Postural Alignment: Boost Energy and Health

The Hips.

They are a core part of our posture and support the spine, as well as being lifted by the legs.  Here is where our journey begins.

Hips can become misaligned due to a fall, being overworked with running or climbing stairs, or just twist in response to the myriad of muscles surrounding them.  The sacrum is the fulcrum of the hips, much like the Keystone of an arch holds the weight of all the stones that make up the archway.  From a Naprapathic standpoint it is the key to realignment and better health of the legs, but this is just the beginning.

What started the cascade of events that led to pelvic rotation?

We think of two types of pelvic rotations: Posterior or Classic Pelvic Rotation, and Anterior Pelvic Rotation.  Get out your protractor!  In Myofascial Release we can see these relationships when we go to the side of the person and look straight at the trochanter; the side protuberance of the bone of the leg that is on the side of the hip. Using that as the horizontal axis we are going to use our pointers and place one fingertip on the inferior border of Anterior Iliac Spine (ASIS) and the other on the Posterior Iliac Spine (PSIS).  Aim your fingers toward each other and you will have an angle in relation to the horizontal axis.  Measure the angle in degrees:

Women: Typically should have no more than a 10 – 15 degree angle,

Men:  Typically should have around a 5 degree angle.

Anything outside those ranges is abnormal.  If the angle has increased, indicating a pelvic tilt that is anterior, we will have lumbar compression and the muscles associated with that stress.  If the angle is decreased, indicating a pelvic tilt that is posterior, we will have sacral shear and the muscles pulling the pelvis in a posterior fashion along with loss of a lumbar curve. These landmarks are easily seen from the side view.

Along with supporting the spine, the pelvis has many ligaments and muscles attached in order to help us move our legs, sit down, turn to look to the side, and control most of our body movements.  We use the term “syndrome” in most of our diagnostic evaluations because so much is going on here; and we use orthopedic tests to tell us more about that.

Deerfield Motion Reflex is the most important orthopedic test in our diagnostic tool bag.  Dr. Deerfield discovered a surprising and accurate relationship between the lower legs and knee flexion and the corresponding tensions of the pelvis and lumbar spine; in fact that tension can also be felt all the way up into the neck.

Here is just an overview of what Deerfield Motion Reflex orthopedic test tells us:  Have the patient lie on their stomach with arms relaxed and face looking nose down into the face cradle.  Standing at the end of the table, preferably a low chiropractic exam table if possible, look down at the heels and flex the feet slightly.  Compare the heels or malleolus, and determine which one is superior.  Make a mental note and flex the knees.  Which event happens: does the superior malleolus stay inferior when flexed, or does it go long?  If the superior malleolus stays inferior with knee flexion we have now witnessed what Deerfield calls a Posterior Pelvic Rotation.  The muscles of the thigh have contracted and the leg on the side of posteriority is shorter in contrast to the other leg. More on that in a moment.  If, however, the malleolus was superior in the straight leg, but goes long or the leg appears to grow longer with knee flexion, this would indicate the tension is in the lumbar spine.

Posterior Pelvic Rotation.

The findings for a Classical Pelvic Rotation are easy to predict: When the bone of the pelvis, just one side you understand, goes into a posterior tilt it causes the muscles of the hamstring to become tight and shorten, and the anterior muscles such as the rectus femoris to become weak and lengthened.  The sacrum gets literally pulled toward the posterior pelvis and the opposite side PSIS ligaments are pulled causing the pain fibers to fire.  A patient will say, “I feel pain here,” as they point to one side PSIS.  When they are standing, that posterior side will be visible with the Ilium higher on that side.  That can be explained in multiple scenarios related to the rotation and the pull on the ligaments from the ilium that attach to the lumbar spine.  Either the lumbar vertebraes will be pulled toward the posterior ilium in response as the ligaments shorten, or the lumbar vertebraes will be rotated toward the opposite side as the psoas pulls on the vertebraes on the side of posteriority causing the vertebral rotation.  Either way we have to treat the entire syndrome as it appears: treat according to findings.

Anterior Pelvic Tilt.

The other side of the ilium is going to tilt in an anterior rotation because it has to; no choice.  It will never not rotate.  Remember that everything in the body is connected in one way or another; nature has designed everything in the body to communicate this way.  Amazing, I know, but we also need to educate ourselves in order to know what to do in order to resolve the problem.  It is a problem: patients will complain about hip pain, low back pain, lower abdominal pulling, weakness of legs, digestive disorders, or neck pain, knee pain, ankle pain, and so on.  Where is it all coming from, and what do we treat first?  Treat according to findings and START at the Pelvis which is our center of gravity.

Begin with creating a strong foundation for the spine; treat the anterior pelvic rotation first, then move to the posterior side, and after that the lumbar spine will follow: IN THAT ORDER.  Why? It works, that’s why.  No kidding.  If you treat the OUTCOME of pelvic rotation — the posteriority — without first treating the cause — the anteriority — you will just have to repeat your steps.  I for one am all in favor of treatments that are concise and easy on the body.  Believe me your patient will thank you, and say things like, “that feels good.”  Not, “ouch, that hurts!”

Just a word of advice here: you will have to have them come back for treatments at least weekly if you want this problem to resolve.  The ligaments that attach everywhere around this huge complex do not receive much oxygen because they are not vascularized; no blood vessels here so no oxygen.  They need encouragement and repeated stretching, but it must stay below the plastic range so they don’t get damaged and it takes time for the body to respond to stretching.  Anyone who stretches with their workouts will have first hand experience about how difficult it can be to stretch and how long it takes to get results.  Please tell me you stretch with your workouts!  If not, ask me how.

Naprapathic treatments are just that; stretching routines.  We lengthen tissues, apply techniques to massage away tension and trigger points, and use various means to relieve pain and regain alignment.  They are very very very gentle and if they do cause pain, we stop!  I get a lot of myofascial release into the tissues long before I ever do any stretching, especially in the cervical area.  But when I finally do go to the spine and do adjustments, they are going to hold longer and there should not be any pain or discomfort; I want to hear, “Doc, I feel so much better!  Look at how far I can turn my head now!”  Makes my day.

Postural Alignment

I conduct a visual inspection of the patient before they lie down on a table.  I look at them from the front, the sides and from the back.  Topographical cues tell me what is going on and I explain what I am seeing to the patient, sometimes mimicking their posture so they see what I am seeing.  Rather comical if you ask me, and a little laughter never hurt, especially when you are worried because you have been in pain and your legs are numb!

I look for horizontal lines that tell me about the spine.  Shoulders should be in a straight line and natural curves of the spine should be there also.  Too far in one way or another, whether tilting or leaning, or too much curvature tells me a lot about what is pulling on the spine.

Next I have them lie face down.  Gravity is now removed from the equation and I can get a better picture about how the body is holding itself together.  Some of the distortions that are seen standing will be absent when gravity is no longer a factor.

I know Oakley Smith would not like me now, but I am going to work on the superficial tissue first.  Dr. Smith created the science of Naprapathy and he thought we needed to do our initial evaluations without interfering with the superficial structures.  I do not agree; these are after all superficial findings and do not in any way give us a true picture of underlying causation.  I get it out of the way, and I used to be chastised in clinic because I spent too much time on each patient.  Guess what? I did it anyway.  I know more than most people coming in to this profession and myofascial release is good for everyone, including infants.  The problem is not resolved, but I can certainly see it more clearly now.

I use my orthopedic test to determine where I will begin the treatment: pelvis or lumbar spine.  Then I treat above the pelvis at the waistline, below the pelvis with the knees and ankles, and finally the cervical spine.

Following these simple steps in order will insure a lasting result, and patients will heal.  As long as they don’t fall on the ice or constantly overwork their muscles everything going on will resolve.  Pain goes away, muscles become strong, brain fog disappears and patients can return to their work schedule, their workout, and enjoy their lives.

Follow-up care is very important.  I cannot stress enough how getting evaluated on a regular basis can insure the health of the spine and entire body and brain.  Once a month is awesome, but that may happen after a few months of regular weekly treatments.  Here is my protocol.

Initial visit to evaluate the spine and begin proper care.

Weekly visits until symptoms resolve and the patient is comfortable in their own skin, as it were.

Bi-weekly visits continue until the pelvic rotation is resolved and the tissues “stay” in alignment.

Then the patient graduates to monthly treatments.  Missing a month every so often is going to be okay, as long as it does not extend beyond eight weeks.

Point in case: a patient was coming to me weekly, fell on the ice, or sneezed the wrong way and threw her back out; the lumbar spine was insulted by the extreme trauma.  After just two treatments the problem was resolved and we were back to weekly treatments.  She followed with regular care for about 6 more months and was released.

Another patient was coming in twice a month, but experienced an automobile accident.  I encouraged her to come in just hours after the accident and began with a very gentle treatment working on the muscles mostly and very gentle stretching of the neck.  Just two weeks and she had no residual symptoms and certainly no whip lash injury; we had avoided the possible build up of lactic acid by relaxing the pain fibers and keeping the blood supply to the area that was traumatized by the impact.  See how this works?

In yoga class I can look at someone and give them verbal cues to help lengthen the psoas, prescribe yoga postures that will help lengthen the posterior muscles of the spine and relaxation that will gently stretch ligaments.  I’m just awesome like that.  You should come to one of my yoga classes!

In massage school they erroneously tell massage therapists not to treat anyone immediately after an auto accident or a serious fall.  WRONG!  That is the most crucial time to go in there and calm everything down.  Avoid any surgeries or broken bones, but everything else needs touch!

Okay, I am off my soap box and encourage you to see spines differently.  If you see someone who is hunched over, twisting in a weird way, or complaining about their knee pain they probably have a posterior pelvic rotation and need to see a bodywork professional.  Tell them to see a Naprapath, and if one is not near them, seek help from a Myofascial Therapist.  They will thank you.

Yours in Health, Naturally

Dr. Wanona


FennFlex Routine


is a registered trademark with Dr. Wanona. You do not have my permission to share this training with anyone unless you ask me personally and guarantee you will credit me with its creation; in other words don’t steal my ideas.

Created by Dr. Rev. Wanona Wellspring Ceisel, DN, LMT

Many years ago when lifting weights I ran across an article by Larry Scott.

Mr. Scott was a personal trainer and mentor to Arnold Schwarzenegger who trained with Scott when he first arrived in the US.

In fact, Larry Scott has won Mr. America, Mr. Olympia (1965) and Mr. USA titles. He had such a marvelous physique.  In the article in the Chicago Runner, he described a workout routine unlike any I had ever experienced.  I used his technique and found amazing results.  Later he came out with another routine, which he called the “9-Minute Miracle Workout.”1 What is amazing to me is that less time spent working out can give better benefits.

After receiving my doctorates in naprapathy, I was better able to include movement therapies in the rehabilitation protocol with patients after an accident or illness or if they just wanted to improve their health.  It was then that I began to really incorporate the ideas that Larry Scott, and our good friend Dr. Fenn2, in what I now call FennFlexR.  I gathered together yoga flexibility, breathing techniques, synapse technique and higher intensity levels into a weight lifting routine to create FennFlexR.  Here is the basic premise:  The muscle works harder because we focus on eccentric contraction and the repetitions are slow using focused breathing and multiple breaths throughout the range of motion.  We can reduce injuries, as well as delayed onset muscle soreness, and increase strength in less time as well as become more flexible.

How Growth Hormone Increases with Intensity Training

The anterior pituitary is a gland located in the cranium between the two hemispheres of the brain just behind the orbits of the eyes.  Growth Hormone is secreted by the anterior pituitary and stimulates the liver and other body cells to secrete a growth-promoting peptide hormone known as IGF-1, insulin-like growth factor-1 also known as somatomedin C.

In addition, IGF-1 exerts direct effect on the metabolism of protein, carbohydrate and lipid on various cells and tissue.

The primary physiological effect of growth hormone (GH) is to stimulate both growth and protein anabolism.  Compared to these effects, metabolism of carbohydrates (CHO)and lipid are minor.  However, marked excess of GH does produce significant increase in CHO and lipid metabolism.

Growth Hormone will

  • render adipocytes more responsive to lipolytic stimuli;
  • increase gluconeogenesis by the liver; and
  • reduces the ability of insulin to cause glucose uptake by peripheral tissues, often termed “anti-insulin” effect, as seen with elevated plasma glucose levels.

During most of the day, little or no GH is secreted, although bursts may be elicited by certain stimuli, including stress, hypoglycemia, and exercise.  An hour or two after one falls asleep, one or more larger prolonged bursts of secretion may occur.  These are under the control of the hypothalamus or specifically, the hypothalamic hypophysiotropic hormones.  Growth hormone is stimulated by GHRH, growth hormone releasing hormone. And inhibited by hypothalamic somatostatin.

The result of changes of these two signals is the occurrence of episodic bursts and manifests a striking diurnal rhythm.

Additionally, during periods of stress, the fight-or-flight response is activated in the autonomic nervous system.  Including epinephrine, which is secreted from the adrenal medulla, the actions of the sympathetic neurons under stress include the following:

  • increased hepatic (liver) and muscle glycognolysis (provides a quick source of glucose)
  • increased breakdown of adipose tissue triglycerides (provides a supply of glycerol for gluconeogenesis and of fatty acids for oxidation.
  • Decreased fatigue of skeletal muscle
  • Increased cardiac output (increased cardiac contractility and heart rate)
  • Shunting of blood from viscera to skeletal muscles
  • Increased ventilation
  • Increased coagulation of blood


The advantages of these responses is invaluable

Steroid hormones, in contrast, are produced by the adrenal cortex, testes, and ovaries.

  • Aldosterone effects salt metabolism and the kidney’s ability to handle sodium, potassium and hydrogen ions.
  • Cortisol and corticosterone are glucocorticoids and effect the metabolism of glucose and organic nutrients. Cortisol also facilitates the body’s response to stress and regulates the immune system.
  • Androgens are secreted by the testes and ovaries.

Steroid hormones exist in plasma bound to proteins and free dissolved in the plasma.  The degree of protein binding affects the rate of metabolism and the excretion of the hormone.

Hormones that circulate freely in the bloodstream last only brief periods and protein-bound hormones are less vulnerable to excretion or metabolism and removal may take many hours or several days.  The effect of steroid hormones is the rate of synthesis of proteins.  Pharmacologic benefits include the suppression of allergic and inflammatory responses.

In an exercise routine where subjects goals are to tone and sculp, the GH can be elicited with several positive effects:

The method is to create a stress situation with intensity of weight that causes a surge of GH to be excreted.  Because GH has a local response, this is especially helpful in spot reducing.


The FennFlexR is a routine that is done with every muscle in four sets.  Each set has a purpose:

Set One.  Warm the muscle.

Set Two.  Work the muscle.

Set Three.  The “Fear” set.

Set Four.  Work the growth hormone into the target muscle.

Between sets one and two, and two and three the person must stretch the muscle they just worked.  It is possible to increase weights on a weekly basis using this technique.

Set One.

I call this set the warm-up set.  This allows blood to flow into the muscle to warm the tissues and joints.  I recommend that the weights are kept at a low range to allow for easy range of motion for the joint and muscle effort should be low.  The brain should recognize this as an easy effort and the body remains relaxed.

Stretching is very important after set one.  While the muscle is warm, the muscle can be stretched and not torn.  There is no catabolism in the FennFlexR technique.

Set Two.

This is the strength set.  Enough weight is placed on the machine or bar so that the person is able to accomplish 6-8 good clean reps.  No more.  There is a reason for this.  Each repetition is done slowly and deliberately with good extension and smooth flexion to control the movement at the joint and focus on eccentric contraction of muscles.  An example is the biceps curl.  Each repetition is done slowly as the elbow extends and eccentrically lengthens controlling the weight held in the hand.  This will gradually change the lever arm as well allowing for control at the joint and strengthen the length of the muscle.  Breath is most important here.  In FennFlexR we take several short breaths and exhale several times to allow lactic acid to be processed more quickly as we slowly lower the arm and raise the arm.  The goal is to complete six good repetitions staying within an aerobic capacity.  When we go beyond the level at which our mitochondria can process lactic we have entered into the anaerobic phase of exercise, which is catabolic and we begin to break down muscle tissue.  We absolutely do not want to do this.  There is no muscle soreness after working out if we stay in the aerobic capacity.

Stretching here will allow the muscles to relax, prevent reflexogenic contraction and guarding in a very tired muscle.  Relax and take your time.  I recommend stretching each muscle for 2 or 3 minutes.  This will also allow the heart rate to come down and a minimal amount of cooling to occur.

Set Three.

The muscle is now ready to work harder than it ever has.  Larry Scott called this the ‘Fear’ set.  The reason makes sense, however.  The person must lift so much weight, isometrically, that only one quarter of one rep can be accomplished.  If you are on equipment that counts your sets and reps for you, then make that one complete repetition.  The isometric workout here focuses on one muscle lifting one bone.  First of all, the brain is extremely excited and a rush of growth hormone is released into the body and targeted to the muscle that is working so much overtime.  Secondly, the bone is being pulled upon which makes for stronger bone and tendon.  And thirdly, the heart rate is up which is pumping more oxygen into the muscle and more lactic acid into the mitochondria.  Also, over time there will eventually be more mitochondria to help out in the future.

There is no stretching session between set three and SetFour for one very important reason.  Growth hormone will be absorbed and eradicated just as quickly as it was released, so it must be used immediately.

Set Four.

Without a break between set three and SetFour, except for changing weights, the person will now reduce the weight to the level of Step One.  This lower amount of weight following an isometric stress on the muscle will help focus the growth hormone into the target muscle and help build more muscle fibers.  We do not need to worry about repair, because we have stayed in an anabolic mode throughout our workout.

Increasing Weights

If during Set Two you find that you can almost as easily do eight repetitions as doing six, it is time to increase weights.  But this is not the set where we increase the weights.  Increasing weights on Set Two will only damage the muscle and that is not our goal.  Instead, increase the weights on Set Four.  After an isometric contraction, the growth hormone is focused into the muscle.  By increasing the weights only 5 to 10 pounds in Set Four, the muscle begins to recognize this as an easy task to accomplish and remembers the new weight limit.  At the next workout, this is the weight you would begin with.  It is safe to increase weights every other workout for that muscle.


The muscles need to rest, and the brain likes variety.  It is better to let a muscle that has worked very hard rest for two weeks before working it again.  For this reason, we do not do the same workout routine every day.  The brain would get bored and you would reach a plateau.  Instead, vary the workouts in this way:  Work the front of the upper body one day and the back of the lower body on the same day.  Then on a following day work the upper body in the back and the lower body in the front.  Or spread it out even more and work front of the arms and upper back, upper chest and hams, calves and biceps, latisimus and tibialis, etc.  Variety is the spice of life, and it is important that the brain stay amused and excited.  Besides the added benefit of allowing the muscle to build more fibers especially when recovering from injury, it is important to vary your workouts.  Always add abdominal work with every workout, and a good 10-minute aerobic warm-up before beginning any workout.

Here is a summary of the benefits of FennFlexR:

  1. No delayed onset muscle soreness
  2. Growth Hormone Release for muscle building
  3. No muscle damage
  4. Decreased rehabilitation time
  5. Increased strength in shorter time.
  6. Increased bone mass and density
  7. More oxygen to the brain


Relaxation is necessary for optimal performance during the day. At the beginning and end of your workout sit in a cross legged posture or Easy Pose.  Empty your mind and relax the tension from your body.  Breathing is key to relaxation.  Inhale completely and deeply, relax and exhale quietly.   Practice Three-Part Breathing for a few breaths, then continue to breathe deeply for five to ten minutes.

Three-Part Breathing

Part One.  Inhale deeply allowing the belly to move forward.  The diaphragm contracts as the lungs expand filling with fresh Oxygen.  Fill the body as water fills a vessel.

Part Two.  Begin with the belly and expand the lower ribs, then the upper ribs all the way to the clavicles.

Part Three.  Feel the air reaching the top of the chest, then relax.

Control the exhale and quietly empty the top of the chest, the lower chest and ribs, and then the belly comes back.  Gently pull the navel back towards the spine.  The inhale will follow naturally as you repeat the process.


A Naprapathic physician is a doctor who specializes in connective tissue disorders.  It is my specialized training that has led me to the discovery and refinement of the FennFlexR routine.  I have been training patients and personal trainers to work with their limitations. Rather than focus on stretch in the tight side, we concentrate on strengthening the weak side.  Within these parameters and we are seeing amazing results; 12% bone gain in one year, and range of motion increases in 6 weeks for example.  It is my goal to help patients recover from injury or illness in less time, and not have to spend so much time at the gym if all they are interested in is staying healthy but their lives are very hectic.  FennFlexR is the answer to every person’s health improvement program.  I can be reached at for questions about FennFlexR or other health-related matters.


Dr. Rev. Wanona Wellspring Ceisel, DN, LMT is a Naprapathy doctor, licensed massage therapist, clinical nutritionist, pain management and rehabilitation specialist, and yoga instructor.  She is also the owner/director/instructor at the Wellspring Centre of Natural Healing Arts an accredited medical massage vocational school in Naperville, Illinois (from 2000 to 2005) and creator of Wellspring Massage, Facial Reflexology and owner/director/instructor at Spring Creek Holistic and Organic Farm founded in 2014.



  1. Larry Scott, Utah, 1996
  2. Fenn, anatomist, 1952

Aromatherapy for Pain

This abstract first appeared in the Journal of Prolotherapy 2012.  As the author I give myself kind permission to reprint it here.  Use Aromatherapy wisely and enjoy good health.

Therapeutic Grade Aromatherapy Essential Oils in the treatment of Pain

By Wanona Wellspring, DNSinus HA Pillow



Essential oils of Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lavender and Myrrh contain neuro-depressive qualities for blocking pain as suggested by several studies in recent years.  Also unique in their pain-relieving properties are helichrysum, white fir, and Douglas fir.  There are several factors in pain sensation resulting from trauma (both physical and emotional), nerve damage, joint dysfunction, arthritis, and surgery,  Most of the research has been done in France and has not been translated into English.  However, there is substantial documentation to support the safe and effective use of therapeutic grade essential oils for many health related maladies, including pain.


Of the many nerve fibers of the human body, the nociceptors comprise a large number and are located primarily within moving joints, and innervate various tissues within the body.  There is a protective nature of the sensation of pain to help prevent injury to ourselves, staying within our pain “threshold”, and to signal the brain to compensate for a previous injury.  Nature has supplied us with a natural plant aromatic oil that has the ability to suppress substance P, a neurotransmitter that signals pain within the brain.  Other essential oils from plants help muscles relax, heal bone, repair tendon, and calm the otherwise stressed sympathetic nervous system that keeps us in the pain-spasm-pain feedback loop with no relief.  Understanding the physiological affect of the essential oils has been the subject of research in recent years.  More recently individual subjects have used combinations of pure therapeutic grade essential oils for their pain relief before and after surgery with phenomenal results.  The essential oils were either ingested to applied topically, and there was absolutely no need to administer pharmaceutical pain medication.  The emotional apprehension of impending surgery, or its aftermath of pain and hemorrhage, or infection, has been completely eliminated by using therapeutic grade essential oils.



To review of literature and personal testimonials for the effective use of therapeutic grade essential oils in the cessation of pain and relief from muscle spasm due to trauma or surgery and the formulas of single and blended oils that were used.


The use of therapeutic grade essential oils by individuals has been documented by testimonials on various yahoo groups, as well as personal interviews via phone or email and in person to verify what oils were used, how they were applied, how soon were the results felt and for how long, and when was the use of the oils discontinued.


The primary pain formulas used varies from person to person although the same basic formula keeps repeating.

Prior to Prolotherapy (or surgery) Pain Control Formula

10 drops Vetiver
10 drops Valerian
5 drops Helichrysum
5 drops Clove

Post-Prolotherapy (or surgery) Pain Control Formula

20 drops Valerian
20 drops Vetiver
10 drops Helichrysum
5 drops Clove
5 drops Idaho Balsam Fir
5 drops Peppermint

Make the formula and place into 00 capsules.  Take as often as needed or 3-4 hours apart.

Pain Formula for Trauma

19 drops Valerian

2 to 3 drops Clove

2 to 3 drops Peppermint

Taken internally in an 00 capsule, two capsules at night are good for about 5 hours of pain relief.


When plants are selected for essential oils they undergo a stringent process to verify their purity and potency.  They are grown in the best of conditions verifying their organic and wild-crafted nature.  Many are grown in areas where the soil is extremely rich and have never received chemicals of any kind.  They are harvested at their peak to insure that the quality of the oil in their leaves is the highest.  Then they are diffused at a temperature that will allow the oils to be extracted into the steam, but not so high a temperature that the healing components are degraded.  This is so often the case with casual perfume companies who adjust the oils with chemicals to make them appear to be pleasant to the nose, but have no true therapeutic properties.


Select few companies have taken it upon themselves to provide pure therapeutic grade essential oils that are potent, organic and contain the highest quality ingredients according to scientific standards set by professional aromatherapy laboratories.

“The chemistry of essential oils consists of simple hydrocarbons, oxygenated hydrocarbons, and their isomers.”

The oxygenated compounds of essential oils give them their most satisfying aroma and quality.  Monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes fall into the category of Terpenes and contain groups of hydrocarbons responsible for their therapeutic effect in cells.  There are an estimated 1,000 different monoterpenes and as many as 3,000 sesquiterpenes found in essential oils.

Both Valerian and Helichrysum contain sesquiterpenes.  gamma-Curcumene in Helichrysum  (helichrysum  italicum) and alpha-Farnescene in Valerian (Valeriana officinalis).  Sesquiterpenes are a fundamental class of plant compounds containing three isoprene units per molecule and are found in about 50% of all plant oils.  Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) contains 90% sesquiterpenes and is well known for its fixing property.


Ketones are composed of a carbonyl group with a hydrocarbon attached.  They emit a strong aroma and aid in nerve sedation, as well as promoting healing.  Valerian (vetiveria zizanioides) contains a ketone known as alpha-Vetivone.


Both Valerian and Vetiver contain small amounts of carboxylic acids.  The presence of acids in essential oils is so rare and unusual that many of them are named for their parent plant, valerinic acid and vetiveric acid are found in valerian and vetiver respectively.  The acid molecules carry a benzene ring giving them a higher resonance energy giving them electromagnetic frequencies.  Valerinic acid when combined with the aldehyde valerianal gives valerian its unpleasant smell.  The sedative properties of valerian however comes from the sesquiterpenes present in the oil.  It has been used as a tranquilizer in Germany and to treat insomnia.  The aldehydes in oils provide an antiviral and anti-inflammatory quality as well as calming effect to the nervous system.  Working on the parasympathetic system they reduce blood pressure by dilating blood vessels, relieve emotional stress and may reduce fevers.


Helichrysum (helichrysum italicum) is also known as Everlasting.  It contains less than 0.1% essential oil content and is costly to obtain.  It contains the sesquiterpene gamma-Curcumene.  Sesquiterpenes delete faulty information by correcting transcriptase function in DNA replication.  The largest element found in helichrysum is the ester Neryl Acetate up to 38%.  Esters are known for their relaxing effect, analgesic and strong affinity for acetylcholine receptor sites.  This may explain why muscle relaxation occurs as the ester occupies the space of the muscle receptor site and slows down the contraction of muscle fibers.  Other well known esters are found in Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Onycha, Cardamom, Jasmine and Spruce.

Peppermint  (mentha piperita) contains a high concentration of Menthol (34-44%) and is never mistaken for other oils of the mint family.  The flavor or peppermint will dominate the blend.  It will fight against invading microbes and fight off bacteria and viruses while offering pain relieving qualities.  Peppermint will suppress the production of substance-P neurotransmitter in response to pain.  It is a popular ingredient to freshen mouth, soothe digestive difficulties, relieve colic and indigestion.


In addition to its effectiveness in pain relief, clove (syzygium aromatica) has also demonstrated itself as an anti-inflammatory and a blood thinner.  It has a higher ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value of over 10 million.  By comparison the ORAC score of blueberries is only 2,400, 1,260 for spinach, 750 for oranges, and 210 for carrots. Clove has been used as an oral anesthetic by dentists for more than 500 years.  The phenolic compounds found in clove clean receptor sites, eat up free radicals and protect us from viruses and harmful bacteria. Clove contains more eugenol (75-80%) than any other essential oil giving it the anesthetic quality when used topically. Jean Valnet, MD, a French physician reportedly found clove beneficial for many purposes including nausea, bronchitis, arthritis, acne, halitosis, headaches, insect bites, mouth sores, warts, lymphoma, and prevention of contagious disease.


Margarete D.
Location: Tucson, AZ, United States
Posted: 2005-07-31
My neighbor had to quit her job because of severe pain and inflammation of the nerves in the carpal tunnels. She had intense, painful throbbing in her wrists, especially at night. During a visit I offered her the use of my peppermint oil to see if it might help her. After application of a few drops, she had right away an easing up of the pain.

Next morning, it was not even 6AM yet, when she called me all excited because for the first time in 7 years, she had a good night’s sleep. She has since applied also Lavender, and the other 5 oils in the Essential 7 kit. She was and remained completely pain free after about 7 days.

JoAnn S.r
Location: Ukiah, CA, United States
Posted: 2006-01-31
I was having a problem with my foot aching. This had gone on for a year or so. I told my osteopath that when I moved my foot a certain way that it was really painful. He told, ‘Well, don’t do that.’ Then it dawned me to look in one of my oils books to see what might help. I tried peppermint, and the pain disappeared. It is months later, and the pain has not returned.

Raymond W.
Location: Pontiac, MI, United States
Posted: 2005-11-22
In 1998 I discovered the power of Young Living’s essential oils while seeking alternatives to the cortisone injections that I was receiving from the specialist that my employer sent me to. While the pain subsided for several days, I still suffered from what was called cortisone flares when the pain seemed worse than the original pain and one night the pain was so unbearable, yes, this man cried. Real men do cry you know! Even Jesus wept on several occasions!

Well…one day I noticed an advertisement in a magazine regarding the application of a few drops of a potent oil blend that had helped others find relief from various pains so I ordered a bottle of PanAway, which was known by PanAway at that time. Nevertheless, upon my first application of no more than 8 drops that oil blend had resolved my ailment.

Sondra G.
Location: Sterling Heights, MI, United States
Posted: 2007-08-26
OK, I got a cavity, in the last molar…so I had to get it fixed. I do not use the numbing stuff or gas so was thinking of the pain…but then remembered about clove! I brought it with me and put it on while I was in the waiting area. It numbed it right up. No pain. Aha! I put one drop on the tooth after he was half done drilling. My dentist was great about it and is a little curious. :)
Cindy C.
Location: Sag Harbor, NY, United States
Posted: 2009-03-04
My husband has had 3 back surgeries that have been considered failures. At night he suffers if he has done too much during the day. One night he was so miserable- I placed peppermint all over his back and instantly he felt better. He fell asleep peacefully without extreme pain.

Now when he is in the least bit of pain we use the oil to soothe his muscles and remove the pain. Works great!


Lori Y.
Location: Peoria, AZ, United States
Posted: 2008-07-17
I had to have a deep conization surgery and prepared in this way:

PRE OP on my brainstem I put Vetiver, Frankincense, Release. On my pelvic area (area of surgery) I put Clary Sage, Vetiver, Frankincense and Thieves. I also put Thieves on my feet.

POST OP I focused only on my area of surgery (over the pelvic area) and applied Geranium (to slow bleeding) Clary Sage (cramping) Frankincense and Thieves and RutaVaLa. I repeated this every 3 hours on the first day of surgery until bedtime. I ALSO drank loads of water post-op with NingXia Red in it (didn’t measure amount but it probably totaled 6oz that day)

I had NO PAIN, NO CRAMPS! NO NAUSEA which I guess is common post anesthesia. The day after surgery, I woke rested and as if I had never had a surgery. I continued to apply the oils to the pelvis every few hours for the next 3-4 days and still NEVER HAD A CRAMP OR PAIN !For the whole deal I never needed to take so much as an aspirin !

I had asked the anesthesiologist to give me the bare necessity of drugs, that I didn’t want any ‘for my comfort’ drugs. I had surgery on a Thursday and was in my exercise class the following Monday with my normal level of energy.

To me this is a miracle as I’ve had plenty of colposcopies and have been uncomfortable with cramping (which I’ve discovered Clary Sage and Geranium are great for by the way). This was a much bigger procedure and because I used oils prior to and regularly post op it really made the experience no big deal. I was amazed and delighted. My husband and relatives were shocked that I was up and moving so soon after the surgery.

 Casey P.
Location: Eugene, OR, United States
Posted: 2008-04-23
When I had abdominal day-surgery a few months ago, I made sure I had my favorite oils by my bedside for when I came home from the hospital. Whenever I woke in the night I found that just opening the bottles and smelling them, before I even applied them to the sore areas, calmed my anxiety and even made the pain seem less.

The prescription I was given for pain made me jittery and unable to sleep so I stopped taking it after the first night and relied primarily on the oils. I was fine, even getting around sooner than I expected. The best ones I found for pain were helichrysum, lavender, chamomile. I also added Peace & Calming, geranium, and 3 Wise Men for help staying calm and sleeping.

Rosalyn S.
Location: Fairbanks, AK, United States
Posted: 2004-10-14
I recently had major abdominal surgery. Anyone that has had this knows how you feel when you wake up. I will tell you what I did.

First, before surgery, I showered using Thieves cleanser, figuring I would help make sure I also didn’t have to fight a staph infection later if I could help it.

Second, my doctor allowed me anything that made me feel more comfortable, so I brought my own pillow in a plastic bag to hold in the Peace & Calming, Valor and Thieves I had saturated it with and the wonderful odors I woke up to.

Third, I placed 3 drops of Peace & Calming and 3 drops of Gentle Baby down my lower spine before going in the operating room.

Fourth, when I woke up and began to feel discomfort (read, it hurt like H—) I used a lavish hand with the Helichrysum, Sacred Mountain and Peppermint. That was the only time I used anything but the Peppermint for the discomfort. I found out later that no one had turned on the morphine pump, so these things really did the job for me. We found that I am allergic to almost all of the pain relievers and antibiotics, so I relied on Peppermint, neat, on the abdomen and 2 drops of Oregano, 2 drops of Mt. Savory and 10 drops of lemon in a capsule, twice a day.

My incision healed up extremely fast, the bruising was gone within 2 days, I rode my 4 wheeler to the house from the highway because of road conditions after being released from the hospital and have since helped construct a 3 story house in the Alaskan Bush. I hope this helps someone else.

Denise E.
Location: Binghamton, NY, United States
Posted: 2006-03-29
My mother-in-law had already had her knees replaced surgically years before I met her. She told me last summer about the horrible pain she was suffering in her knees, and that she had already been to her doctor. They told her that they didn’t want to operate again explaining that not only did they feel that they couldn’t fix the problem, but that the surgery could make the problem worse! I applied a few drops of Helichrysum to her knees and she had instant relief. Needless to say that Helichrysum quickly became her favorite oil.
 Teresa S.
Location: Knoxville, TN, United States
Skills: Massage Therapist
Posted: 2006-10-30
I had back surgery several years ago and periodically I have back pain with inflammation. Recently I went to my chiropractor and there was so much inflammation, he could not adjust me. He told me to ice my back, but I went home and put peppermint on it instead. The inflammation subsided immediately along with the pain.



Using therapeutic grade essential oils when there are symptoms of pain or as a protecting agent and to prevent pain from surgery has been successful and warrants investigation.  The scientific data justifies the use of specific oils which have been tested by health practitioners and patients with great success.  Whether you are contemplating oral surgery or simple dental cleaning, or knee replacement, the use of even a few essential oils will help reduce the pain and inflammation as well as protect against infection and emotional stress most patients experience from these procedures.



  1. D. Gary Young, ND. Essential Oils Integrative Medical Guide. Essential Science Publishing, April 2003.  Second Edition. 608 Pages, ISBN 0-943685-34-6
  2. Delaveau P, et al. “Neuro-depressive properties of essential oil of lavender.” C R Seances Soc Biol Fil. 1989;183(4):342-8.
  3. Dolara P, et al. “Analgesic effects of myrrh.” Nature. 1996 Jan 4;379(6560):29.
  4. Gobel H, et al. “Effect of peppermint and eucalyptus oil preparations on neurophysiological and experimental algesimetric headache parameters.” Cephalalgia. 1994; 14(3):228-34.
  5. Higley, Connie, and Higley, Allan. (2001) Reference Guide for Essential Oils, 11th Edition.  Abundant Health, Oren Utah. 536 pages. ISBN 0-97-06583-6-2
  6. Manwaring, Brian, editor. Essential Oils Desk Reference. compiled by Essential Science Publishing , Orem, Utah. Third Edition 2006. 520 pages ISBN 0-943685-39-7
  7. Pharmacological and Toxicological Aspects of Essential Oils.  Integrated Aromatic Medicine 2001, proceedings from the International Symposium Grasse, France, March 2-5, 2001
  8. Stewart, David, PhD, DNM. Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple, God’s Love Manifest in Molecules. Care Publications, 2006 Second Edition 846 Pages.  ISBN 0-934426-99-6

Mind Body Medicine

From a very early age I saw evidence that the body reacted to the emotions and our thoughts could dictate our state of health, or disease.  I saw it first hand with my mother who had a mental illness that went misdiagnosed for decades.  I lived in a dysfunctional household where she would be fine and smiling one day, and the next day she would be a terror.  I did NOT want to live in that family with that household, but I knew there was absolutely no way to leave there; I was eight years old.

So when Deepak explains the science that has developed around Mind Body Medicine and how our bodies react to our thoughts and experiences I am in total agreement.  Here is what so called Western Medicine has decided to ignore; that our body reacts in a chemical way to our surroundings.  We understand very little really about what to do with this fact.

Trauma is an extreme example, and one that I would like to address because I think it is an experience that we have all been faced with at one time or another.  I understand how the pain nerve fibers react from an automobile accident even when there are no broken bones, torn skin or loss of limb.  But why do the pain fibers continue to fire when we seem to be fully recovered?  And what about the trauma of someone who angers you or scares you? How does our body process these emotional upsets that in turn signal chemical changes in our bodies?  I want to know how we can deal with all types of trauma, and I want to know in what ways can we get back to normal?

I think touch is the answer.  As a health practitioner and bodyworker I see patients who are in pain from no particular incident other than they “moved the wrong way” and now they are in pain.  I also see patients who went the normal route of medication for pain and muscle tension, a practice that is far too prevalent in the emergency room, and went to physical therapy and were told they would never be their old self again.  I treated that same patient with tender care, evaluating where the tension was affecting their body, the musculoskeletal system, and more importantly their emotions.  How is it that after a year of the “standard of care” they made no recovery, but with my skilled hands and gentle heart, they were able to return to their “pre-accident” state within six weeks?

When we think of Mind Body Medicine, there is another component that is not ever discussed; the healing quality of touch from another.  In the book, Psychology of Yoga, they discuss how simple touch can have many physiological benefits as well as emotional benefits.  A young woman with seizures that are not well controlled with medication saw dramatic results in just a few weeks of gentle massage. I saw a young child who having been born addicted to heroine was finally able to relax spastic muscles after just a few minutes of CranioSacral Still Point.

If we are to speak of Mind Body Medicine, then we should also include in this discussion the idea that energy is also shared between people especially if the intent is to share compassion and love for another human being.  I think there is agreement among providers that trauma victims lose sight of their self.  Being able to reconnect to their true self is difficult, but when we experience the touch of another compassionate soul there can be a shift.  Healing Touch has been taught to nurses and other bodyworkers as a non-invasive modality to help bring energy back to the body, mind and spirit of anyone willing to receive.

Trauma-sensitive yoga therapy is very aware of the disconnection between the body and the mind and uses yoga postures to guide the individual back into the awareness state of the body; to speak to the Inner Physician that Dr. Upledger identifies when working with the body. The dialogue between the tissues and the subconscious mind happens between the individual and their inner self to reconnect their body and their mind in a more healthy relationship.

Being consciously aware of our body is the first step to enlightenment.  How many of us are aware? Our jobs seem to be so much more important than our bodies and we neglect the basic needs like drinking water, exercise or relaxation. That is how our American society is expected to act; do your job and your day is about getting the work done and who cares about what your body needs.  A difficult dance, I admit, but it is a sad state of affair.  I once was fired from a job because the owner caught me reading a book on Grieving that I used to keep me calm after my mother died.  He did not ask me what I was reading or what it was for, just that I was taking time at my desk to read something not work related.  That was really dumb and stupid on his part and I was happy to leave.  I never went back to another “job” after that and have remained self-employed; thank God.

Listen to the video with Deepak Chopra and the scientific search for Body Mind Medicine:


My own idea about trauma goes deeper than most.  I have experienced many life-altering traumatic experiences; drowning, automobile crash, loss of loved one, emotional trauma, and even disease which can also be traumatic. I think we have forgotten or may not even be aware of how connected our thoughts are to our body and how powerful they can be if we use them as the vehicle to change the chemical process that our body undergoes; change your thought and change your life. Not really hard to understand for some, but very foreign to many.

In What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses, Daniel Chamovitz talks about the chemical messengers in plants that help it thrive and survive.  Even messengers that are spread from plant to plant through space, they emit chemicals that warn other plants of predators making them less appealing.  We all know how wonderful a green salad can be, but did you also know that the anti-oxidant properties are enhanced when you tear the lettuce?  This is the plant’s automatic healing process; to emit chemicals to begin the wound repair and thanks to them we can eat the anti-oxidants they produce to help our own bodies heal.

When I first got into Mind Body Medicine as a massage therapist and nutritionist, I used hair analysis.  I could not work with a lab back then, and the hair is really accurate in showing how our bodies are using the food we eat or reacting to the drugs we take.  Hair has become a gold standard in determining if someone is a drug user; it is registered and stored in the hair shaft and stays there until you cut it off.  We used the first inch from the scalp as a sample for the lab to test.  The lab I worked with would send me back a report on the metabolic markers so that I could then determine what imbalances in their diet needed to be corrected.  It was the only lab that would also tell me their metabolic type: slow, mixed, or fast.  I think this is similar to the Dosha type in Ayurvedic Medicine: Vata, Pita, or Kapha.  Our goal in either case is always to locate the cause of the imbalance, treat it temporarily to reduce symptoms, but inevitably to find the missing link, remove the underlying cause, and regain our health.

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Reflexology; Anti-Aging and Stress Relieving

Reflexology is a time-honored therapy that existed thousands of years ago.  The Egyptian Method that I teach has its’ roots in the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza; the Physician’s Tomb.  Many cultures have held high regard for the healing power of applying gentle pressure to reflex points that ‘reflect’ back to the specific body part or organ.

Dr. Wanona giving a gentle head rub during a Facial Reflexology session

Facial Reflexology

Dr. Wanona giving a gentle head rub during a session


I have enjoyed teaching the Egyptian Method since 1995 when I was first introduced to this gentle technique.  In my style of teaching I also add techniques to relax the giver such as stretches for the forearms, headache points, and aromatherapy.  Giving a session in reflexology should be just as beneficial to the giver as it is to the receiver.  I also add the concept of acupressure making the Egyptian Reflexology Method more about the perception of the receiver; are they relaxed, or are they feeling pain and signs of stress?

Pain is not the goal of Egyptian Method Reflexology and should never be accepted by the receiver.  Certainly some points are going to feel much more tender to the touch, but I have always taught my students to get off of the painful spot as quickly as possible.  The giver can once again return to the spot to see how it feels after working in a circle around the tender area or “Circling the Dragon.” I learned this term and concept from my acupuncture training.   Using a concept we call ‘point discrimination’ the body can send the information to release tension to the painful spot making our treatments much more comfortable and beneficial.

However, after all these years I discovered that the FACE also holds reflex points.  In actuality there are thousands of reflex points on our body, hence Body Reflexology, but the face is so easy to work on and there are tremendous results.

First, we know that the face has reflex points, lines of energy and also lines of physical stress we call wrinkles.  The neck is also considered part of the face in my treatments, so we start with some gentle neck massage, and work our way up to the face; it also includes the head and the lines of energy that surround the head.

Facial Reflexology could also be called Facial Acupressure.  Applying gentle pressure on acupressure points helps stimulate energy, but it also helps bring fresh blood to the tissues of the face, head and neck; the skin begins to tone and the receiver will actually begin to look younger!

I am very excited about the benefits of Facial Reflexology, and hope you will be too.  I am looking for some volunteers to receive regular weekly treatments that will be documented and photographed to prove that Facial Reflexology actually makes you look younger!  I have seen it work, but I want you to experience it for yourself.

I am taking just six volunteers who will receive Free weekly sessions; either in Naperville, Illinois at my office there, or at Spring Creek Holistic in northwest Illinois where I live and work.  Contact me as soon as you can so we can start the new year out with some exciting results of your regular sessions.

Here is what is required in order to be accepted into the study: Attend three or four sessions a month of Facial Reflexology. Drink lots of water during the entire trial. Agree to be photographed the first day, at 3 months and at 6 months.  The final results will be published in my book, so I will need permission to use your photograph. There will be paperwork and some questionnaires to fill out, but it should be simple enough.

After the study, I will also publish it in a journal to help other health professionals see the benefits of the treatments.  All participants will be able to continue receiving treatments either by myself or one of our trained reflexologists at the regular treatment price.  I encourage everyone (not just the study participants) to receive about two or three treatments every month; some patients really love the weekly sessions and rarely miss their appointment.

Please refer this information to your massage therapist or other bodywork professional; if they are trained in Facial Reflexology you can be sure you will be able to continue with regular treatments and everyone will be happier!

Check the Events Calendar for the next class, and direct any questions to me directly at or my cell phone at 847-312-6143


Doc Wah

Raindrop Technique Massage

The spinal column represents the major connection that nerves have to our organs and our entire body.  The Raindrop Technique was developed by D. Gary Young who called himself an aromatologist.  Indeed he has a keen sense of smell and can detect certain chemical components in individual plants.  Testing of the plant oils has verified this and he started the Young Living Essential Oil company shortly after developing the Raindrop Technique in 1989.

Raindrop Technique Essential Oils collection

Raindrop Technique Essential Oils collections

Raindrop Technique is a very gentle therapy that includes the use of several essential oil singles, and a couple of oil blends that were developed by D. Gary Young and has become the quintessential therapy for Aromatherapists.  It involves dropping the oils like raindrops just a few inches above the skin along the spine of the receiver.  It begins by balancing the energy between left and right on the feet of the receiver followed by systematically applying the oils using a vibratory technique known as Vita-Flex along the spine reflex area of the feet.

Each oil in the Raindrop Kit has been chosen due to their impact on the organ system, their ability to fight infection, relax the body, and relieve tension, including the emotional tension that causes muscle tension, fatigue and even depression.  Infection has been found to be a major cause in physical disorders, such as scoliosis, sciatica and kyphosis.  I have found that lingering infections can cause other organ system disorders such as thyroid disorder that in turn causes joint arthritis.  It was explained to me at one point that certain toxins that build up in the body over time are the result of the byproduct of toxic waste distributed into our body by the microbes that live in our tissues.  These toxins must be flushed out or they will build up in our body in places that can eventually cause us discomfort, chronic illness and eventual death.  I highly recommend a detoxification program, and certainly drinking lots of water should be a huge part of this program, while you are receiving Raindrop treatments.

Each Raindrop treatment can be unique, but having several treatments will have accumulative effects and the results can be more global.  A good example is receiving weekly Raindrop treatments for 10 weeks to alleviate low back pain.  The pain is gone, as well as the cause of that pain.  It does not return.

Of several hundred persons who have received Raindrop Massage, 99% of them have said they would recommend it to their friends and would receive Raindrop again.  There are many benefits of the technique, but when combined with the wonderful pure therapeutic grade oils the results are powerful.

I am a Raindrop facilitator and while there are many different ways to apply the oils, I really love the Ecuador Method that Young developed while at the NovaVita Clinic in Ecuador.  The YLEO company owns several thousand acres in Ecuador where they grow organic plant for their oils.  The high altitudes and longer growing season make these plants exceptionally well suited for the rainforest environment, and they yield high amounts of pure oils as a result.  Eucalyptus is particularly excellent as its’ aroma will attest.  YLEO own several farms around the world but the only clinic that Young started is in Ecuador and it is still in operation today.  The services offered at NovaVita Clinic are unlike any that you might see in the US and have given relief to many patients who could not receive these treatments anywhere else.  Such as the intravenous infusion of essential oils.  I think that we may see this offered in the US one day, but it may take a few years of overcoming obstacles in alternative health applications.

The Raindrop Technique Essential Oil Collection consists of several single oils and a few blends, along with a vegetable carrier oil and a massage oil blend.  I have used the V6 massage oil, but I recently found out it contains Canola Oil, so I do not recommend this oil if you have a serious disease, chronic inflammation or an allergy to Canola, which is not a truly pure vegetable oil.  I make a wonderful carrier oil blend with sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, sesame seed oil, and safflower oil.  To the carrier oil you can add your own blend of essential oils, or not.  I try to keep a little bit of both plain carrier oil, and another blend that is similar to the Ortho Ease that is included in the kit.

Seven Single Oils (5ml bottles): Thyme, Basil, Peppermint, Oregano, Wintergreen, Cypress and Marjoram.

Two Oil Blends (5ml bottles): Valor® & Aroma Seiz™.

The two oil blends originally came from two recipes that D. Gary Young developed in 1989 and included in the first booklet he published on Raindrop Technique.  I love the convenience of being able to purchase the blends, but I wanted to share the original recipes with you here.

Energy Balancing Blend (now included in Valor®
15 drops spruce7 drops frankincense6 drops blue tansy2 drops rosewood1 drop balsam fir

Muscle Relaxing Blend (now included in Aroma Seiz™
25 drops balsam fir15 drops basil10 drops marjoram8 drops spruce4 drops wintergreen

Other oil recipes were also developed by Young.  This is another blend that I like to use for anyone receiving Raindrop Massage after a cold or flu.

Boost Your Immune System Massage Blend

Because of the “heat” in oils like cinnamon and clove, it is best to use a carrier oil to slow down the penetration.  Other oils could be added such as Mountain Savory or Eucalyptus for their ability to help move lymph, a detoxification process.

1 oz V-6 Massage Oil15 drops Ravensara oil blend10 drops rosemary oil6 drops thyme oil4 drops cinnamon oil4 drops clove oil

Pain Management

If you are experiencing pain from muscle spasm, cramping, overuse, or misuse of your muscles, you can apply the oils of the Raindrop Technique collection directly on those areas.  I work on a mini-farm in Northwestern Illinois that my husband and I purchased several years ago.  The land is uneven and I walk the land from gardens to house and back again preparing the garden beds for planting, digging in the dirt and weeding.  My lower legs are very tired and the muscles tend to cramp even when I take a long hot soak with some apple cider vinegar, which usually alleviates a lot of the soreness.  But I keep the Raindrop oils next to my bed just in case my leg muscles decide they are just too overworked and begin to cramp.  I put the oils on with some gentle rubbing, and sometimes end with a hot pack and then I fall asleep again.


Each of the oils chosen to be included in the Raindrop Technique have a specific purpose.  There is a physical affect working on a cellular level, as well as an emotional affect that works through the brain and nervous system in an area we know as the limbic system.  They were chosen to synergistically kill viral and bacterial pathogens, reduce inflammation, support the immune system, ease respiratory discomfort, relax stressed muscles, curb digestive upset and relieve body and joint discomfort, as well as balance energy, lift the spirit, restore calm, and increase the ability to concentrate.


PHYSICAL: anti-inflammatory (intestinal walls), calming, sedative.  Oil of Angels (German).  Coughs, Colds, premenstrual tension, respiratory infections.
AROMATIC: Balance the Emotional body, release and let go of negative feelings from memory of trauma or anger.



PHYSICAL:  Empower the physical and spiritual bodies.  Hyperactivity and ADD in children.  Align the physical structure of the body relieving pain along the spine; balances and reenergizes the chakras.  Changes anaerobic mutated cells back to their natural aerobic state.
AROMATIC:  Balance the electrical energies in the body.


PHYSICAL: Anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, metabolic balancer, and may strengthen the vital centers of the body.
AROMATIC: Grounds and strengthen feelings of security.



PHYSICAL: Immunological support, anti-microbial acts directly on the viral or bacterial activity and may help one overcome fatigue and physical weakness after illness.
AROMATIC: Supplies energy during times of stress and physical activity.  Uplifting.


PHYSICAL: Antispasmodic, decongestant. Muscle spasms, aches/pains, chronic colds, concentration, depression and fatigue.  May help gastro-intestinal problems, poor memory, mental fatigue, and relax spastic muscles.
AROMATIC: Helps one maintain an open mind.


PHYSICAL: Anti-bacterial, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, mucolytic, vasoconstrictor.  Strengthens capillary walls and relieve spasms and swelling, open respiratory tract, and give energy in case of edema, cellulite, varicose veins, water retention, and hemorrhoids.
AROMATIC: It strengthens and helps ease the feeling of loss, create a feeling of security, provide grounding, and heal the emotion.


PHYSICAL: Anti-inflammatory and analgesic and relieves pain.  Excellent for bone since its primary constituent, methyl salicylate has cortisone like activity.  May also help with muscle and joint discomfort, arthritis, tendonitis, and rheumatism.
AROMATIC:  May elevate, open and increase awareness in the sensory system.


PHYSICAL: Antispasmodic, anti-infectious, antibacterial, vasodilator, sedative, expectorant.  May calm the respiratory tract and relieve spasms and migraine headaches.  Promotes intestinal peristalsis, tones the parasympathetic nervous system.
AROMATIC: Promotes peace and sleep.


PHYSICAL: Anti-microbial may elevate and open sensory system.  It may also help reduce fevers, Candida, nausea, vomiting, and may aid respiratory functions, has pain killing properties.  Works synergistically with other oils to enhance their activity.  Known as a fixative; helps the other oils by slowing their absorption.
AROMATIC: Used for purifying, stimulating the conscious mind, and enhancing mental retention.



PHYSICAL:  May help relax, calm and relieve tight, sore, tired and aching muscles resulting from sports injuries, fatigue and stress.  May also help relieve stress headaches.
AROMATIC:  Similar to physical.



There are several DVDs that show the Raindrop Technique and how to perform the various massage techniques used in applying the oils.  Vita Flex Technique is initially done on the soles of the feet over the reflex area of the spinal column.  This is an area that runs from the heel on the instep or midline, and runs up the inner arch up to the big toe.  It is not on the inside but on the sole of the foot that actually touches the ground.  Reflexology has proven that there are reflex points on the soles of the feet that “reflect” back to the body.  Raindrop Technique is attempting to move the oils into the spine, so we only use this reflex area in the treatment.

Feather Stroke

This is my favorite part of the treatment.  Feathering up the spine using just a light touch with your fingertips causes the nerve endings in the skin to become energized.  These are the nerve endings that detect vibration and light pressure.  They send messages into the skin and deep into the tissue that allow the oils to penetrate without deep manipulation of the tissues.

Circular Massage Strokes

Two main strokes are used along either side of the spine and the circular motion is always clockwise.  The Spinal Tissue Pull begins on the right side of the spine next to the bones of the spine.  The group of muscles here are about one to two inches wide so the circles of this stroke are just as wide, concentrating on pulling the erector spinae away from the spine to relax them.  The Circular Hand massage used towards the end of the treatment is also done in a clockwise circular fashion but includes the sides of the ribs with the palm of the hand working the muscles of the back.

Crossover Stroke, or Palm Rub

The large strokes include both sides of the back and hands alternately push and pull the tissues.  This causes some lifting of the muscles but is very comfortable and easy on the giver.  it is a wonderful end to a Raindrop Technique and rubs all the oils in thoroughly.

Lymphatic Finger Pump

The last technique ends with a light pumping on the spine.  The receiver turns to face up and the giver cradles the head in their palms.  Gently pushing and pulling causes the body to rock rhythmically and the lightest amount of vibration is achieved causing the lymph to be pumped through the body, removing toxins and helping to stimulate absorption of the oils.

There you have it.  It is an easy technique to learn, and your first treatment is always FREE when you purchase your Raindrop Kit with me.  Contact me about how to get your first order with Young Living Essential Oils and how to receive your Free treatment.

I prefer email at



The information contained here is provided for educational purposes and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, treat, or cure any condition of the body and should not be used as a substitute for medical counseling with a health practitioner.

As a Health Practitioner, and Licensed Doctor of Naprapathy, however, I can make some claims as to the effectiveness of the oils from my own experience and use in a clinical setting.  The empirical knowledge gained from years of use and reports from patients means that there is sufficient evidence to believe that Raindrop Technique is a safe therapy when used within the guidelines and when proper care is employed.  Children do not need as much oil, and should be given a carrier oil to begin.  People who have never purified their bodies may only need a few drops to begin so they do not experience any unwanted symptoms with their first Raindrop Technique Massage.  Always use the adage:  Less is more.  A little oil will be much more effective than a lot; so use the minimum amount of oil possible and you will achieve powerful results.

Always have the receiver drink water for the rest of the day, along with light food like a good green salad, and tea.  It will help the detoxification process and they will have no ill effects and quite possibly feel wonderful for several days following their treatment.




Hip and Low Back Pain

How often do you have hip pain and think, quite naturally, that the hip is the source of the pain.  Not true.

Pelvic rotation is the true cause of most hip pain.  In Naprapathy we call this a Classic Rotation, where one side of the pelvis or the innominate bone, has rotated either forward or backward, and the corresponding opposite side must then move in the opposite direction.  There is a series of events that are set up when this happen and I will try to illustrate.

First, however, I want to mention that there is no way of determining just HOW this all came about.  It could be from how you sleep, how you get up out of your bed, or how you get out of your car.  It could be because you sit too long or drive too long at one time.  Perhaps you fell down as a child, or perhaps you were carried inside your mother’s womb in an odd position that set up this chain of events.  It really is not important HOW we got this way.  What matters is how we correct the rotation and can we get out of it and stay balanced.

Posterior Hip Rotation

This is a condition that is usually evaluated by your Naprapathic Doctor when you come in for an examination and treatment.  The doctor will have you stand first, and check to see if your pelvis is even by looking at the spine from behind.  He or She will place her hands on the top of each ilium and compare their height together.  One side is usually higher.  This could mean several things: either the Psoas muscle on that side is tight and therefore you are experiencing a hike of the leg up on that side, or the pelvis has rotated posteriorly on that side and the leg is also going to be short.

Next you will lie down and the same findings are looked at to verify if that hip is still high on the same side.  Then the Deerfield Motion Reflex orthopedic test is performed, which will tell the doctor if this is indeed a Pelvic Pathology or if it is perhaps a Lumbar Pathology.  In a Classic Rotation, it is Pelvic Pathology.  So there is the beginning diagnosis and we proceed with this assumption based upon our findings.  The Pelvis will look like this:  The side of posteriority is going to be elevated, and that leg is going to be brought up and the heel will appear superior or higher than the other leg, and that leg will be considered the short leg.  In DMR the doctor will look at the heels together while the patient is prone on the exam table.  He will then bend the knees together and observe what occurs when the knees are bent.  If the leg that was short, indeed stays short when the legs are bent, then this verifies the initial finding of a posteriorly rotated pelvis.

There is a corresponding anterior rotation of the opposite side of the pelvis, but that’s not all; the sacrum is also moving… closer to the side that is posterior.  This is due to the pull of muscles, such as the piriformis muscle that attaches on the sacrum and on the leg bone.  It also has a connection to the sciatic nerve which runs through it or near it, and therefore can cause nerve impingement on the sciatic nerve and pain.  The pulling of the sacrum away from the other side of the hip will also cause pain at the sacroiliac joint, which is where most people get confused.  The source of the pain is not the SI joint itself, that is just where the pain is felt.  The pulling away of the sacrum causes the space to be compromised where the sacrum sits next to the hip bone and the nerves are being pulled.  Nerves do not stretch and this triggers a pain fiber to fire and let you know there is something about to damage the neuron there.

All the muscles in the hip are involved.  On the posterior side of the hip the hamstrings are shortened, tight and excessively strong, but also weak.  Their shortened length takes away from the contractile filaments and makes the muscle easy to tear.  Correspondingly on the front the quads are longer, but also trying to work harder so they are long and weak as well.  The first exercise I would give patients is NOT to stretch the hamstrings that are short, but exercise the quads and make them stronger.  This will begin the process of balancing out the length as well as the strength of these two opposing muscle groups.  I would also include psoas stretches to help lengthen this very strong hip flexor that attaches from the lumbar spine to the leg bone.

The Psoas muscle may be the prime culprit in this entire scenario.  Many things can cause the psoas muscle, a major hip flexor, to become tight and develop trigger points.  Often diet can affect the nutrition to the muscle as with someone who drinks too many sodas in one day.  Too much sugar will eventually get lodged into the muscle fiber causing it to fire without control.  Usually it is posture related as with someone who sits in a car for long periods of time, or at a desk.  I once had a patient who was knitting for hours and did not stand up.  When she tried to stand up, not only did the muscle spasm, but it caused her sacroiliac joint to move out of its’ place and the pain was terrible.

The sacroiliac joint is affected because of several biomechanical faults happening at the same time.  First the psoas muscle gets tight and shortens.  Sherrington’s law states that a muscle will grow to its’ use.  So by sitting for extended periods the muscle is used in a shortened state and does not lengthen to its’ full capacity any longer.  The shortened psoas muscle causes the leg to be drawn up on that side and the hip also elevates.  The psoas attaches to the lumbar spine along the anterior of each of the spinous processes of the lumbar vertebrae.  It then travels down and attaches to the medial or inside part of the upper femur, not the pelvis.  The pelvic bone on that side will rotate posteriorily due to the mechanics of this pull on the leg upward.  In addition there is more space at the SI joint so the sacrum moves underneath the pelvic bone; thus pulling on the opposite side SI joint which is where the pain is felt and ultimately fibers tear.  The piriformis muscle also gets shortened; it normally runs from the sacrum, from its anterior side to a downward angle and attaches onto the femur at the trochanter — the part of the hip that out to the side of our bodies.  But with the leg drawn up this muscle will take a more horizontal plane which makes it shorter.  With this muscle being shorter it is also very tight, and the sciatic nerve travels through it or under it, so you get nerve pain.  We call this pain the “silver dollar sign” because it encompasses an area about the size of a silver dollar under the gluteus maximus muscle.

Muscles of the legs are affected as well.  The posterior ilium causes the hamstrings to become short and weak, while the opposite side rectus femoris muscle is working hard to gain balance and it becomes weaker.  The simple way to correct this, once the trigger points are removed from the psoas of course, is to exercise the quadratus muscles of the anterior thigh.  This will in turn inhibit the hamstring muscles and they will lengthen, and balance is restored.  However, deep massage of the psoas and deep hip stretches are required to lengthen the psoas on a daily basis holding the stretches for long periods.

On the side of pelvic anteriority the rectus femoris has become shorter and tight, but weak.  The hamstrings on the back of the thigh are waging a battle against the quadratus muscles and they are now weak as well.  To remedy this, have the patient work the hamstring group which will in turn inhibit the quadratus muscles and bring things back into balance.

I usually recommend some lumbar rolls to help the piriformis muscle and the iliacus muscle to lengthen, which will allow the sacrum to move back into the proper position of being the keystone of the pelvis.

On rare occasions you may have a lumbar disc bulging into the muscles of the low back which can be determined by an orthopedic test for that region.  Several scenarios arise in the lumbar spine with a pelvic rotation.  The L4 vertebrae could be rotated to one side, causing the ilium to rise and muscles in the low back will become tight and spasm.  Or another lumbar vertebrae could be rotated to the opposite side but still causing the ilium to elevate and pain is felt across the entire waistline.  When the piriformis muscle tightens down on the sciatic nerve pain could be felt down the back of the leg, but often it could be felt rising up to the low back.  The site of pain is variable because the nerve fibers know to share the load lest they get damaged.

Any time numbness travels down into the leg, or the front of the lower leg, it is an indication of a disc bulge that is located in the low back.  When the disc bulge is in the lower thoracic it will cause the belly button to deviate to one side due to nerve impingement.  I have seen stomach muscles wiggle due to the muscle spasm caused by a nerve root impingement at thoracic spine eleven.  We applied electric stimulation to the muscle known as Russian Stim and treated the back with Soft Tissue Work and the problem resolved.  We literally exercised the muscle until it fatigued in order to break the spasm syndrome.  Electric Stimulation is excellent for relaxing nerves.

Home Care

I recommend a balanced action that is achieved with yoga postures.  There is always a backward action to a forward bend, or one side and then the other in every pose.  I use yoga as a therapeutic tool and give each patient no more than three poses at their first visit.  These are the exact poses in a specific direction to help alleviate their pain.  I enjoy teaching yoga, but these one on one sessions offer a great deal of long term relief to patients and keep their pain from returning.


It is generally a long battle to regain balance once the Psoas muscle has developed trigger points; it could take weeks, months or longer.  Classical rotations are easier to treat especially if the pathology is isolated to the pelvic region, where lumbar pathologies are difficult but not impossible.  These re determined through orthopedic tests we call Deerfield Motion Reflex.  More on that at another time.

Remember, don’t sit for too long a time whether at the computer on in a car.  Try not to slip and fall on the ice either.  Stretch every day for at least 20 minutes, even in intervals, to keep all your muscles at their normal balanced length.  You can quote me on this: “A lengthened muscle is a strengthened muscle.”  And than Sherrington for helping us figure out this dilemma!

Yours in Health,

Doc Wah


Castor Oil Therapy

Castor oil is derived from the seeds of the castor bean plant (Ricinus communis).  It has been used for thousands of years to promote tissue healing in the body.  Edgar Caycee recommended using castor oil packs to assist in healing wounds of the skin and dermis, and women have used castor oil for reproductive health.

Castor Oil Pack Use a small square of wool or natural fiber cloth.  The cloth fiber will be folded into several layers and measure about 12 inches square or large enough to cover the area you are treating, about the size of your heating pad. Saturate the cloth with castor oil by placing the cloth in a flat container and pour enough oil to just saturate the cloth.   Place the cloth on the skin above the organ or area to be treated.  For wound healing, place the pack a few inches above the wound; not directly on the wound if the cut or abrasion is still open.   I recommend covering the pack first with saran wrap or a plastic bag to protect the heating pad or clothing.  Apply heat to the pack. Do Not Wash the cloth pack.  Simply fold it up in the plastic and reuse by adding more castor oil for each use.  You can keep the pack in the refrigerate until needed again.  Heat helps the oil penetrate deep within the body.

Castor has traditionally been used to help in cases of inflammation, pain, unwanted  growths such as ovarian cysts, to increase circulation and for relaxation.  It will also alkalanize the colon.

The lymphatic system consists of vessels, lymph nodes and their fluid called lymph.  lymphocytes are the immune cells within the lymphatic system that provide immune defense against disease.  Lymph nodes are found throughout the body, and especially in the moveable joints of the arms and legs, but especially in large numbers around the colon and reproductive system.  When applied to the abdomen the castor oil pack promotes detoxification of the colon by decreasing the acid level, and promotes reproductive health by increasing circulation.  Lymph nodes rely on external movement in order to flow properly which explains their concentration at the moveable joints and the abdomen.  Exercise, vibration and manipulation will increase the flow of lymph throughout the body.  For this reason, Ann Wigmore recommended bouncing on a mini-trampoline to increase lymphatic flow in an exercise she terms “lymphasizing.”  I recommend 30 minutes a day or several times a week for all patients.  Lymphasizing creates better cardiovascular flow, so it exercises the heart, lungs, and tones all the muscles all at once.  Movement is medicine, so what better way to heal the body than to move to the music!

I had a patient years ago who was 65 years old and had very good muscle tone throughout her body.  I asked her what she did to keep so healthy.  She replied that she does her own housework, and she bounced on her mini-trampoline 15 minutes every day while watching her television show.  She had it figured out, and the results were truly amazing.  Her daughter who was half her age, was tiddled with pain and sore joints, while her mother had a sweet temperament and appeared to be in excellent health.  What a simple solution that anyone can enjoy!

The liver makes about half of all the lymph in the body.  It is important that the liver is healthy and able to process chemicals for different purposes.  If the liver gets overloaded with toxins it can lead to ill health and contribute to hormone imbalances and disease.  Detoxification of the liver can be accomplished with dietary changes and a simple regimen of organic whole plant foods.  Wheat grass is an excellent chlorophyl rich food that helps to gently detox the liver.  I recommend starting with one ounce a day, and gradually building up to several ounces a day during a detox program.  This involves specific diet changes and incorporating organic food into a regimen of diet, exercise, water, fresh air and lymphasizing daily.

Green Energy Soup This recipe was recommended by Ann Wigmore during the detoxification programs.  Make a batch in the morning and consume for all three meals of the day for three days, along with a fermented food such as Rejuvelac rich in probiotics.

On the evening of the third day of using the pack, A.R.E. (the Edgar Cayce foundation) recommends taking a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil.  Take more if you can tolerate a few teaspoons more.

See related blog on detoxification for recipe for the Green Energy Soup and how to make Rejuvelac fermented beverage.

Yours in Health Doc Wah

Resources <strong>The Oil That Heals</strong> by William A. McGarey, M.D., (Virginia Beach: A.R.E. Press, 1993). <strong>Castor Oil! It’s Healing Properties</strong> by Beth M. Ley, PhD. (BL Publications, 2003)

Interspinous Ligaments And Their Relationship to Chronic Low Back Pain

by Dr. Rev. Wanona Wellspring DN LMT MDiv

The human spine is made up of bones ligaments and tendons that are connected on the tissue level. Ligaments attach to bones to stabilize the spine. Tendons are an extension of the muscles that attach to bones allowing the body to move. Nerves are distributed throughout the body to communicate with the brain so that movement occurs.

Ligaments are also a major sensory organ. Along with mechanical receptors in the joints, ligaments monitor proprioception in the joints. However the lack of blood supply to the ligaments does not allow them to stretch unlike muscles who are highly vascularized.

Following a traumatic event the body will contract and get tight in its ability to protect from future injury and as a response of the initial trauma. It is necessary therefore to stretch the tight musculature in order to maintain proper alignment of the spine. The deep muscles in the spine include the rotators, multifidi, and work with the interspinous ligaments and the mechanico-receptors located between the joints.

Within the fascial system that integrates I her entire body are spindle cells that provide feedback to the central nervous system. Often after a traumatic event, such as an automobile accident or a severe fall, the patient will experience tenderness along the spine including the supraspinous ligament.  Friction massage reduces pain and tenderness along the spine where the fascia adheres to the spinous processes.

Interrupting the mechanicoreceptor through fascial manipulation removes the restriction of motion of the deep fascia over the muscle. This is done through manual massage, myofascial release, and gentle massage over the affected area. Stretching of the tight musculature affects also the type ligaments, bringing about normal range of motion to the joint and alignment of the spine. Ligaments stretch slower than muscle and will take longer to heal, but with movement both muscle and ligament regain balance.

In my upcoming book, “Reafferentation:  Reconnecting the Body with the Brain”, I illustrate various movement techniques that will reconnect the function of the muscle with the brain to remove the tension within the fascial system. Movement is required to excite the nerves that innervate the muscles and communicate to the brain.

For example, a pronated ankle sends pain information to the brain along the muscles of the leg. This results in weak muscles such as gluteus medias. This could also be a factor relating to hip rotation which also involves the sacrum. The pain signal runs from the ankle all the way to the brain sustaining the weakness, because the signal returning to the body is weak. Therefore, manipulating they hit up to remove the rotation clears the pathway for a stronger signal from the ankle to the brain. It is necessary to also address the pronation, the knee, the hip and low back in this syndrome.

Naprapathy addresses all connective tissue disorders. Hip rotation is a very common problem relating to chronic low back pain. When the pelvis rotates the sacrum is also involved. The ligaments from the sacrum to the lumbar vertebra must also be involved. In flamed ligaments can be found in the low back region of the spine resulting from long-term exposure of ligaments to the cyclic load placed on the sacrum. The pronated for that leads to long-term exposure of ligaments to static, high number of load repetitions and results in acute inflammation which require long periods of rest to resolve. However, a Naprapathic treatment removes the cyclic load on the hip, the sacrum, and the static load on the ankle. The pain fiber firing is quiet and the muscles regain their strength. Gentle exercises are required to retain the strength in the muscles involved in hip rotation.

I recommend weekly Naprapathic visits to regain balance of ligaments and strength in the muscles until the hip rotation has resolved. This could take a number of weeks or months depending upon the activity level of the patient. For example, a whiplash injury if treated with Naprapathic manipulation could resolve in 6 to 8 weeks. However, most patients who undergo physical therapy without Naprapathic care may take over one year to resolve. The brain and the body communicate better when the spine is aligned. This is common sense. Unfortunately, it is not practiced in most physical therapy or chiropractic clinics.

By integrating Naprapathic care within the physical therapy protocols the doctor of naprapathy can address the connective tissue and associated chronic neuromuscular disorder known as cumulative trauma disorder or connective tissue disorder.