Sunday, August 26, 2012

Aromatherapy Massage - The Benefits

Aromatherapy massage tends to be more relaxing than other forms of massage such as Swedish. Longer, slower strokes are used, and the massage is much less vigorous. However this does not mean that Aromatherapy massage is not as beneficial in relaxing the muscles, it is just done in a different way.

When going for an Aromatherapy massage you should discuss with the aromatherapist what you hope to achieve from the therapy, if you have particular health or emotional problems you would like treated make sure your therapist knows this. Once you have told the aromatherapist all of your symptoms they will blend together some essential oils with a carrier oil that they feel will benefit you.

There are many essential oils to choose between, so trust your therapist to pick a blend that will include top, middle and base notes. You should feel able to ask your therapist why they are choosing the particular oils added to the blend, and you should check you like the scent of the blended oils before the massage begins.

Massage therapy has been proven to provide great comfort to those who are suffering emotionally, as touch can create the feeling of warmth and closeness. Add to this an uplifting blend of essential oils and the effects can be quite amazing. This is particularly true for people who suffer from emotional problems, and may find it hard to talk about their feelings.

Aromatherapy massage is also very good for moods, whether it be you are feeling low, angry, emotional, unhappy, stressed or any other emotion, there will be a blend of oils that can be made up to help. The slower pace of the massage also helps out in these circumstances and will be extremely beneficial.

Aromatherapy massage can also be used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne and many more. Just ensure your therapist checks the contraindications for the oils used as your skin is likely to be much more sensitive.

A little fact many people aren't aware of is that Aromatherapy massage can assist with weight loss. The massage itself boosts the circulation and encourages lymph drainage, which will help, add to this a special blend of essential oils suited to your individual weight loss needs and it's a winning formula.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Properties of Sandalwood

The Sandalwood tree (Santalum spicatum) grows in the semi arid areas of Western Australia and produces a top quality in demand oil that captures the romance and essence of the outback. These Sandalwood plantations are an example of a growing rural industry that offers ongoing opportunities by encouraging a wide range of innovative sustainable Sandalwood product applications that can be developed. These are native Sandalwood trees that historically are known to have ability to grow well and easily in this region.

Australian Sandalwood has many unique beneficial properties. It has a fragrant, sweet, woody, smoky, earthy scent. It's known qualities include being aphrodisiac, anti depressive, anti fungal anti bacterial, anti microbial, reduction of blood pressure, improving a variety of skin conditions, helping reach a meditative state, creating a calming effect. It can deter many ants and bugs. Research is being undertaken regarding application and beneficial effects on skin cancers.

This article aims to explain why the industry has a healthy future and why there is such a demand for quality Australian Sandalwood products and such good prospects for new applications.

Why West Australian farmers should consider planting Sandalwood.

New Sandalwood plantations are proving to be a wise direction for local farmers and the profitable investment it promises will be of added benefit due to the more natural and efficient use of existing farmland.

Originally the whole district around Pingelly was covered in native Sandalwood trees. These valuable trees were felled and their fragrant wood exported to Asia where it is highly treasured, as part of a process of clearing the land for growing food crops such as wheat and barley.

Government policies at the time were that land could be obtained for farming but it had to be completely cleared. This meant that even areas that were rocky, hilly and otherwise unsuitable for growing crops had to be cleared too.

Over time, the effects of this have proved to be problematic. The lack of sufficient trees has caused a reduction in local rainfall, lowered the diversity of native flora and fauna and increased soil erosion and salinity.

Planting of Santalum spicatum as a sustainable crop can help counter these issues over time. All Sandalwood trees require host plants because the Sandalwood is parasitic by nature. Ideally this requirement should encourage the seed planting of a wide variety of native, local species of shrubs and trees. This aspect will encourage native wildlife to increase, recreating a greater biodiversity than exists at present.

Sandalwood can also be grown in farming areas unsuitable for broad acre cultivation. In many cases it can be grown where the crops have become commercially unviable. This makes better use of the land and the income gained from harvesting the Sandalwood can help support the farming community by supplementing the often dwindling and uncertain income being made from growing grains. It also offers the prospect of more employment opportunities for local people regarding the work involved in cultivation and harvesting.

The Sandalwood trees can be expected to begin returning on the investment at around 5 years for producing nuts and around 20 years for harvesting the oil. Although this is a fairly long time, the financial returns are very profitable. Another benefit is that which comes from the planting of trees, so helping create an environment for improving regular rainfall. This may result in returning to better weather patterns which existed before the land was originally cleared.

"Will Sandalwood plantations affect our food supply?"

This is a sustainable industry that does not require clearing virgin bush land in order to start plantations. It does not need to use existing fertile, productive farmland. Ideally it is able to be cultivated in harmony with the existing natural environment and to utilise land otherwise unviable for food production. Having said that, the Sandalwood tree produces bountiful, edible, nutritious nuts that may result in the crop that becoming a considerable and beneficial contribution to the Australian food industry.

The demand for good quality Australian products is high.

The main commercial areas of Australian Sandalwood's potential are the perfume, therapeutic and medical industries due to the many benefits it offers.

The world's perfume industry has traditionally been a major buyer of top grade Sandalwood oil, as is the therapeutic essential oil industry and the incense trade makes good uses of the lower grade of Sandalwood products.

New applications of Australian Sandalwood are being discovered continuously and the future developments offered by this exciting industry are positive, sustainable and beneficial.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Introducing Aromatherapy to Young Children

Aromatherapy is perfectly safe for children, although there are safety recommendations to follow (for both children and adults), and of course the amounts of essential oil used for a child will be less than for an adult. However only some of the oils available are suitable for children; others are not suitable. For example children with epilepsy should not come into contact with stimulating oils. Always research the oil you are considering using thoroughly before using and if still unsure, always ask advice. Aromatherapy can be of great benefit as it is a wonderful way of supporting your child's health, happiness and well-being as essential oils can be very therapeutic and nurturing to both your child and you.

Aromatherapy oils are used externally (on the outside of the body) in a bath or massage (carrier) oil, or through inhalation in a diffuser. The effects of aromatherapy on your child will generally fall into one of three main categories: helping in healing from minor illnesses and accidents; supporting your child's overall sense of well-being; or assisting your child in getting quality rest.

It is imperative that you find a reputable supplier of therapeutic-grade essential oils - cheap oils, synthetic copies of oils or fragrances are not appropriate. Essential oils should be kept in dark amber or blue glass containers, in a dark and cool location, out of the reach of children.

Essential oils should rarely be used undiluted on children's skin, unless indicated to do so for a specific condition. Lavender or Tea Tree can be used for cuts, bruises, bites and stings. If your child has very sensitive skin, it is important to test a small area before using a new single oil or blend. Keep products away from the eyes, and neat oils should not to be swallowed.

Sweet Almond oil is generally regarded as the safest and best overall carrier oil for use with babies and children, although if your child has a nut allergy an alternative carrier oil will have to be used instead.

A simple and safe way of introducing your child to aromatherapy is through traditional play-doughs that have been enriched with the correct amount of essential oils (aroma play doughs). The dough's come in a bucket type tub together with shape cutters, in 5 different varieties; brainy (focus), sleepy (relaxing), happy (uplifting), harmony (mood balancing) and sneezy (helps relieve cold symptoms). These are perfect for children three years of age and over, giving you and your child all the benefits of a creative activity together with the natural enhancements of aromatherapy. However you choose to introduce your child to aromatherapy it will help to teach your child about an important part of nature.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Benefits of Using Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy came from two words. The word aroma means fragrance or smell and therapy means treatment. It is thought that aromatherapy benefits include treatment and prevention of some diseases by using essential oils. Essential oils came from plants, flowers, leaves, bark or roots. These oils are typically mixed with other oils to create different recipes which suites different effects, and can be in the form of lotions, soaps, bath salts, soaks, perfumes and even candles.

There are three modes of aromatherapy application. First is aerial diffusion, which means environmental fragrance or simply using essential oils to fragrant the room. Second is direct inhalation, for respiratory disinfection and decongestion. Lastly is the topical application or using it as general massage, bath, or therapeutic skin care.

It is said that aromatherapy works by stimulating the smell receptors in the nose, which then sends impulses to the brain's limbic system, which is responsible in controlling emotions and memory. However, others say that Aromatherapy does not cure conditions, but helps the body to find a natural way to cure itself and improve immune response.

Some studies have shown that aromatherapy can relieve stress, depression, and anxiety. It also improves quality of life and promotes good sleep. Pregnant women use aromatherapy to normalize childbirth and to increase their satisfaction in their labor experiences.

Aromatherapy strengthens our body, increases blood circulation and even boosts the immune system. The essential oils can stimulate and calm our system. It is also widely used in baby baths. It purifies the atmosphere and helps teething problems, itchy skin, and sleep problems.

Rosemary and Lavender Aromatherapy are both associated with feelings of contentment. They promote good mood and also release calming and soothing effects. Peppermint aromatherapy can increase memory and alertness, which is perfect for stressed students and workaholics. Lavender oil is also great for headaches. You can apply some on your temples or to a warm bowl of water, then drape a towel over your head and inhale it for a few minutes.

Sinuses and colds can be cured by aromatic chemicals like eucalyptus and menthol. Using aromatic oils in massages are also helpful in physical pains such as body aches, sprains, muscle pains, and migraines. The oils are quickly absorbed by the skin, bringing recovery.

Aromatherapy is very beneficial in skin health. Essential oils are said to be anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti inflammatory. It also has healing properties. Jasmine, Lavender and Rose oils are helpful in fighting aging and moisturizes the skin. Olive oils and Tea Tree Oils are also good face-cleansers.

However, we should be careful in choosing essential oils to use in aromatherapy. Some essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause skin irritations. Some can't be used by pregnant and lactating women, while others can be toxic to domestic animals. It is still best to consult your doctor before doing an aromatherapy.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Essential Oils and Its Uses

In ancient times, essential oils are very much respected because of its medicinal and healing properties. For many centuries, it was considered as a treasure of an empire, and was even mentioned in The Holy Bible for over 500 times. But what really is an Essential Oil?

Essential oils are aromatic liquids taken from flowers, trees, roots, bushes, herbs, barks and seeds. Known as the essence of the plant, pure essential oils not just protect the plant, but it carries its aroma as well. It is generally extracted by distillation. Contrary to the name itself, essential oils are not really "oily" in effect. Most of them are clear liquids, while some have light colors.

These oils are usually mixed by other substances to create perfumes, soaps, lotions, candles and even household cleaning products. They are also used as flavoring agents in food and beverages.

One of the famous uses of essential oils is in Aromatherapy. It is said that these oils are considered as alternative medicines and can even cure some illness. It can be used as aromatherapy massage or in vaporization. Below are some of the essential oils and their uses.

Lavender Oil- This is one of the most versatile oil and can be used in variety of problems. From nervous conditions to skin problems, this is an all-around essential oil. It also relieves muscle pains and even arthritis and rheumatism.

Tea-tree Oil- Tea tree oil is a powerful immune stimulant. It fights all kinds of infection and clears skin. It can treat influenza, colds, and gingivitis. A massage using tea tree oil can reduce post-operative shock, and is also effective in clearing bronchial
congestion, asthma and coughs. It can be used in diaper rash, burns, warts, wounds, and even dandruff.

Chamomile Oil- Chamomile oils have calming and soothing abilities, especially on the nervous and digestive system. It helps in regulating a menstrual cycle, and can be used to heal skin infections.

Eucalyptus Oil- Eucalyptus Oil is used in curing headaches, fevers, muscle pains and skin infections. It helps in concentration as well because of its refreshing and stimulating action in the mind.

Jasmine Oil- Jasmine Oil eases childbirth and is used in treating sexual problems. It is great in toning skin and in muscle pains.

Rosemary Oil- Effective for circulation problems, muscle pains and decongestion. It can reduce stress and mental fatigue, and boosts skin and hair.

Rosewood Oil- Known for its aphrodisiac properties, this oil is useful in sexual problems like impotence. It heals dry and oily skin helps in rejuvenating it. Rosewood oil has balancing effects in mind and body, which is good in de-stressing after a long day of work.

Since it is concentrated, essential oils should not be applied in their undiluted form for it may cause severe skin irritation and allergies. Pregnant women are also not recommended to use them because it can cause abnormal sensitivity and nausea. Consult your doctor first and ask them if what essential oil suites your needs most.