Sunday, December 3, 2017

Frankincense and Colon Cancer

There have been some promising studies (sources below)  done lately on what, if any, effects frankincenseco2 extract  has on colon cancer. All these studies were conducted via a petri dish- not on live humans or live anything. 

Now this is NOT frankincense essential- this is something else. yes, it is extracted from the same resin and smells similar and its uses are similar but its chemical constituents-the chemicals that that are is 'makeup' are different in some profound ways. It has some chemicals in it that do not exist  in the essential oil and it is produced differently.

two of the cited research papers claim to have distilled frankincense oil containing, 0.1% – 3% boswellic acids (Ni et al 2012, Suhail et al 2011). Even if this was true, it only happened in the lab – there is no commercially produced frankincense oil that contains any boswellic acid.
So if anyone is trying to peddle their wares at you (or the world at large) by saying that frankincense essential helps with colon cancer- they are wrong. It has been studied right along the extract and it does not have the same properties nor the same effects on colon cancer cells.
In other words frankincense oil DOES NOT contain boswellic acid – the antitumoral active ingredient in frankincense gum resin and the extract. 


There are several boswellic acids found in frankincense gum resin, and they have molecular weights in the 450 – 500 range. However, volatile molecules – those capable of evaporation – all have molecular weights below 300. It cannot be distilled, that is, steam lifted and deposited into a bottle, its too heavy. So it must be extracted.

So how do we use the extract to help? Well first either get permission from the team of doctors that your clients is probably seeing to use the extract in your massage practice with the client. if the client is still going through either chemo or radiation the health team may say no and you will have to wait for permission. if your client is not having those treatments or is done with them then adding the extract into your practice should be safe. 

Make sure you are diluting the extract. 

if you are wanting an essential oil or extract help treat cancer, look to turmeric/curcumin, to cannabis/cannabinoids, to garlic/garlic oil, and to frankincense extract (finding the extract may be hard, there are some capsules and a few companies selling the co2 extract in a bottle).
Following that, I would consider essential oils of cinnamon bark, lemongrass, citronella, orange, lemon and bergamot. Some of these CANNOT be used during radiation, in fact unless you have a better understand of essential oils, do  not use any during cancer treatments. 

Ahmed, H. H., Abd-rabou, A. A., Hassan, A. Z., & Kotob, S. E. (2015). Phytochemical analysis and anti-cancer Investigation of Boswellia serrata bioactive constituents in vitro. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 16, 7179–7188.

Chen, Y., Zhou, C., Ge, Z. et al (2013). Composition and potential anticancer activities of essential oils obtained from myrrh and frankincense. Oncology Letters, 6(4), 1140–1146. doi:10.3892/ol.2013.1520

Dozmorov, M. G., Yang, Q., Wu, W., Wren, J., Suhail, M. M., Woolley, C. L., Young, D.G., Fung, K.M., Lin, H.K. (2014). Differential effects of selective frankincense (Ru Xiang) essential oil versus non-selective sandalwood (Tan Xiang) essential oil on cultured bladder cancer cells: a microarray and bioinformatics study. Chinese Medicine, 9(1), 18.

Frank, M. B., Yang, Q., Osban, J., Azzarello, J.T., Saban, M.R., Saban, R., Ashley, R.A., Welter, J.C., Fung, K.M., Lin, H.K. (2009). Frankincense oil derived from Boswellia carteri induces tumor cell specific cytotoxicity. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 9, 6.

Fung, K., Suhail, M., & McClendon, B., Woolley, C., Young, D.G., Lin H.K. (2013). Management of basal cell carcinoma of the skin using frankincense (Boswellia sacra) essential oil: a case report., 1(2), 1–5.

Hussain, H., Al-Harrasi, A., Al-Rawahi, A., & Hussain, J. (2013). Chemistry and biology of essential oils of genus boswellia. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: eCAM, 2013, 140509.

Ni, X., Suhail, M., Yang, Q., Cao, A., Fung, K.M., Postier, R.G., Woolley, C., Young, G., Zhang, J., Lin H.K. (2012). Frankincense essential oil prepared from hydrodistillation of Boswellia sacra gum resins induces human pancreatic cancer cell death in cultures and in a. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 12, 253.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Rose Water

Rose water

Rose water has been around for thousands of years. From mystical to medical the benefits of rose water are numerous.

Facial Toner: Wet a soft cotton ball with chilled rose water and dab it on cleansed skin.

  • Rosewater helps maintain the skin's pH balance, and also controls excess oil.
  • Rose water has anti-inflammatory
  • Rose water helps hydrate, revitalize and moisturize the skin giving it with that refreshed look.
  • Due to its antibacterial properties, rose water also aids in healing scars, cuts and wounds.. The antioxidant properties of rose water help to strengthen skin cells and regenerate skin tissues.
  •   Due to the astringent like properties it possesses, rose water helps clean pores and tone the skin. Applying rose water after steaming tightens capillaries, reduces redness and blotchiness.
  • The aroma of roses is said to be a powerful mood enhancer. It rids you of feelings of anxiety and promotes emotional well-being, thereby making you feel more relaxed.
  • The nourishing and moisturizing properties of rose water enhance the quality of hair. It is known to treat mild scalp inflammations and get rid of dandruff. Rosewater works wonders as a natural conditioner and revitalizes hair growth.
  • The scent of rose water on your pillow also helps you sleep better after a long day, making you wake up refreshed.

How to make your own Rose Water.
2-3 quarts fresh roses or rose petals
Ice cubes or crushed ice
1. In the center of a large pot (the speckled blue canning pots are ideal) with an inverted lid (a rounded lid), place a fireplace brick. On top of the brick place the bowl. Put the roses in the pot; add enough flowers to reach the top of the brick. Pour in just enough water to cover the roses. The water should be just above the top of the brick.
2. Place the lid upside down on the pot. Turn on the stove and bring the water to a rolling boil, then lower heat to a slow steady simmer. As soon as the water begins to boil, toss two or three trays of ice cubes (or a bag of ice) on top of the lid.
3. You’ve now created a home still! As the water boils the steam rises, hits the top of the cold lid, and condenses. As it condenses it flows to the center of the lid and drops into the bowl. Every 20 minutes, quickly lift the lid and take out a tablespoon or two of the rose water. It’s time to stop when you have between a pint and a quart of water that smells and tastes strongly like roses.
The highly fragrant Cabbage Rose (Rosa R.Centifolia) or other fragrant roses is suggested. if you  are going to ingest either the petal or water, make sure your roses are not covered in chemicals or had been grown with chemicals.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Feng Shui

 Feng Shui most fundamental idea is to bring good chi (Universal energy) into a space. There are certain things (objects, colors, sounds) that vibrate with the 5 Chinese elements. These elements are Fire, earth, metal, wood, and water. I find it interesting that the elements in most other cultures include air but it is missing from Chinese thought, even though Feng Shui means wind and water.

The 5 Chinese elements have different attributes and bringing things into a room that correlate with these elements, brings the associated energies into the space. Cindy said that many of these ideas are instinctual and if we listen to ourselves, we will be able to determine what energies are missing or overloaded and fix it by either bringing in something for the missing element or removing some of the things that are causing an overload (too many electronics in one room). This of course assumes that one either has a handy reference for the different elements and what their energies are or that the person has studied them enough to know that, for example, water means nourishing.

Some of the ways to bring the 5 Chinese elements into a space are:
Fire- lights, electrical things, and candles.
Earth- Stones and plants
Metal- Wrought iron things, metal sculptures, metal picture frames.
Water- fountains, vases, and bowls of water.
Wood- she did not mention anything on the dvd, but I assume anything made of wood would work.

There are also 9 celestial cures. These are supposed to promote good chi and fix and energy flow issues. They are:

1.         Reflections- mirrors, crystals, chandeliers and round or octagonal shapes.
2.         Goldfish- very auspicious in Chinese thought. Groups of 3 with one being black to absorb negativity. Has a calming influence.
3.         Household pets
4.         Harmonious sounds- soft music, soft wind chimes (bigger has lower not-as-annoying- sounds), singing bowls and the sound of a water feature.
5.         Color- no white walls, pastels are better, calmer. Have some smidgeon of all the colors present in the room even if it is just a tiny ribbon wrapped around something.
6.         Plants and flowers- especially spider plants in areas with a lot of electronics. Otherwise, round leaf plants.
7.         Moving items- ceiling fans, blinking lights, grandfather clocks.
8.         Heavy objects- statues, big rocks- this slows down and calm energy.
9.         Musical instruments- wooden flutes bring good luck
10.       Earthly cure- electronic energy.- brings life to a lifeless room.

With the last item, I have to wonder what symbol was used before electronics were around.
One last thing she did mention was that each person had a lucky charm. To figure this out you looked up your Chinese astrological symbol and then looked at handout she had to figure out your charm. I did an internet search but could find out anything.

I found out that there are two branches of Feng Shui (maybe more).

The Xing Shi branch and it studies the land around us and how energy flows over, around, and through natural formations such as mountains, rivers and valleys. It also examines how this natural energy is connected with nearby landforms, and how streets and structures have a co-dependent relationship or an additional impact on one another.

The Li-Qi branch evaluates heavenly (time) and earthly (space) to consider the flow of energy within a structure and how it affects its occupants.

I thought the presentation was interesting and though I adhere to a different elemental set, I will use some of the information given about the celestial cures within my massage room/business. I also would not hesitate to recommend clients to Cindy Wanek, should they be interested in Feng Shui.

Thursday, September 8, 2016


 “The John F. Barnes’ Myofascial Release Approach® consists of the gentle application of sustained pressure into fascial restrictions within the body.”  It involves stretches and compressions, applied with gentle pressure, that are held until the restriction releases.  “This essential “time element” has to do with the viscous flow and the piezoelectric phenomenon: a low load (gentle pressure) applied slowly will allow a viscoelastic medium (fascia) to elongate.”   A piezoelectrically induced current activates the healing processes in the stimulated area.

Four benefits for the therapist for studying MFR are: a wholistic approach to the body, increased body/mind awareness, improved body mechanics, and a kinesthetic feel for movement.

The 3 osteopathic principles that guide the practice of MFR are: Structure and function are interdependent, the body has the ability to heal itself, and the body is whole.
The 'matrix' within the MFR concept is the underlying structures of connective tissues. these are the tissues addressed using this technique.

“Piezoelectricity” refers to the production of electrical charges on the surfaces of a crystal specimen by the imposition of some form of “stress”.   The human fascial system, which covers every cell of the body, is a crystalline structure.-the matrix.

The fascia is a crystalline piezoelectric tissue; therefore, a gentle sustained pressure of myofascial release through compression, stretching or twisting of the Myofascial system generates a flow of bio-energy throughout the mind-body complex by the piezoelectric phenomenon. It relaxes the muscles.

This is the primary reason MFR works.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Aromatherapy Blends for Arthritis

Ingredients for Blend #1:

    * 2 ounces Carrier Oil
    * 20 drops Roman Chamomile
    * 5 drops Black Pepper

Ingredients for Blend #2:
    * 2 ounces Carrier Oil
    * 10 drops Roman Chamomile
    * 10 drops Helichrysum

Directions: Blend all oils together well and store in an airtight dark-colored glass container. Gently massage into arthritic joints using a small amount of oil. It is strongly recommended that you discuss proper massage techniques for your particular form of arthritis with your doctor. Depending on your situation, your doctor may advise you not to massage your joints. If you experience any discomfort, discontinue use and consult your medical practitioner.
Carrier Oil Suggestions: Carrier oils that possess anti-inflammatory properties include Hemp Seed, Jojoba and Pomegranate Seed Oils. Although not a vegetable oil, emu oil possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as a carrier oil.