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Essential oils for cold and flu

Essential Oils for Cold and Flu

Written by: Claire Kenny

 

When you get a cold your instincts may tell you rush to the doctors and get an antibiotic, now by all means if you are feeling very poorly or if you have any underlying issues make an appointment with your doctor, however if it is simply a cold virus the best action to take is rest up as much as possible, drink plenty of fluids, increase your Vitamin-C intake and add moisture to the air, as you are doing that why not add these oils to help boost your immunity, fight off a cough and congestion and help kill those airborne germs.

Essential oils have known antibacterial and antiviral properties making them very useful during the cold and flu season.  In most cases, the essential oils can provide a layer of protection in the air while other oils can help alleviate common symptoms while supporting the healing process.  There are many ways to use essential oils to fight off colds and flu during their peak months. Here are a few ways to use essential oils to neutralize air borne illnesses.

There are many different ways to use essential oils around the home and office.

 Diffusing Essential Oils

Diffusing is perhaps one of the best ways to benefit from the effects of essential oils. You have a few options of diffusion.  There are cold water diffusers, oil burners, a bowl of hot water and add a few drops of the oils or a good one if you don’t have any of the above is to get a wet facecloth and soak in a bowl with the oils and apply to your radiator.

But how do you know which ones work best? Some of the strongest germ-fighting oils come from plants. These include cinnamon, thyme, clove, tea tree and oregano. Combine these powerful oils with those known to support the immune system such as lavender, eucalyptus and any citrus oils like lemon, lime and orange. Many of these deter the growth of viruses and should be used during the weeks you tend to stay indoors because of cooler weather.

Tissue or cotton ball Breather

One useful way to fight congestion is to create a tissue or cotton ball breathing aid. Use a small pack of tissues or cotton balls and place six drops of eucalyptus oil and four drops of lavender oil in a few different areas in the tissues or cotton balls. Place them into a zip lock bag and seal it. Put it in your bag and take it along with you if you are fighting off a cold. When you feel congestion coming on, take them and hold it up close to your nose. Breathe deeply. This will help alleviate congestion.

Peppermint and eucalyptus oil can both help open the airways. You can use them separately or together for sinus congestion, lung congestion, or for respiratory issues of any kind.

Eucalyptus oil as a nasal decongestant works exceptionally well.

Those with chronic chest congestion issues like bronchitis and COPD, elderly people, or anyone pregnant or nursing should choose Eucalyptus radiata. Don’t use eucalyptus this way for children.

Balm

Create your own effective balm to help fight off congestion and coughing. Use a dark jar (as essential oils need to be kept out direct sunlight) to mix these essential oils.

  • 1 TBL coconut oil
  • 8 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil
  • 5 drops of Lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of Thyme essential oil

Eucalyptus helps fight congestion as well as coughing; thyme is extremely antiviral. Lavender fights viruses and bacteria and helps promote relaxation. Rub about a teaspoon of the mix on your chest before going to bed. It can help you get some much-needed rest and breathe easier.

Here is a great aromatherapy immune system booster to keep you feeling your best you can make up wither a roller ball bottle blend using coconut oil and the following oils.

  • 6 drops Geranium
  • 5 drops Eucalyptus
  • 5 drops Tea Tree

Oils to Use for Congestion and Influenza

Here’s a list of some of the most popular oils. It’s a good idea to keep these versatile oils on hand for a lot of different reasons, but they are beneficial for helping soothe symptoms and in some instances to use for home remedies.

Peppermint can help soothe headaches, relieve congestion and sometimes relieve a fever. Dilute it with a carrier oil and apply it to the chest, bottoms of your feet or temples.

Lemon is a natural and effective decongestant and has antiviral properties.

Oregano is thought to be antibacterial, anti-parasitic, antiviral and antifungal. Diffuse it or put it in a vaporizer.

Lavender can aid with relief of cold and flu symptoms while it helps relax muscles and ease a headache.

Eucalyptus helps ease the respiratory system during a bout with the flu or a cold. Create a soothing rub by blending it with a carrier oil. It can be used as an ointment. Rub it on our chest and shoulders for cough relief.

Cinnamon Essential oil of cinnamon has powerful antifungal and antioxidant properties that help bolster the body’s immune system. A little bit of this essential oil, however, goes a long way. It has a richer scent than the ground spice, but it’s an essential oil you’ll want to use—even a small amount is effective, and the aroma is comforting.

Clove essential oil is a rich spice that adds warmth to a cold and flu blend while opening nasal airways and improving breathing. Clove is also an excellent companion oil that will boost the scent of other spices or sweeten the sharpness of eucalyptus. Just a drop or two, though—like cinnamon, clove’s robust aroma can overpower. These distinct spice oils (clove and cinnamon) will help you avoid getting sick when it seems as if everyone is sneezing in your direction.

Black Pepper less aggressive than cinnamon or clove, yet still effective for easing influenza’s aches and pains, black pepper is a woodsy, green aromatic that smells very little like the table spice, but offers a similar stimulating kick. Blend it with other essential oils to tackle bugs and viruses and add a bright scent to the mix.

Grand Fir is a decongestant that also offers anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties, especially when combined with clove. Grand fir can be added to a massage oil blend or to a bath (along with a carrier oil) to relieve achy muscles and joints associated with seasonal colds or the flu.

Geranium Many people enjoy the smell of geranium. But the scent is just one of its many charms. It is antiseptic and antibacterial, which not only makes it great in blends but can help you disinfect the air and surfaces in your home.  Geranium is relaxing as well and can help mask the odor of more medicinal oils that may be in blends for sickness.

Lemon oil helps invigorate the lymphatic system, which can be sluggish in times of illness. It may surprise you to know that even though the scent is stimulating, this oil is quite calming and can actually act as a mild stimulant.  This is a photosensitizing oil, and should not be used on the skin undiluted or before going out in the sun.

Peppermint Along with ginger, peppermint tea has long been used to reduce nausea and make people feel better.  If you have been exposed to oils for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve heard someone recommend peppermint oil for coughs at some point.  Many commercial supplements contain peppermint. It can help for a variety of ailments including gastrointestinal issues, respiratory and sinus infections, and coughs and colds.

Rosemary  is one of those oils to have on hand all of the time. It can help soothe aches and pains that come with the cold and flu and is helpful to diffuse for a cough. Not only this, it can help calm anxiety that may be plaguing you while you’re ill and can help ease your pounding head as well.

Thyme Both of these oils are a good choice. There are numerous variations and chemotypes of thyme. Both of these have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.  Thyme has been used throughout history for medicinal purposes. Hippocrates even recommended the herb for respiratory conditions, and we can still benefit from it today.

 

Winter Warmer Roller Blend

Roll this aromatic blend on the inner wrist and dab a dot under your nose and breathe deeply. Not only is this blend naturally antiviral, it’s also emotionally uplifting for when you’re feeling under the weather. Use coconut as your carrier,

  • 2 drops Eucalyptus
  • 2 drops Cinnamon
  • 2 drops Clove
  • 6 drops Black Pepper
  • 8 drops Lavender

Breathe Easy Blends

You can add these blends to a diffuser or use them to make a massage oil: mix oils in a 1 oz. glass bottle with a carrier oil such as grapeseed or sweet almond oil.

Blend

  • 8 drops Eucalyptus
  • 8 drops Black Pepper
  • 12 drops Lavandin

Blend

  • 4 drops Eucalyptus
  • 10 drops Lavandin
  • 14 drops Green Mandarin

Immune Boosting Blend

Here is a great aromatherapy immune system booster to keep you feeling your best you can make up using a roller ball bottle blend using coconut oil and the following oils.

  • 6 drops Geranium
  • 5 drops Eucalyptus
  • 5 drops Tea Tree

Healthy Tip: Make effective use of your respiratory blends. A few times daily, apply blends in a circular motion on the chest and solar plexus, the base of and behind your neck, behind your ears, and on other lymph nodes. Then place a drop under the nose to hasten the benefits of aromatherapy.

Colds:

  • 2 Drops Eucalyptus
  • 2 drops Rosemary
  • 1 drop Lemon

Mix a teaspoon of carrier oil of choice. Rub a bit over the temples, forehead, chest, and neck areas.

 Head Colds:

  • 10 drops Ravensara
  • 5 drops Ho wood
  • 5 drops Palmarosa
  • 5 drops Thyme linalol.

Mix together and add six drops to diffuse for colds.

 Coughs With Mucus

  • 2 drops Eucalyptus radiata
  • 2 drops Thyme linalol
  • 1 drop Tea Tree
  • 1 drop Geranium

Add this mix to your diffuser or another humidifying method.

 Sinus Congestion

  • 2 drops Cardamom
  • 2 drops Rosemary
  • 1 drop each Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Tea Tree

This blend works well to either diffuse or add to a bowl of hot water for steam inhalation. Place your head over the bowl and a towel on the back of your head and breathe in the steam for 10 minutes or so, until the water cools.

 For Fever

  • 2 drops Lavender or Peppermint
  • 2 drops Eucalyptus

More often than not, these illnesses come with a raised temperature. Luckily, there are essential oils that are antifebrile, which means they can help reduce fevers.  Add the above oils to a bath will have a cooling effect. Be sure to mix the drops with a little carrier oil or aloe vera juice before adding to the bath water, as the bath can become slippy.

Toddler Cold

If you are dealing with a little one who’s sick, don’t use the steam inhalation method as they can burn themselves with the hot water. For a toddler cold, diffuse a five-drop mix of any of the following oils:

  • Chamomile, Roman
  • Geranium
  • Lavender
  • Tea Tree

The above oils are appropriate for babies and children above seven months old.

Just remember that with oils, less is more. Here are a handful more tips for you to get rid of that cold using essential oils.

  • 3-8 drops of single or blended oil are suitable for a bath. Mix with a teaspoon or tablespoon of carrier or aloe vera juice first.
  • For compresses, whether hot or cold, disperse 3-10 drops of oil in water prior to soaking.
  • Cotton swabs or tissues only need a drop or two.
  • Follow your diffuser instructions to determine the number of drops.
  • For humidifiers, use up to eight drops per pint.
  • If using a bowl of water for inhalation, only 3-5 drops are needed.
  • Ten to 30 drops of essential oil can be added to each ounce of carrier oil (30 mL). Use sparingly over the area being massaged.
  • Purify the air by adding 10-20 drops of your favorite viral-busting oil or blend to a pint of water in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use.

 

There are special circumstances to be aware of when using essential oils for congestion, colds, and the flu.

Children, Elderly, and the Chronically Sick

Care must always be taken around particular groups of people. Babies and toddlers are especially susceptible to being harmed by oils.

For instance, there have been cases of seizures due to eucalyptus oil in small children.

Asthmatics

People with asthma can have severe attacks just being around essential oils. Even recipes for breathing them in can be dangerous.

Please use care when diffusing around asthmatics as well as giving them any other type of remedy involving essential oils.

 

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding should always be careful what they breathe in, ingest, or use on their body topically. While many oils are safe, others are not. Please consult with an expert on which oils you may or may not use.

 

 

 

Soothing Eczema and Psoriasis Masque

Soothing Eczema and Psoriasis Masque

Both Eczema and psoriasis  result in patchy, rough skin.  If the symptoms are not treated, the result is dry, scaly skin that looks and feels old and tough.

A gentle cleansing masque that also soothes and cools is a great treatment for the pain associated with these problems.

While this treatment will not cure you of your skin disorder, it will relieve some of the pain and discomfort.  It also takes away some of the excess skin and flakiness associated with these disorders, leaving the skin softer and smoother.

¼ chopped bushel of watercress

10 white seedless grapes

2 tablespoons of baking soda

1 anise stem

2 teaspoons of anise extract

5 tablespoons water

In a blender, mix all the ingredients together on a medium speed for 30 seconds, or until smooth.  Place mixture on affected areas and wrap in cling film (optional, but less messy).  Leave on for 30minutes.  Rinse with warm water.  Makes ¾ cup.

Shelf life: Cover and refrigerate, discard after three days.

 

You can find all of these products in any Asian market.

Remember to do a patch test before using the above masque.

The watercress:  Medicant

The grapes: anti-inflammatory, softener, A and C enzymes

Baking soda: cleanser and softener

Anise stem: soother

Anise extract: soother.

 

We have in house nutritionist, homeopaths, Acupuncturist and stress reduction classes here at the centre that may help with managing the symptoms and causes of your psoriasis and eczema.

Just go to therapies to find out more:

 

 

Let Me Try

It’s not about how long we live but how well we live.

There are so many things that we are told not to do in life: Don’t smoke, don’t drink coffee, stay away from fatty foods and keep as active as possible.

But where is the balance?  To live a truly Holistic life you need to find that balance.  Yes, I drink coffee, my exercise consists of running around after my two wild boys and constantly going from A to B doing jobs for the centre, I eat red meat and I am not Phoebe from friends, although I do sing like her.  But I am for the most part happy, healthy-ish but mostly I am content with my life which I believe makes me complete.

If I were to believe everything I have seen online, on peoples beautiful posed Instagram feed, on the front cover of nearly all the magazines, on numerous online articles about a tablet to cure this and that, stay away from all medications, macro, micro diets, to supplement or not supplement and so and so on, I should be 6 feet under by now.

I believe that good health and happiness go way beyond the physical, you must embrace the beautiful mess that life is, warts and all, and learn to be the best version of yourself on any given day.

Life is trial and error.  You fail and you fall, then you get up and try again.  Life is a journey and we learn a lot from the bumpy roads.  I am still on that road.

My perspective on what a healthy person is:

A happy healthy person doesn’t wish their life away, or dwell on past events.  They are able to love and to be loved, they have strong relationships but love their own company and independence, so if that love were to leave, they are strong enough to make the most of their new lives.

They know how important it is to forgive.  Holding onto grudges and hurt feelings only affects the person who holds onto them.  You don’t have to be loved by everyone or try to please everyone, this is an impossible task and the quickest way to pile on layers of self-doubt and misery.

They have a realistic self-awareness.  In other words, they can see their own weaknesses and their own shortcomings, without trying to change the people around them.  Working on self-improvement is a lifelong challenge that they accept with open arms.

They can laugh at themselves.  If you can see the funny and incongruous side of life, even during stressful moments, it can be to your advantage.  Expecting yourself to be perfect is the quickest way to discontent. Do the best you can—which may or may not be good enough—but that’s all you can do.  Accept it, smile, move on and give yourself a break. Stop worrying!

They are not judgmental.   They walk their own path and learn from their own mistakes, never reminding other people of theirs.

They don’t complain.  There’s much to complain about today.  And there are times when we need to get things off of our chests to keep from exploding, and that’ okay.   However, constantly complaining and never trying to fix the issues is not a habit of healthy people.

This is my take on how life should be, as this is life it is not always possible.  I embrace this fact and every single day my mantra is “Let me try”.

 

Sunflower

I’m posting this picture of my little sunflower for #worldsuicidepreventiondayDo you see the flawed leaves, the dark spots, the small size?Or.Do you see the bright yellow petals beginning to open, how tall it stands despite its attacked leaves from outside pests, how despite not looking like a Van Gogh painting it still knows that is a proud sunflower and will always look to the sun.Don’t let anyone make you feel like your not the best that you can be and always face towards the sun, stand tall and bloom.It’s ok and you’re not alone.Claire🌻☀️#itsok #youok #support #sunflowers #dublin #talk #youarenotalone #standtall

It’s time to feel empowered


Three more places available for the upcomingFemale Sexual Empowerment Workshop

for the 16thSeptember 2018.

Drawing on the latest scientific research on female sexuality, this discussion-based workshop will explore the interaction between a woman’s physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self in the context of sexuality.

The workshop is intended for women exclusively, in order to provide a safe haven for a discussion and exploration of topics relevant for women’s sexual well-being.

It will inform women about the latest findings in the field of female sexuality, and provide them with a range of fantastic resources (and ideas!) that could help them increase their sexual satisfaction.

The goal is to empower women to strengthen their self-care and bodily awareness, develop and maintain a loving relationship with themselves, and therefore build balanced, healthy and joyful relationships with others.

This workshop will provide an open, safe and supportive environment to explore the following issues relevant for women’s sexual happiness:

 Female genital landscape (Am I normal? Yes.)

 Arousal (Why don’t I get turned on when I want to? Why do I get turned on by things that don’t even appeal to me?)

 Desire (What if I sometimes experience low sexual desire for my partner? What could we do about it?)

 Self-pleasure (What is it that I do? What else could I do?)

 Orgasm (What makes me come? What else could make me come?)

 Body image (What if I sometimes struggle with the way I perceive my body? How could I develop a loving relationship with my body?)

About Tina Bedenik has a PhD from University College Dublin (UCD) where she researched gender, body image and sexuality. Her study of women’s experiences of labiaplasty was awarded with the Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Scholarship. She also taught undergraduate and postgraduate modules at UCD, including those on gender, sexuality and reproductive health. Prior to coming to Ireland she studied for multiple degrees in Sweden, Norway, England, Germany and Croatia. She currently works as a registered complementary

Here is what women who attended a course on female sexuality run by Tina said about her teaching style:
“Loved the content, I have so many new books to read. It felt like a real safe space to discuss what we are passionate about and also challenge previous opinions. Overall an incredibly empowering class.”

“Tina does a great job of keeping the conversation on track and ensuring that everyone gets a chance to talk. We developed an atmosphere of trust that facilitated honest discussions.”

“I liked the energy and the enthusiasm for the subject. I really enjoyed your ‘lectures’ that you used to give in the beginning. I learnt so much. It is such a pity it stopped.”

“I really liked when you bring something personal to the class, i.e. sometimes you’d say things like “I wish someone had told me x” or “informed me of y”. It proved to be such valuable academic as well as just general life information.”

“Tina is very professional and very inclusive of everyone.”

Smells like home

Smells like home…

written by: Claire Kenny 08/09/2018


For as long as I can remember, my mother always had a bottle of essential oils ready for nearly all of our minor ailments when growing up.
When it came to exam times, interviews even the debs, mam would just pop into her wooden box of magic and make up blends that we could apply to our pulse points or even to our clothes. Our house always smelled safe.
Some of these blends even today remind of feeling safe and secure rather than the stress I was going through at the time of applying them.
Aromatherapy is the practice of inhaling the scent of essential oils to improve your mental and physical well-being.
One theory of how they work is that by stimulating the smell receptors in your nose, they can send messages to your nervous system. They are also thought to have a subtle effect on the body’s chemical and energy systems. Because of this, aromatherapy is often used as a natural remedy to relieve anxiety and stress.
Essential oils must be diluted with a carrier oil before they’re applied to the skin. This reduces your risk of irritation. For adults, every 15 drops of essential oil should be diluted with 1 ounce of carrier oil. For children, the ratio is 3 to 6 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil. Some popular carrier oils are almond, coconut, and jojoba.
Essential oils should never be ingested, despite claims on the internet that suggest otherwise. There’s not enough research on any one essential oil to prove it’s safe to swallow. Each essential oil is very different, and some are toxic.

Below is a list of some of my favourite essentials oil for anxiety and stress.

Valerian

Valerian is an herb that has been used since ancient times. It’s thought to contain compounds that promote sleep and calm nerves. It can have a mild sedative effect on the body.
How to use: Add a few drops of valerian oil to an aromatherapy diffuser and inhale. Ideally use Valerian at home in the evening as it may make you sleepy or relaxed.

Lavender

Lavender is one of the most popular aromatherapy oils. Lavender aromatherapy is thought to calm anxiety by impacting the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls emotions.
How to use: Enjoy a relaxing lavender bath by combining several drops of lavender oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil or an unscented bath gel. Stir the mixture into warm bathwater just before entering.

Jasmine

Jasmine oil has a gorgeous floral scent. Inhaling jasmine oil can promote a sense of well-being and romance. Unlike some other essential oils used for anxiety, jasmine oil is thought to calm the nervous system without causing sleepiness.
How to use: Inhale jasmine oil directly from the bottle or allow the scent to fill the room through a diffuser.

Sweet basil

Sweet basil essential oil comes from the same herb that you use in cooking. In aromatherapy, it’s thought to help calm the mind and relieve stress.
The phenol compounds in sweet basil oil helped relieve anxiety. These compounds were found to be less sedating than the anxiety medication diazepam.
How to use: Add several drops of sweet basil oil to a room diffuser or inhale through an inhaler tube.

Bergamot

Bergamot oil comes from bergamot oranges and has an invigorating citrus scent. Bergamot helps relieve anxiety and improve mood.
When used topically, bergamot may increase sun sensitivity.
How to use: Place a few drops of bergamot oil onto a cotton ball or handkerchief. Inhale the aroma two to three times to help relieve anxiety.

Chamomile

Chamomile is well-known for its relaxing and sedating properties and intoxicating scent. There isn’t much research on chamomile essential oil for anxiety.
How to use: Massage diluted chamomile oil into your skin or add it to a warm bath.

Rose

Rose essential oil is extracted from rose petals. Roses have an enchanting floral scent known to relax the senses.
Using a rose aromatherapy footbath can reduce anxiety in pregnant women during labour. Not be used unless in labour.
How to use: Soak your feet in a basin filled with warm water and diluted Rose essential oil. You can also add rose oil to your favourite non-scented moisturizer or shea butter and massage into skin.

Vetiver

Vetiver may be less known than other essential oils, but it’s not less effective. Vetiver oil comes from the grassy vetiver plant native to India. It has a sweet, earthy scent and is used as an aphrodisiac.
How to use: Enjoy a relaxing massage with diluted vetiver oil, or add it to a diffuser.

Ylang Ylang

Floral-scented Ylang Ylang is used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation. Inhaling a blend of Ylang Ylang, lavender, and bergamot lowered stress and anxiety levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and serum cortisol.
How to use: Apply diluted Ylang Ylang to your skin, add to a room diffuser, or inhale directly.

Frankincense

Frankincense oil is made from the resin of the Boswellia tree. It has a musky, sweet aroma that’s thought to ease anxiety. A beautiful massage blend of frankincense, lavender, and bergamot can improve anxiety, depression, and sometimes even pain in people with terminal cancer.
How to use: Massage diluted frankincense oil onto your hands or feet. You can also add frankincense to a diffuser.

Clary sage

Clary sage is different from the common herb used to make stuffing at Thanksgiving. It has a woody, herbal odour. Due to its calming abilities, it’s often used as an aphrodisiac.
Clary sage can ease tension and help control cortisol levels in women. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. High cortisol levels may increase your risk of anxiety and depression.
How to use: Inhale clary sage oil directly when you feel anxious, or massage the diluted oil into your skin. Do not use clary sage while pregnant as it can cause contractions.

Patchouli

Musky patchouli is used in Ayurvedic medicine to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression. It’s often combined with other essential oils such as lavender. Patchouli is thought to promote calmness and relaxation, though most evidence is anecdotal.
How to use: To relieve anxiety, inhale patchouli oil directly or add it diluted to a warm bath or room diffuser.

Geranium

Geranium oil is distilled from the geranium plant.
For women in the first stage of labour, inhaling geranium oil effectively reduced their anxiety during labour. It may also help decrease diastolic blood pressure.
How to use: Apply a few drops geranium oil to a cotton ball and waft under your nose a few times.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm has a fresh, uplifting aroma. In aromatherapy, it has a soothing, restorative effect. Most success stories on inhaling lemon balm for anxiety are anecdotal. It may also improve sleep.
How to use: Lemon balm is a great oil to add to a diffuser to add scent to an entire room. You can also inhale it directly.

Marjoram

Also known as oregano, sweet marjoram is thought to calm nervousness and anxiety. It’s also used to ease headaches, a common symptom of anxiety.
How to use: Dilute marjoram with a carrier oil and rub into your temples. You may also apply to your wrists or add to a diffuser.

Fennel

Fennel is best known as a cooking spice. It has an anise aroma and is used to treat many anxiety side effects such as digestive problems. It may also help relieve anxiety that’s related to menopause and other conditions.
Using fennel essential oil has been known to help menopause side effects such as anxiety, hot flashes, sleep problems, and depression.
How to use: Add diluted fennel oil to a warm bath to help relax your body and your mind.

What to do before use:

Essential oils may cause an allergic reaction when used topically. To avoid this, it’s important to do a patch test on a small area of skin before use.
Place a few drops of diluted essential oil on your wrist or elbow, and cover the spot with a bandage. Check the area in 24 hours. If you experience any redness, rash, or itching, the oil isn’t safe for you to use on your skin.
Essential oils aren’t safe for everyone. Talk to your doctor before using essential oils if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an underlying medical condition. You should also consult your doctor before using essential oils on children.
Remember: Not all essential oils are created equal, so you should only buy them from a reputable source.

The tell tale signs that you are not getting enough water

Are you drinking enough water?

Written be Claire Kenny 05/09/2018

Did you know that on average, the adult human body is made up of around 65% water. To put that in perspective, the average amount of blood in the adult human body is only about 7% of their body weight. Everyday activities, not to mention strenuous exertion, can quickly deplete the body’s water storage through sweat and urination and lead to signs and symptoms of dehydration if enough water isn’t consumed and replaced.

How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day?

Water requirements vary by age, activity, weight, and lifestyle, but a good rule of thumb to follow is eight full eight-ounce glasses per day. To stave off dehydration, some less active, smaller people may require a little less. Meanwhile, more active people may require more.

Dehydration affects the body on a widespread level, and, unattended, it can even lead to death. One of the best ways to know how much water you should drink each day is by simply following the signals  your body gives off as it enters dehydration.

 

Signs That Your Body Isn’t Getting Enough Water:

Headache

Our brains are around 80% water. So, dehydration affects the brain hard and fast. The lack of water supply  causes a restricted flow of oxygenated blood to the brain, which can cause swelling and opening of the blood vessels. It also causes the brain to shrink and draw away from the skull, which triggers pain receptors, which can either bring on a headache or increase the severity of an existing headache.

loss of concentration and low moods

As your body is primarily made up of water,  and our brains are almost 80% water, your body relies on water to help oxygenated blood to flow to your brain, without this water consumption your brain can start to look like a dried out sponge which can result in symptoms of confusion, disorientation, dizziness, moodiness, irritability, and general lack of mental acuity. As you increase your water intake, you’ll see your focus, mood, and concentration begin to improve.  So in short to help with your concentration at work or study, to stop you from shouting at everyone around you and to help aid your memory recall, you guessed it, DRINK MORE WATER.

Dry skin, mouth and eyes

If you have ever wondered why your skin is looking a little lifeless, your constantly reaching for your lip balm or your eyes are always itchy, your lips, nose, mouth, airway, and eyes are lined with mucus membranes that secrete mucus to protect and moisturize. Without enough water, mucus membranes dry out and can cause dried mouth, lips, eyes, skin, and airway.   Did you know that another sign of dehydration can be bad breath.  So if you want your skin to glow like a 14 year old again just increase your water consumption.

Persistently Feeling Hungry And Thirsty

If I forget to have my daily water consumption my stomach will start to growl, which actually is the hypothalamus sending a signal to your stomach to ask for substance, this is so commonly mistaken for feeling hungry, so if you have just eaten your main meal and this is happening, please don’t reach for the packet of biscuits, why not reach for a glass of water and you will be amazed at how much better you will feel.  Your metabolisim actually slows down when you don’t drink enough water which can become part of the reason behind weight gain. Your metabolism needs water to burn off fat.  So before you reach for the fad diet teas and pills, why not just increase your water consumption and you could shed those extra pounds.

Dark and smelly urine

Normal urine is a pale straw yellow color and pretty odorless. When you are showing signs of dehydration your urine can be dark amber and has a very strong musky odor.  The reason behind this is that there are more toxins and waste than liquid(water) to dilute it.  You can actually go to the toilet less when dehydrated as your body will strive to keep as much water in it’s system for survival.  So the next time you go to the loo, just have a little peek before you flush and remember straw in good and dark amber is bad.

Frequent UTI’s

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s) are most often caused by bacteria in the urinary tract. Proper hydration helps move that bacteria on out of the body. Dehydration, however, allows the bacteria to stick around and create urinary tract and bladder infections.

Tiredness

Yes the kids have just gone back to school and you now possibly have a little more time on your hands, so why are still feeling so tired?  Without the proper water consumption our body goes into what is know as survival mode.  This is were the body will try and reserve as much energy as possible for the vital functions of life, heart, lungs and kidneys; everything else becomes second fiddle, so your larger muscle groups and brain are not getting enough of the much needed oxygenated blood, which can make even the smallest of tasks feel like a marathon.  With proper water intake your energy levels will increase and you feel less like a zombie and more like you again.

Muscle Spasms And Cramping

As stated above as your large muscle groups are not getting the beautiful rich oxygenated blood to keep them all supple and relaxed, the weakened muscles can cramp and spasm as a result,this can include bad period cramps and spasms.  When you increase your water intake this should help those cramps ease if dehydration is the cause.

As you can see, dehydration takes a huge toll on everything from your skin to your muscles. Listen to the cues your body is sending you so that you can drink enough water and avoid dehydration.

 

Please note that if you have persistent symptoms that are concerning you, please don’t hesitate to contact your GP to rule everything else out.

 

It’s good to talk

written by: Claire Kenny 06/09/2018

Since opening the centre, now over 5 years ago, I have been asked countless times “why don’t I incorporate an online booking system to make life faster and easier for the clients and students that we have the pleasure of looking after.”

There is no doubt that these new systems have increased efficiency by leaps and bounds, but what has been sacrificed is human interaction and a direct connection to the exchange of value.

Have you ever booked online for a yoga class and arrived with your new mat and baggy tracksuit bottoms, as you are a complete beginner, and been met with a packed studio of twenty somethings in very tight Lycra doing handstands against the wall jammed in like sardines?  I have and boy did I hot foot it out of there and vowed that I would never try Yoga again. Don’t worry I have since.

Have you ever booked online for a massage as a treat after a really hard long week to be met by a deep tissue therapist, who yes is amazing at what they do but you feel like you have been beaten up with a baseball bat and all you wanted was sounds of whales in the background, candles lighting and a little hug of a massage?  I have, and was left disappointed, not by the therapist, but by the system and not being able to ask for a relaxing light massage and sip of herbal tea afterwards.

Now I do understand that life is so fast paced and there is an app for everything to make life simpler, but at what cost?

If time is so precious; then what if you do make that mistake of booking in for the wrong class or with the wrong therapist?  If you take the time to make a 2 minute call to us here at the centre, we will know exactly what you need and what would suit you best.  So rather than make that mistake that will cost you an hour or more from your already busy life, give us a call as we like to talk here at the centre.

For the full list of classes that are all starting new terms this week and next just click the following links:

www.riverholsitic.ie/classes

For a full list of therapies that you would like to try but may not know what exactly is involved use the link below:

www.riverholistic.ie/therapies

Then you guessed it, just give us a call and let us help you make the right choice the first time.

 

Claire

 

 

 

 

Natural ways to treat head lice

Tis the season to see these oh so common bugs in our little darlings hair.
With the schools now open for business this is the busiest time for there pesky pests.
It can be so hard to get rid of them once they have made your little ones head its home.
Below you are going to find different options that can work with curbing the itch and constant battle to rid them from your home.
I would always recommend as a prevention to work with the other parents of the children in your child’s class.
What I do for both my sons classes is to ask all the parents to use a fine tooth comb every Sunday without fail, it only takes about 10-20 min depending on hair length. If everyone were to do this you can honestly stop the constant letters coming home in your child’s schoolbag.
I also add about 15 drops tea tree oil to all of our shampoo’s to help with prevention.

Luckily, these natural remedy treatment can help eliminate even the most stubborn lice:

1. Almond Oil or Olive Oil

Both almond oil and olive oil are effective home remedies for lice, as they work to smother or suffocate lice, slowing them down to make them easier to remove with a comb. Coat the hair with oil after separating the hair into several small sections, keeping them separate with clips. Work under good lighting so you can see clearly, and be sure to frequently rinse the comb with hot running water. After combing through the hair, shampoo and rinse twice, then thoroughly clean the towel and comb. Use this remedy every day for one week.

2. Essential Oils

Several essential oils have been proven to help eliminate lice with the help of combing, including nutmeg, peppermint, red thyme, cinnamon, eucalyptus, clove, neem and lavender. Always check for allergies before using a new essential oil. Add between 3 and 10 drops of essential oil to 2 oz of olive oil, then let it sit on the scalp overnight, for a minimum of 12 hours. Comb everything out then shampoo twice.

3. Neem Oil

Neem oil is a natural insecticide. It can help get rid of lice safely and effectively. Buy a shampoo that contains neem oil, or add several teaspoons of neem oil to your own shampoo, and use it regularly.

4. Garlic and Lime Juice (very smelly, but very effective)

Garlic’s strong fragrance can suffocate lice. Make a paste by grinding 8-10 garlic cloves and mixing them with 2-3 teaspoons of lime juice. Apply the mixture to the scalp and let it sit for 30 minutes before thoroughly rinsing it with warm water.

5. Mayonnaise or Coconut Oil

Use mayonnaise or coconut oil to saturate the scalp and hair, then cover the head with a shower cap for 12-24 hours. Heat the shower cap, then shampoo the hair without getting it wet. Cover scalp again for 30 minutes to allow the oil to break down, then thoroughly rinse the hair and comb through it. Go through the hair section by section with the comb, and be sure to rinse it regularly with hot water. Shampoo hair with no water once more, and wear a shower cap overnight to prevent lice from returning.

6. Nit Comb

For children under two years old, comb wet hair using a fine-toothed nit comb. For best results, comb while the hair is wet and contains conditioner. Comb out the hair two times each session for 3-4 days.

8. Treat the Home

To help prevent a re-infestation, try these steps:
Wash their coats as the hoods and collars will always have eggs left.
Wash brushes and combs daily in hot water to dislodge lice.
Seal items that are non-washable and touched the head, in a plastic bag for 2 weeks.
Change towels, pajamas, sheets and pillowcases daily.
Vacuum the part of a child’s car seat cover that touches the child’s head daily.

We are hiring

WE’RE HIRING!!!

POSITION FILLED

Front Desk Staff

River Holistic is a very busy Holistic Centre based in Raheny, offering a vast array of Alternative and Complementary health therapies and multiple weekly classes in yoga, pilates, meditation and Mindfulness to name a few. We are looking for someone special to join our team to run our front desk on a part time basis, approx. 17 hours a week.

Responsibilities including, but not limited to:

• Provide the highest level of customer service to all of our visitors with the goal of creating a positive and friendly experience for all of our clients.
• Engage with clients in person as well as over the phone and online
• Assist clients with appointments, information on the right therapy for them, class and workshop bookings.
• Ensure that the centre remains immaculate at  all times and that any necessary supplies are always stocked. (we do also have a cleaner so for the most part cleaning will be minimal)
• Work as a team with all of the therapists and teachers as well as providing timely feedback to the centres owner on all studio issues
• Willingness to perform all other duties assigned by the centre’s owner (which may include – bookkeeping, assisting with social media, general marketing…)

Requirements

• Must have a broad understanding of Alternative and Complementary health.
• Customer service experience
• Be committed,  reliable and punctual
• Be friendly, enthusiastic, courteous and a team player
• Ability to multitask
• Great organisational skills and attention to detail
• Friendly and professional phone and email etiquette
• Initiate tasks and perform duties with confidence and self-motivation
• Strong computer skills

Hours (approx): 2-8.30pm Monday and 3-8.30pm Wednesday and Thursday  (with the possible option of adding more hours)

Starting: As soon as possible

To Apply: Email your CV in Word format to claire@riverholistic.ie including in your email a cover letter letting us know what makes you a great candidate for this position

Claire