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(frequently asked questions)

1. Who can benefit from subtle aromatherapy and the information on your website?

        Aromatic Practice invites women and men, lay people, and practitioners.

  • Lay people who are interested in alternative health and self-care.

  • Lay people who already use aromatherapy and want to learn about subtle aromatherapy. 

  • Lay people that are already working with subtle energy and vibrational healing techniques, such as flower essences, Reiki, and chakra balancing and who would like to learn about subtle aromatherapy.

  •  Spiritually oriented people, including the religious as well as the “spiritual but not religious” who would like to use subtle aromatherapy in their spiritual practice.

  • Practitioners who want to learn more about subtle aromatherapy for self-care.

  • Practitioners who want to learn more about subtle aromatherapy to use with their clients or to possibly teach it. This may include aromatherapists, energy healers, body workers, and spiritual counselors. 

  • Practitioners who are already working with subtle energy and vibrational healing techniques, such as with flower essences, Reiki, and chakra balancing, and who would like to learn about subtle aromatherapy.

2. What are the essential oils that support meditation and how would I use them?

      There are different forms of meditation. Sandalwood or Frankincense support most forms. To be more specific, Sandalwood is a good choice for mindfulness meditation; Frankincense for meditative prayer; and Lavender or Clary Sage for guided imagery meditation. 

      To use: Place one drop of the essential oil on a tissue and inhale the aroma through your nose, without the tissue touching your skin. Pause. Inhale the aroma once more and then begin your meditation. You can also choose to end your meditation with inhaling the aroma from the tissue. This will strengthen the connection between the aroma and a meditative state.


3. Should I use an essential oil if I don't like the smell?

      In subtle aromatherapy, because the intent is to have a positive experience, the answer is “no.” There are many essential oils that have similar properties that you can choose from. Find one you like. We list essential oils in our books that can replace others, in case a reader can't find them, can’t afford them, or is allergic to them. We suggest looking in Aromatherapy Anointing Oils, Appendix IV.

      However, if you find that you really want to use a particular essential oil that you don’t like the smell of—perhaps your intuition is telling you it would be helpful—you can use it by adding another essential oil to help balance or soften the aroma of the oil that doesn’t agree with you. 

      Lavender or orange are often used to soften other aromas. Place 2 or 3 drops of Lavender or Orange on a tissue and add one drop of the other oil, wave it in the air briefly, then gently inhale the aroma from the tissue (without touching your skin). Lavender is a great supportive essential oil, so it can assist with many different intentions. Orange is uplifting and cleansing.

4. My art is my spiritual practice, and I was thinking I would like to diffuse essential oils when I am painting. Are there oils you would suggest?

      There are many essential oils that support the process of creativity in different ways. Coriander and Patchouli help to support creative energy.  Geranium and Jasmine help to enhance creative intuition and Orange energizes the joy inherent in the creative process. Rose supports creativity in general and energetically links it to the heart and hands, so it is particularly good for people who use their hands with their art form.

5. Are essential oils taken internally for an Aromatic Practice?

      No, they are not. In fact, in some circumstances, they do not even touch the skin. 

We are often asked about the oral (ingested) use of essential oils. The ingestion of essential oils is controversial—even amongst essential oil experts. Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt*, author of The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils and Medical Aromatherapy, refers to ingesting essential oils as “one of aromatherapy’s culture wars” because there are many opinions. *(Dr. Schnaubelt is one of the world’s leading experts in the science and medical use of essential oils.) 

      Some aromatherapists comment that essential oils are so effective when applied topically or inhaled that there is no need to take them orally. Others feel there are certain conditions that warrant oral use. In either case, because essential oils are concentrated and have active components, it is important to be informed and understand that using essential oils requires mindful use and being responsible.

6. Ruah mentioned that she has 6 favorite essential oils to use for subtle aromatherapy to accompany her spiritual practice. What are they?

      They are Lavender, Eucalyptus Radiata, Tea Tree, Sandalwood, Vetiver, and Rosemary. 


7. What is the difference between subtle aromatherapy and regular aromatherapy?

      The primary difference is that it focuses on the energy body and not the physical body. When practicing subtle aromatherapy, fewer drops of essential oils are used (usually a 1% dilution or less) and they are used with intention and visualization.

8. Is there an essential oil that helps with dreams and how would I use it?

      Yes, Clary Sage can help us to dream, remember our dreams, and understand our dreams. Dreams can be messages from the depths of our psyche that ask to be integrated, and used for their wisdom and for our benefit. (NOTE: Avoid Clary Sage if you have been drinking alcohol as it can promote nightmares.)

To Help You Remember Your Dreams

1. Place a pen and paper or a recorder by your bed.

2. Before going to bed, place 2 drops of Clary Sage on a tissue and inhale the aroma through your nose (without touching your skin). Pause and inhale again.

3. Say your intention out loud or to yourself. Such as: “I remember my dreams” or “I remember the parts of my dreams that will be most helpful for me” or “I am open to the messages of my dreams.”

4. When you wake, write down or record what you remember about your dreams. It might be a whole dream or a fragment. It might be an emotional feeling or a physical sensation. Make a note of whatever you remember.

To Help You Understand Your Dreams

1. Notice if a part of what you have written down or recorded about your dreams particularly attracts your attention or feels especially relevant to you. It could be a person, an action, a feeling, a color, or a sound. It may be where the dream is located. Write about or draw whatever part you are attracted to.

2. Then, write down any thoughts or insights you may have about that part.

3. Place 2 drops of Clary Sage on a tissue, inhale the aroma through your nose (without touching your skin). Pause and inhale again.

4. Say your intention out loud or to yourself. Such as: “Today I will receive more insights about my dream for my benefit.” or “Today my inner wisdom will work with my insights about my dream.” or “I am open to integrating my insights.”

5. In the evening, read what you have written and become aware if you have received any further intuitions or insights. Write these down on your piece of paper. (You may choose to review these in the future.)

      Dreams often do their work below the level of waking consciousness. They ask that we pay attention to them and acknowledge them, even if we don't fully understand them. So, you can appreciate that your dream is working with you, whether you fully know its meaning or not.


Take a moment to be grateful for your dreams, as well as your willingness to be open to their guidance.

9. How are the subtle energy properties of essential oils determined?

      There are 4 ways that determine an essential oil’s unique subtle energy properties.

      1) The long-term, traditional uses of both the essential oil and herb of the same plant

      Using essential oils therapeutically (aromatherapy), as we know it today, began in the 1930s. Using herbs therapeutically has been practiced for thousands of years. The herb Chamomile was cultivated in the 16th century and regarded as a nerve tonic and pain reliever. Gattefossé, the founder of aromatherapy, recognized chamomile essential oil as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.

      2) The currently known physical and psychological effects of the oil

      There is continued interest and research to substantiate aromatherapy's effectiveness and to discover more about essential oils and their range of applications. Today we know that on a physical level, Chamomile eases tight muscles and nerve pain (and much more). On a psychological level, Chamomile calms and relaxes the mind.

      3) The appearance and characteristics of the plant and the essential oil it produces

      Appearance and characteristics are how the plant expresses itself—a representation of transformed energy from the sun, the earth, and the elements. What is it trying to say? Where does it grow? What is its size? Does it look hardy or fragile? Is it tall or short? What is the color and aroma of its essential oil? All of these are known as the plant's signature.

      The plants’ and essential oils’ appearances and characteristics are indications of what it will offer in the subtle realm. For example, Chamomile German essential oil is blue. On a subtle level, blue relates to the Fifth (Throat-communication) energy center. Because blue is cooling, it can be used to “cool” angry words and promote calm communication.

      4) Personal experience

      Lastly, and no less importantly, is personal experience—including information received intuitively. Because essential oils are used in the subtle realm with intention, their purpose can be designed, directed, and influenced. For example, Rose is an essential oil that promotes love and has a strong affinity with the Fourth (Heart) energy center. However, it can be used with intent with the Sixth (Brow) to assist one in experiencing loving thoughts. It might be used with the First (Root) to encourage love of life.


      As you work with essential oils in the subtle realm, you may have experiences that indicate a different property than known or described in resources. You may have a strong feeling that an essential oil is not working the way it should, or that it is working differently or better than has been indicated. It is possible for this to happen, so it is important to trust your responses and instincts.

10. What is "intention" and how is it used in subtle aromatherapy?

      Basically, intention means being clear about your goal and putting your body, mind, heart, and spirit into achieving it.

      There are different types of intention. It may be a specific thing that you want to do, such as, “I intend to eat in a way that nurtures my body.” It may be a question you are asking such as, “What is preventing me from being happy at work?” It may be a wish you have for someone, such as, “Bless my sister.” You discover your intention by identifying the outcome you desire.

      The result of intention is based on the premise that energy follows thought. Thinking about something is the first step to its manifestation, and there is nothing that has ever been accomplished that was not first a thought.

      One of our favorite quotes is from Alan Cohen, an inspirational author: "When your intention is clear, so is the way."

11. What is the difference between "natural" and "organic" essential oils?

      “Natural” is defined by Oxford Dictionary as “existing in or obtained by nature—not made or caused by humans.” “Organic,” as it relates to plant products, is defined as not involving or produced with synthetic chemicals. For our purposes, a natural essential oil is produced in an aromatic plant. The essential oil, once extracted is organic if the plant has been grown without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or other synthetic chemicals.

      There are different grades of essential oils. The two main ones are 1) commercial and 2) therapeutic. Commercial essential oils are used primarily for cleaning products, perfumes, food, and flavorings. Medicinal/therapeutic essential oils are from plants that have been grown and distilled to protect and obtain as many of the valuable chemical compounds as possible. These are the essential oils for aromatherapy.

      Within therapeutic essential oils, there are both organic and non-organic. We recommend using organic essential oils whenever possible for their purity and support of the environment. However, organic is not always available and it can be more costly. If organic is not possible, use essential oils produced for therapeutics and avoid those produced for commercial/industrial use.


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      The information on this Site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prescribe for, treat, or claim to prevent, mitigate, or cure any disease or condition. If you have physical or mental health concerns, consult with a qualified healthcare professional. If you have serious medical conditions, consult with your doctor before using essential oils. Any application of the information herein provided is undertaken at the reader’s sole risk and discretion.

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or redistributed in whole or part without express written permission. 

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