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Tag Archives: Stress

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.

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10 Ways to Cope with Anxiety and Stress

We all have things that trigger feelings of anxiety and stress. Some are small and insignificant, such as being stuck in traffic, and others are life disrupters that turn our world upside down. The one thing that’s certain is that trying to avoid those things that stress us is like trying to walk in between the raindrops in a thunderstorm.

The world we live in is only getting more complex. We are surrounded by choices. From the close to 100,000 drink combinations at Starbucks to the 27 apps on a typical smart phone. At times it seems that our ability to innovate has exceeded our ability to cope with innovation. It’s simply overwhelming.

Its’ no wonder that prescriptions for anti-anxiety meds have increased by 50% in the last 20 years.

Mobile technology isn’t helping any of this.

  • 50 percent of us check our e-mail or text messages before getting out of bed in the morning.
  • 60 percent of us sleep with our mobile devices in or near our bed (up to 79 percent for those under age fifty).
  • 30 percent of millennials actually sleep with their smart phone “in” their bed.
  • We spend on average of 5.5 hours on mobile devices daily, however 40 percent of 22-32 year-olds spend more than 13 thirteen hours a day on their mobile device!

It’s all pointing to the inevitable conclusion that we live in a world whose complexity, uncertainty, and volatility is increasing faster than our ability to cope. When the context of change exceeds your ability to cope it creates stress.

Since we’re clearly not going to slow down the overall rate of change in the world, there are only two ways to reduce stress. You either have to avoid the triggers or learn to better cope with them. Notice that I didn’t say you had to adapt to the change. The greatest myth we perpetrate in modern society is that we have a mandate to adapt and accept every change. While that sounds very progressive, it can actually create even more stress because now you are not only anxious about the change but you’re also setting a high bar that you have to hurdle by adapting to something your body and mind really do not like, which in turn creates even more stress.

The fact is that not all change is good change that contributes value and quality to our lives. Take my earlier example of driving in traffic. If I could show you a way to get to your destination that is faster, more pleasant, more scenic, and which contributes something positive to your life wouldn’t you choose that over adapting to the traffic?

Although we don’t like to admit it, that’s the way most stress works. We choose to stay in stressful situations because we actually adapt to the presence of stress and accept it as normal. That only makes stress a permanent part of your life. Chronic stress is not normal. It damages your body, dulls your mind, and depresses you emotionally. And then all of these in turn make it even harder to cope with the triggers that create the stress.

So how do you reduce stress? Here are 10 ways to start both eliminating the triggers of stress and anxiety and coping with those that you have no control over.

1) Get off of Social Media

I know, I’ve started with one of the hardest and most difficult stressors to eliminate. With smartphones we are tethered to social media like tagged wildlife. Worse yet, studies have shown that social media triggers addictive and obsessive responses in the brain. But it’s not just what social media does to your brain but also what it does to your workload. Eliminating social media is exceptionally effective at reducing the stress of not having enough time. We spend nearly 2 hours each day on social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter, and exponentially more right now. What would your day feel like if you had two extra hours to do things that you really needed to do? Well, guess what? You just got those two hours. It’s up to you how you use them.

2) Take a Break

Small breaks every 15 minutes have been shown to have a tremendously positive effect on productivity and well being. The key here is to avoid falling into the trap of believing that simply bumping up against an obstacle repeatedly will cause it to give way. In many cases that’s only going to increase your stress and frustration. Imagine your car being stuck in deep snow while you just keep spinning your wheels and digging deeper and deeper into the snow making it harder and harder to get out. Instead take a step back. Clear your mind. And then revisit whatever it is you’re dealing with from a new perspective.

3) Talk it Out

Depending on what type of personality you are this may appear to be very natural or very painful. This of us who like to retreat into the confines of our own mind believe that we can somehow will our way out of just about anything by focusing hard enough without interruption. In fact the worst thing in the world you can do to me when I’m stuck and stressed is to try and talk to me. My instinct is to shut you down faster than I’d swat away an annoying fly. Yet, conversation is one of the most therapeutic forms of problem solving. Keep in mind that I’m not suggesting someone else has the answer, but that your talking it out will help you find an answer. Although I’ll admit to being the last one to take my own advice on this, I can attest that as a holistic practitioner I’ve never ceased to be amazed at how people usually figure out their own problems with nothing more than encouragement and a bit of objective perspective.

4) Take a Walk/ Workout

Cliche, right? Perhaps, but walking actually release the feel good cocktail of endorphins, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin which stimulates you brain and causes you to feel better about yourself and your situation. Again, the challenge is that we want to believe we can “deal” with the stressor and we see walking away as a loss, when the greater loss is in spending much more time than is needed or warranted trying to “figure it out.”

5) Read

This is another one of those activities that we often see as distracting us from the task at hand. Yet, I’ve found that few things stimulate my ability to think through a problem more than the simple act of reading. Sometimes I’ll stumble across a nugget of wisdom that is tangentially or even directly applicable to my challenge at hand. But most times it’s just a way to get my mind to divert from a train of thought that has been holding it hostage. We don’t want to admit how easily we can become near sighted and lose peripheral vision necessary to think creatively.

6) Write, But Don’t Judge

This is one of my favorites. Our brains are muscles. They work best when we exercise them. But they also need time to recover and rebuild. I’m convinced that moderate amounts of acute stress are a good thing. If you’re a small business owner it’s just part of your life. Yet, the periods of recovery in between the stress are critically important. One way to give your brain time to recover is to write, I’m not talking about writing anything deeply meaningful or, for that matter, even remotely interesting. Instead, my suggestion is to simply write with no judgement about what you’re writing or how you are writing it. When you’re done writing just toss it in folder of random thoughts and streams of consciousness. It’s no different than going to the gym to workout. You’re not doing anything permanent. You’re not building a stone wall when you lift weights. You’re not going anywhere on that treadmill, or exercise bike. But you do it because it has a long term impact on you. Same with writing. Just do it for 5-15 minutes — no judgment, no proofing–and see how much sharper you are

7) Take a Nap

“And just when am I supposed to do that?” you’re asking. Well, that is exactly the problem. Most of us do not get enough sleep to begin with. Short power naps are one way to improve that. According to WebMD, “Research shows longer naps help boost memory and enhance creativity. Slow-wave sleep — napping for approximately 30 to 60 minutes — is good for decision-making skills, such as memorizing vocabulary or recalling directions. Getting rapid eye movement or REM sleep, usually 60 to 90 minutes of napping, plays a key role in making new connections in the brain and solving creative problems.” Yes, I know, the guilt of daytime napping is a hard one to cope with, which may contribute its own form of stress. Then again, if you haven’t tried it you may be very pleasantly surprised at its benefits.

8) Meditate

People fall into two categories, those who meditate and those who haven’t yet. Once you do it’s amazing how drawn you will be to it whenever stress shows up. I’m not going to give you a meditation method here. You need to study it and develop your own approach to meditation What I will share is something a good friend once told me. Meditating is not about trying not to think, instead it’s about allowing your mind to wander where it will while you observe calmly and without judgment. All I can say is, try it.

9) Listen to Music

In the age of mobility it seems as though each of our lives has a soundtrack. It’s a good thing and it can help reduce stress significantly. A group of neuroscientists at Mindlab International in the U.K have come across a piece of music that they claim reduces overall anxiety by 65 percent and reduces physiological responses to anxiety by 35 percent. I’ve often found music, in general, to be a wonderful way to help my mind get into a sort of creative zone where ideas flow smoothly and that same feel-good brain cocktail gets released. After all, who among us hasn’t been caught coping with rush hour traffic by performing a bit of carpool karaoke?

10) Stop Asking “What if?”

Lastly, it’s one thing to deal with the stress of the present without adding to it the stress of the past. While there are many episodes in each of our lives that we carry forward, the worst sort of stress is the “what if” games we pay about the past. I’m going to be very blunt here. The only reason to second guess the past is because you are unhappy with where you are now. If that wasn’t the case there would be no reason to questions how you got here. So, if that’s the case what you really need to focus on is your situation right now, right here. Do that and the what if games come to an end. Don’t do it and I will guarantee you one thing. Several months or several years down the road you will say “what if” about today as well!

Will the ten ways I’ve described eliminate your stress? No. Some degree of stress is a normal response to the world we live in. If you weren’t periodically stressed you also would likely not feel much of anything else. We need the occasional thunderstorm in our lives. Most of us just don’t want to live in a perpetual monsoon.

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Essential oils : The best stress relievers

Essential Oils: The Best Stress Relievers

 

Essential Oils became one of the trending ways on how a person can easily relieve from stress. They are frequently used for aromatherapy which is a popular complementary therapy since it can stimulate emotional responses by using our sense of smell.

These essential oils are the best remedy for stress because they are all natural which are taken from flowers and other herbal plants. They are pure essential oils without any chemicals added, and this is one of the reasons why it gives more relief and somehow healing effect to some illness especially when dealing with anxiety and stress.

Anxiety is also difficult to face especially if you are already stressed out and exhausted as it could really affect the emotional and intellectual aspect of a person. And these essential oils can be used as a great reliever from severe anxiety.

According to some reviews, a lot of patients who suffered from anxiety and depression who has undergone aromatherapy massage became more effective therapy rather than just doing a simple massage alone. Now, let me give you some popular essential oils that are being used for anxiety relief:

  1. Lavender

Lavenders are counted and become one of the most popular essential oil as it provides a relaxing outcome especially to our nervous system and somehow relieves sleep disorders, tensions, panic attacks and a lot more.

  1. Rose

Rose essential oil is very helpful oil for persons dealing with emotional stress, which are the most common, especially to women. It is considered the second popular essential oils for anxiety, stress, and depression.

  1. Vetiver

Vetiver essential oil provides tranquility effect which is commonly used from helping a person who suffers trauma. It provides calmness and awareness.

  1. Ylang Ylang

This is also one of the most popular oil that can definitely treat anxiety and depression as it can help a person uplift his or her personality as it gives positive aura and calmness. It can also be a great remedy from insomnia.

  1. Bergamot

Bergamot is can actually be extracted in teas called Earl Grey. It has floral taste and of course, has a great aroma smell which is good for calming as it gives energy and soothing effect.

There are a lot of essential oils out there, but these are just the popular ones that we use here at the centre, either diffusing them in reception or as part of the blends that our Aromatherapists can make up for you during your treatment. Chamomile and Frankincense are also considered as popular oils good for meditation and inner peace as well, including them on the Top 5 essential oils being used these days.

So if you’re stressed out and exhausted, why not try aromatherapy massage with these helpful essential oils. Help yourself as well and lessen your anxiety. I know you are tired but you deserve to unwind as well. Try these essential oils now and lessen those stresses out there.

www.riverholistic.ie/therapies

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Crystal Sound Bath

As the year draws to a close this Crystal Sound Bath & Intention Setting Workshop is the perfect opportunity to release 2018 and open to the year ahead. Come along and allow yourself to be bathed by the sacred sound vibrations of the quartz crystal singing bowls and tuning forks. The vibration and resonance of the combined instruments will enable you to move into a deeply meditative state through which your body can effortlessly repair and restore itself, your mind can relax and focus, and your heart can open to your souls desire for the year ahead.

Quartz crystal is known for it’s healing properties, and it’s ability to support clarity. Whilst the crystal bowls and tuning forks are made from quartz crystal they are also tuned to the frequency of the chakras, thus making them a potent companion in healing and manifesting.

Through meditation we will acknowledge the year that has been, and open to all that lies ahead in both our head and heart.

Whilst lying on a yoga mat snuggled in your blanket you will be bathed in the relaxing healing sounds of Crystal Bowls, Crystal Tuning Forks, and a variety of different sound healing instruments such as the Himalayan Singing Bowls, Gongs, Drum, Zaphir Chimes, Solfeggio Pipes to support you through this sound journey, before allowing a deep state of stillness to set in.

As each instrument is played the sound is absorbed inwards, working on the chakras, enabling the body, mind and spirit to move back into a deeper state of balance, and who doesn’t want more balance?? Through use of these sounds we begin to shed the dense heavier energy of daily life, thus rising our vibrational energy, allowing us to effortlessly attract higher frequency people and experiences into our lives.

Contra-Indications: please note this workshop is NOT suitable for people with a pacemaker, inflammation, advanced stages of cancer, cancer tumours, metal implants, having had surgery within 3 months and in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Places for this Crystal Clear Sound Bath & Intention Setting are limited to 12 people and require pre-booking / pre-payment.

Bookings & further information can be found here: https://www.loveyourlife.ie/crystal-sound-bath

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Don’t panic just colour

When life feels like it is hitting the proverbial fan then don’t loose your proverbial reach for your colouring pencils.

Sometimes I may be sitting in front of 15 tabs open on my computer and my phone binging away with emails that need to be answered all the while preparing dinner, planning my kids weekly schedule, play dates, homework projects and run my beautiful business.

Now don’t get me wrong I love everything that I do, but sometimes it all comes in on top of me.

My go to is something that I used to do as a child, colour.

I was always doodling on anything and everything growing up, maybe it was out of boredom or even defiance against my teachers (sorry by the way Mr. Quish), but now as a semi grownup I need to do it to calm my mind.

Some of the benefits of colouring are:

Your brain experiences relief by entering a meditative state

Stress and anxiety levels have the potential to be lowered

Negative thoughts are expelled as you take in positivity

Focusing on the present helps you achieve mindfulness

Colouring can be done by anyone, not just artists or creative types

It’s a hobby that can be taken with you wherever you go

It helps you unplug. The great thing about colouring books? No technology is necessary, giving you a break from the smartphone and computer.

It’s de-stressing. Colouring can be beneficial for adults because it has a de-stressing effect. The act of colouring requires repetition and attention to detail, so you are able to focus on the activity, rather than your worries

Colouring brings out our imaginations and helps us recall childhood. For a lot of people, we had less stress as children than we do now

Anyone can do it. You don’t have to be artistic to reap colouring’s benefits. Personally, I get stressed that I’m not creative enough. Colouring takes the pressure off. The lines are already there, so you really can’t mess up. Relax, lean into it and don’t worry about it being pretty or creative enough. With colouring, there is no right or wrong

It’s inexpensive. Colouring books range from €5 to €15, and a pack of gel pens or coloured pencils will only set you back about €5. (I get mine in Deals or TXMax)

So, my advice to you in take time to sit on the floor with a hundred colouring pens around you, pick a page in a colouring book, stick your tongue out the side of your mouth in concentration and just let it all go, one picture at a time.

I would love to get a colouring class up and running once a month at the centre, just come sit on the floor and relax.  Would you be interested?

I’m off to colour now but talk soon.

Claire

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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.

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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.

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How massage can affect your overall health

How massage therapy can improve your overall health

By Claire Kenny 17/07/2018

 

Some people still believe massage therapy is an indulgence purely for relaxation. The health benefits of massage, however, have proven otherwise.

Today we know that our mind-body connection means excessive stress brings on or exacerbates illness by reducing our own natural immunity to disease. People who value their health know that, like a healthy diet and exercise, regular massage treatments are a valuable part of a stress-reduction plan.

Anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions can be better managed with massage therapy, according an article on the Mayo Clinic website (mayoclinic.org). In addition, massage helps reduce or alleviate headaches, joint pain, digestive disorders, fibromyalgia and much more.

Massage therapy has many forms, applied according to a therapist’s training and a client’s ailments. Some commonly known techniques are Swedish, hot stone, deep tissue, prenatal, and sports massage.

Holistic massage is a combination of various movements used to manipulate muscles through the application of pressure to either soothe or stimulate the whole body. It aims to balance the “whole” person and the effects will vary with each individual.

This therapy helps in the relief of a wide range of problems physiologically and psychologically, they include:

Relaxation of the whole body, reducing stress and anxiety

Gives a “lift” to the emotions and increases positive feelings

Encourages deeper and therefore more efficient and relaxed breathing

Relieves muscle fatigue, soreness and stiffness

Encourages sleep

It promotes suppleness of the muscles, improves circulation and reduces stress.

Balances digestion and waste removal.

With regular Holistic Massages you will find that you have increased energy levels as there is less energy spent in holding the body in a state of tension and strain. In this fast moving world, shouldn’t we all have some real time out!

Hot Stone massage involves the use of water-heated basalt stones of varying sizes in combination with Swedish massage techniques. The heat of the stones helps muscles relax more quickly than in traditional massage, allowing manipulation of a greater intensity.

The benefits of Hot stone massage

Muscular aches, pains, sprains and strains.

Poor circulation

Rheumatic and arthritic conditions

Back pain

Stress, anxiety and tension

The term deep tissue massage refers to increased pressure applied by a therapist aiming to alleviate chronic pain and increase range of motion. This type of massage can be painful. Although some call it a “good pain,” any massage therapy should be done only to the client’s tolerance.

Deep tissue massage is a specialized massage aimed at the deeper tissue structures of the muscles. This massage uses many of the same movements and techniques as Swedish massage, but the pressure will generally be more intense. It is also a more focused type of massage, as the therapist works to release chronic muscle tension or knots (also known as adhesions).

PREGNANCY MASSAGE can help alleviate many of the symptoms and conditions associated with pregnancy. During this amazing time of physical and emotional change, pregnancy massage can be of enormous benefit to both the mother and baby.

Amoungst many benefits, massage during pregnancy has been found to help alleviate the following complaints:

Muscle tension,

Muscle spasm & cramping,

Sciatic pain ,

Swelling oedema

Back, neck and shoulder discomfort caused by hormonal and postural changes.

Improve quality of sleep

Reduce headaches

Relieve heartburn

Balance mood-swings and help depression.

It reduces stress and allows the mother to relax, both important for during the pregnancy and labour.

The health of the baby is enhanced by the pregnancy massage through increasing blood circulation, lymph circulation, reducing oedema and increasing cellular respiration. Massage helps the mother to feel nurtured and pampered and this can then be passed onto the baby.  Pregnancy massage assists in reducing tension in the weight bearing joints and other bone and muscle structures.

It also helps maximize breathing capacity which is needed during labor and delivery.

Sports massage can help relieve soft-tissue aches and muscle stiffness to prepare for events or recover from exercise. This type of massage isn’t just for sports injuries though. It can be beneficial to anyone who engages in repetitive physical activity, which is hard on the body.

It’s always best to check with your doctor before starting any new health regimen, including massage therapy.

Massage therapy is good for almost anyone, whether they are active or sedentary. So the next time you’re stressed, overwhelmed or in pain, consider getting a massage. It may help your overall health to massage that issue out of your tissue

www.riverholistic.ie/therapies

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It’s okay you got this

Going through fertility treatment can be a challenging experience both physically and emotionally. All matter of scenarios might be running through your head, with so many questions, what ifs and more. You might be researching the topic or constantly wanting to think about it.

Some days you may feel completely overwhelmed with the process, so it is important to put some strategies in place early, to help you cope during these times.

 

#1 Be kind to yourself

Fertility treatment can be an emotional rollercoaster; it is normal to find you cope well some days and others your emotions are a little overwhelming. On those tougher days, consider taking time out for yourself to engage in whatever self-care works best for you – it may be having a good cry, time alone, time with friends or family, doing something you enjoy.

 

#2 Develop and maintain good self-care practices

Make these part of your daily or weekly routine and use them regularly; prioritise these to assist with your well-being. Self-care is very personal but could include things such as reading, music, exercise, time with family or friends, soak in a bath, fresh flowers, meditation, engaging with spirituality etc.

#3 Focus on the things that you can control

By doing this you can be proactive and channel your energy into things you have the ability to influence which many people find empowering. Things you can control include diet, exercise, sleep, self-care etc. but be balanced in this and don’t be too restrictive.

#4 Consider limiting the amount of time spent focussing on infertility

You could set a daily time limit (e.g. 30 minutes) or a specific number of times per week. During this time give yourself permission to think about, talk about, research infertility and treatment as much as you like, but once the time is over try to set it aside until the same time the next day/occasion. Although difficult, it is important not to let fertility treatment consume you.

 #5 Try to live in the moment

It is easy for your mind to wander too far ahead worrying about all the what ifs. Try to deal with each moment or difficulty as it arises. Mindfulness can be very helpful in allowing us to stay more in the present moment.

#6 Keep the lines of communication open

It is important to talk with others, particularly your partner about your thoughts and feelings.

 #7 Prioritise reconnecting with your partner and rejuvenating your relationship

Fertility treatment can take a toll on your relationship. Try to do things that help to put the fun and spontaneity back into your relationship. Reconnect with all the things about each other that drew you together in the first place.

#8 Consider keeping a gratitude journal

Noting down three things a day that you are grateful/thankful for. These could be related to fertility or could be completely separate. Even in tough times, if we look hard enough there are often other little things in our life that give us hope and lead us to feel thankful.

 #9 Ask for help if needed

If your feelings seem to be increasing in intensity or lasting more than a few days please seek professional support through your specialist.

We are always here to help with your journey through IVF, ART, pregnancy and all that comes with it.

We have a full list of therapies that would include body treatments, talk therapies and classes.

Just call us on 018310888 or email info@riverholistic.ie

xxxx

 

CLAIRE

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Reduce stress with good communication

Reduce stress with good communication

At work and at home, the ability to communicate effectively can improve your relationships and resolve conflicts that cause stress.

Good communication is crucial for reducing your stress levels.  When we are misunderstood or criticised, we feel isolated and defensive.  When conflict arises at home or at work and we cannot discuss it in a constructive way, we often feel stressed and angry.

In any situation, let the other person know you are listening by nodding and making eye contact.  Respond regularly by saying “yes” or “uhuh” and don’t be afraid to ask for an explanation if you don’t understand.

Dealing with Conflict:

Remember that constructive criticism is the best way to deal with any conflict.  Always refer to the person’s actions and behaviour, not to the person, for example “I disagree with the way you handle our child”, not “you’re a bad parent”.  Equally, if someone is criticising you, try to listen without becoming defensive.

Express your feelings:

It’s not always possible to avoid stress, but you can learn to cope with it better.  Expressing your feelings can dramatically reduce stress levels and enhance your own sense of well-being.

Explore your feelings:

Get in touch with your feelings.  Being aware of how you feel – whether it’s anxious, depressed or angry – is the first step to dealing with a stressful problem.  This means taking time out from work and family to be alone.  Keep a journal, take a walk on the beach or go and see a counsellor or therapist. Be honest with yourself.

Confide in a friend:

At times of stress, we all need support from our friends and family.  If you feel overwhelmed by events, it is good to get a new perspective on the problem.  Share your feelings with the people who you trust, so you don’t end up feeling exposed and even more stressed.  But remember, friends may have their own problems so be prepared to listen as well as talk.

 

Time is right:

Choose a time when the other person can listen – not when they are rushing out the door.  If your friend is too busy, let them know you have a problem and ask if they set aside some time in the near future for you to talk.

Say what you mean:

Never be afraid to say what you think, feel or believe.  If you disagree with someone, try to say so.  This can be hard if you are afraid they will be upset or angry, but in the long run communicating clearly will lead to better relationships and lower stress levels.

Keep to the facts:

Under stress it is easy to distort problems, exaggerate the significance of an event or make sweeping generalizations.  When explaining a problem to problem to someone, always be as specific and objective as you can.

It’s okay to cry:

Cry when you feel hurt or grief.  These feelings are the natural result of change and loss and a good cry and get them off your chest.  Make time to honour and express your feelings.  Perform a simple ritual like lighting a candle.  Not giving yourself time to grieve can cause long-term stress and damage your health.

Saying sorry:

Take responsibility for your mistakes and feelings of remorse or guilt.  Making amends will relieve your stress and improve your relationships.  Write a card if you can’t say it in person.  Once you have righted any wrongs, you’ll be able to move on and leave your feelings of guilt behind.

Be kind to yourself:

Give yourself time to feel happy!  Stressed people often don’t take time to laugh and feel pleasure and pride in their own achievements.  Tell a friend why you’re proud of yourself.  Go out and celebrate. or buy yourself something nice, or book a treatment and we will look after you.

8 steps to well expressed anger

  1. Never shout or hit another person when you are angry

  2. Be direct and assertive.  Don’t express anger in passive ways such as the ‘silent treatment’

  3. Discharge aggression by hitting pillows or screaming into pillows, or do some strenuous exercise.

  4. Put your anger into words.  Before you approach the person, write down “I am angry because…”.

  5. Tell the person why you are angry in as calm and reasonable a tone as possible.

  6. If you become furious again, ask if you can leave the conversation and come back when you feel calmer and express your thoughts more clearly.

  7. Give the other person time to respond.  Remember that many people find anger frightening.

  8. Be brave – expressing anger doesn’t have to mean being out of control.

 

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