R is for Rainbow Valley, Rose, Rosemary & Rose Geranium

The weekend of 9th/10th April, I was priviledged to go and listen to Dr Sondra Barrett talk on the topic of the Secret of Your Cells. It was an amazing weekend, and 1 that will have an influence on my life for years to come I am sure. I met a team of 3 ladies who are on a mission, to open a centre for people who have been given a cancer diagnosis, to go and receive health care that is so removed from that of the NHS, to boost their health with nutrition, visualisation, and complementary treatments. 

You can read more on Rainbow Valley’s website. I have offered to go and do some gentle aromatherapy, with some visualisation with essential oils in a burner/diffuser. It is a learning curve for me. As an aromatherapist and trained nurse, I have experience of nursing people who have a diagnosis, so I am so looking forward to being involved in this. If you would like to donate to Rainbow Valley click here to be taken to their fundraising suggestion page. I am sure they will appreciate it.

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Rose Otto                  Rose centifolia/rose damascena                   Keyword: Cleansing

Amphora rose otto dilutedConsidered to be the Queen of Oils. It is an excellent oil for purification on both the physical and emotional level. It is the ultimate “female” oil with renowned properties for all female Amphora rose geraniumreproductive system issues. An excellent tonic for the womb, calming PMT, although Rose geranium is a cheaper option as Rose is an expensive essential oil. Rose Geranium is of the Geranium family and not the rose.

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Rosemary                    Rosemarie officinalis                                  Keyword: Stimulant

Amphora RosemaryA pentrating and stimulating oil with many uses. A good oil for the stimulating effect it has on both physical and mental levels. It energises and activates the brain, it is said to inprove the memory when inhaled. Also renowned scalp tonic for hair loss and dandruff.

Mental stimulant, clarity of thoughts.

Not to be used on babies, infants or when pregnant. Chakra 6th Third eye/Brow

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Rosewood                      Aniba rosaeaodora                               Keyword: Balancing

A great oil for boosting a failing immune system especially in chronic conditions.

Reputedly helpful for those who have suffered from sexually abused, with its warm and comforting action.

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Thank you for watching and reading. Tomorrow is S is for Sacred, Sandalwood and Studies

Blessings Joy

 

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M is for Massage, Mandarin, Melissa & Myrrh

Massage couch

My Massage Couch in A Joy of Health Clinic

Massage

One of the most common ways to use aromatherapy is to massage the oils in, once a blend has been made up according to the results that you want to achieve. The effect of a massage with aromatherapy blend is two-fold. Firstly the very act of massage will relax the individual, easing out tired and aching muscles. The second effect is the one that the oils will have, we call this a systemic effect. If you have an aching muscle you may want to have massage directly on that muscle, but the oils are going to be absorbed into the bloodstream and have a therapeutic effect systemically.

We have spoken about Blends and Dilution in previous posts. It is not easy to write a method of massaging for you to follow from a blog post, but there are 1 or 2 pieces of advice that I am going to write here, in case you want to experiment for yourself with a partner.

First of all, the room needs to be at a comfortable temperature for the recipient to remain warm. There is nothing worse than trying to have a nice relaxing massage, and all you can think of is shivering. Keep the parts of the body that you are not working on covered, it is wise to be wearing old clothes that you don’t mind if oil gets onto them, this is also wise to note if you are going to a spa or salon to have a treatment.  Ambient music is helpful too. Try to pick something that you can chill out to, you don’t want to be singing along in your head if you can help it.

When massaging your partner, you are hopefully comfortable enough with each other, to give feedback. There is nothing worse than being “tickled” or equally having pain inflicted upon you when you are supposed to be relaxing. Be firm, stroke with the flat of your hand and follow the contours of the body, to begin with. As you get more acquainted with the bones that you can feel, explore around those bones, can you feel tension “knotty” parts, gently use your finger tips to apply pressure, be aware of their reaction, if they tense up, take the pressure off a tad. My advice is to start with the back, as this is a nice large area to start exploring your partners body. Begin with applying enough oil to the whole area, so that you can get a rhythm going without breaking off mid-way.

There are a few things to be aware of. Obviously you don’t want to be massaging over broken bones, if someone has had an accident, be aware that they may have broken something, especially if the pain is acute. Believe me they will yelp if something is broken. Don’t massage over broken skin, and be aware of massaging too heavily if the skin has spots or pimples. The essential oils may be useful in such instances, but it is probably better that the individual does this themselves, as they are far more likely to use the right pressure. Make sure you wash your hands before and after too.

I would love to know how you get on.

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Mandarin                       Citrus madurenisis                                                 Keyword: Uplifting

Amphora mandarinThis is one of the few oils that can safely be used on young children, along with Lavender and Chamomile. It has similar properties to orange but milder. It calms the digestive system, so useful where a baby may have been diagnosed with colic or reflux, although I would highly recommend that you take a baby who has been diagnosed with either of these to see a Chiropractor or cranial sacral therapist, as in my experience these baby’s are suffering from birth trauma, and need adjusting.

Mandarin is photo-toxic and is therefore best not used just before going out into strong sunlight.

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Myrrh                                      Commiphora myrrha                                   Keyword: ResAmphora myrrhinous

It is one of the oldest known oils and has religious significance often used for annointing in Biblical times. More will be revealed about annointing in U.  Priests used it for exorcisms in the past. Greek soldiers used to carry myrrh into battle for their wounds. Still used by Soul Midwives today, along with other sacred oils, more in S.

Not to be used on children of any age, or when pregnant.

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Can you believe we are halfway through this AtoZChallenge, how are you all doing?

Tomorrow we will be looking at “Notes” how to choose your oils for blending depending on the time of day that you are using them.

Blessings Joy

E is for Everyday Use

For the past 23 years ever since I qualified as an aromatherapist in 1993, it has been a part of my daily life. I would like to give you an idea of how I have used it in the past, and how I use it now.

Morning Ritual:

Shower using a base shower gel with the added essential oils grapefruit, basil & neroli. Basil and grapefruit are for waking me up, whilst neroli is for mananging the stress of the day.

Wash hair with base shampoo with added rosemary, neroli and orange. Orange can be quite strong for use on the skin, but I like to smell of it on my hair.

Body Lotion: Apply body lotion base lotion with added Rose and Frankincense. As a lady of slightly more maturer years I use Frankincese and Rose, which is a classic combination for the mature skin. When I qualified 23 years ago, I would have used Rose Geranium as it was a great way of keeping PMT under control. I went through the menopause with very little in the way of symptoms.

Foot Lotion In a jar of coconut oil I have added tea-tree and hyssop oil to use on my feet. As someone who is on their feet all day in the clinic, Athlete's foot remedyI find that this blend is lovely for keeping my feet feeling and smelling fresh, and keeps the athlete’s foot at bay.

Burner When I get to work, in the Chiropractic clinic I will use the burner to keep the place smelling nice, and to keep the bugs at bay. I will use the anti-bacterial, anti-viral essential oils such as Ti-tree, Eucalyptus or Cajuput, which are all quite medicinal in aroma, to these I will add a citrus oil, such as Lemon, orange or Lemongrass. I might also include a herb to this such as Rosemary or Basil.

When I get back home for the evening I will often light the burner to cover up the smells of the tea cooking. May Chang is wonderful for this.

Bath Relaxing in a bath at the end of the day is a wonderful way to leave the day behind and relax for the evening, and get ready for sleep. Some essential oils are not really suitable for adding to the bath as I found out for myself, when I noticed that my skin was burning from the orange that I had added to the running bath water. Now I use oils such as Lavendar, Rose, Chamomile, Ylang-ylang. E is for Everyday use-2

Meditation Several evenings a week I will spend an hour or so meditating and praying whilst having a burner lit and using sacred oils such as frankincense, spikenard, myrhh or patchouli along with a citrus oil.

Massage If I am in luck my husband will offer to massage my back before we go to sleep. Then in a base oil I will add Jasmine or Rose. Try it for yourself 😉

Amphora Aromatherapy essential Oils available here:

A is for Aromatherapy, an Introduction

frankincense-tree

Tree Which Yields the Resin for Frankincense

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is known to have said, ” The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and a scented massage every day.” In the 4th century BC he recognised that burning certain aromatic substances, protected against contagious diseases. The use of aromatic oils goes back to ancient times. Early civilisations give record of perfumes and aromatic oils being used, the Egyptians, the Babylonians, ancient Greeks and Romans, all have references to them in their culture. Using aromatic oils obtained from herbs, spices, flowers, twigs or any other part of a plant that you care to name, is not a New Age thing. Aromatherapy is mentioned in the Bible, just not as aromatherapy. There is mention of Hyssop, Frankincese, Spikenard and Myrrh to name a few. The name aromatherapy was given to it only around 150 years ago, when scientists began to look closely at these oils and start to name the chemical components in them, and how they might be used to treat disease. Prior to this, the knowledge would have been handed down, from midwife and priest, to those following in their footsteps. The wise woman in the woods, who knew all the plants round about her, and which one to use for each complaint, would have been commonplace. Scientists are now moving in where wise sages were before.

Over the next 26 days in April, I will be writing posts about this topic, all completely aimed at the lay-person. If you are a student of aromatherapy, or a qualified aromatherapist yourself, please bear with me, for the lack of Latin names and lack of the words sesquiterpines and polyphenols, as I do my best to introduce this fascinating subject to the blogosphere.

When I first qualified I decided to use the range of essential oils from Amphora Aromatics. They are a British based company who do high quality oils, without any fancy packaging, perfect for the professional. I decided to stock them in my health clinic, and since the rise of the internet and online shopping, now sell them on my website for the UK.

It is often said that if you feel drawn to an oil, then you probably need to use it. I have certainly noticed that over the years of using them for myself, my nose has certainly altered as to my favourite oils.

I would love to answer any questions that my reader here may have. Just ask in the comment box, and I will do my best. Suggestions for oils and blends in use in treating medical conditions on here, are not a recommendation, but a suggestion. I have over 20 years of experience in using these oils to help people, but they have asked for a Consultation and I have considered the information obtained at this consultation to carefully choose the oils to blend for them. When choosing oils I take into account not just the physical but also the psychological aspects of the person’s personality, before choosing the oils for them. However there are certain blends that I find myself returning to.

Come with me on this journey

Blessings Joy

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Tomorrow the letter B, learn about blends, basil, bergamot and black pepper.

 

 

National Fragrance Day

There’s a trend going on, on twitter for #NationalFragranceDay. Now I am sure we can all appreciate how nice it makes us feel, to smell nice can’t we? Did you know that our sense of smell is a very primitive one, and is connected to the limbic system, which is why when we smell something we like, or even dislike, we can be transported back in time to a memory.

I defy anybody to smell the after shave or perfume of your first real boy/girlfriend, and not instantly be reminded of them. that’s how powerful the sense of smell is. Take a look at this image of an essential oil? Can you smell the orange, just from the image? Have you started salivating, just by looking at the picture?

Orange essential oilBut here’s my question?

Why be content with fragrances when you can have essential oils.

April sees the month of the AtoZChallenge, where we bloggers will be challenged to write a post a day, on a subject. I have chosen Aromatherapy. Now this is going to be aimed at the general public, it is going to be in general terms, in an effort to get you to see the wonderful array of natural substances that we have at our fingertips, to help us keep healthy and smelling good too.

Enjoy today and stop press!

How amazing timing that was, just as I was about to hit post. I have just been notified that today is the day to announce your theme on the Linky List. So perfect timing.

Blessings, Now go and smell the freshness in the Spring air.

Joy

Night Night Sleep Tight

 

Did you know that the “Sleep Tight” in the bedtime rhyme is said to  refer to the ropes that were pulled tight, to ensure the support for the mattress was there by taut ropes, to ensure a good nights sleep.  I frequently get asked, in my role as a Chiropractor, for my advice on beds, or more specifically mattresses. Which is the right mattress to buy? Does it need to be an orthopaedic mattress? They tell me that they have spent a fortune on beds that bend, twist shake, rattle and roll, because the glossy brochures promised them a good nights sleep, but still they can’t sleep or wake up in the morning, or 2 or 3 or 4 am because of discomfort. So in view of the fact that March is National Bed Month, here’s my view on it.

Buying a bed or mattress is not an exact science! Why? Because we are all different, different shapes, body builds, some have more curves than others…….you get the general idea.

So if you are thinking about investing in a new mattress, my advice is to go to a shop where you can try them out. And I mean really try them out. Lie down on them……..for 20 minutes or so. Any mattress may feel comfortable, for the 10 seconds that most people lie down on them for, in a bed shop. But, if like most people, you plan on spending HOURS at a time on it, then 10 seconds is not long enough.

When my husband and I got married, we bought new bedroom furniture. I took a book into the shop and sat up on the bed and read. I took my own pillow in and lay down for a while too. The salesman kept coming over and asking if I needed any help, my husband was embarassed. But we ended up with a mattress that is the most comfortable mattress I have ever slept on, bar the one in a hotel in Iceland.

I also recommend that when you try the beds out, you take your own pillows with you. Now this again may seem rather strange, but I was amazed at the difference in made to trying out the mattress. Different pillows made the support feel different in the same mattress. Which probably says more about the role of being aligned correctly, than it does about the mattress. Because no matter how much you spend on a bed, or mattress, it is only going to support you in the alignment that the body is in. If you are out of alingment and have a very supportive mattress, you may actually find it too uncomfortable.mattresses

Curvy people, with boobs and hips, may find it more comfortable to lie on a softer mattress than those with flatter straighter bodies. I often recommend to people who find their mattress too hard, to try putting a quilt or duvet for padding and see if that is more comfortable, before spending money on a mattress. If you sleep with a.n.other person, this trick will often work well as you the 2 individuals often prefer different support from a mattress.

My final piece of advice! Before going out and spending a lot of money on a new bed or mattress, it is worth getting your alignment checked out by someone in your area.

Night night sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite. (and if they are take a look at yesterday’s post on ti-tree) x

 

 

Ti- Tree Oil on Wednesday Wellness

Ti-tree oil, sometimes spelt Tea tree, is a very useful oil to have around, in the natural health home kit. Tea tree oil

The oil comes from the tree Melaleuca alternifolia which thrives in marshy areas. It grows to approximatley 20 feet, and has the ability to flourish even when chopped down. The oil is produced only in Australia, and has been long recognised by the indigenous people, the Aborigines for it’s healing properties. When settlers treated the plant as a weed, Aborigines used the leaves to tie around wounds, to either stop them becoming infected, or to treat an infection. It took until 1927 for it to be introduced to Europe, where the anti-septic qualities were quickly recognised. During World War II, ti-tree oil was included in the military first aid kits for use in tropical areas.

The most important use for Ti-tree is as an immune system stimulant. It activates the white blood cells to help fight infection, therefore shortening any illness. It is a strongly antiseptic oil, useful in cases of influenza, coughs colds or virus infections of any desciption.

Using ti-tree oil in baths, burners or massage in the run up to an  operation or scheduled treatment in hospital, )which we all know are full of bacteria, virus and bugs of all descriptions), will give your immune system the boost it needs to help your body fight them off.

It is a very cleansing oil, think pus of any desciption, and ti-tree is the oil of choice. On the skin, acne, sores, boils, it can be applied neat. One of the few oils that I would recommend that can be.

Tea tree

Tea-tree

It has rather a medicinal smell, to my nose, due to the terpenes in it, and therefore not to everybody’s taste, or should that be smell, but blending it with a citrus fruit such as orange or mandarin will help to sweeten it in burners, or blend with another oil of choice for massage.

Many preparatory shampoos for treating head lice contain ti-tree as it is known that lice do not like it. I found that after washing my daughter’s hair with my normal shampoo, to comb through the hair with neat ti-tree oil was more effective than the ready-mixed shampoos.

I am taking part in the AthZChallenge in April, when I shall be writing more about aromatherapy, from AtoZ. I would be priviledged if you would like to follow my blog to learn more about this fascinating subject. Learn how you can keep your family healthy by using these very powerful oils thats cience is beginning to understand. The challenge starts on 1st April, when I shall be covering Aromatherapy, a brief overview.

Do you have a favourite oil?