Working towards Gratitude…

With the New Year, there are lots of blogs about releasing negative patterns and feeling canstockphoto19853169Gratitude all over the internet.  Everywhere you look on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook, there are well-meaning yogis, life or fitness coaches who #hashtag about gratitude. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but what if all of this gratitude stuff isn’t resonating with you right now?  Before you dismiss me as being all negative, let me explain…

If you have been going thru a transition, whether by your own choice or not, it can bring up a lot of different feelings and some of these may be the ones that No One Wants to Talk About…THE NEGATIVE ONES!!!! (Cue the music here). Read More

Blue Christmas & Essential Oils

canstockphoto4430859With the Holiday Season fast approaching, it is easy to get caught up in the frenzy of getting everything done; Being so busy, that you haven’t even thought about how you are feeling.
Some people really enjoy the holidays, while others find that the season isn’t so “Merry” and they are just trying to Make it thru December. It is important to be kind to yourself, allow yourself to feel your emotions, and most of all, not to judge them.

Self-care is essential at this busy time of year.
You may need a few strategies as you navigate this special, but sometimes stressful holiday season. A few things to try are:

  • lighten or create some flexibility in your schedule to allow for some down or alone time, so you can relax, unwind & breathe…
  • Only do things that are meaningful to you
  • Saying No when you need to
  • find yourself a support system, someone you can talk to, like a friend, a family member or maybe a qualified counselor or therapist
  • find small ways to make yourself feel nurtured, take a nap, light a candle, put on some music (Or not)
  •  maybe diffuse some essential oils.

Essential Oils have many different properties. Some are uplifting while other essential oils are more calming. Try diffusing some of the following essential oils if you are feeling:

Anger: try Clary Sage, Cedarwood, Lemon, Lavender, Patchouli, Rosemary or Spruce.

Anxiety: try  Cedarwood, Frankincense, Fir, Geranium, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli, Pine or Sweet Basil.

Depression: try Bergamot, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Frankincense, Grapefruit,  Juniper Berry or Lavender.

Grief: try Bergamot, Cypress, Frankincense, Hyssop, Lemon, Neroli, Rose or Tangerine.

Irritability: try Clary Sage, Chamomile (Roman), Frankincense, Lemongrass or Sweet Orange.

Sadness: try Bergamot, Cypress, Geranium, Jasmine, Sweet Marjoram, or Rose.

This year I am taking my own advice, and I am adjusting my schedule to make time for some things that I “WANT” to do. I am:

  • making time for friends (There is always time for tea or lunch).
  • limiting extra shifts at work, (Sounds simple, right? Not if you are a recovering people pleaser).
  • Getting some extra rest.
  • Taking some time off from Aromatherapy. (My nose needs a break)

And I’ll be snuggling with my cat, Gambitt, on the couch, drinking Chai Tea and watching 12321547_10153772217379346_4659375759824016249_nsome of my favorite Christmas shows, like  “Elf” or “The 12 days of Krampas”  from Season 3 of Grimm or maybe “Pageantry” from Season 1 of Picket Fences.

But mostly, I will continue to try to find the balance & keep making the small changes as I move forward. It is the small changes that we make, that can make the most difference in how we are feeling…

Wishing you many moments of Self-Care & an Aromatic Holiday Season…   

 

My Blog is for information only & is not meant to diagnose or replace medical advice.

If you are wanting to diffuse Hyssop, try the decumbens variety

If you think that you are suffering from depression or anxiety, please consider seeing a medical professional

References:

  • Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition,  The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003
  • http://www.westcoastaromatherapy.com

Blue Christmas tree:   canstockphoto.com/marish

Mourning & Memories

canstockphoto13687122At this time of year, the days are getting shorter, and the world is getting a little greyer.

With Samhain just a few days past and Remembrance Day quickly approaching, you may find yourself thinking of loved ones that had passed away. You may be surprised by a huge feeling of loss once again. Or this year, there may be a quieter sense of melancholy, that you’re missing them. I find that my grief changes and evolves, and like my memories, are a part of me every day.

Self-care is essential for your well-being, but it is especially important if you have experienced a loss. Diffusing or using essential oils for inhalation can be extremely comforting if you are grieving. Our sense of smell is directly linked to the olfactory bulb,  the amygdala & other parts of our limbic brain which are considered to be “our emotional control centre.”  This is why the inhalation of essential oils is helpful when dealing with feelings of sadness, anxiety & loss…
(A simple way to use essential oils at this time would be to put a few drops on a tissue & then inhale the scent as needed. You can also dilute 2 drops essential oil in 1 TSP  carrier oil, & use this blend to massage on your chest to ease stress & anxiety. Essential oils to try:

Neroli Petitgrain, orangeNeroli: the essential oil from the blossoms of the Bitter Orange tree. This sweet floral scent is both calming & uplifting. It is helpful for sadness, anxiety, depression & insomnia.

Frankincense: long used in churches due to its calming and meditative qualities. It quiets the mind & calms anxiety by helping you breathe easier.

Lavender: a calming & comforting oil that has long been used for stress,  anxiety & insomnia.

canstockphoto17204511Bergamot: a citrus oil that gives Earl Grey tea its lovely scent. Bergamot, like Neroli, is both calming & uplifting so it is helpful to ease sadness & anxiety.

Myrrh: a spicy, warm scent &  like Frankincense, it can help to calm your anxious mind & is helpful for insomnia.

canstockphoto22518679Melissa: a fresh, essential oil that is also known “Lemon Balm”. This oil is soothing for the body, mind & spirit, it is helpful for sad, anxious & depressive feelings.

 

Geranium: a balancing essential oil that lifts your spirits.

Cedarwood: an earthy scented oil that helps to relieve stress, depression & ease anxiety.

You may also want to consider: Vetiver, Rose, Sweet Marjoram, Jasmine, or Clary Sage essential oils. Always check contraindications before using essential oils topically, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, for young children or if you have a medical condition.

When you are grieving, you can experience many different feelings;

  • sadness,
  • despair,
  •  anger,
  • loneliness.

At times like this, it is important to get the support that you need. Talk to your family & friends, find a support group, and if need be, talk to your healthcare professional. It is also important that you feel whatever it is that you are feeling and not judge it. While I think that self-help books can be beneficial, it is best to use them as a guide only and don’t worry because you are not at the”right stage” yet. There is no specific timeline to follow as everyone grieves differently.

Take the time that you need to honor your feelings & to honor your loved one(s)…

In loving memory of JM, RC, BP,  DT, & RP…

My Blog is for information only &  is not meant to replace medical advice. Essential Oils are not for ingestion & should always be diluted before topical use.

References:

 

  • Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition,    The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003
  • Davis, Patricia.  Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition, Vermilion,  an imprint  of   Edbury Publishing, a Random House Company, 2005
  •  Lawless. Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Thorsons, 2002

http://birchhillhappenings.com/vol1ntm2012grief.htm 
https://www.aromatools.com/Essential_Oils_Basic_Facts_s/39.htm
http://www.biospiritual-energy-healing.com/essential-oils-affect-our-minds.html

Long, Hot Summer

First posted July 2015

A life without love is like a year without summer.  – Swedish Proverb 

canstockphoto1494214In the Summertime there is nothing better than being at the beach, so you can “Soak up the Sun”  & relax. Summer gives us a sense of well-being, connecting with nature & connecting with each other. It’s having the time to spend with the special person in your life, or it may be about meeting someone new, a “Summerfling”.

Summer is all about Passion & Romance. Of the 5 senses, most people would say sight or touch are the most important when it comes to simulating a passionate response. For some people, it’s their own private song list, for others, it’s all about the sense of taste, having a romantic dinner (although I do prefer chocolate to raw oysters).  And, of course, there’s the sense of smell.

The use of essential oils has been around since the ancient Egyptians who started using “aromatic” oils to stimulate their senses, & improve virility. Smelling essential oils can have a powerful effect on the emotional body; It stimulates the nerve endings of the olfactory bulb (at the back of the nose) as well as the limbic part of the brain. This area of the brain processes our memories, and our emotions (like love, joy, compassion & pleasure).  Author Valerie Ann Worwood says, “Our emotional state at any particular time  can act as a powerful aphrodisiac.”

The definition of an aphrodisiac is a substance or an agent thought to stimulate or enhance passion. The different scents &  properties of essential oils can make the experience different for everyone. Everyone has their own scent preference, some people like the earthier scents while others like the floral or the spicier scents.

Some essential oils to consider…

canstockphoto9721822Sandalwood has been around for centuries. It was used as incense in temples & churches. The oil is a base note with grounding properties helpful with reducing stress, meditation & getting in tune with yourself.

Jasmine is an exotic, floral essential oil that is calming for stress & anxiety. It is said that Cleopatra & King Louis XVI used jasmine in their fragrances. Jasmine improves your sense of well-being, & may help to increase sexual interest.

Patchouli is a calming & grounding base note that helps to relieve stress & anxiety. It’s earthy, exotic fragrance has long been used in perfume & massage oils. It is a good alternative for the more expensive Sandalwood. (

Cedarwood  (especially the Atlas variety) is an earthy masculine scent, used by the ancient Egyptians to make perfume. It is considered a tonic which improves the systems of the body, relieves stress & appeals to the senses.

clary sageClary Sage is an uplifting essential oil that is said to be helpful for depression, stress, anxiety, & PMS, as well as boosting the libido in both males & females. Don’t use topically while drinking alcohol as it amps up the effect.

 

Vanilla has a rich, sweet scent that is used in 23% of all “quality perfumes”.
It is a comforting & relaxing essential oil that is good for stress, anger, depression, anxiety & insomnia. Vanilla is also thought to be helpful for loss of libido.

canstockphoto22739823

Ylang Ylang is a very sweet, floral scent. In Indonesia, Ylang Ylang flowers were strewn on the wedding bed, (it is said to be beneficial for boosting sexual interest). Ylang Ylang is also helpful for stress, anxiety & insomnia.

 

You may also want to consider Rose, Neroli, Cardamom, Coriander,  Nutmeg, Ginger, & Vetiver essential oils.

Using Essential oils:

  • The easiest way to use essential oils is in your diffuser. It is a lovely way to scent your room, relax, as well as setting the mood.
  • If you choose to use essential oils topically in massage oil, use at a 1% dilution. This is because you are applying your massage oil to a large area on your body. A 1% dilution would be 8 -9 drops of essential oil to 30 ml of carrier oil. 
  • Don’t use essential oils blends or massage oils on your genital area as it may cause irritation to sensitive mucous membranes, and don’t use as a personal lubricant as they are incompatible with latex & will make condoms ineffective.

Essential oils with aphrodisiac properties may help in the romance department by increasing your sense of well-being, easing any stress or anxiety that you may be feeling & helping you to relax. Taking the time for self-care & the time to connect with each other will always improve your relationship. I personally find that a good way to improve your love life is lots of talking, laughing & hugging as well as helping with the dishes or taking out the garbage. Just Sayin’…

  • Check with your healthcare professional if you have a loss of libido, have an underlying medical condition, or take medication,(especially  before using aromatherapy products for the first time)
  • Avoid using if you have epilepsy
  • Use caution if pregnant or breastfeeding
  • If essential oil products irritate your skin, discontinue use.

My blog is for information only & is not meant to replace medical advice. Essential Oils are not for ingestion & should always be diluted before topical use.

References:

  • Davis, Patricia.  Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition, Vermilion,  an imprint  of   Edbury Publishing, a Random House Company, 2005
  •  Lawless. Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Thorsons, 2002
  • Worwood, Valerie Ann, Scents & Scentuality: Essential Oils & Aromatherapy for Romance, Love &  Sex  New World Library, Aug 2012.

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/sex-and-relationships/summer-sex
http://www.suzannebovenizer.com/aromatherapy-essential-oils/aphrodisiacs
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/man-woman/Boost-your-sex-drive-with-aroma-therapy/articleshow/3298522.cms
http://www.quinessence.com/blog/five-essential-oils-for-romance

http://www.rebellesociety.com/2014/08/16/7-essential-oils-as-aphrodisiacs/
http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/vanilla-oil.aspx

Wise Women…

213 For women, our innate wisdom, intuition, and creativity are gifts that first start to blossom as girls, then later, as we grow into women; these gifts change and evolve from life experience as well as when we “cycle” from one month to the next.

Every month women experience the physical and emotional changes as the hormones estrogen and progesterone, shift in their bodies.  According to the author, Dr. Christiane Northrup “Ovulation represents mental and emotional creativity at its peak”. We, as women, need to embrace our creativity, our wisdom, and our nurturing spirit. We are not more or less than men, just different.

Our bodies are very wise. They let us know if we don’t take care of ourselves. During the  Luteal phase of their cycle, (a few days before your period), a  lot of women experience PMS, stress, or irritability. This is the time most women’s tolerance for other people’s “Stuff” tends to be low (or non-existent). Our irritability is a gift that many don’t recognize. It may help us to notice if things are out of balance or if boundaries need to be set.  This is our body’s way of taking care of us; self-care at a subconscious level.

During the Luteal phase, many women feel tired physically and emotionally. It a good time to slow down, rest, maybe journal or meditate, to pay attention to your feelings and to nurture yourself.  A good way to do this is by diffusing essential oils.

One that I like to use is Geranium, (Latin name Pelargonium Graveolens); it is a perennial, shrubby plant that geranium canstockphoto17790472originated in South Africa.  In the 17th century, it was introduced into Europe, where it hybridized. Around 1880, Geranium plantations were planted on Reunion Island, (east of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean).

Geranium is an uplifting essential oil that seems to have a balancing effect on the nervous system. Geranium may help to ease hormonal tension & irritability, stress as well as anxiety. Try diffusing it or when diluted, apply topically to your abdomen and/or your pulse points.

As women, I think that it is important to honor all of the phases of our life. The media definitely put a negative spin on what is a natural part of being female. I think that we need to support and mentor other each other and respect each other’s life choices,  instead of making it a competition. We need to return to building communities of Wise Women.

My Blog is for information only & is not meant to replace Medical Advice…Essential Oils are not for ingestion & should always be diluted before topical use.

Use caution when using Geranium essential oil in pregnancy or when breastfeeding. Always dilute for topical use. Geranium essential oil may irritate sensitive skin.

References: 

  • Battaglia Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. 2nd edition,   The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, Australia, 2003  
  • Davis, Patricia.  Aromatherapy an A-Z. New revised edition, Vermilion,  an imprint  of   Edbury Publishing, a Random House Company, 2005
  • Lawless. Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Thorsons, 2002
  • Tisserand, Robert, & Rodney Young,  Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition, Churchill Livingstone, 2014

http://www.westcoastaromatherapy.com/
http://www.drnorthrup.com/wisdom-of-menstrual-cycle/
http://pleasurableperiods.com/blog/your-period-your-superpower/
http://mytinysecrets.com/the-secret-power-of-your-period-revealed/
http://naturalshaman.blogspot.ca/2012/06/magic-of-menstrual-cycle.html
http://www.almanac.com/content/origin-month-names
http://www.ourladyofsalt.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=150:the-goddess-of-may-maia&catid=42:newsletter&Itemid=43
http://www.thaliatook.com/OGOD/maiamaiestas.html
All photos on my blog are from  http://www.canstockphoto.com or from my own collection – CP