Are you new to Essential Oils?

Essential oils can be an overwhelming topic if you’re trying to learn everything and anything, as quickly as possible. 😰

But with a few basic know-hows, you can get started with diffusing them in your home whilst getting the most benefits out of them! 😃

So let’s get straight into it:

1. Choose a few favourites 😍 – Diffusing essential oils becomes a lot easier if you’re not stuck there choosing between all 94 types and feeling like you have to research them all. But if you find out what you can get a hold of and which scents seem familiar/interesting to you, then take a look at the benefits and use them! This makes it so much easier for you to actually get stuck into using essential oils, rather than getting pulled into all the information that’s out there.

2. Follow a guideline – An essential oil chart is a great place to start if you’re worried about what will smell right with what when figuring out how to make blends. So stick to the guidelines and do what’s tried-and-tested until you get a gist of how it all works. Then you can get the most out of your oils without being put off by something that smells way too strong or just awful.

3. Get a good quality carrier oil 💧 or oil diffuser – All the benefits of essential oils are either from diffusing them or applying them onto your body. So if you use a good quality carrier oil, such as jojoba oil, and invest into a diffuser, you can get all the benefits you could dream of without any complicated recipes. Sure, those recipes will be useful later on but for now, just learn which essential oils are working well for you by simply diluting them before use.

4. If you’re trying to solve a specific problem, concentrate on how you feel 😌 – Essential oils aren’t one size fits all. Different oils work for different people and do different things. So if you’re using them to ease the headaches you get whilst working, to ease your insomnia or to make it easier to wake up 😴 then you’ll need to experiment a little until you find what works best for you. And if you’re doing it just to make your home smell nice, help you feel relaxed and to add an ambience to your rooms, then you need to think about what smells best rather than the therapeutic benefits.

5. Make sure it’s the real deal – There are a lot of fake essential oils out there that are diluted with vegetable oils or just don’t contain any of the real thing at all. Anything that’s casually called a fragrance oil or has more than one ingredient on the list won’t be pure, so keep an eye out for that. If you already have essential oils, then try adding a drop to some tissue paper and see if it leaves a stain once dried. If it does then it’s been mixed with other ingredients and if it doesn’t, it’s most likely pure (some essential oils are thicker than others and can still leave a stain, but this should help you in most cases). 😃

So there you have it!

These 5 tips should help you out whether you’re new to essential oils or not, but if you want to know more about anything in particular just send me an email julie@holistichealthandwellbeinggroup.com

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Benefits of using the Aroma touch Technique.

The Aromatouch technique is a simple but powerful way to provide every individual with an essential oils experience.

Today, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to learn how to master this technique. I came away from today’s course completely embraced with this essential oil experience. Let’s begin explaining the purpose of Aromatouch.

EVERYDAY HEALTH

There are a number of of different factors that we have to endure in our daily life which can have a direct impact on our overall well-being.

When dealing with a child who needs individual care, a friend frustrated with school, a spouse overwhelmed with stress from work, or a teenager worn out from studying or sports practice. The application of Aromatouch can help every one of these issues.

There are specific oils which are used in conjunction with human touch, that provide multiple benefits to the person receiving the aromatouch, as well as the person performing the technique.

No matter what situation arises, know that you can feel empowered, knowing that there, will always be the aromatouch technique to offer.

THE ROLE OF AROMA

Many of our likes and dislikes of different smells and aromas, will have come from the very experiences we have attached to them. There is convincing evidence that pleasant aromas can remarkably improve our overall mood and sense of well-being.

Therefore, each essential oil in the Aromatouch technique was purposefully selected for its individual aromatic properties, and for their powerful aromatic properties when combined. The overall experience of the aromas of aromatouch are soothing, light and pleasant to the senses.

THE ROLE OF TOUCH

Whether touch comes from a handshake or hug, all physical touch holds very different meanings. Even when we share the oils, there is a difference between rubbing the oils on someone’s forearm and taking the time by rubbing them on someone’s back, it really does have bearing on the overall well-being of the individual throughout the technique. Physical touch is as important to aromatouch as the aroma itself, because of the amazing healing benefits it provides. While the very essence of the technique is to apply the oils and provide the recipient with an essential oil experience, it is also about connecting with another person on an emotional level. These connections made form feelings of trust and assist the recipient to relax. It is the essential way of promoting family relationships and wellness.

I want to give you a very small example of this….

Ben our instructor has 5 children, 2 sets of twin boys and a girl. Ben and his wife  have been using aromatouch with their family for sometime now. One evening, Ben went upstairs to find one of his older children giving his younger sister an aromatouch experience. This is a beautiful example, how relationships and bonds are formed between family members. And how the older brother, wanted to share such an experience of touch with his younger sister. This story, brought a tear to my eye, and reinforced just how powerful these essential oils can really be.

What have I learnt from today, I’ve learnt how powerful touch can be, and how powerful the effects and benefits of these oils can be.

Now I want to tell you my own personal story. I’m a single mum of 2 boys, they are 27 and 17 respectively. I’ve been on my own for a number of years and my youngest boy stopped hugging me about 6-7 years ago. Now, when you’re not in a relationship with anyone, the one most important thing you miss, is that physical human touch. Whether it be a hug or merely holding hands. So you can imagine my disappointment when this rather tactile boy, up and and till that point, completely stopped any form of physical contact with myself.

I sat in that classroom today, and felt my eyes welling with tears. Maybe, I have an opportunity to reconnect with my child, and him with me. How do you think I’ve introduced him to the idea of aromatouch? I told him, I require someone to practice on, to improve my technique. You can imagine what his first reaction was, “hell no, you’re not practicing on me” I explained we only need to put aside 45 minutes one evening and you only need to show me your back and feet. (Now, he already uses the oils aromatically and also from a rollerball for a skin condition he’s had since birth.) But, after explaining again the reasons why I want to do this, so far he hadn’t said no again.

Tomorrow evening, I’m going to ask if I can do the aromatouch on him, and you know, I’m quite excited at the thought of allowing me to touch him. I’m hoping that the experience he has, will reconnect our physical bond, because we are very much still connected on an emotional level.

 

 

“In all that we do, in all that we learn, let’s not forget our responsibility to help people” Dr David Hill.
These simple words totally resonate with me how I feel about the oils I share.

Do you need help to manage DEPRESSION?

Depression is incredibly common. In fact, you may be near someone every day and not even know that he or she is suffering from depression.However, there are symptoms that may signal signs of depression, such as fatigue, sadness, moodiness, low sex drive, low self-esteem, loss of appetite, feelings that the tough days will never end, and never accepting invitations to go out with friends or get involved in activities. I know that seems like quite a list, but there are many more behaviours that could be an indication that you or someone you know is suffering fromdepression.

So let’s look at the statistics for mental health problems in the UK and Worldwide.

Mental health statistics: UK and worldwide 2018

Mental health problems are a growing public health concern. They are prevalent not just in the UK, but around the world. Mental health problems are one of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide. Mental health and behavioural problems (e.g. depression, anxiety and drug use) are reported to be the primary drivers of disability worldwide, causing over 40 million years of disability in 20 to 29-year-olds.

Major depression is thought to be the second leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the burden of suicide and ischemic heart disease.

It is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem. The most common mental  health problems. Mixed anxiety & depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain, with 7.8% of people meeting criteria for diagnosis.

4-10% of people in England will experience depression in their lifetime.Common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety are distributed according to a gradient of economic disadvantage across society. The poorer and more disadvantaged are disproprotionately affected by common mental health problems and their adverse consequences.

Mixed anxiety and depression has been estimated to cause one fifth of days lost from work in Britain. 

One adult in six had a common mental disorder. Research has shown that two thirds of us experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes, and stress is a key factor in this.

These statistics are pretty worrying in my opinion, what do you think?

How Does Depression Affect the Brain?

There are three parts of the brain that appear to play a role in depression: 

the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex.

The hippocampus is located near the centre of the brain. It stores memories and regulates the production of a

hormone called cortisol. The body releases cortisol during times of physical and mental stress, including during times of depression. Problems can occur when excessive amounts of cortisol are sent to the brain due to a stressful event or a chemical imbalance in the body.

In a healthy brain, brain cells (neurons) are produced throughout a person’s adult Life in a part of the hippocampus called the dentate gyrus. In people with depression, however, the long-term exposure to increased cortisol levels can slow the production of new neurons and cause the neurons in the hippocampus to shrink. This can lead to memory problems. The prefrontal cortex is located in the very front of the brain.

It is responsible for regulating emotions, making decisions, and forming memories.

When the body produces an excess amount of cortisol, the prefrontal cortex also appears to shrink.

The amygdala is the part of the brain that facilitates emotional responses, such as pleasure and fear. In people with depression , the amygdala becomes enlarged and more active as a result of constant exposure to high levels of cortisol. An enlarged and hyperactive amygdala, along with abnormal activity in other parts of the brain, can result in disturbances in sleep and activity patterns. It can also cause the body to release irregular amounts of hormones and other chemicals in the body, leading to further complications.

Many researchers believe high cortisol levels play the biggest role in changing the physical structure and chemical activities of the brain, triggering the onset of depression. Normally, cortisol levels are highest in the morning and decrease atnight. In people with depression , however, cortisol levels are always elevated, even at night.

How can treatment change the brain?

Experts have found that balancing the amount of cortisol and other chemicals in the brain can help reverse any shrinkage of the hippocampus and treat the memory problems it may cause. Correcting the body’s chemical levels can also help reduce symptoms of depression.

There are several common medications that can fight the negative effects of depression on the brain by helping to balance the chemicals in the brain. These include:

  • selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs): These drugs can help alleviate symptoms of depression by changing the levels of a chemical called serotonin in the brain. Examples of SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and citalopram (Celexa).
  • serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants: When used together, these medications can relieve depressed symptoms by altering the amounts of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. These chemicals help boost mood and energy levels. Examples of SNRIs include duloxetine (Cymbalta) and venlafaxine (Effexor XR). Imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and trimipramine (Surmontil) are examples of tricyclic antidepressants.
  • norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs): These medications aid people with depression by increasing levels of the mood-boosting chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain. Bupropion (Wellbutrin) is a type of NDRI that may be used.
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): These drugs help ease symptoms of depression by increasing the amount of norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine in the brain. They can also improve brain cell communication
  • atypical antidepressants: This group of medications includes tranquillisers, mood stabilisers, and antipsychotics. These drugs can block brain cell communication in order to relax the body.

Besides medications, certain medical procedures can also affect the brain to help ease symptoms of severe depression. These include:

  • electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which involves passing electrical currents through the brain to boost communication between brain cells
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which involves sending electrical pulses into the brain cells that regulate mood

Researchers also believe that psychotherapy can alter brain structure and help relieve depressive symptoms. Specifically, psychotherapy appears to strengthen the prefrontal cortex.

There are other ways to boost brain health and help recover from depression  without medical intervention. These include:

  • eating healthful foods and staying active, which stimulates brain cells and strengthens communication between brain cells
  • sleeping well, which helps grow and repair brain cells
  • avoiding alcohol and illegal drugs, which can destroy brain cells

Sadly, taking any of these prescription medicines are not without unwanted side effects. Some increasing the depression to the point of suicide and the majority of prescription medications leave you with a groggy head, personality changes, lack of mental clarity and in some cases weight gain.

Thankfully, there are natural remedies available to manage depression, rather than taking prescription anti-depressants. Obviously, in cases of severe depression, anti-depressants have their place.

Let’s take a look at which essential oils are known to alleviate symptoms of depression:

In clinical trials, essential oils have been proven to elevate mood. You may be wondering how essential oils work. Because smells are carried directly to the brain, they serve as emotional triggers. The limbic system evaluates the sensory stimuli, registering pleasure, pain, danger or safety. This then creates and ultimately directs our emotional response, which can include feelings of fear, anger, depression and attraction.

Our basic emotions and hormonal balance are in response to the most basic smells. This makes scents very powerful in our day-to-day lives because they’re a direct pathway to memory and emotion — which is why they can fight depression and anxiety. Here are my top for essential oils for depression:

1. Bergamot

Bergamot oil is a great antidepressant because it’s very stimulating. Bergamot can create a feeling of joy, freshness and energy by improving the circulation of your blood. It’s also shown the ability to work as a natural remedy for anxiety, as a 2011 study in Thailand found that bergamot lowered the anxiety response in rats.

Another 2011 study hypothesises that applying a blended essential oil that includes bergamot to participants helps treat depression. The blended essential oil mixed bergamot with lavender essential oil, and participants were analysed based on their blood pressure, pulse rates, breathing rates and skin temperature. In addition, subjects had to rate their emotional condition in terms of relaxation, vigour, calmness, attentiveness, mood and alertness in order to assess behavioural changes.

Compared with the placebo, blended essential oils caused significant decreases of pulse rate and blood pressure. At the emotional level, subjects in the blended essential oil group rated themselves as “more calm” and “more relaxed” than subjects in the control group. The investigation demonstrates the relaxing effect of a mixture of lavender and bergamot oils, and it provides evidence for its use in medicine for treating depression or anxiety in humans.

You can use bergamot oil by rubbing two to three drops into your hands and cupping your mouth and nose. Breathe in the oil slowly. Try rubbing the oil on your feet and stomach, too.

2. Lavender

Lavender oil benefits mood and has long been used to help battle depression. A study published by the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice reported that 80-milligram capsules of lavender essential oil can help alleviate anxiety and depression. The study also showed that there were no adverse side effects from using lavender oil to treat anxiety and depression. This is great news since we know that synthetic medications and psychotropic drugs often have many negative side effects.

A 2012 study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice evaluatd 28 women at high risk for postpartum depression and found that by diffusing lavender in their home, they had a significant reduction of postnatal depression and reduced anxiety disorder after a four-week treatment plan of lavender aromatherapy.

Yet another study showcasing that lavender aromatherapy improves mood was done on people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can result in depression. Lavender had amazing results, showing signs of enhanced moods. The results revealed that the lavender oil, when used daily, helped decrease depression by 32.7 percent and dramatically decreased sleep disturbances, moodiness and overall health status in 47 people suffering from PTSD.

To relieve stress and improve sleep, put a diffuser by your bed and diffuse oils while you sleep at night or in the family room while you’re reading or winding down in the evening. Also, it can be rubbed topically behind your ears for the same benefits.

3. Roman Chamomile

Chamomile is one the best medicinal herbs for fighting stress and promoting relaxation. This is why you see chamomile as a popular ingredient in candles and other aromatherapy products, whether in tea, tincture or essential oil form.

Chamomile benefits your emotions by providing soothing qualities to help with depression. According to research from Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine and Pharmacognosy Review, inhaling chamomile vapours using chamomile oil is often recommended as a natural remedy for anxiety and general depression.

4. Ylang Ylang

Ylang ylang may have a funny name, but it has amazing benefits for helping stave off depression and negative emotions associated with depression. Inhaling ylang ylang can have immediate, positive effects on your mood and act like a mild, remedy for depression. Research shows it can help release negative emotions such as anger, low self-esteem and even jealousy!

Ylang ylang works because of its mild sedative effects, which can lower stress responses helping you relax. To enhance confidence, mood and self-love, try diffusing the oil in your home or massaging it into your skin.

Recent research has shown that: “Antidepressants fail to cure the symptoms of major depression in half of all patients with the disease even if they receive the best possible care.”  While I’m not suggesting that all medications cause this problem and I want to make it clear that you should talk to a doctor immediately if you feel you’re suffering from depression, I do believe that it’s possible to treat depression through other means, like the essential oils for depression mentioned above.

A  2008 study with 58 hospice patients presented some interesting conclusions regarding the effectiveness of essential oils for depression. The hospice patients were given hand massages once a day for one week with an essential oil blend in 1.5 percent dilution with sweet almond oil. The essential oil blend consisted of these essential oils in equal ratios:

  • bergamot C. aurantium var. bergamia
  • frankincense Boswellia carterii (Birdw.)
  • lavender Lavandula angustifolia (Mill.)

All patients who received the aromatherapy hand massage reported less pain and depression with the conclusion that aromatherapy massage with this essential oil blend is more effective for pain and depression management than massage alone.

 

 

 

Is your quality of life affected by the Menopause?

Menopausal Symptoms

Are you searching for an alternative way to manage menopausal symptoms?

Starting naturally is the best way to begin the process of alleviating menopause symptoms. Making small changes to your lifestyle can help you pinpoint what may be triggering your symptoms and what helps to alleviate your symptoms. This will  assist you in making well-informed choices that are right for you.

Eat a Balanced Diet 🥦🥑🥕🍇

Our diets can help exasperate or soothe many of the physiological problems we face, and this includes menopausal symptoms.

Drinking caffeine and alcohol, smoking, and eating spicy foods can trigger symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. However, eating a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fibre, and protein, can help to relieve symptoms of menopause. Decreasing the amount of processed foods you eat can also help improve your overall well-being.

Drink Enough Water 💦 💦

Experts advise most people to have around eight cups of water each day. Working this into your daily routine by having a bottle of water handy during the day and drinking herbal tea with breakfast can help you keep your water consumption healthy.

Staying hydrated can regulate body temperature and therefore may reduce the chances of hot flashes, and staying hydrated can also decreases headaches. When you change up your routine, for example over the weekend or when you go on vacation, it is easy to forget to drink water, so try to make sure you are staying healthy and hydrated at those times too.

Sleep 🛏 Well

The importance of sleep cannot be overestimated and is needed for almost every aspect of a person’s mental and physical well-being. Most people need to get around eight hours of sleep each night, but some people need more and some people need less. You know your body the best, and should be able to gauge how much sleep you need. Getting a proper amount of sleep is important for healthy brain functioning. You need enough sleep in order to have a healthy immune system, a healthy cardiovascular system, and in order for your brain to tell your body that it is full.

Exercise Regularly 🏊‍♀️🚴‍♀️🧘‍♀️

Regular exercise helps keep hormones balanced and is necessary for overall health. Weight training is good for developing strong bones, controlling your weight, managing some chronic conditions, and improving focus. Running, swimming or doing another cardio activity a few times a week, is also good for overall health, especially your heart. Workouts like yoga and pilates are used to relieve stress, anxiety, and tension, and to improve mood and flexibility.

These are four of the best steps to take when looking to minimise the symptoms of the menopause and lead a healthy life overall. However, these lifestyle changes are often not enough for everyone. Many women are able to relieve their symptoms by using herbal supplements and/or prescription medicine alongside a healthy lifestyle.

I’m now going to share with you the essential oils that I have personally found to be the best, to alleviate my hot flashes, sleepless nights and mood swings.

Clary sage essential oil is hands down the number one oil for the all-around treatment of menopause. With natural phytoeostrogens that simulate the effects of oestrogen on the body, clary sage essential oil helps balance your hormones, which has a domino effect on menopause symptoms.

Clary sage essential oil decreases anxiety by lowering cortisol production, reduces hot flashes, and helps fight weight gain. This well-studied oil also quells insomnia and eases spasms that can accompany painful menstrual periods during the transition into menopause.

Roman chamomile essential oil is another popular natural aid during menopause. It alleviates stress (which also helps with sleep) and reduces pain, especially headaches that are common during this time.

If you are experiencing skin problems during menopause, roman chamomile essential oil can calm breakouts and reduce inflammation. It is also an excellent choice to help regulate irregular menstrual periods in the months leading up to the full menopause.

Peppermint essential oil.

If you suffer from menopausal hot flashes and night sweats, peppermint should be your go-to essential oil. Its menthol components provide cooling relief– just don’t use it on your face or mucous membranes where it can be an irritant.

Peppermint essential oil is also energising if menopause saps your vitality, and even using it in a diffuser can give you more pep. This essential oil is ideal to calm headaches and nausea too.

Studies have shown that peppermint aids in reducing your appetite if inhaled.

Lavender essential oil 

Between night sweats and insomnia, the menopause can disturb your sleep. Lavender essential oil can counter those symptoms, allowing you to relax and enjoy deep slumber to get the rest you need.

Lavender is very well studied for this use, and it is safer than sleeping pills or other prescription medications. As you’re not left with that ‘groggy feeling’ the following morning.

Lavender essential oil is also an excellent choice if you find your heart racing–a common problem for women in early menopause.

Cypress essential oil

Is another oil to combat a wide range of menopause symptoms. It reduces hot flashes, calms irritability, and relaxes tense muscles.

Cypress essential oil also decreases fluid retention, swelling, and bloating, whilst also detoxifying the lymph system. It improves blood flow and hastens the end of drawn-out, heavy periods too.

Basil Essential Oil

Do you have problems with menopause-related brain fog and loss of concentration? I know I do, on a daily basis. I find it rather infuriating. Ever forgot where you put something? I find it’s almost always my car keys and purse.

Basil has been shown to improve focus and fight both mental and physical fatigue, which makes it perfect for menopause. This energising essential oil is ideal for topical, aromatherapy, and internal use.

Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme is another essential oil with hormone balancing chemical compounds. Additionally, thyme essential oil calms fragile nerves and improves memory and concentration.

If you suffer from menstrual cramps–(a frequent problem during the final menstrual cycles or even during “phantom” periods after menopause) –thyme essential oil can offer pain relief.

When used in skin preparations, thyme can tone ageing skin that accompanies the menopause.

Geranium Essential oil

Geranium is yet another essential oil ideal for cooling night sweats and hot flashes. It hydrates dry skin and also balances raw emotions.

Use geranium essential oil in a diffuser or perfume product to alleviate anger and depression during menopause. This essential oil combines particularly well with clary sage for multi-symptom menopause relief.

Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil.

Like geranium essential oil, ylang-ylang essential oil is perfect to combat menopausal mood swings. This balancing essential oil is wonderfully fragrant and ideal for use in bath and body recipes.

When used topically or in the bath water, ylang-ylang essential oil also improves sluggish circulation.

Menopause is a condition for which many routes of essential oil application are possible. Likewise, the list of essential oils above is a jumping off point too. Other essential oils that work well to treat menopause symptoms include:

  • rose
  • neroli
  • lime
  • orange
  • lemon
  • grapefruit
  • eucalyptus
  • sandalwood
  • marjoram
  • rosemary
  • frankincense
  • helichrysum
  • black pepper
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • german chamomile
  • angelica
  • jasmine

It’s best to do a patch test on a small area of skin before using any essential oil on your whole body. Also, most essential oils should be diluted before use on the surface; add a few drops to a carrier oil, like olive or jojoba oil, before using them on their own.

Choose your oils based on your menopause symptoms, which may vary throughout the day and over the course of the month. You may need to use different essential oils in the morning to pick you up and when you need at night to help you relax and go to sleep.

Start with small doses of each essential oil and go up from there, so you can see how you react to them. You don’t want to overstimulate your hormones or pump up your energy so much you feel jittery.

Finally, once you find the essential oils that work for your menopause symptoms, use them consistently. You’ll feel much better if you treat your symptoms before you even start to feel them, rather than after, when they rage out of control. With other natural therapies, such as nutritional supplements, massage, acupuncture, lifestyle modifications, and dietary changes, you can use essential oils to successfully navigate menopause without it having a big impact on your health and well being.

Maybe you’ve had a personal experience with essential oils and what worked for you? I would love to know. Please feel free to leave a comment.