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My Top Three Essential Oils

Posted on 20 April, 2017 at 6:58 Comments comments ()
The most difficult question you can ask any Aromatherapist is ‘What are your Top Three oils?’, but I’ll give it a go!
My number one oil can change daily depending on my mood and who I am working with at the time. I might open a tiny bottle of an essential not used for a while and think ’this has got to be my favourite, why have I neglected it for so long?’, then that can all change the next day!
Having said that I nearly always return to the classic oil Frankincense, mainly because of its power to visibly calm and comfort. It is my oil of choice when I am faced with an obviously anxious or nervous client, one drop, sniffed from a tissue, soothes and balances the emotions, helping to overcome stress by slowing and deepening the breath.
There have been numerous studies carried out to try and discover why this oil can have such a profound impact on our sense of calm. Frankincense contains molecules that can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, enabling it to carry much-needed oxygen into the brain, as well as stimulating the limbic area of the brain. It is this calming and grounding quality of frankincense oil that proves to be beneficial in treating depression, anxiety and low moods. It is also for this reason that frankincense has been prized for thousands of years to help meditation and contemplation. Add to this its excellent reputation as an antiseptic, its valuable use when treating all respiratory conditions and the fact that it has proven anti-ageing properties it is easy to see why this oil remains firmly at Number One of my top three chart.
So what oil could possibly follow frankincense at the number two spot? It has to be Geranium, simply for its wonderful floral, grassy fragrance and for its superb balancing properties. This is the oil I recommend to all my female clients due to its regulating effect on the hormonal and the nervous systems, and the smell makes it a pleasure to use. I also use this oil on my male clients as they too benefit from its balancing properties but I would blend it with a masculine fragranced oil such as Sandalwood or Vetiver.

And in at number three is Rose otto. The fragrance is sublime, both warm and comforting, one sniff transports you to a summer garden filled with beautiful blooms. Because of the cost I reserve this oil for my skincare blends and for anyone experiencing loss or bereavement of any kind. Its ability to bring about emotional balance never ceases to amaze me, Rose has a spiritual influence and is used to balance and open the Heart Chakra.

Muscle Tension

Posted on 19 October, 2016 at 9:09 Comments comments ()
Muscular Tension
Overused and overextended muscles cause tension. Any movement we make, no matter how small, involves muscles tensing and flexing. Any activity that entails repetitive movement from tapping away on a laptop to swinging a golf club, or during periods of stress and anxiety, can result in tight muscles that are ‘stuck’ in a tense state. Once these muscles refuse to relax they weaken and circulation of blood and lymph is impaired.
Once a muscle becomes inflexible it is very difficult to release it. Painkillers and muscle relaxants can be useful but they do not heal the muscle, they just reduce the discomfort felt. Massage is one of the best ways to manage muscular tension in the body, especially when combined with essential oils. Massage helps to release and stretch the ineffective muscles and loosens connective tissue. Kneading, pressing and rubbing areas of muscular tension results in the stimulation of the circulation to the area, this increased blood flow brings with it energy producing nutrients and oxygen. Massage not only relaxes and softens the muscles it helps to increase mobility and flexibility and to reduce pain as endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers) are released. 
 Used in conjunction with massage carefully chosen essential oils can provide two benefits; they penetrate deep into the muscle tissue and encourage the contracted muscle to expand, in turn relieving the physical pain, but they can also help with the emotional stress that results in physical tension.
There is a long list of essential oils that can be of benefit when massaging tense muscles. Any essential oils considered a relaxant will be of use, as will oils that have analgesic or anti-inflammatory properties. Some essential oils, such as eucalyptus and rosemary, have a cooling effect when applied to the skin, helping to take the heat out of inflamed muscles. Other oils are chosen for their rubefacient effects, that is a substance when applied topically to the body causes dilation of the capillaries and an increase in blood circulation, oils that fall into this category are sweet marjoram and ginger.
In my practice I have found that the main areas tension affects the muscles is lower (sacra)l area of the back, the upper back and neck , jawline, facial muscles and scalp. I have put together a special Aromatherapy Tension Busting Treatment that concentrates on all these areas.
 

Aromatherapy for Exams and Studying

Posted on 5 April, 2015 at 12:07 Comments comments ()
As we enter the summer term students of all ages are burning the midnight oil working towards their exams. Anything that can help during this busy time is always appreciated and believe it or not aromatherapy can help in its own way. Carefully selected essential oils can boost your productivity and your health. Inhalation of an agreeable aroma can cause many changes to the body, helping to relax, stimulate and regulate many of our bodily systems.

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years, by many cultures, for improving mental activity and strengthening the memory. Our sense of smell is the strongest of the senses and is able to influence brain activity. Via our olfactory bulbs our sense of smell is linked to the limbic area of the brain, the part of the brain that is responsible for, amongst other things, our memories and emotions. An odour (such as an essential oil) can be used to stimulate this part of the brain helping our brain to function more efficiently. The connection between new ideas and scent is developed during learning, so that same scent can trigger the memory when the information is required, such as during an exam. To use this information recall technique you need to introduce new odours not used before, a different essential oils for each subject to be learnt.

Whilst studying vaporise your chosen oil close to your work station, then when it is time to sit the exam take a tissue infused with the same essential oil with you into the exam room. This will help to recall the information previously studied. Choosing an essential oil for each subject is the fun bit as there are so many oils that could be utilised:


·         Rosemary is the most cephalic essential oil; its sharp camphorous odour stimulates mental activity, aids concentration and boosts a fatigued brain as well as enhancing proscriptive memory. A study in 2003 found that participants who inhaled rosemary oil during an exam displayed significantly higher cognitive function. It is also a great stress reliever and balancer. (Not to be used if you suffer with epilepsy or high blood pressure and avoid during pregnancy).

·         Basil with its sweet, refreshing smell has similar properties to rosemary.  It clears and strengthens the mind, improving poor memory and fatigue-induced distraction and also helps to relieve headaches associated with stress and tension. (Avoid during pregnancy).

·         Peppermint is spicy, fragrant oil and a natural ‘pick-me-up’. This oil wakes the mind, focuses the senses and improves the memory. It is able to provide relief from stress and mental exhaustion due to its refreshing, stimulating odour. It clears the mind and increases focus on cognitive tasks. ( Do not use with homeopathic remedies).

·         Frankincense has a softer odour than some of the other essential oils mentioned but I had to include it for its ability to quieten the mind and support focused attention. This is a lovely oil to use at the end of a hard revision session as it actively lowers the blood pressure and calms the mind, helping to clear your head ready for a sound nights sleep.

·         Lemon has calming and clarifying properties, helping to promote concentration. It also helps to calm anger and frustration, emotions often experienced whilst studying.

·         Ginger for its ability to energise and uplift, helping to alleviate nervous and mental exhaustion. Also good for calming nausea so a good oil to use to calm pre-exam nerves.

·         Lavender is usually thought of as a relaxant that you would use before bed but its calming properties can help keep emotional stress in check. Lavender has a soothing effect on the nervous system so as well as calming nervous tension it can help relieve headaches and migraines.

·         Jasmine is a great oil for its uplifting capabilities, this oil energizes and helps produce a feeling of confidence. Use in small amounts as it can be quite a heady oil, leading to headaches if use for long periods of time.

·         Eucalyptus has a cooling and refreshing effect that uplifts and clears the head. This stimulating oil helps alleviate exhaustion and mental sluggishness. It stimulates mental activity and as it is considered a vasodilator it increases blood flow to the brain and the rest of the body. More blood to the brain=more brain power!

·         Geranium heightens the imagination so is a great oil for all anyone involved all in artistic study. Research has shown geranium oil has a synergistic relationship with the chemistry of the brain as it has been found to activate microglial cells which are integral components in the fight against neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.


Aromatherapy is a holistic therapy, treating the body, mind and soul. Keep this in mind when studying and ensure that you get the rest, exercise and nourishment your body needs as well as giving your head chance to clear and re-focus. Whichever oils you choose I wish you the best of luck with your studies. Paula x
 

 

Essential Oils for Winter Well-Being

Posted on 3 February, 2015 at 9:07 Comments comments ()
As the temperatures  plummet we do not automatically think of reaching for essential oils to help keep warm, however there are a group of essential oils that can be described as being ‘warming’ to the body. These oils have a rubefacient effect on the body which means that when they are applied topically they cause the dilation of capillaries and an increase in blood circulation which brings heat to the area and can significantly ease aches and pains.

Such essential oils not only bring heat to the areas applied but they can awaken dull senses, lift the spirits, they can stimulate sluggish circulation and digestion and many of these warming oils also have emollient properties helping to calm and soothe dry, irritated skin that can often occur during the colder months. The majority of them also have a strong antibacterial and antiviral action making them excellent for preventing and helping to rid the body of coughs and colds.

The best ways to use warming essential oils-
Bath- There is nothing more soothing than a warm, aromatic bath on a cold day. Once the bath has been filled add 5 drops of your chosen essential oil to 10ml of carrier oil (sesame and olive oil are especially warming) alternatively try full fat milk or honey to disperse the essential oils. Particularly effective for aches, pains and chills.

Foot and hand soak- as above but fill a bowl large enough to place the feet or hands, great for impaired circulation in the extremities or just for warming and comforting.

Massage cream/oil- Mix 3 drops of essential oil with a carrier oil or perfume free cream/lotion and massage into the skin. This is a lovely way to keep hands and feet warm and well moisturised, also good for lower back pain when briskly massaged into the affected area.

Please see my earlier Blog on the 
Safe Use of Essential Oils at Home for further information

Top 10 Warming Essential Oils

Ginger- great oil to warm the body and emotions. For the body it helps poor circulation, sluggish digestion, cold hands and feet, whereas emotionally it is stimulating and arousing, helping to dispel nervous exhaustion and the winter blues.

Sweet Marjoram-a great comforting oil, excellent for stiff muscles, and rheumatic pain. Calms and eases stress and sadness.
Patchouli- is relaxing and uplifting, it is anti-inflammatory and helps heal many skin conditions, it is a soothing and stabilising oil so helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

Neroli- although an expensive oils it is without a doubt the best oil for treating anxiety and other emotional problems. It calms the nerves, being soothing and uplifting. Great to use on the face during the winter months to protect the skin (1 drop in 5ml carrier oil, add to wheat germ oil for a    nourishing skin treat). 

Patchouli- is relaxing and uplifting, it is anti-inflammatory and helps heal many skin conditions, it is a soothing and stabilising oil so helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

Frankincense- is valued for its ability to slow and deepen the breathing, helping to control anxiety and stress. Deeply calming and revitalising oil that is especially useful in treating colds and associated throat and chest problems.

Benzoin- a great comforting oil with a sweet, warm, vanilla-like scent. A good all-rounder for the winter months as benzoin is beneficial for rheumatism and poor circulation, eases coughs, colds and chills, soothes chapped skin as well as being uplifting, revitalising and an antidpressant.

Black Pepper- has a dry, spicy and woody aroma and acts as a stimulant as well as being strengthening and comforting. Great in a foot soak for chilblains, its overall warming effect eases arthritis, rheumatic pain, stiffness and neuralgia. Also helps fight viral infections.

Bay- fresh and spicy with a warm, balsamic base note. Reviving and refreshing it is an effective antispetic for the respiratory system. 
**A strong oil that should only be used in small doses and very occasionally.**

Myrrh- resinous and smoky in aroma, myrrh is renowned for its healing properties and so is beneficial for most inflamed skin conditions. as it has a drying effect it is great as an expectorant for treating coughs and colds. This oil has a calming, spiritual effect on the body and mind, bringing about a sense of peace and tranquility.

Sandalwood- has a relaxing and uplifting effect with a sweet, woody, long-lasting fragrance. Excellent for all types of nervous tension, used in baths it is calming and relaxing as well as being soothing and hydrating to the skin.

As you can see Aromatherapy and Essential Oils offer the perfect Winter Tonic. Have fun experimenting and keep warm this winter. I'm off for my bath now.......! x





New Year Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture Offer

Posted on 1 December, 2014 at 9:41 Comments comments ()

New Year offer!

For January and February 2015

FACIAL REJUVENATION ACUPUNCTURE 




one-off treatment half price- Now £42.50  (was £85) 

£50 off Initial course of 6- Now £275 (was £325)

£65 for follow up treatments

National Massage Day

Posted on 9 June, 2014 at 7:37 Comments comments ()
Follow this link to read Love Food Lincs. Blog Page featuring Ownsworth's Rapeseed Oil
www.ownsworths.co.uk  and Comments by ME!!
 
 
 

Look After Your Body

Posted on 12 October, 2013 at 9:53 Comments comments ()
Your body is an amazing feat of engineering. It is bone, muscle, organs, nerves and cells all working in harmony together controlled by the brain. But what happens when you have a niggling pain in your back or headaches regularly? You ignore it and hope it goes away-BUT what happens if your car has a strange rattle or develops a leak? You lavish lots of time and money on it by taking it to the garage to be fixed- after all you cannot manage without your car!
Your body is a finely tuned machine and any pains or funny rashes are warning signs of imbalances in that fine tuning. It needs caring for before more serious problems develop. No matter how busy you are you owe it to your body to listen to it and treat it with the respect it deserves. Learn to relax, when was the last time you let yourself just ‘be’? Its not indulgent or ‘pampering yourself’ to care for your body- it’s a necessity.
Aromatherapy is an herbal medicine that is really powerful as a preventative measure. It may be very effective in the treatment of aches and pains, skin disorders, digestive problems, sluggish circulation, as well as emotional problems, stress, anxiety, depression and addiction.
Most of us suffer with high levels of toxicity. Our environment is full of toxins, the air we breathe, in the water we drink and in the vegetables, meat and fish we eat. It is not surprising that our body tissues get clogged up, leaving us feeling below par and susceptible to illness. The first attack is diet and drinking plenty of mineral water. Exercise and fresh air help the body to relax, which is vital to allow the body to shift the waste deposits. Regular massage, especially massage that drains the lymphatic system (our bodies waste disposal system) combined with pure, organic aromatherapy oils is a sure fire way to help your body rid itself of as much of the toxic waste as it can. No healthy fitness programme should be without regular aromatherapy massages.

Make a promise to yourself to look after your body. Care for it- it’s the only one you have got! 

Look After Your Body

Posted on 12 October, 2013 at 9:31 Comments comments ()

Well-being is NOT a luxury

Posted on 5 June, 2013 at 9:54 Comments comments ()

In these days of austerity, we are all trying to cut back where we can to help make ends meet. But very often the first things we make cuts on are the things we consider ‘frivolous’ and self-indulgent, things that make us feel good about ourselves and help us to relax. The truth is that this should be the complete the opposite, in difficult and stressful times we should be taking more time out to relax and de-stress our bodies. This enables us to be far better equipped to cope with life’s problems. Watching the news has never been more depressing than in recent months and leads to us feeling low, by taking a little time out from the everyday grind we can give ourselves a boost, which in turn leads to a far more positive outlook on life and its stresses and strains.
The human body strives for a state of homeostasis; this is when all systems within the body are working together, the body balanced and healthy; physically, mentally and spiritually. To achieve this state we need to allow our bodies to relax. Allowing yourself to relax is not a frivolous pleasure, it is vital to health.  Relaxation is scientifically proven to reduce blood pressure and decrease muscle tension. We are all familiar with the signs of stress; tightness in the stomach, jaw, neck and back, shallow breathing, clammy hands, fatigue and a pounding heart. When stressed the body releases adrenalin and other chemicals like noradrenaline, the heart rate increases, blood vessels dilate and with a decrease in metabolism, extra glucose surges into the blood steam to give you extra fuel. With all this going on in the body it is easy to see why it can sometimes be an unpleasant experience. Prolonged exposure to stress has also been linked to memory loss. The adrenal glands secrete a hormone called cortisol in times of stress and in trials scientists have been able to induce memory loss in elderly patients by elevating the level of cortisol. So you can see that sustained exposure to stressful situations can have a negative and sometimes irreversible effect on the human body.
Holistic therapies are an excellent way to prioritise time for relaxation whether you choose massage, reflexology, or any other form of touch therapy it can all have a positive effect on the body, mind and spirit. Engaging in a therapy you enjoy helps you to unwind and forget the world, even if just for a short while and allows the body to find a state of equilibrium.  

So time to let go, unwind and allow that body to relax. Do not underestimate the powers of being pampered. The expectation of doing something positive for your own health can be healing in itself. Do not feel guilty or self-indulgent; relaxation is a fundamental need of the body, mind and spirit.   

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