Given my position, does my ignorance surprise some of you reading this? Well, by the time you finish reading this article you will no longer be surprised...and you will understand why this is so. Briefly, here's the secret: vibrational essences and essential oils are not the same -- in fact, they are dramatically different. Now, for the health of both our fields, please continue reading and then pass this information along to others!
What essential oils and vibrational essences have in common -- besides being commonly confused with one another -- is that they are both deeply connected to plants. However, in the case of essences, they are derived from other sources as well. But how they differ is very important, and the most telling difference is this: vibrational essences are unscented and unflavored. Through special preparation, essences are made from only the energy of their parent substances. Unlike essential oils, they do not contain any of the chemical constituents of plants -- just their energetic properties.
Confused enough? Well, hang on because it gets worse. There is also the use of the term "essence" in the food industry, where it can refer to something all together different. Here, it means a flavoring agent -- sometimes a flavor concentrate, an essential oil, or a non-oil alcohol extraction.
Is there any wonder that I like to add the word "vibrational" before "essence"? Still, it's not enough to keep things clear -- people tend to gloss right over the "vibrational" part.
If you are still confused about what exactly essences are, then refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) before you go on with this article.
COMBINING ESSENCES WITH AROMATHERAPY
It can be fascinating to compare and contrast a vibrational essence and essential oil made from the same plant, especially one which you are familiar with. Experiment to see how the addition of the essence adds to the essential oil's range of action and visa versa. Some observe that vibrational essences introduce frequencies of energy which fall both below and above those present in essential oils, in combination offering a broader band of dynamic healing energy.
When to use an essence and when an essential oil? There are many ways to decide. For example, there are therapists who choose an essence for fast, deep emotional change, bringing in a complementary essential oil or oil blend to help with longer-term healing and integration of the same issue. In cases where both emotional and physical aspects arise, oils to promote physical change would be preferred, with a choice of essences to help support the emotional aspect. Remember, essences work more directly on the emotional, with oils directly addressing the physical body through their chemical interactions with it.
A combination of aromatherapy and oil-based vibrational essences are easily delivered. Essence oils join seamlessly with essential oils, either with or without some type of carrier. Any way in which you apply essential oils, you can apply essence oils.
There are ways that both water- and oil-based essences may be used in conjunction with aromatherapy. What -- mix oil and water!? Not really. However, alcohol or water-based vibrational essences are easily added to the water in essential oil diffusers and are delivered this way at the same time. Adding an essence oil to an essential oil burner works the same way, but without the usual resulting scent.
PURCHASING AND SELECTING ESSENCES
Choosing the best essences is an art, and like all arts is individual in practice and needs development over time. You will find your own approaches with experience; here are four to get you started.
Same theme, different modalities. Choose an essence to complement or add a dimension to the essential oils you are using, but keep to the same focus. They will both go to work addressing different levels of the same issue, each reaching aspects of the user the other easily does not. Written sources are good for this.
Call on a "generalist". Start by adding a "generalist" essence to your aromatherapy. A generalist is one which has the broadest possible range of action, therefore having something to offer in most situations. These include the ever-popular and -useful Five Flower and Rescue Remedy. Sadly, there are not many generalists available in oil form; I have made two for Whole Energy Essences (Master Harmonizing Mixture and White Solstice Rose).
Strengthen and tone. Some essences act as "toners", which are catalysts providing gentle strength, balance, and stability. Many essence therapists add at least one toner to all their mixes. The same qualities can be lent to your essence/essential oil combos. Some choices are Peach, Holly, Self-Heal, and Full Spectrum Light. (See here for an article about toners.)
Loves me, loves me not. Does the person have a favorite flower? Is there one they particularly dislike? Either way, chances are that at some time an essence from that flower could be an important helper for them. Look up the description of the essence's action and discuss with the person how this information may apply to their life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deborah Bier, M.Ed. is the maker of Whole Energy Essences and co-editor of Vibration Magazine. For more of her articles in Vibration Magazine, see here.
ART CREDITS: ArtToday.