Category Archives: Aromatherapy


Clients as Experts

This is a subject I keep coming back to in my mind and thinking even when I don’t write about it. On the physical side, it is the client who knows all the little things they do to avoid feeling pain from an injury that has become chronic, sitting in a particular chair, turning in one direction rather than another  whenever possible, leading with one foot rather than another when climbing or descending stairs. (This may be different in each case.)

In the same way, the anxious client usually knows which situations they avoid and the things they say to themselves to get through difficult situations. The client with PTSD knows at least some of the likely triggers for them. They know which people to have around them to reduce the chances of being triggered and they usually though not always know what the initial event or events that led to the trauma is or are.

As a practitioner, it is my job to get as much of this information from the client as possible. This makes  it less easier to come up with a clear formulation as to how to proceed. Some  clients will happily strip off in front of me while others would be made too anxious and I would always leave the room. (My default position unless they start getting undressed before I have the chance to say I am leaving the room while they do so.

Some clients want a deep tissue massage to work out tensions in muscles whereas others need something which is much more nurturing in nature. and unless I can really empower them to find their internal expert, I won’t be able to choose the oils that are the best combination for them or do the best massage for them.


Choosing Essential Oils

When working with clients, it is important to choose essential oils with and for the individual receiving the treatment. But there are some generalisations that can help.

  1. A client who feels cold much of the time is likely to benefit from warming oils such as Rosemary and Ginger.
  2. A client who feels hot most of the time is likely to benefit more from cooling oils such as Chamomile or Lavender.

The difficulty comes when a client comes with a history that one part of which suggests warming oils and another cooling ones. The same can happen with moisture and dryness.

In these cases, even more than normally I need to look at my client as a whole person and not just a collection of symptoms. I can look at which oils is my client drawn to? These will often be oils that are helpful to them, for instance when I worked in mental health settings with adolescents I found myself drawn to Vetiver, an excellent oil for those who need to stay grounded. A client I worked with a couple of years ago who suffered from profound depression was drawn to bergamot, one of the best oils for this condition.

Treating the whole person means finding out about not just their medical needs but their psychological and spiritual needs as well and then choosing a blend of oils to meet these needs. Ideally each oil chosen will be helping in all three of these domains. In my practice in Trumpington and Central Cambridge, I always try and ensure that this is the case and also to tailor the massage to meet all three as well.

If you want aromatherapy with oils chosen specifically for you as an individual rather than a generic mix for a specific problem, call 07939273569 or email


An aromathereapy Massage for Loss and Grief.

At my practice in Central Cambridge and Trumpington, a significant proportion of my clients have issues of loss and grief. Given that as we go through life there are not many of us who will not experience bereavement or break up of a relationship not to mention other losses that is probably no surprise.

Oils I often find myself reaching for in this situation  are Rose, Lemon and Frankincense.  There are a number of other  oils that come from herbs that have been used as funeral herbs by different cultures over the years that I might also use.

Rose is one of the top oils for emotional healing. Frankincense helps to still the mind from repetitive thoughts and lemon promotes clarity of thought. I will often do a massage that is not as deep tissue in style as I would at other times, concentrating on being more nurturing. (How many people in these situations just want a hug from a close one?)

The one part of the massage where I do go fairly deep though still less deep than my usual is the abdomen. A lot of clients have found this particularly nurturing and helps them to let go of tensions they are holding there. Our language reflects this with phrases such as, “I couldn’t stomach it” and, “gut feelings.”

So If you have suffered a recent loss or you have an older loss that you still struggle with remember there is no such thing as a right or wrong way to manage the grief process. Do consider whether an aromatherapy massage might help and if you think it could,

Phone 07939273569 or email to find out more.


Changing oils with the seasons

As spring develops, I have dealt with my first swarms of bees, they were on a sage bush on my allotment in Trumpington Cambridge. I notice that the essential oils I use change a little. I use less Rosemary, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree, warming oils that help to prevent and deal with infections. I find myself using more of the cooling oils such as Lemon, Melissa and geranium.

Asthma and hay fever become more common and I use anti-inflammatory oils like chamomile to help with that. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are said by many sufferers to be  worse in the colder months and while research suggests the correlation is weak at best it is difficult to deny the experience of individuals. I don’t have enough clients with these conditions to form a strong view on the subject. As ever I treat the individual rather than the index complaint.

In summary, I find myself treating clients now who are more likely to need cooling oils than the hot dry natured oils I use more of in winter. There is still a chance to book an Aromatherapy massage with the £% off for new clients till the end of April making one hour £45 and ninety minutes £50.

Call 07939273569 or email to book.



Towards the end of the 17th Century, Anne Marie Orsini, Duchess of Bracciano and Princess of Nerola, Italy, introduced the essence of the bitter orange tree to fashionable society by using it to perfume her gloves and bath. Since then Neroli has been the name given to the essential oil produced by steam distillation of the flowers of the Bitter Orange.

At one time in Madrid it was used in an altogether less elevated part of society. – It was worn by prostitutes as a way of enabling men to recognise them for what they were!

Perhaps given the above it is not surprising that Neroli has long been describes as one of the aphrodisiac oils but to see it simply as such would be an oversimplification. It is particularly good at treating nervous depression which quells sexual desire.

It is also goo for promoting emotional harmony and to me is the most important oil for dealing with deep emotional trauma.

On the physical side it is an oil that can aid eczema, particularly when it is a form that is exacerbated by stress. It similarly can help with irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive tract problems.

One of my favourite oils it is unfortunately not cheap, the yield from the flowers being only 0.1%.

It is also loved by bees and in places where orchards of citrus are grown produces a fine honey.

Basic Questions About Aromatherapy

Being based in the UK, the only thing I would take issue with is the words, (Genuine and Authentic.) Here like, “pure and natural” they have no legal meaning. The way I ensure oils (apart from those I make myself by infusing herbs in a vegetable oil) are something I am prepared to use on my own and my clients’ skin is that they are certified organic and have the Latin name on the bottle. (Thyme for instance has at least five different chemotypes and it is only by referring to the latin name you can be sure an oil is exactly what you believe it to be.)

That said, you have given a much better description of aromatherapy than the more limited one currently on my site.


Christmas is coming! Time for a massage

Christmas is a great time to get a massage! You can really enjoy the warmth of the room in contrast to the cold outside. (Unless the unseasonably warm weather continues!)

There are oils that can give a real sense of the time of year too.

Juniper, always one of my favourite oils, Nutmeg, clove and cinnamon all come to mind. Or perhaps the citrus zing of Lemon or Bergamot is what you need to contrast with the lack of light and the short days?

Vanilla is another rich oil that speaks of the rich food around this time of year.

Perhaps what you need most is to show some love to your legs after hours shopping pre-Christmas or in the sales? My location at the Salus Wellness Centre is less than five minutes walk from the Grafton Centre. Or if you are in the South of the City,Trumpingon appointments are also available with a wood stove rather than radiators to heat the room.

Introductory first session one and a half hours, (Initial consultation and  massage) £50 Subsequent sessions one and a half hours. £55 One hour sessions £40/£45  Half hour £30.

To book call 07939 273 569

Or email