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Tag Archives: complementary therapy

Essential oils for stress

Essential oils for Stress

Claire Kenny 22/11/18

Essential oils contain a highly concentrated form of the biologically active compounds found in flowers and plants. Because they’re concentrated, they can provide therapeutic benefits—including stress relief—in very small amounts. Many of these oils have been used for therapeutic purposes for nearly 6,000 years by the ancient Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and others.

 

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. There are many ways to enjoy aromatherapy. Inhalation is the quickest. Just open the bottle and take a sniff. There are also various types of diffusers, which use heat, evaporation and other means to circulate the goodness of essential oils into the air you breathe.

 

Adding a few drops of an essential oil to your bathwater will deliver benefits though your nose and skin at the same time, you can also add them to a diffusers to disperse the scents around your house or car. Essential oils should not be rubbed directly into the skin, try diluting your favourite scent with what’s known as a carrier oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil.

Here are three essential oils that are especially recommended for stress relief:

Lavender

One of the most common essential oils, lavender oil has a calming, relaxing effect. It’s considered a nervous-system restorative and helps promote inner peace and restful sleep while relieving restlessness, irritability, panic attacks, nervous stomach and all-around general nervous tension. Research has also found that it helps reduce anxiety and depression and is a helpful pain reliever.

 

The scent of lavender stimulates brain pathways, including our limbic system, which is connected to our emotional responses and memories. You can try adding a few drops to an oil diffuser in your bedroom. Or massage your temples and back of your neck during times of stress. But make sure it’s 100 percent pure Lavandula Angustifolia, which is the soothing lavender, and not Lavandula Latifolia, the stimulating lavender.

 

Bergamot

The flavonoids found in bergamot oil are good for soothing the nerves and reducing tension, anxiety and stress. These properties also make them effective in treating sleeplessness, high blood pressure and depression. Bergamot oil can also stimulate the “feel-good” hormones in your body, such as dopamine and serotonin. Derived from the Citrus bergamia tree, bergamot oil has many other benefits, including pain relief and antibiotic properties.

 

Ylang-Ylang

Made from the flowers of the Cananga odorata tree, this essential oil sedates or calms nervous afflictions, stress, anger and anxiety, while inducing a relaxed feeling. Ylang-ylang (pronounced EE-lang EE-lang) has been shown to be effective in reducing blood pressure. As a remedy for depression, it is said to have the ability to “expand the heart.” Many depression sufferers have found that essential oils provide a natural and far safer alternative to drugs, and ylang-ylang may be one of the most useful of all the essential oils when it comes to improving your emotional well-being.

 

To relieve PMS cramps and other symptoms, try applying a mixture of ylang-ylang, lavender oil and a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, to the back of your neck and lower abdomen.

Put the pep back in your step

Put the pep back in your step with Peppermint.

 

Peppermint oil has been used as a tonic for centuries, and its fresh aroma is evident in toothpastes and mouthwashes today.

Peppermint is a powerful digestive stimulant; it aids the digestion of fats and strengthens liver function.  This makes it an excellent oil for relieving indigestion and treating gastric fevers and diarrhoea.

Decongestant properties

Peppermint stimulates the circulation, reviving aching muscles and joints.  It is also a powerful decongestant  and can be used to help with fevers and respiratory infections.  Additionally, it acts as a good deodorant.

Peppermint complements other decongestant oils, especially eucalyptus and thyme, which work to boost the body’s immune system.  Its aroma can also help to cool feelings of anger, hysteria or emotional burnout.

Focus your mind with Peppermint

Refreshing Peppermint oil invigorates the mind, acting as a nerve tonic and stimulant.

~ To sharpen concentration and alertness, simple combine 5 drops each of peppermint and basil oil with 10 drops of lemon in a room vaporizer.

~ To fight mental fatigue and emotional burnout with a stimulating whole body massage.  Add 50ml sweet almond oil to 4 drops each of peppermint and geranium and 10 drops rosemary.

~ Clear headaches with a soothing neck massage using peppermint and lavender oils.

Digestive Disorders

Use Peppermint’s digestive and antiseptic properties to help with common digestive disorders.

~ For relief from constipation, dilute 3 drops of peppermint, 5 drops lemon and 7 drops rosemary in 25ml  of grapeseed oil.  Massage gently over the abdomen in clockwise, circular movements every couple of hours.

~ Help with diarrhoea with an aromatic compress.  Mix 5 drops each of peppermint, ginger and marjoram in hot water.  Soak a facecloth in this, wring and apply to the abdomen.

Revive tired feet

Just what the doctor ordered after a long day on your feet.

~Relieve aching feet in an invigorating foot spa that contains 4 drops each of peppermint and geranium along with 3 tablespoons of Epsom Salts.

~Combine 3 drops each of peppermint, rosemary and lavender with 25ml of grapeseed oil for a invigorating foot massage.  Firm, brisk strokes will increase circulation.

~ Make your own antiseptic foot powder to treat athletes foot.  Simply add 5 drops lavender and 3 drops                                                                                         peppermint to 2 tablespoons or corn flower.

Cold and flu remedies

~ Add 2 drops each of peppermint, rosemary and lavender to boiling water.

Place towel over your head and inhale steam for 5 minutes.

~ Treat feverish colds by putting a few drops of peppermint, eucalyptus and pine in a room diffuser or oil burner.

 

 

We have some amazing Aromatherapists available at the centre or just pop in to buy this astounding oil.

 

10 Reasons to incorporate more massage in your life

10 reasons to incorporate massage in your life.

When you think of massage, odds are you think of an hour of relaxation – a little “me” time. Massage certainly offers a great way to escape from the stresses of our everyday lives, but more and more studies are showing that regular massage gives you so much more: a range of emotional and physical benefits. Here are the top 10 reasons to incorporate more massage in your life.

  1. Massage reduces stress – A single massage can lower your heart rate, cortisol and insulin levels, all of which are tied to how stressed you feel.
  2. Massage helps you relax – Long after your massage is over, you will still benefit from a host of brain chemistry responses that encourage feelings of relaxation, lowered stress and improved mood.
  3. Massage improves posture – Massage helps your body to reinforce healthy and natural movements, which will help correct any posture problems you may have.
  4. Massage improves circulation – The pressure from massage moves oxygen-rich blood through the body to damaged, tense muscles so they can heal, while removing lactic acid and other metabolic waste.
  5. Massage lowers blood pressure – Studies have shown that massage can lower both diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
  6. Massage relaxes muscles – Sitting causes a lot of chronic back pain and massage can help with persistent pain by relaxing those tense muscles.
  7. Massage improves flexibility – Sedimentary lifestyles and age can make joints less flexible. Massage helps improve fluidity and range of motion in your joints and connective tissues.
  8. Massage helps you breathe better – Massage can relax muscles in the upper body, which, if they become too tight, can constrict breathing.
  9. Massage relieves headaches – Regular massage reduces your chance of developing a headache in the first place by relaxing muscle spasms and trigger points. Already have a headache? It can decrease the pain.
  10. Massage strengthens the immune system – Studies have shown that regular massage can improve your body’s overall immune functioning.

 

With all of these benefits, it’s no wonder today’s client is beginning to see massage as an integral part of their well-being journey. As we all re-examine our wellness choices, massage therapy is shedding the stereotype of being an occasional indulgence. Instead, it’s become a highly integral body maintenance experience that offers any number of health benefits when consistently incorporated with other total body care actions.

Stressed about being stressed – The two week wait

the-two-week-wait

The Two Week Wait and Stress

As a fertility and pregnancy reflexologist,  the most common question I get asked from client’s trying to conceive is, “Does stress cause infertility?” Everyone wants to know the answer to this question, but as a therapist, there’s no easy way to respond:

I can’t say yes or no,  but I  can answer, “MAYBE, there is some biologic plausibility to considering a link between stress and reproduction. When we are stressed, we release cortisol and other “fight or flight” hormones that shift our bodies’ goals away from reproduction and toward survival mode. Everyday stressors are not usually sending people into full “fight or flight mode,” but we cannot ignore a possible causal link.

Trying to conceive in general is going to be one of the most stressful things both you as an individual and as a couple will face. It is one of the most isolating times in your life, with people asking; so any news, oh you’re not drinking wink wink, sure you’re married for over a year now, and you’re not getting any younger and so on.  Infertility can be devastating, can lead to self-doubt, can strain relationships, and often has no clear explanation. Infertility is just plain stressful. It does not really matter if stress is the chicken or the egg of infertility – what matters is that client’s have access to and awareness of the care they need.

But regardless, we can all work on better ways to deal with stress.” Whether or not stress causes infertility, what matters is that anyone struggling to conceive can benefit from stress management tools. We cannot control what happens to us, but we can work on ways to help ourselves deal with what happens to us. Self-care is essential in all aspects of health, but especially when it comes to infertility.

Every person is different and has different needs. In River Holistic Centre we review a variety of support and wellness options for clients with fertility and subfertility issues, including individual counselling, reflexology, massage, hypnosis, acupuncture, yoga and meditation classes to name a few.

We may not have a definitive answer to the question, “Does stress cause infertility?,” but it’s nothing to get stressed about. Instead, shift your focus toward looking for ways to get the support you need on your journey to adding to your family. Stress is unavoidable and there are many other factors that cause infertility. In the meantime: take time for yourself, try reflexology, remember to talk to one another, know that what you are feeling is completely normal for what you are going through, and always have someone to talk to, this is vital, just know that you are not alone on this journey.

Claire Kenny ABC Dip, ITEC Dip, Dip Ed. Fertility and Pregnancy Reflexologist. Sept 24th 2016

 

 

 

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