Virginia Commonwealth University Role Spirituality in Healing Paper


Question Description


Intro and Thesis: Do this just as we have for the other papers, using a thesis that conveys "I think....., because..." Everyone should compose the thesis using this formula; you can work on elegance later, but don't remove the word "I". Sharing your personal view strengthens the paper and adds clarity. For this class paper, it is the best method.

Background: Introduce what you will talk about and why, relating back to your thesis statement, then it is usually best to use subheadings ( in italics, not bold) to discuss aspects of the paper background.

My experience Here, start the paper by sharing what interests you in the topic, and about some of your life experience that relates to the topic. Yes, do offer concrete stories, including people, places, events, etc., but don't make the entire section about you.

Some Definitions/Examples Once you share your interest, then if might be good to offer some definitions needed for a reader to understand the subject you explore in the paper, or some case examples, or even history. But share why you think they are important. Don't just quote.

Basic Issues Here you explain in detail the issues regarding your topic, with specific facts. Start in your own voice to explain the issues, and use quotes to offer facts.

Analysis: Starting in your own voice, share what specific view, opinions, and issues specifics you will explore, and why. This is where you will make your point, and outline the "because" clause of your thesis statement. Usually no more than 3 points are made to keep the paper in control. Use subheading in italicsagain.

Point one [make up the subheading that relates to the point] Starting in your own voice, outline the details of experts views on one aspect of your topic, andquoting for details. Then, evaluate what was said in your own voice, and compare to your experience. Does it make sense? why? why not?

Point two [make up the subheading that relates to the point] Starting in your own voice, outline the details of experts views on one aspect of your topic, andquoting for details. Then, evaluate what was said in your own voice, and compare to your experience. Does it make sense? why? why not?

Point three [make up the subheading that relates to the point] Starting in your own voice, outline the details of experts views on one aspect of your topic, andquoting for details. Then, evaluate what was said in your own voice, and compare to your experience. Does it make sense? why? why not?

Conclusion: Don't quote anymore- that's analysis. So go on to your own summation of what you found out in your research,and what you conclude. Finish by re-stating the thesis in view of learning.

Bibliography: Include all sources you used, including those not quoted.

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Running head: RESEARCH PAPER-AROMATHERAPY IN SPIRITUALITY Research Paper Aromatherapy in Spirituality Student Name TRS 3340 § 701 The College of St. Scholastica Date 1 RESEARCH PAPER-AROMATHERAPY IN SPIRITUALITY 2 Aromatherapy in Spirituality Introduction and Thesis: For my essay I wanted to explore the role of Aromatherapy in spirituality. I see aromatherapy as the practice of using essential oils to promote all aspects of wellbeing. Throughout my experiences I have learned that essential oils are extracted from aromatic plants using a steam, press, or hydro-distillation processes. I know that essential oils are comprised of complex chemical compounds which contain anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, and other medicinal properties. The use of essential oils has been important for me as it relates to my personal journey of spirituality. This essay will discuss the application of aromatherapy throughout historical and current religious and spiritual practices, share my personal experience of using essential oils to promote my physical health and spiritual wellbeing, and analyze the significance of aromatherapy in spirituality. Throughout my experience I have concluded that aromatherapy is important in my personal spiritual journey. I think the application of aromatherapy or use of essential oils is an integral part of spirituality, because it has served a central role in many cultures spiritual traditions and religious practices throughout history. Background: I will be discussing the historical significance of aromatherapy as it relates to spirituality. I would like to further examine the topic of essential oils in spirituality, because it has played an important part in my personal spiritual journey and facilitated the development of who I have become. My Early Spiritual Experiences: My interest in essential oils and aromatherapy began at a young age with continual exposure to New-Age spirituality, gypsy traditionalism, and integrative medicines. For as long as RESEARCH PAPER-AROMATHERAPY IN SPIRITUALITY 3 I can remember, my mother was fascinated with alternative therapies and possessed a holistic view of the divinity in the universe. My obsession with the infinite expanse of space and understanding of the cosmos stems from my experiences growing up in a family knowledgeable in astrological cycling. My mother always emphasized the importance of caring for the body, mind, and spirit to promote all-inclusive health and wellbeing. I did not grow up in a family that identified with any particular organizational religious belief system. My family and our family’s friends participated in eclectic new-age traditions together; these practices included aromatherapy, acupuncture, tarot card reading, meditation, yoga, reflexology, kinesiology, reiki, crystal gemstone healing and channeling of spirits. Many of these practices would be categorized as New-Age or holistic spirituality. Significant aspects of New-Age spiritualism involve the concept of one’s notions of self. My view of spirituality involves an increasing concern for individual’s well-being, state of mind, happiness, emotional states, and bodily experiences. Studies show that in recent years there has been a dramatic influx of inner-life spiritualities including New-Age practices. Aspects of New-Age spiritualism have been shown to be influential in society by having transformative effects in relation to educational philosophies and medical practice. More and more research is finding evidence indicating the importance of spirituality at promotion of physical and mental health and wellbeing (Bartolini, Chris, MacKian, & Pile, 2013). I believe that it is pertinent to understand the role that one’s spiritual journey plays in their comprehensive health and development of their world-view. My mother worked as an integrative medicine specialist practicing aromatherapy, massage healing, chiropractic treatment, and therapeutic acupuncture. My parents instilled me with a methodical mindset and unified me with a concept of perpetual personal growth through knowledge and spiritual evolution. My RESEARCH PAPER-AROMATHERAPY IN SPIRITUALITY 4 studies of integrated medicine and aromatherapy are rooted in my spiritual experiences throughout my childhood. Aromatherapy in My Youth: Growing up, my family used essential oils throughout a variety of applications. We were always diffusing essential oils in every room of our home. Diffusion of citrus peel essential oils, such as orange or lemon, would bring the feeling of positive energy into our home and improve our alertness. We applied them topically for a wide array of aliments. Growing up in a heavily wooded rural area, bug bites and poison ivy exposure was common. Topical application of melaleuca essential oil to the affected areas helped decrease the irritation and speed the healing process. When I was a young child, my mother would place drops of lavender essential oil into my bathwater before bed. I remember the aroma being incredibly calming and comforting. To this day I use lavender essential oil to help me sleep. I feel that I have a positive association with lavenders scent which reinforces its effect on my mental state of being. When one of my family members came down with a cold, it was common practice to boil a pot of water on the stove with drops of camphor and menthol essential oils. We would inhale the steam to clear nasal passages and improve breathing. This was incredibly effective and I still do this today when experiencing respiratory ailments. We believed that application of frankincense essential oil to the bottoms of our feet would stimulate a healthy immune system response when sick. We would ingest homeopathic teas made from herbal medicinal concoctions containing essential oils which were used to promote health and wellbeing; however, this practice is likely not recommended by current medical standards. Aromatherapies role in developing my sense of spirituality is multifaceted and interwoven with several other areas of my life. My awareness of how essential RESEARCH PAPER-AROMATHERAPY IN SPIRITUALITY 5 oils have influence my spirituality is a participating factor to why I chose to discuss and investigate this topic further for my essay. Definitions & Examples: I feel that it is necessary to define some important aspects of aromatherapy so one will be better able to grasp the significance it has had in development of my view of spirituality. When I looked for definitions of aromatherapy, I found that there are many diverse meanings. In simple terms, aromatherapy refers to the use of essential oils extracted from a diverse array of plant materials. Aromatherapy promotes spiritual, physical, and emotional health and well-being. I have learned that essential oils are extracted from a wide variety of aromatic plants. These concentrated extracts contain natural complex chemical compounds that interact with the bodies systems in many different ways. The identification of these substances allows one to determine its precise therapeutic use (Allard & Katseres, 2016). Some examples of essential oils I use in my everyday life include citrus peel extracts including orange, lemon, bergamot, lime, and grapefruit. I also frequently use lavender, spearmint, wintergreen, lemon grass, cedar, frankincense, and myrrh. I create my own essential oil blends and use a variety of means to administer them. Depending on which essential oils I choose and the ratio of which it is combined will determine its effect. I see it as imperative to grasp these foundational concepts and examples of essential oils, because it will facilitate better understanding of the pathophysiological effects in the human body systems which is discussed in great detail in the following section of my essay. Pathophysiological Explanations: The therapeutic value inherit to a particular essential oil relies solely on its containing chemical constituents; in addition, routes of administration can impact the significance of the RESEARCH PAPER-AROMATHERAPY IN SPIRITUALITY 6 desired outcome. Throughout my personal experience, routes of administration I have used include, inhalation (either through diffusion or direct breathing), massage, topical application, and absorption through ingestion. Once an essential oil is absorbed into the circulatory system, the chemical constituents make their way to the nervous system where they bind to specific receptors resulting in its desired effect. As an analytical thinker with a scientific mindset, the pathophysiology of how essential oils systematically function and how they affect the body’s systems only reinforces my intense interest in this field. My favorite way to enjoy essential oils in through diffusion in my home. Experiences that follow the inhalation of the selected essential oil is not just the simple perception of the fragrance; the molecules contained in vapors of the oil enter your nose and stimulate the olfactory receptors. These neurological pathways are closely interconnected to areas of the central nervous systems limbic structure. The limbic portion of the brain is responsible for heart rate, blood pressure, memory, hormone levels, mood and respirations. The olfactory stimulation from essential oils also relays messages to the brain’s amygdala, which is the main system that dictates emotions and reactions of anxiety, anger and fear. The amygdala becomes overly active during periods of stress or emotional trauma (Allard & Katseres, 2016). During periods of stress or anxiety, I will use the essential oil from lavender. Following the use of lavender oil, I feel a calming sensation and as I have described earlier, I have found that diffusing lavender in my bedroom helps me sleep. I believe that it is important for individuals to understand how essential oils interact with the body through a pathophysiological view. It is also important for individuals to grasp the science behind essential oils and how they produce their intended therapeutic effect; I view this aspect as vital for individuals to comprehend as to not just simply dismiss aromatherapy and the use of essential oils as a pseudoscience or quackery. RESEARCH PAPER-AROMATHERAPY IN SPIRITUALITY 7 Brief Historical Significance: The use of essential oils has substantial cultural and spiritual connections for many groups of individuals throughout history. The practice of aromatherapy dates back over 5,000 years based on evidence of aromatic plant oil extraction in Egypt and the Middle East (Allard & Katseres, 2016). Throughout antiquity, essential oils have served a fundamental part in spiritual rituals and sacred traditions for nearly every culture in the world. Sacred bonds between the body, mind, and spirit are integral to the healing arts and use of aromatherapy. The practice of aromatherapy has been associated with spiritual revival and heightened consciousness through historical civilizations (Ross, 2010). I feel that it is important to understand that the use of essential oils predates many other spiritual, religious, and cultural customs. I believe this understanding demonstrates that aromatherapy is deeply rooted in many cultures spiritual practices and religious traditions. Basic Issues: As I had previously stated, I believe that there is significance in comprehending the pathophysiological effects essential oils have in the human body. Essential oils can alleviate nausea and vomiting, reduce pain, decrease anxiety, improve psychological and behavioral symptoms, diminish cognitive fatigue, improve mood, and increase alertness (Allard & Katseres, 2016). I believe it is important for one to understand the many physical and mental benefits to aromatherapy. Throughout my life, I have received much criticism and pushback from external sources regarding my use of essential oils. I feel that the most basic issue surrounding the topic of aromatherapy is that many individuals quickly dismiss it as quackery or a pseudoscience. I believe that people promptly make such judgements because of its close association with other New-Age practices such as tarot card reading and crystal gemstone therapy. I am aware that RESEARCH PAPER-AROMATHERAPY IN SPIRITUALITY 8 many of my family’s other spiritual traditions have absolutely no scientific basis or questionable validity; however, this does not prevent me from continuing to practice them. These traditions are deeply rooted in the development of my spirituality and growth of my self-concept. The most fundamental problem surrounding the topic of essential oils is the lack of individuals understandings of it and their incomprehension of the significance it has in spirituality; for this reason, I am discussing scholarly works and sharing my personal experiences on essential oils and spirituality in this essay. Analysis: The critical point about aromatherapy that I think is most amazing is its ability to have positive impacts on individuals physical and emotional health and spiritual well-being. I have seen these outcomes in my life through the use of essential oils. For this essay, I would like to further examine the role essential oils have in spirituality. I see the practice of aromatherapy as a vital part of spirituality. I feel that essential oils have played a central role in many cultures spiritual traditions and religious practices throughout history. In this analysis section of my essay, I will be discussing essential oils current use in medical practice, their ancient use in spiritual rituals and traditional practices, and their relation to energies. Use in Medicine: I believe that the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies is becoming more common in today’s medical practice. I will be exploring the use of essential oils in current medical practice and the implications it has for patients. The practice of aromatherapy is categorized as a CAM therapy by current medical standards. Essential oils are gradually becoming evidence based practice as more and more research is completed. Aromatherapy has been shown to improve patient outcomes while increasing patient’s perceptions of spirituality. RESEARCH PAPER-AROMATHERAPY IN SPIRITUALITY 9 According to, Spirituality and Use of Complementary Therapies for Cure in Advanced Cancer, “Interest in considering CAM for cure was relatively high in this group of inpatients on a palliative care unit, and was associated with increased spiritual faith and decreased existential well-being” (Trinkaus, Burman, Barmala, Rodin, Jones, Lo, & Zimmermann, 2011, p. 746). I interpret this excerpt to describe how implementation of complementary and alternative therapies such as the use of essential oils promotes spirituality and improve all-inclusive well-being in patients suffering from severe health disparities. I feel that study shows that patients have positive spiritual experiences associated with the use of essential oils. Throughout my personal experiences, the results of this study make sense to me. I feel that aromatherapy has had a significant impact on my perception of my spirituality and associated life experiences. Using essential oils free my mind and make me feel more grounded while being more in touch with nature. Use in Ancient Times: I see the historical applications of aromatherapy as proof that it is deeply ingrained in spiritual significance for many cultures around the world. I will be discussing the way essential oils are important throughout history as they relate to spirituality. Aromatic Plants, Spirituality, and Sacred Traditions by Stephanie Maxine Ross, discusses the attributes of historical spiritual practices involving the use of essential oils. She states, “Throughout the ages, aromatic plants and their distinctive aromas have played a central role in the spiritual rituals and traditional practices of every culture in the world. The aromatic plants that follow embody some of these ancient uses, having transcended time and space, they evoke spiritual and traditional meaning even today” (Ross, 2007, p. 331). In her more recent work she states, “The resins, gums, and woods of aromatic evergreen plants brought spiritual enlightenment through their vaporous RESEARCH PAPER-AROMATHERAPY IN SPIRITUALITY 10 release when used as incense, while the aromatic leaves and needles provided the precious oils and ointments for spiritual uses and sacred traditions” (Ross, 2010, p. 355). I feel that these two passages adequately demonstrate the spiritual significance essential oils play in ancient practices. In my personal experiences, spiritual enlightenment has been brought to me through the use of aromatherapy. Relation to Energies: I feel that the use of essential oils and other alternative therapies expose individuals to energies that influence spiritual balances. Candy Gunther Brown describes how integrative medicine therapies are spiritual in origin and are believed to channel universal energies that stimulate individual’s spirituality. She states that, “All of these practices assume the existence – and possibility of redirecting – universal life force or vital energy. This energy is metaphysical, or more than physical, and goes by various names, such as qi, ki, prana, vital force, or Innate Intelligence. Universal energy is subtle, meaning that conventional medical instruments cannot detect its existence. This energy is the fundamental reality behind everything in the universe. There is no essential distinction between the material world and that which formed and sustains it” (Brown, 2015, p. 463). I believe this passage explains how I think of spiritual energies such and ‘yin and yang’ or divine universal energy. I have felt a spiritual connection with the cosmos and believe this to be related to the divinity and indwelling universal energy that connects us with our origins. I believe that there is a high probability of advanced beings or intelligences elsewhere in the infinite universe. I see the cosmic energy as influencing individuals subconscious and perceptions of spirituality. I feel that essential oils can be used to rebalance individual’s spiritual energies and bring upon a state of harmonious equilibrium while facilitating their well-being. RESEARCH PAPER-AROMATHERAPY IN SPIRITUALITY 11 Conclusion: For my essay I have discussed the importance of the practice of aromatherapy and the use essential oils in various aspects of spirituality. Through this dissertation I have elaborated on my early spiritual experiences, provided definitions and examples, examined pathophysiological explanations, provided brief historical significance, identified basic issues surrounding the topic, and analyzed the role of essential oils in current medical practice, ancient times, and relation to energy presence as it relates to spirituality. Growing up, I was continually exposed to New-Age spiritualism and used aromatherapy on a daily basis. I feel that the use of essential oils has facilitated the development of my spiritual perspective and has improved my physical and mental health and well-being. In reflection on what I have learned throughout the research I have conducted on aromatherapy and the process of introspection on the role it has played in the development of my spirituality, I see that there is validity to my proposed thesis. I believe that the application of aromatherapy or use of essential oils is an integral concept related to spirituality, because it’s practice has served a fundamental role in several cultures religious practices and spiritual traditions throughout antiquity. RESEARCH PAPER-AROMATHERAPY IN SPIRITUALITY 12 Bibliography Allard, M. E., & Katseres, J. (2016). Using Essential Oils to Enhance Nursing Practice and for Self-Care. AJN American Journal of Nursing, 116(2), 42. Bartolini, N., Chris, R., MacKian, S., & Pile, S. (2 ...
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