What are Incense Sticks?
Incense sticks have been used for centuries on temples and altars to create wonderful fragrances as well as blessing a room with their wonderful aromatic biotic properties.
They are incredibly popular in the Eastern world, often contained with the essences of flowers or other specialty botanical fillers. In addition to aesthetic reasons, incense sticks are also used for aspects of wellbeing such as aromatherapy and meditation. In this article, we are going to look at the top ten benefits of burning incense for the mind, body and soul.
How are they made?
When it comes to incense sticks, you can go as exotic or as sophisticated as you like. They come in different forms, shapes and sizes but the most common are the brightly colored resounding sticks, made of skilfully carved wood. The stick is usually made from one large branch and then other branches from the same piece of skilfully carved wood. These woods come from sustainable, long-standing older tree species that achieve a certain elegance and refinement.
You can buy them from experts who have probably seen them a thousand times and got the full experience. However, some individuals have the gift of skillfulness with them and are able to create these wonderfully carved sticks.
How are they used?
The stick is typically resting on its end toward your arm. Some individuals wrap a prayer around the stick, on which words or prayers are said, while others attach scents to the stick. All of the typical methods are excellent and work wonders when it comes to relaxing the mind and helping you achieve gentle mindfulness.
The stick must be burned carefully, so that it doesn't inhale flammable material that could cause fires or startles. Be very careful not to touch the stick or take your eyes off of it too soon.
Breathe deeply and quietly, truly focusing on your breath throughout. If the stick burns your hand it is useless; allow the pain to flow and then take the stick away from your hand and perform relaxation exercises with your memory, focus and intent. You can also carry the stick with you on you for its sheer Psychological lift.
The Benefits of Burning Incense
There are many different types or types of Incense Sticks that when burned, are meant to release a certain mood or energy and bring benefit. They come in several different varieties each containing a variety of essential oils, fragrances, and minerals that all work in different ways. Here are the top ten benefits of using incense:
1. To Relax and Unwind
There is no better feeling than curling up on the sofa with a cup of tea, candles and some burning incense. Even reading a book or listening to some music whilst burning incense can instantly make you feel relaxed. Or why not burn some incense and unwind in the tub?
By choosing incense sticks which promote calmness such as Frankincense or Sandalwood, the aromatic properties are designed to clear your mind and promote a feeling of calm.
2. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
In addition to generally relaxing you, some incenses can encourage your mind to put a pause on all those unnecessary thoughts you are experiencing. Scents such as Lavender, Sandalwood and Rosemary are useful to reduce the heart rate and increase that positive energy.
Incense has been used for centuries in a variety of religions such as Buddhism to deepen the focus of individuals and heighten the senses. Sandalwoods and Lotus can be a very uplifting scent to use in practice to transport your thoughts and feelings into a better and spiritual place.
4. To Improve Sleep
Insomnia has rapidly become a common condition that troubles some of our minds, especially since the stress of the worldwide pandemic came upon us. Incense sticks such as Lavender, Vetiver and Chamomile can help those that are struggling to fall asleep. It is also far safer than using candles to promote and aid sleep.
5. Encourages Creativity and Innovation
Some aromas can increase one’s abilities to generate new ideas and perform creatively at a higher quality. Some artists use incense whilst painting to keep their creative energy flowing. Fragrances such as Aloeswood, Lemongrass, Citrus Sticks and Geranium are great scents to uplift that sense of innovation.
Incense sticks are infamous for creating a “Good Karma”. By burning incense, it is said that you are providing an offering to the atmosphere without asking for anything in return. This is a sign of generosity and kindness. A selfless act like this is can enhance your journey to mindfulness through pride and consideration.
7. It Acts as a Doorway to Spirituality
In some religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, burning incense is used on a daily basis to open the doorway to your Heart Chakra (where the soul meets the body) on a spiritual level so you can feel filled with love and a lot closer to spirituality.
8. Replaces Bad Smells at Home
Incense is often used to cover up bad smells in a household and provide a freshness to the atmosphere. Floral based sticks are typically used as a symbol of new beginnings and to ward away unwanted atmospheres by purifying the air.
9. Increases Serotonin Levels
The aromas of incense can have a positive effect on a person’s health. From increasing serotonin levels in the brain (the chemical for happiness) to improving your mood. By uplifting the mood of individuals, it can improve sleep, eating, digestion and relieve headaches or symptoms of mental disorders.
10. Improves Concentration
Aloeswood is usually recommended to increase your focus and concentration. It is said to be a better alternative to listening to music whilst trying to carry out tasks such as studying, or working whereby you need your full attention. Fragrances tend to have a more subtle effect on the brain and body which enhances your productivity.
Your selection of incense sticks is very personal as it depends upon your current needs and the goals you wish to pursue through this life practice. Create your own list, stick to it, stick to your convictions, do not be swayed by someone else's opinions on which is the best.
Do not be swayed by a materialistic stick that lacks the core of what is valuable to you. The stick you choose is only a tool, an aid, an instrumentality for you to attain or portray the purpose that it fulfills (use your language, reflect on your purpose, if your purpose is to practice and grow awareness) stick to your decision, do not let anyone influence your decisions.
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