Who Is The Art Therapist?

August 25, 2011

The profession of art therapist is not a new one, but it is one that is not familiar to many people. Art therapists are professional therapists who have extensive training in both art and psychotherapy. In order to be an art therapist, a person must hold a master’s degree in either art therapy or a similar field. This knowledge and education allows an art therapist to help patients identify emotional problems through artistic mediums.

Most patients of art therapy are able to cope with their problems like stress and personal trauma. Art therapists can bring out in a patient the ability to gain insight into their own minds and feelings, as well as boosting the patient’s ability to establish and maintain healthy relationships. All of these things are important parts of healing, and art therapists are trained to use the artistic processes of the mind to bring these results out of their patients.

Aromatic Blending and Therapeutic Blending

August 13, 2011

While the term “aromatherapy” technically refers to the use of essential oils and plant extracts to produce a therapeutic effect in a person, many people enjoy blending essential oils simply for their fragrances. Blending for fragrance is a wonderful idea, but the blender should be aware of the therapeutic uses of the oils he or she wants to use. Using oils that are contraindicated for the person’s physical or emotional issues can produce a problematic response.

The same is true in blending essential oils for therapeutic use. Beginning blenders should use established recipes for the problems they are trying to fix, and should not attempt to blend their own recipes until they have adequate experience. When blending for fragrance, it is also important to remember that duplication of manufactured fragrances is not possible as manufacturers use artificial chemicals in their scents and perfumes.

Chakras And Flowers

August 7, 2011

How do you connect chakras, the energy centres of the body in Eastern tradition, and flowers, pretty, ephemeral, bright, cheerful manifestations of nature?

…by way of colour therapy.. yoga energy balancing techniques…meditation… and a simple way of making yourself feel better and re-energized even if you don’t really believe in any of the above.

There are seven main chakras (as well as several others) in a line from the base of the spine to the crown of the head and one more newly recognised chakra just above the head which I believe is important. Each one is associated with various areas of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. When the energy flow in one becomes blocked it can result in certain symptoms and vice versa. By keeping the chakras open and the energy flowing, we can maximise our body’s ability to keep well and heal itself.

One way of stimulating energy flow is by a simple visualisation. Each chakra has a colour of the spectrum linked to it. Focus on that colour and imagine that colour light pouring into the chakra and saturating it in pure coloured light, then visualise the chakra as a spinning disc of colour. Take 2 or 3 deep breaths as you do so. You can also repeat a mantra or affirmation to intensify the positive energy you are creating. Work through each chakra (see below for summary) in turn from Root to Crown to rebalance your whole energy level.

So what about the flowers? Whatever you use to visualise the colour would work, paint swatches, coloured stones or crystals, an image in your minds eye, but beautiful photographs of flowers saturated in the pure colour of each chakra can bring some extra flower energy into your life as well.

Flowers raise the vibrational energy around them, which is why they have long been associated with celebrations, brought as presents to new mothers, sick people, loved ones. Weddings and funerals are lavish with them. We are rarely aware of the spiritual connection these days, we just know that flowers cheer people up and make them feel glad. So flower photos as visualisation aids make sense and are beautiful to have around.

There are books written about the chakras going into far more detail than there is space for here, as it is a deep and complex subject, with infinite, individual interpretations, but here is a basic, brief summary of the chakras and their associated areas and colours.

1. Root - Red
Situated at the base of the spine.
Emotional grounding and ones roots. The excretory and reproductive systems and the immune system.
Mantra “I am in touch with the earth, my roots”

2. Sacral – Orange
A hands breadth down from the belly button.
Sexuality, creativity, financial issues, honour and ethics, one to one relationships.
Genital and urinary systems, bladder and prostate.
Mantra “I am a creative, sexual being”

3. Solar Plexus – Yellow
Over the solar plexus at the bottom of the rib cage.
Self-esteem, self-confidence and how you see yourself.
Digestive system, worries and fears, the stress of responsibility.
Mantra “I believe in myself”

4. Heart – Green
Over the heart.
Love, forgiveness, unconditional love. Relationships.
Circulatory and immune systems. Heart and lungs. Loneliness.
Mantra “I can give and receive love”

5. Throat – Blue
Centre of the throat
Communication, self-expression and will power.
Thyroid problems, sore throats, addictions(due to lack of will)
Mantra “I speak my truth”

6. Brow - Indigo
Centre of forehead
Intuition, intellect and mind, inner vision.
Brain and nervous system, eye problems.
Mantra “I see clearly”

7. Crown - Violet
Top of head.
Spiritual awakening, search for meaning. Our relationship to our spirit and God.
Central nervous system, overwhelming fatigue.
Mantra “I believe”

8. Soul star – White/crystal
Directly above the crown, about two hand’s breadths from the head
Awareness of ones soul and its connection to the conscious self.
Gives perspective on life and ability to see seemingly random positive or negative events as part of the soul’s journey.
Mantra “I transcend”

This is a personal, simplified interpretation of the chakras. Use it as a stepping stone to finding out more for yourself.