Archive for the 'aromatherapy massage' Category

Apr 20 2015

The effect of aromatherapy massage

Cooke, M., et al (2007). The effect of aromatherapy massage with music on the stress and anxiety levels of emergency nurses: comparison between summer and winter. Journal of Clin Nursing, 16(9), 695-1703.

OBJECTIVES: This research aimed to evaluate the use of aromatherapy massage and music as an intervention to cope with the occupational stress and anxiety that emergency department nursing staff experience. The study also aimed to compare any differences in results between a summer and winter 12-week massage plan.

METHOD: Staff occupational stress was assessed pre- and post- 12 weeks of aromatherapy massage with music and anxiety was measured pre and post each massage session. Sick leave was also measured. Comparisons of summer and winter data were undertaken.

RESULTS: A total of 365 massages were given over two 12-week periods, one during summer and the other during winter. Analysis identified that aromatherapy massage with music significantly reduced anxiety for both seasonal periods. Premassage anxiety was significantly higher in winter than summer. No differences in sick leave and workload were found. There was no difference in the occupational stress levels of nurses following the two 12-week periods of massage.

CONCLUSIONS: Emergency nurses were significantly more anxious in winter than summer but this cannot be attributed to increased sick leave or workloads. Aromatherapy massage with music significantly reduced emergency nurses’ anxiety. High levels of anxiety and stress can be detrimental to the physical and emotional health of emergency nurses and the provision of a support mechanism such as on-site massage as an effective strategy should be considered.

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Sep 27 2011

Essentially, aromatherapy works

This next article gives quite a bit of credibility to aromatherapy in a very simple and straightforward way. The orangutan story is particularly telling. Please note that the article references NAHA (The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy). This association is the most highly regarded for healthcare professionals in the aromatherapy realm. Incidentally, the Institute’s distance learning Aromatherapy Essentials program was designed specifically for massage therapists and is approved by NAHA.

Essentially, aromatherapy works

By Lisa Ryckman, Rocky Mountain News

Using odors to treat illness spans time and culture, dating back more than 5,000 years to Ancient Egypt. The modern version of aromatherapy has a holistic focus that uses highly concentrated natural plant essences called essential oils to promote emotional and physical health.

“The emotional benefits come from inhalation,” says Laraine Kyle, director of the Institute of Integrative Aromatherapy in Boulder. “For physical problems, more often the application is topical.” Certain oils have specific effects on emotional and physical health, aromatherapists say, because they help release neurochemicals in the brain that reduce pain and promote relaxation and a sense of well-being.

Neurologist-psychiatrist Alan Hirsch says that any smell a person likes will make them feel good, whether it’s an all-natural essential oil or a $3 bottle of shampoo. “There’s reasonable evidence odors can have effect on all sorts of different conditions,” he says. “But what works for you might be different than what works for me.” Or what works for the orangutan next door. The Denver Zoo uses essential oils to calm their great apes, and several aromatherapy practices specialize in animals.

Kyle says certain oils help in specific ways; floral and citrus scents, for example, are known for mood elevation and stabilizing.”Of course we involve the client in selecting the fragrance they prefer, because it’s meant to be something enjoyable and something someone really prefers to use,” Kyle says. “Often we blend several different oils together to make a composite blend.”

People often make the mistake of using essential oils full-strength when they might actually be more effective if diluted, Kyle says. ” For psychological benefit, such as insomnia, anxiety, agitation or depression, we use a very mild concentration,” says Kyle, who recommends a ratio of six drops of essential oil to one ounce of lotion or massage oil.

Here are the top 10 essential oils and their uses from the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy:

Eucalyptus: Helpful in treating respiratory problems; helps boost the immune system; relieves muscle tension.
Ylang Ylang: Aids relaxation; reduces muscle tension. Good antidepressant.
Geranium: Helps to balance hormones in women; good for balancing the skin. Can be both relaxing and uplifting.
Peppermint: Useful in treating headaches, muscle aches and digestive disorders.
Lavender: Relaxing; also useful in skin care and treating wounds and burns.
Lemon: Very uplifting yet relaxing. Helpful in treating wounds and infections; useful as house cleaner and deodorizer.
Clary Sage: Natural painkiller; helpful in treating muscular aches and pains. Very relaxing; can help with insomnia. Also helps balance hormones.
Tea Tree: A natural anti-fungal oil. Also helps boost the immune system.
Roman Chamomile: Very relaxing; can help with sleeplessness and anxiety. Also good for muscle aches and tension. Useful in treating wounds and infection.
Rosemary: Very stimulating and uplifting; aids mental acuity and helps stimulate the immune and digestive systems. Very good for muscle aches and tension. or 303-892-2736

Recommended Study
Aromatherapy Essentials

Posted by Ralph at 04:08 PM
© 2009 Institute for Integrative HealthCare Studies. This work is reproduced with the permission of the Institute.

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Sep 02 2011

Five Tips on Essential Oil Maintenance

Although essential oils typically lack an expiration date stamp, their effectiveness can diminish with element exposure and time. However, therapists can easily learn how to prolong the life of their oils and detect when they are no longer viable.

by Nicole Cutler, L.Ac.

Therapists can learn to use pure essential oils safely and successfully through a National Organization for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) certified program of study. However, some aromatherapy information typically skimmed over and forgotten about is this: most pure essential oils don’t last forever. There are several things anyone purchasing, storing and using pure essential oils must know for aromatherapy to accomplish what it is capable of.

Luckily, pure essential oils do not go rancid. However, they do degrade through the process of oxidation. Heat, sunlight and air can all break down the chemical structure of essential oils. Additionally, the complex and varying chemistry of pure essential oils means that each oil has a different rate of degradation. Although there are too many variables to accurately predict how long an essential oil will be at its most potent, there are several tips that will help you determine your oil’s lifespan.

Buy Carefully
You can only control the environment of your oils after you purchase them. Thus, knowing what to look for when buying essential oils can help ensure their longevity.

1. Dark colored glass; no dropper – Dark colored glass helps protect the oils from the oxidative properties of ultraviolet light. Avoid purchasing essential oils that are stored in bottles with a rubber dropper incorporated into its cap. Pure essential oils can turn rubber into gum and quickly ruin the oil.

2. Evaluate your supplier – The closer to its distillation date, the more potent an essential oil will be. Suppliers specializing in aromatherapy typically have a high turnover of oils, ensuring a fresher purchase. When purchased from a store, they may have been sitting on the shelf for a long time. If you do buy from a store, make sure they are not displayed under hot lighting or in direct sunlight, and check that they don’t have a layer of dust on their caps.

Store Carefully
Once you have the essential oils, the steps you take to properly store them will either make them last long or render them useless.

3. Know their age – Although you are not likely to know the date an essential oil was first distilled, you can keep track of how long you have owned them. Devise a way to mark your oil with the date of purchase so that you can be alerted to when one might be approaching the end of its life.

4. Minimize oxidation – Since heat and light oxidize essential oils, always store essential oils inside dark glass bottles in a cool, dark place. In addition, keep your oils in the smallest possible sized bottles to reduce the amount of empty space in the container. Because the empty space in a bottle is occupied by air, more empty space hastens the rate of oxidation. For this reason, experts advise rebottling oils into smaller bottles as they are used.

Check your Stock
Again, based on the substantial number of variables in determining the viability of a pure essential oil, there are no guarantees of how long it will last. Some experts tout that well cared for oils will last for one to two years, while others claim this time frame is longer. However, terpene-rich oils such as citrus and some coniferous essential oils oxidize quicker than other oils, while the thicker viscosity essential oils, including Patchouli, Vetiver and Sandalwood mellow and improve with age. The only surefire way to know if your oil is still viable is to check it yourself.

5. Look and smell – Through a little bit of effort, you should be able to detect an essential oil that has passed its prime. Look carefully to see if your oil appears cloudy or thick, both of which indicate oxidation. Since drastic changes in odor also indicate oxidation, smell your oils to see if they have lost their characteristic odor or if they smell acidic. In either case, the therapeutic value has diminished, requiring its proper disposal.

Although the skilled application of essential oils can dramatically improve a person’s health, they must be suitably maintained to do so. Along with the knowledge gained through a NAHA certified course, careful purchasing, storage and inspection of pure essential oils allows bodyworkers to fully appreciate the therapeutic value of aromatherapy.

Recommended Study:
Aromatherapy Essentials

References:, Shelf Life and Storage, Retrieved July 9, 2008, Aromatics International, 2008., Essential Oil Shelf Life, Retrieved July 9, 2008, AromaWeb LLC, 2008., How to Use up those Aging Essential Oils, Retrieved July 9, 2008, AromaWeb LLC, 2008., Storing Your Essential Oils, Retrieved July 9, 2008, AromaWeb LLC, 2008., Storing your essential oils, Retrieved July 9, 2008, Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd., 2008., Shelf Life of Aromatherapy Oils, Retrieved July 9, 2008, Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd., 2008.

Posted by Editors at 01:50 PM

© 2009 Institute for Integrative HealthCare Studies. This work is reproduced with the permission of the Institute.

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Sep 06 2009


The use of Essential oils for health and vitality has been recorded over thousands of years. Aromatherapy uses essential plant oils extracted from many parts of the plant including the flower, leaf, bark, resin, root, twig, seed, berry, rind, and rhizome. The essential oils are mixed with carrier oils in conjunction with massage to provide a therapeutic treatment which is relaxing and luxurious. The emotional or physical effects evoked by aromatic essential oils include: A rebalancing of energy, rejuvenation, cleansing, deoderising and purifying of the body, mind and sole, and as such is classed as a holistic treatment. Essential oils can be use to help a great number of problems when used in many ways. As full or part body massage, facials, hand and foot treatments. Used with a diffuser or candles as room fragrances, bath and body care products, use as perfume in place of chemical scents etc. You need to seek a qualified Aroma therapist for advice if you are pregnant as some of the oils are not to be used during pregnancy or on small babies. A consultation is required and oils are mixed for each person depending on the problems presented.

The sent of essential oils are best when you in a meeting room having a coporate massage, event massage or onsite massages.

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Aug 31 2009

Massage Oils – How to Make a Perfect Blend

Massage oils are a great way to enhance the beneficial effects of a massage therapy, they are looked as a must for a massage therapy session. The massage techniques have evolved in order to accommodate the use of oils. Choosing the right products, making a good blend that doesn’t spoil in time might be a difficult task without the proper information.

There are a few reasons for using oils in a massage: facilitate the gliding over the skin thus avoiding superficial irritation, nourish the patient skin and promote health and absorption of the essential oils through skin and lungs.

A massage oil is usually a combination of two or more oils. The combination contains at least a base oil, the carrier, and one or more essential oils (aromatic oils). The base is an oil with a high skin penetration potential. The essential oil is chosen for its therapeutic effects and it is based on patient’s need.

The carrier is a vegetable oil. When buying a carrier we have to search for cold-pressed or expeller-pressed oils. These two extraction methods ensure the oil is not polluted with solvents and is not degraded by high temperatures processing.

Most of the carrier oils can be stored in the sealed bottle for long periods. Once in contact with the air it starts the oxidation. If kept in dark containers at low temperatures the oxidation is slowed down. However some oils will deteriorate if stored in the fridge, check with the producer the proper storage conditions.

The most popular carrier oils are Grape-seed oil and Sweet Almond oil. Grape-seed oil is a very light oil and is very easy absorbed by the skin. Sweet Almond oil is very reach in vitamins with high therapeutic value.

Another excellent base is Olive oil because of its therapeutic qualities but is not very popular because of its strong fragrance.

Some other great base oils are: Apricot kernel, Avocado, Jojoba, Coconut, Hazelnut, Peach kernel, Sunflower.

Wheat-germ oil is an excellent adjuvant to any base because of its antioxidant properties. Wheat-germs oil added in proportion of 15% to any other base will prevent it to go rancid. Wheat-germs oil is a sticky oil so use it cautiously in your combinations.

The aromatic oils are plant extracts, (from flowers, roots, seeds, etc), with therapeutic properties. The aromatic oils are very concentrated and they are only used in combination with a base. The concentration should be about 3% essential oil in a base. Adding too much aromatic oil could irritate the patient skin as some of these are very potent.

Most of the aromatic oils are volatile, some of them will simply disappear in minutes if you forget the container open. As a general rule you have to keep them in sealed dark containers at low temperatures.

Each essential oil has its own healing properties. It is very important to know what these properties are in order to avoid harm. Using them improperly could worsen certain conditions.

Buying essential oils is a difficult task because of the lack of regulation in the industry. Very often your aromatherapy oils contain chemicals, fragrance enhancers, solvents to multiply the content, or oils extracted from similar plants but with different properties. None of these are marked on the bottle.

You can follow these guidelines when you are buying essential oils:

Look for therapeutic-grade oils, sometimes it’s marked on the bottle;
Look for the scientific name of the plant, as sometimes the same common name of a plant could cover different botanical varieties;
Check if the plants were grown organically or wild-crafted – these are the best plants.
Check the reputability of the producer and question your supplier about their products.
Know that aromatherapy oils are not essential oils. Aromatherapy oils are usually a blend of essential and carrier oils or other components.

Use your smell, sometimes you can detect a problem product only by smelling it.Some excellent essential oils and their properties are:
Chamomile – anti-inflammatory and sedative,
Eucalyptus – respiratory problems, flu, skin infections;
Frankincense – helps the intellect;
Lavender – good sedative, heals burns, mood enhancer;
Lemon – antiseptic, lowers blood pressure and good for skin conditions; it is extremely volatile;
Peppermint – digestion, flatulence, flu;
Pine – antiseptic, very effective treating respiratory problems;
Rose – aphrodisiac and mood enhancer, very expensive oil.

When you blend your massage oil take in consideration the following facts:

Carrier oils go rancid and essential oil oxidize so make only what you use.
Massage oil has to be warm when you use it that will accelerate the alteration of your blend.
Your clients are different and have different needs, ask them what they like. Get feedback about the oil you use on your patient and don’t use the same blend on all your clients.
Never use mineral oils, they are not absorbed by the skin and sometimes they can be harmful.
Do not use more than 3% to 4% of essential oil in your blend.
Avoid pre-blended massage oils if you are not sure about the date of fabrication, and exact content.
Avoid blending too many oils, simple is more effective.

Every person has their own preferences when it comes to essential oils, and that is based on their affinities and needs. Show your patient a sample of oil each time they come for a massage and note in their file what they like most.

My personal favorites are Frankincense, Lemon and Lavender. Frankincense has an important spiritual component while Lemon oil creates an oasis of freshness and intensifies all your senses. Lavender creates invisible bonds between people of opposite sex.

For a more complete list of massage oils visit my Massage Oils page

Dorian is a Complementary Medicine therapist who is involved in promoting touch as a life changing instrument. He is contributing with articles at

You can also check the online Massage Manual, part of the promotional campaign at the same address.

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Jul 07 2009

Aromatherapy: Effective Treatment for Head Lice

Being educated about the irritating parasites you and your family members may bring home from work or school is the best form of protection. See how aromatherapy can offer a unique and effective way of treating unwelcome head lice.

by Nicole Cutler, L.Ac.

The head louse is a wingless parasitic insect that lives among human hair, feeding on extremely small amounts of blood drawn from the scalp. Although they are not dangerous and do not spread disease, lice are contagious and their bites typically cause the scalp to become itchy and inflamed. Persistent scratching may lead to skin irritation or infection.

Some important facts about head lice include:

• Lice can only live 24 hours off of a human host.
• Daily shampooing will not protect against head lice.
• Head lice do not jump or fly; they are spread from person to person by direct contact or sharing of recently infested items.

The most effective way to control head lice is through diligence and mechanical controls, which typically involve removing lice from hair one by one with a nit comb. A pesticide-laden lice shampoo followed by fastidious nit combing is the most common treatment recommendation.

Some experts believe the greatest harm associated with head lice results from the well-intentioned but misguided use of caustic or toxic substances (pesticide shampoos) to eliminate the lice. As published in the June 2006 edition of Archives of Disease in Childhood, researchers found that 80 percent of lice were resistant to the chemicals in commonly used lice shampoos. The head louse’s resistance to pesticides is just one reason why alternative treatments for lice are sought, the other being the forethought to spare children from exposure to caustic chemical preparations.

Effective Alternative Treatment
When it comes to head lice, the essential oils used in aromatherapy are proving to be one of alternative medicine’s best kept secrets. When applied to the hair, oil coats the exoskeleton of adult lice, basically preventing them from getting oxygen and ultimately suffocating them. A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that lice submerged in olive oil for two hours died but those submerged for only one hour recovered. To effectively coat the lice, thoroughly saturate the head with olive oil mixed with essential oils. After a minimum of two hours, the oil can be washed out and the remnants removed with a nit comb. To account for the life cycle of the head louse, this process may be repeated every four days to kill emerging lice before they mature and can lay new eggs.

*Note: synthetic oils, such as kerosene or motor oil, are dangerous and should never be used.

When using essential oils, perform a skin test to determine a person’s sensitivity to the oils you plan on using. If the skin test uncovers any irritation, choose a different treatment. If irritation is experienced during treatment, shampoo the mixture out immediately. Various sources have touted the use of the following essential oils for the treatment of head lice:

• Tea Tree
• Lavender
• Rosemary
• Lemon
• Geranium
• Ylang ylang

The Proof
In addition to countless reports from moms and healthcare practitioners everywhere, scientific research confirms the superiority of essential oils in treating head lice:

• In a study published in the March 2004 edition of Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Irish researchers investigated tea tree essential oil’s ability to kill head lice. The results concluded that the insecticidal activity of tea tree oil made it an ideal ingredient in fighting lice infestation.

• In 2002, Israeli researchers conducted a clinical study comparing a natural remedy with a known pesticide spray to halt head lice infestation. The natural remedy used was a commercial preparation with the following ingredients: coconut oil, anise oil and ylang ylang oil. Of 940 children with lice, treatment was successful with the natural remedy in 92.3 percent of subjects, while treatment was successful with the pesticide spray in 92.2 percent of subjects. Researchers concluded that the natural remedy using essential oils was just as effective in controlling louse infestations as a pesticide, and it caused no serious side effects.

• In a 1996 study, researchers in Iceland looked into the use of essential oils of aniseed, cinnamon leaf, red thyme, tea tree, peppermint, nutmeg, rosemary and pine to treat lice. This study found all of these oils except rosemary and pine to be effective against head lice when applied in an alcoholic solution, followed by a rinse the next morning with an essential oil/vinegar/water mixture.

At least one of ten children will contract head lice before they reach the sixth grade. As these pests become increasingly resistant to chemical pesticide solutions, alternative treatments must be sought. In addition to the scientific support, people who have persevered through a louse infestation are grateful for the wonders of essential oils. Being prepared for a personal plight against these critters, advising clients how to best handle them or playing a role in preventing their transmission can all benefit from an education in aromatherapy.

Recommended Study:
Aromatherapy Essentials


Cleary, BJ, Gilmer JF, et al., Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase by Tea Tree oil, The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, March 2004.

Main, Emily, It’s Okay to Nit Pick, The Green Guide, August 1, 2006.

Mumcuoglu KY, Miller J, The in vivo pediculicidal efficacy of a natural remedy, The Israel Medical Association Journal, October 2002.

Veal, L., The potential effectiveness of essential oils as a treatment for headlice, Pediculus humanus capitis, Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery, August 1996.

Wormwood, Valerie Ann, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, New World Library, Novato, CA, 1991., Natural Head Lice Treatments, Anne Helmenstein, PhD, All Info About Ltd., 2006., Head Lice Facts, Department of Health Promotion and Education, 2006., Factoids, The National Pediculosis Association, Inc., 2006., Head Lice Information, Richard J. Pollack, PhD, Harvard School of Public Health, 2006., Infections: Head Lice, Nemours Foundation, 2006.

Posted by Editors at 04:22 PM
© 2009 Institute for Integrative HealthCare Studies. This work is reproduced with the permission of the Institute. <>

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Jul 07 2009

Benefits of Bodywork for Epileptic Clients

More than a quarter of those diagnosed with epilepsy cannot control the disorder through medication. Learn to identify this disorder’s symptoms and discover which types of bodywork have been shown to provide the greatest benefit to epileptic clients.

by Nicole Cutler, L.Ac.

Rooted in the central nervous system, epilepsy is a relatively common seizure disorder. Typically diagnosed by a physician after a person has had at least two seizures, epileptic seizures are not caused by a known medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar. Seizures can be genetic, related to a brain injury, or due to an unknown cause.

Affecting how a person feels or acts for a short period of time, a seizure is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain’s outer rim, called the cortex. Ranging from mild to totally disabling, there are many possible symptoms of a seizure. While not everyone experiences these, some of the more typical seizure symptoms include:

· Blacking out
· Confusion
· Feeling spacey or dizzy
· Sensation of being out of the body
· Convulsions or twitching
· Feeling of fear
· Loss of motor control
· Difficulty talking
· Eyes rolling up into head
· Incontinence
· Drooling, teeth clenching, or tongue biting
· Memory loss

Seventy percent of those with epilepsy can control their disorder with medications, however the remaining 30 percent are not as lucky. Additionally, the medications for epilepsy can have severe side effects. Although a massage therapist should never advise a client to abandon their prescription, regular bodywork and communication with a client and their doctor could lead to a physician-guided reduction in medication.

Most experts agree that while there is no definitive cause for epilepsy, seizures are provoked by stress. In vulnerable individuals, stress causes brain cells prone to hyper-excitability to fire abnormally. In addition to the logical conclusion of reducing stress through seeking avenues of relaxation, cranial-sacral therapy and aromatherapy have both demonstrated remarkable results for reducing seizure occurrence and severity.

Cranial-Sacral Therapy
The brain, the heaviest of our organs, floats within the sugar, salt and enzyme-rich cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF). This internal sea has its own ebb and flow which is normally between 10 to 14 cycles per minute. According to cranial-sacral therapists, a likely theory explaining epilepsy is the misalignment or compression of the skull bones and congestion within the CSF. Because fluid is a terrific conductor of sensations, any turbulence, erratic movement or asymmetry can reveal blockages within the enclosed cerebral-spinal system.

Many reported case studies claim that the application of cranial-sacral therapy helps clients with epilepsy. The release of stuck skull bones gently flushes the cerebral-spinal system with CSF. This circulation of fluid restores the skull’s internal sea flow and stretches the brain’s membranes just enough to release any restrictions or adhesions contributing to seizure activity.

Despite compelling research, conventional medical practitioners have not yet incorporated elements of aromatherapy into epilepsy treatment. In a study conducted at the University of Birmingham in England, Dr. Tim Betts revealed a successful treatment for those with intractable epilepsy. Comprising approximately 20 to 30 percent of all epilepsy cases, intractable epilepsy describes epilepsy that is unresponsive to drug therapy.

Dr. Betts trained 50 epileptic patients into learning self-hypnosis, designed to encourage relaxation at the start of a seizure. At first, the patients showed little, if any, improvement. Then, Dr. Betts arranged half of these patients to have aromatherapy massages with whatever essential oil the patient found to be most pleasant. These patients were then told to take a whiff from a bottle containing the chosen oil whenever they felt a seizure coming on. The patients using self-hypnosis alone continued to show no improvement, whereas all but one of those who had aromatherapy massages became completely seizure-free. Dubbed the “smell-memory technique,” the use of essential oils used in aromatherapy massage became a trigger for a conditioned relaxation response.

When choosing an essential oil for aromatherapy massage, there are some specific oils to avoid. Rosemary, sage, camphor, fennel and hyssop are known to have convulsant effects. Do not experiment with these oils on a person with epilepsy. Jasmine is a good essential oil to begin with, as it is known for its anticonvulsant properties.

For bodyworkers seeing clients with epilepsy, being familiar with the most effective techniques will increase the therapeutic value of your session. While a relaxation-based massage will have benefits of its own, adding techniques from cranial-sacral therapy or using aromatherapy can actually help clients with this potentially debilitating condition.

Recommended Study:
Aromatherapy Essentials
Cranial-Sacral Fundamentals


Upledger, John DO, OMM, Easing Seizures, Massage Today, August 2006.

Williams, David, MD, Rubbing Out Epilepsy, Alternatives, October 1997., Cranio-sacral Therapy, Roisin Golding, Los Angeles Times Syndicate 2000., Epilepsy,, 2006., Complementary Treatments, British Epilepsy Association, June 2006., Epilepsy and Essential Oils in Aromatherapy, Esoteric Oils CC, 2006., Cranial Osteopathy, Leon Chaitow, ND, DO, MRO, HealthWorldOnline, 2006.

Posted by Editors at 09:35 AM
© 2009 Institute for Integrative HealthCare Studies. This work is reproduced with the permission of the Institute. <>

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Jun 24 2009

Enjoy The Spa Health Club Experience

04th November 2008Author: k00lit

Spa health clubs are essentially establishments that cater to your general well-being by offering not only conventional, but also alternative means of keeping you healthy. This includes therapies that are meant to keep you physically healthy not just through diet and exercise, but through various other avenues of feeling good about yourself specially if you are very stressed.

Spa health clubs offer amenities that would allow you to indulge in anything that would help you relieve stress. For some, it’s engaging in some exercise (which also helps them to trim down or lose weight) that takes away the stress. For others, getting a massage or treating themselves to the jacuzzi is exactly what they need. You may only get unlimited access (or any access at all) to these places and what they have to offer if you become a member, but we promise you that these are pretty much worth the extra cash. It’s for your own well-being, after all.

Spa resorts are essentially resorts that offer an entire host of amenities that are geared towards rest and relaxation for their clients. Don’t expect to do anything physical here! Standard amenities include massage services (often of different types and specialties), saunas, aromatherapy, and the like.

Not everyone can afford to have a full-blown spa vacation; this is why spa salons exist. Often promising a head-to-toe relaxation experience, spa salons often offer mini-massages. That is to say, they offer massages that only focus on the neck area, the hands, the feet, and the like. Apart from this, they also offer services such as face scrubs (almost like a facial) and hair spas (in which they use nature-based, fragrant essences to treat your hair). You can also have a manicure done in a spa salon, if you like.

For more information about The Spa Health Club Experience visit the website,

Tags: extra cash, avenues, amenities, spa resorts, establishments, health club, massages, manicure, health clubs, saunas, jacuzzi, aromatherapy, essences
This article is free for republishing

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Jun 05 2009

Valentine Blues Awareness for Bodyworkers

People who are single or are in a less than desirable relationship may be prone to the newly coined term, “Valentine’s Day Blues”. Learn how the intimate nature of the massage profession may test the client/practitioner relationship during this unpredictable holiday.

by Nicole Cutler, L.Ac.

Although traditionally associated with romance, love, cupid and candy, the weeks leading up to and following February 14th are often loaded with negative feelings. In fact, a European study concluded that one in ten people experience some level of depression on Valentine’s Day.

Some massage therapists may participate in the unique market surrounding Valentine’s Day by offering specialized packages that may include couple’s massage and special aromatherapy treatments. While all of the attention to love and romance conjures up good feelings for many, it can also cause feelings of exclusion, anxiety, loneliness and depression in others. Because this holiday can cause such polarized feelings in each individual, therapists are best prepared when aware of the range of potential emotions.

As professionals in the healthcare industry, bodyworkers are well aware of the benefit their services can give people experiencing depression. Decades of research indicate massage helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression by altering body chemistry. By increasing the release of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, bodywork enhances mood and general health. Through reducing the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, massage assists the body in a quicker recovery from stress, depression and pain. Additionally, massage’s ability to increase relaxation, boost the immune system and stabilize blood sugar levels makes it a logical choice for a person suffering from depression.

Including essential oils in a massage therapy session is a valuable supplemental treatment for depression. Studies demonstrate that the smells of certain oils elicit positive emotions via the limbic system, the area of the brain responsible for memories and emotions. Essential oils used for depression vary but typically include one of the following:

• Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
• Orange (Citrus aurantium)
• Sandalwood (Santalum album)
• Lemon (Citrus limonis)
• Jasmine (Jasminum spp.)
• Sage (Salvia officinalis)
• Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)
• Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Properly paired with a client’s state of mind and personal preferences, aromatherapy can help relieve their depression and minimize any negativity around Valentine’s Day. Prior to using an essential oil with a client, always check for sensitivity and scent aversion.

People schedule massages for many different reasons; it feels good, helps relieve pain or stiffness, maintains health and vitality, enhances relaxation or because it helps a particular health condition. However, some people seek treatment primarily for the practitioner’s company. While that last motivation for bodywork appears innocent enough, it places the therapist in a challenging position. When a person with the Valentine’s Day Blues seeks a massage treatment to ease their loneliness, the therapist must be vigilant about his or her professional boundaries.

The elevated level of trust and intimacy involved in bodywork is typically a launching pad to developing a close rapport between client and practitioner. Although this connection is a natural part of healing, certain circumstances can transform it into an ethical dilemma. Elements of transference or counter-transference can easily emerge with a client vulnerable with the Valentine’s Day Blues considering there is a chance that the therapist is the only person in a client’s life who physically touches them. Being aware of this possibility allows massage therapists to develop a plan for maintaining the boundaries of the client/practitioner relationship. For example, a client feeling lonely and sad may try to prolong a session, behave inappropriately during the massage or attempt to move beyond client status. A therapist who is prepared for these ethical breeches can quickly and respectfully thwart their advancement.

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a joyful holiday. While many people revel in the romance of the holiday, a sizable percentage of people have the opposite reaction. Awareness of the Valentine’s Day Blues can spur bodyworkers to develop their compassion towards the depressed, offer aromatherapy to help relieve client depression and brush up on their skills for maintaining a professional and ethical client/practitioner relationship.

Recommended Study:
Aromatherapy Essentials
Ethics: Therapeutic Relationships

References:, Valentine’s Day Blues, Canadian Mental Health Association, February 2006., Tips for Dealing with Valentine’s Depression, Layla Chapman, HBC Protocols, February 2006., Valentine’s Day: Coping Tips for those who feel excluded, Daniel Hall-Flavin, MD, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2007., Feeling SAD this Valentine’s Day?, MediLexicon International Ltd., January 2005., Study Confirms Existence of Valentine’s Day Blues, Online Dating Magazine, April 2004., Valentine’s Day: A Time to Celebrate Many Kinds of Love, Marie Hartwell-Walker, EdD, Psych Central, 2007., Massage, its role in management of stress, anxiety and depression, S. Jackson, 2001., Depression, A.D.A.M., Inc., 2007.

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Jun 05 2009

How to Use Aromatherapy Oils in Home Remedies?

09th September 2008Author: Nick Mutt
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Aromatherapy is one of the popular alternative therapies used in treating number of health problems. Aromatherapy oils are natural plant oils and because of their gentle way of healing, they can be used in many different ways. You can choose to use them in your bath, for massage or in preparing a number of home remedies. Below are few home remedies for common health problems.

Aromatherapy oils in various home remedies –

1. For cellulite – Make a blend a four drops of juniper, four drops of fennel and four drops of lemon oils in 4 fl oz (100 ml) of a carrier oil. Massage this into the cellulite affected areas daily after your bath, when the skin is warm and receptive.

2. For sunstroke – Add four drops of juniper, four drops of fennel and four drops of peppermint oil to a cool bath. Soak for 15 minutes. Then, rub a little neat lavender oil into your temples at regular intervals. The bath will help to reduce your temperature and the lavender oil helps your headache.

3. Dry or cracked lips – Make up a carrier oil of 2 fl oz (50 ml) apricot kernel oil and 2 fl oz (50 ml) of avocado oil. Add six drops of sandalwood and six drops of rose oil. Rub this to the lips, repeating the application regularly.

4. For sunburn – f the sunburned area is small, apply the lavender oil and repeat as necessary. If the area is large, add twenty drops of lavender oil to a cool bath and soak for 10-20 minutes. You can make a soothing spray by adding 10 drops of lavender oil to 1 pint (300 ml) of cool, clean water.

5. Small cuts – Apply lavender or tea tree oil to the cut. These are both antiseptic and don’t sting.

Read more about aromatherapy, ayurveda, yoga and massage therapy at Natural cures website – a health guide to make you and your family live better, fit and healthy. Also read the benefits of anti-aging herb Shilajit and stress relieving herb Ashwagandha.

Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.

Tags: many different ways, tea tree oil, fennel, home remedies, health advice, massage therapy, carrier oil, lavender oil, alternative therapies, aromatherapy oils, avocado oil, natural cures, oil massage, common health problems, health guide
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