topanga Canyon, California. The calming, vibrational, magical vibe I have experienced there has been transformational just by stepping foot on their grounds. There is a little gift shop to side of this special space and on one of my visitings, I was to come across a rain stick made in Peru. Sound healing has been a special part of my healing journey and music has influenced strong movement and current during my own breath work experiences. Inviting in the rain stick for my clients to experience has been beneficial for many reasons. Vibration can influence your body's function for the better. Most clients have expressed an intensified "tingling sensation" when partnering with the breath, supporting in reducing stress through the calming sound and nature of this instrument, and bringing awareness to the client's body. Certain areas of the body may absorb the sound frequency more than others in which could be an area we may work to unblock during the session, to observe, or take note of.