We are spirit beings blessed by The Creator with five physical senses. Many believers however feel that ministering to ones senses with self-indulging therapies is of the flesh and therefore ungodly. I believe this thinking came from the fact that the ancient Romans who created the original bath houses and health spas if-you-will were pagans and considered hedonistic. They expanded on the Greeks glorification of aromatic plants for health, beauty and gifts to their gods and goddesses. In the opulent baths of Caracalla, Roman citizens could choose from twenty or so types of treatments, including steams, friction rubs and massages with therapeutic oils and mineral baths with costly, fragrant unguents to enhance the healing properties of the spa waters.
The Egyptians understood the importance of fragrant essences, herbs, water and massage therapy as part of maintaining good health. They are considered the original “mix-masters” of herbs, resins and other natural essences for health, beauty and “eternal” preservation.
Never-the-less these associations have not been favorable amongst Christians as we observed the teachings of Apostle Paul in Romans 8:12-13 (when it’s convenient) “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors — not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
The pursuit of or devotion to pleasures of the senses were often considered hedonism because it was believed to cause preoccupation with the flesh and its desires. For this reason Christians have shone away from pampering body practices that stimulate the senses and put too much emphasis on the physical needs of the body.
A balance of understanding would show us that living under submission to the Lord keeps us from living according to the flesh. To live according to the flesh is to live continually satisfying the lustful appetites of the flesh. Self-care is by no means lustful or fleshy. The reality is, God has given us our five physical senses for survival purposes, balance of body-systems, bring us pleasure, and as a means for us to experience His glory. It was Satan who introduced the sinful ways to exploit our senses.
That fact that God equipped us with five senses proves that we were His most beloved creation. These senses provide us with the ability to utilize all of the beauty and health benefits of nature. Science shows us that we have been given specially developed systems within the eye, ear, nose, tongue, and skin to translate sensory information into electrical signals which are passed along the nervous system to the brain. The brain then understands and processes this information, enabling us to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel. Although our senses work independently of one another, they can also work together, compensating for each other or adding to the information the brain receives. God created plants (including their leaves, bark, roots and resins) to feed us, heal us and assist with our wellbeing. It is through the use of our senses that we are able to enjoy the beauty and bliss of plants in so many ways. “Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food, their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.”— Ezekiel 47:12
Instead of rushing through life, stressed-out and overwhelmed why not treat yourself to what I call “spa moments” through Sacred Self Care.
Yes, we were created with the physical senses and biological makeup to benefit from plants in many marvelous ways and Aromatherapy is one of them. Aromatherapy is not a New Age modality. Aromatherapy is one of the most blissful forms of Sacred Self-Care. The bible shows us how fragrant flowering plants and aromatic herbs and essential oils were used spiritually, medicinally, for burial use, and for romance as well. People are often surprised when I say that Jesus would have been a good client of mine. I say this because of how much He loved good quality plant-based fragrance oils. I believe He enjoyed the oils for their calming effects and the frequency they emitted, as well as the pleasing aromas they left on Him. But this should be of no surprise because we know that Jesus lived a balanced life. During His earthly ministry He needed to stay healthy to do all that was set before him. He disciplined His flesh when needed, but He also ministered to His senses. He took mini getaways from everyone where He fasted and prayed. He also visited friends like Mary and Martha who ministered to His senses — through His sense of taste with delicious, healthy food and His sense of smell with 16 ounces of expensive pure, plant-based perfume oil (that is a lot of fragrance). If that wasn’t Aromatherapy I don’t know what is. Perhaps He experienced what is now termed reflexology with the massaging of His feet with Mary’s hair.
“Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” John 12:3
“A women came to Him (Jesus) having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when the disciples saw it they were indignant, saying “why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.” But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the women? For she has done a good work for me.” Matthew 26:7-10
Aromatherapy helps to bring balance and restoration to the mind-body system. Aromatherapy is both holistic and practical in that it can protect the body’s life-saving immune system as well as stabilize emotions. Aromatherapy allows us to experience pure bliss in moments steeped in aromatic pleasures. Breathe in the essential oils from the marjoram plant and you may experience a bit of euphoria. Feel the cobwebs wash away as the stimulating peppermint and rosemary oils clear and refresh your mind. This is “True Aromatherapy”. Aromatherapy beautifies as essential oils are quickly absorbed and can penetrate the skin easily, allowing for delightful restorative and de-toxifying facials and body treatments. Aromatherapy is truly a benefit and a blessing to all who are willing to embark on this beautiful, aromatic journey.
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