The use of essential oils (extracted from herbs, flowers, resin, woods, and roots) in body and skin care treatments is known as aromatherapy. Used as a healing technique for thousands of years by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, essential oils aid in relaxation, improve circulation, and help the healing of wounds.
For thousands of years, roses have been symbols of love, beauty, and spirit. They have also been used as universal healers in oil, water, and tea, as well as a flavoring and food. Once considered the “fragrance of the gods” in ancient Egypt, roses have a history that can be traced to Persia, Babylon, and China. In ancient Rome, roses were used for blessings, as garlands, to decorate war ships, and to float in wine as a tribute to Venus, the goddess of love.
Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) essential oil is a one-stop medicine chest. Numerous studies indicate that when combined with massage, lavender’s familiar scent reduces anxiety, fatigue, and stress and balances hormones, increases the immune response, lowers blood pressure, and relieves pain.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) encompasses up to 150 emotional and physical symptoms and affects almost 90 percent of women. Some of the most common complaints during PMS are headache, backache, sore breasts, bloating, acne, fatigue, mood swings, irritability, and anxiety. Whatever your PMS complaints may be, essential oils like rose (Rosa damascena), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), lavender (Lavendula officinalis), clary sage (Salvia sclarea), and bergamot (Citrus bergamia) can offer safe, gentle, and effective help.
Pain is an unpleasant reality for many people. From the healthiest to the unhealthiest, we all find ourselves in pain’s grip at one time or another. Whether your pain is self-inflicted from exuberant weekend warrior syndrome, brought on by the stresses of today’s world, or a symptom of serious disease or physical states, there are several ways to find relief from this unpleasant, often unbearable, fact of life.
Just as our gathering in a circle around a fire has been imprinted on our brains from ancient times, the fragrances of burning bark, wood, flowers, and herbs—perhaps first enjoyed in front of that same fire—have left a deep impression on our collective psyche.
Tantalizing our sense of smell with incense can open a gateway to powerful emotional responses. The secret lies within our limbic brains, the nerve clearinghouse that processes and associates aromas and deep emotions.
It’s not unusual to find little collections of essential oils hidden away in the treatment rooms of massage therapists and bodyworkers. While the addition of these oils to your massage repertoire can take your work to a new level, using them haphazardly, or without forethought or training, can be potentially harmful to you and your clients.
Addiction experts say smoking is a habit more formidable than cocaine or heroin. Of the 46 million American adults who indulge, close to three-quarters of them say they want to quit, and nearly half of those hooked make at least one annual attempt to curb the habit. Yet even when their addiction confines them to tiny, dark rooms or takes them outside in sub-zero temperatures, dedicated smokers can’t seem to restrain their impulse to light up.