BY: Sunny Jaspal
Aromatherapy / Massge / Reflexology
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Aromatherapy oils enhance massage treatment
The use of aromatherapy oils at a first glance is perceived as a luxury. However, many would agree that aromatherapy adds a beneficial layer to treatments.
The use of plants for medicine is an ancient tradition. Aromatherapy employs techniques such inhalation and massage. Both of these routes of administration are safe if used in the correct quantities.
Inhalation affects the limbic system, the part of central nervous system which deals with memory and emotion.
Massage treatment allows the oils to be absorbed into the blood stream, and the massage itself affects the nervous system. Relaxation or stimulation of the nervous system depends upon which aromatherapy oils and massage techniques are used.
The goal of the aromatherapist is to assess each client and create a bespoke blend. By looking at the properties of essential oils we can create blends for specific conditions for each individual.
Research into the field of aromatherapy is somewhat scarce, however studies do exist. For example, a systematic review of Lavender oil for poor sleep suggested lavender was of benefit. A more recent study showed a positive link between Lavender and stress reduction. With regards to massage and aromatherapy used together, a study found improvements in knee pain when a blend of orange and ginger were used.
For further reading try:
Encyclopedia of Essential Oils – Julia Lawless
The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy – Salvatore Battaglia
 Fismer, K. L., & Pilkington, K. (2012). Lavender and sleep: A systematic review of the evidence. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 4(4), e436-e447.
 Kim, S., Kim, H. J., Yeo, J. S., Hong, S. J., Lee, J. M., & Jeon, Y. (2011). The effect of lavender oil on stress, bispectral index values, and needle insertion pain in volunteers. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine,17(9), 823-826.
 Yip, Y. B., & Tam, A. C. Y. (2008). An experimental study on the effectiveness of massage with aromatic ginger and orange essential oil for moderate-to-severe knee pain among the elderly in Hong Kong. Complementary therapies in medicine, 16(3), 131-138.
Want to find out more? Contact Sunny. Clinics in St Neots and Letchworth.
BY: Sunny Jaspal
Conditions / Reflexology
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Natural ways to cope with the winter blues
As Autumn closes in and grey skies prevail, it seems appropriate to focus on light and how this affects our mood and health. We’ve all heard of the term ‘the winter blues’ but how many of us understand what this means?
There are many factors contributing to what is termed ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’ by the medical community, a condition whereby an individual experiences depression in the colder winter months of the year.
Firstly, lack of bright light means that the production of melatonin and serotonin are limited, these are produced when light hits the retinas in our eyes, which then sends a signal to the brain. Serotonin is our feel good chemical and melatonin regulates our sleep rhythms. Therefore a lack of these chemicals will lead to low mood and problems with wakefulness.
Vitamin D deficiency can also lead to problems during the colder months, with vitamin D being absent through the sun’s ray between the months of October to March, when they are not of the necessary wavelength to produce Vitamin D upon contact with our skin. An overwhelming 25% of the population are thought to be Vitamin D deficient, and recent studies are showing just how many systems in our body this can affect.
All of this poor lighting can leave you feeling depressed, stressed, anxious, lacking in energy and generally not your usual self. So what can you do to beat the blues? Below is list of suggestions that may help you feel brighter over this cold season…
- Light therapy – Using a light box lamp is a good way to ensure you’re receiving enough light for melatonin and serotonin production. They come in many shapes and sizes, and you’ll need to ensure you find one from a reputable seller. Lumie light boxes are certified by the Medical Devices Directive and can be found at www.lumie.com. Watch out for the cheaper imitations which aren’t bright enough to produce the desired effect.
- Vitamin D supplementation – During the months of October to March when we don’t receive Vitamin D from the sun it’s a good idea to supplement, especially if you are deficient. Visit your GP to have your Vitamin D levels checked and think about supplementation
- Acupuncture can be helpful for managing conditions such as depression and stress. Many of clients come for treatment due to these very problems and find acupuncture helps them to cope and feel better. Regular treatment is recommended to get you back on track.