One of the most common afflictions for those reaching a ripe old age, we all know as seniors, in our “modern, civilized western society” is becoming housebound and physically impaired.
This leads to loneliness, lack of self confidence and, as a consequience, to depression.
For the last two decades I have overcome my visual impairment, and coped with the “judging a book by its’ cover” preconceived views of our society, when it comes to communicating and dealing with those of us, who have a physical challenges is not outwardly obvious as is the case of a visual or auditory proficiency.
This patronizing and often dismissive attitudes lead to these people having a number of issues related to loneliness, low self esteem and anger to states of anxiety and depression, all of which enhance a vicious circle which increases with time.
Working and teaching in the field of healthcare and over the last two decades in alternative medicine, particularly aromatherapy and colour healing has enabled me ti help many disabled people both through individual consultations and treatments and through talks to the different associations not only in England and Canada, but also around the planet.
One common trait that keeps being highlighted by people with physical disabilities, including the most visible ones where people need to be in wheelchairs is that they are treated as if they had a mental impairment, frequently used phrases have been “People speak to me as if they would be addressing a young child, speaking slowly, not looking me in the eyes, talking to those with me rather than to me, as if I would be a “invisible”. All these attitudes make the people who are hard of hearing or wheelchair bound very angry and frustrated.
On the other hand, being treated in this way also can bring out the enlightened warrior, fighting back positively attitude which leads to a search for personal growth and self improvement, to achieve a reversal in attitudes which is coupled with an increase in self esteem and a heightened optimism and happiness.
Those who have met me are aware that I have never allowed my visual impairment to hold me back, I have a condition called “macula degeneration” which was diagnosed 28 years ago, when during a routine eye check up in Harrow, the optician found blind spots in the macula area of my retina, the macula lutea is the part of the retina where the optic nerve enters the eye.
By now you all think, get to the positive side Vivian, and I am glad that surprises and things I never imagined were there for me keep popping up which reassure me of the immense power and coping capacity we all possess, whether we acknowledge them or not.
Aromatherapy, Colour and Crystal Healing have been my faithful tools and companions for more than a quarter of a century, hence my reason for writing this article, and wishing to hear from other therapists who have experiences either of having a physical disabilities or who work with disabled clients.
EMOTIONAL SECURITY is a subtle yet profound issue because without it you can develop unhealthy behaviors and attitudes, like co-dependency, control, neediness, demand, low self-esteem and more. It can also affect specific areas of our lives, including our relationship and career success.
Being emotionally secure leads to a healthy life in general because there are no unhealthy attachments, you are secure to be alone or in the company of others and you do not require validation from others. You are more willing to take risks because you have the confidence you need to achieve success in every aspect of your life.
To overcome emotional insecurity: Engage your friends and loved ones in communication about your feelings and how they can help you to feel more at ease.
ANXIETY is the name given to a group of conditions that are characterized by a sense of foreboding or impending doom. Anxiety is a normal and adaptive emotion.
Panic attacks are a common feature of all types of anxiety. A panic attack is a sudden rush of intense fear that is accompanied by physical sensations that can include heart palpitations, dizziness, sweating, and nausea.
PANIC DISORDER with and without agoraphobia (recurrent, unexpected panic attacks accompanied by fear of future attacks and may involve avoiding places or situations associated with the attacks). Agoraphobia without history of panic disorder is associated with avoidance of places or situations due to a fear of what may happen if escape is not possible (e.g. diarrhea).
CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM: tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), palpitations (uncomfortable awareness of the heart rate), headaches, cold fingers.
MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM: tense muscles, involuntary trembling of the body, tension headaches.
GENITOURINARY SYSTEM: need for frequent urination,
Difficult maintaining an erection, difficulty becoming sexually aroused or achieving orgasm (women).
GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM: "butterflies" in the stomach, other aches and pains, diarrhoea and/or constipation, colon spasms, cramp-like pains in the upper stomach.
CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM: apprehensive, aroused and vigilant, feeling "on edge," impatient, or irritable, insomnia, fatigue, poor concentration.
RESPIRATORY SYSTEM: hyperventilation symptoms
DEPRESSION is a psychological condition that changes how you think and feel, and also affects social behavior and sense of physical well-being. We have all felt sad at one time or another, but that is not depression.
If you or a loved one experience the following:
Changing Thoughts Some people have difficulty with short term memory, forgetting things all the time. Negative thoughts and thinking are characteristic of depression. Pessimism, poor self-esteem, excessive guilt, and self-criticism are all common. Some people have self-destructive thoughts during a more serious depression.
Changing Feelings feeling sad for no reason at all. Some people no longer enjoy activities that they once found pleasurable. lack of motivation, feel being "slowed down" and tired all the time. helpless and hopeless.
Changing Behaviour reflective of the negative emotions being experienced.
Dramatic changes in appetite, either eating more or less. Sexual desire may disappear, resulting in lack of sexual activity. In the extreme, people may neglect their personal appearance, even neglecting basic hygiene.
Low self-esteem, consistently viewing self and the world negatively, or being readily overwhelmed by stress..
Environmental factors influence psychological development, and the way people try to resolve problems when they occur.
ENDOGENOUS OR MAJOR DEPRESSION This is the most serious type of depression, in terms of number of symptoms and severity of symptoms, but there are significant individual differences in the symptoms and severity.
ADJUSTMENT DISORDER, WITH DEPRESSION "Reactive depression." This category describes depression that occurs in response to a major life stressor or crisis.
BIPOLAR DEPRESSION - This type includes both high and low mood swings, as well as a variety of other significant symptoms not present in other depressions.
WORRYING AND NEGATIVE THINKING excessive rumination on possible future negative events and negative thinking about self, circumstances and the future, are frequently occurring types of negative thinking patterns people with depression experience.
CLINICAL DEPRESSION is sometimes referred to as a major depressive episode.
• Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
• Feeling tired all the time or finding everything an effort
• Loss of appetite or loss of weight
• Suicidal Thoughts
Other problems people experience during clinical depression include:
• Frequently feeling on the verge of tears or weepy
• Waking up early in the morning, with difficulty returning to sleep
• Feeling worse in the morning
• Feeling anxious or irritable
• A gloomy view of the future
• Physical pain or headaches
• Cravings for certain foods
Action Plan
1. Make sure the therapist takes the time to educate and advise key support people (such as close friends, family and colleagues) of what you are going through.
2. When the client is feeling irritable or agitated, stop and settle your self down. Ask yourself what is driving your emotions.
3. The client should practice regular relaxation activities and organise regular times to talk with a support person such as a Psychologist about how you are coping and implementing new coping skills.
4. The client should be as active as possible despite fatigue. Try to schedule activities to fill up spare hours of the day.

AROMATHERAPY TREATMENT The aromatherapy treatment for anxiety or depression will depend primarily on a correct clinical assessment of their spiritual, mental, physical and emotional needs and the personalised choice of oils encompassing these areas. Depending on the severity of the non endogenous depression, the choice of oils should be narrowed down to those containing esters and aldehydes in their molecule, as these two molecules are the most suitable for targeted treatments.
Another good therapeutic choice includes some absolutes which using a subtle vibrational aromatic methods of application are well known for lifting depression of a mild to moderate type. Amongst these rose, linden blossom,
boronia, osmanthus and violet leaf have produced remarkable results.
Severe depression must be differentiated from endogenous depression by the psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, and only then should the aromatherapist take responsibility for an integrated treatment. It is important to note that this type of depressive illness has a high risk of suicide and therefore should not be handled exclusively by the aromatherapist.
A combined treatment using the colour light box and the aromatic treatment, by means of a massage or by diffusing oils in the room, may, be of great benefit to shake those gloomy thoughts away and to create the atmosphere of a hot summer days.
Take a 10-ml amber or cobalt blue glassbottle, and place in it the essential oils in the order in which they are listed. Replace the lid and roll the bottle between your palms for about 30 seconds, and then add the jojoba base oil. Once again replace the lid and roll between your palms.
You can use this blend in the bath. For your bath add 10 drops of the above blends to your bath water.
Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris E.O, 3 drops
Myrrh Commiphora myrrha E.O. 1 drop
Lavender Lavandula angustifolia E.O. 2 drops
Jojoba carrier 9.7ml = 194 drops
Total amount of 3% blend: 10ml
Cedarwood Cedrus atlantica E.O. 5 drops
Cypress Cupressus sempervirens E.O. 6 drops
Pine Pinus sylvestris E.O. 4 drops
Rosehip seed oil 285 drops
Cedarwood Cedrus atlantica E.O. 4 drops
Fennel Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce E.O. 2 drops
Lemon Citrus limonum E.O. 2 drops
Orange Sweet Citrus sinensis E.O. 2 drops
Vanilla absolute 4 drops
Geranium Pelargonium X asperon E.O. 2 drops
Rosewood Aniva rosaeodora var. amazonica E.O. 2 drops
Bergamot Citrus bergamia E.O. 2 drops
Add 2 drops geranium, 2 drops rosewood and 2 drops bergamot to 6 teaspoons of our massage oil base (or any plain base/carrier oil). Wear as a fragrance or inhale directly from the bottle. Lasts a long time. Or use for gentle massage.
Cedarwood Hunakatab Cedrus deodora E.O. 2 drops
Bergamot Citrus bergamia E.O. 2 drops
Ylang Ylang Cananga odorata f. genuine E.O. 2 drops
Add 1 drop cedarwood, 2 drops bergamot and 2 drops ylang ylang to 6 teaspoons of your favourite massage carrier oil. Wear as a fragrance or inhale directly from the bottle. Lasts a long time. Or use for gentle massage.
This blend will help you to gain more insight about your needs and wants, and achieve the balance you need to become more self-accepting.
Sandalwood Santalum album E.O. 7 drops
Juniper Juhiperus communis E.O. 3 drops
Cypress Cupressus sempervirens E.O. 3 drops
Cedarwood Cedrus atlantica E.O. 3 drops
Massage the solar plexus and third eye. Pour one-third of the blend into your warm bath water and soak for at least 15 minutes. Pour a few drops into the palm of your hands and inhale deeply as needed throughout the day.
This synergy helps you to become healthily detached from negative
feelings like neediness, co-dependence and insecurity, and become
emotionally independent and self-sufficient.
Sandalwood Santalum album E.O. 5 drops
St. John's Wort Hypericum perforatum E.O. 3 drops
Rose otto Rosa damascena E.O. 2 drops.
Massage the solar plexus, heart chakra and third eye. Pour one-
third of the blend into your warm bath water and soak for at
least 15 minutes. Pour a few drops into the palm of your hands
and inhale deeply as needed throughout the day.
Orange sweet Citrus sinensis E.O. 5 drops
Lemon Citrus limonum E.O. 3 drops
Grapefruit Cirtus paradisii E.O. 4 drops
“I am joy and all areas of my life are a reflection of pure happiness and growth.”
Take a 10-ml amber or cobalt blue glassbottle, and place in it the essential oils in the order in which they are listed. Replace the lid and roll the bottle between your palms for about 30 seconds, and then add the jojoba base oil. Once again replace the lid and roll between your palms.
You can use this blend in the bath. For your bath add 10 drops of the above blends to your bath water.
For your diffuser you may just add the 6 drops of essential oil

Lunny Dr. V.N. Aromatherapy in the treatment of Depressive illness,
Workshop notes. 1992, rev/ 2009.
Ader, R., Cohen, N., & Felten, D. (1995, January 14).
Booth, R. J. (2008, July). The psychoneuroimmune network: expanding our
understanding of immunity and disease. New Zealand Medical Journal, 314
Newsome DA, Wehr TA: Seasonal Affective Disorder: A Description of the Syndrome and Preliminary Findings with Light Therapy. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1984; 41:72--80.
Journal of Biological Rhythms 1988; 3:121-134.

Author's Bio: 

By Vivian Nadya Lunny, MD, MBBS *Medical Barchelor, Batchelor of Surgery, MDMA *Medical Doctor Medicina Alternativa, Blog Blog Email: Twitter!/aromadoctor Facebook page:!/doctorvivian Aguila del Norte Author of: Aromatherapy, Aromatherapy for the Birthing Year, Crystal Healing Crystal Zodiac e books Aromatherapy and Colour Healing Sections of the Reader’s Digest Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Doctor Vivian has been Speaking at International Conferences of Aromatherapy Worldwide since 1992, teaching Aromatherapy Professional Certification Courses in Europe, the Americas, Middle East, Asia and Australia since the early 90’s. She is currently based in British Columbia, Canada. Consultant to the Aromatherapy Industry since the early nineties, a founder member of the Aromatherapy Organizations Council and the International Federation of Aromatherapists UK and the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy NAHA U.S. For more information on all aspects of aromagems, subtle and clinical aromatherapy, consultations, treatments and courses, please contact Doctor Vivian at, or visit her webpage at: or