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Its just Oil isn’t it?

Aromatherapists often discuss the merits of different essential oils. The number of them available is increasing year on year and we all have our favourite go to essential oils, often related to the type of clients we tend to work with.

Of equal importance is the carrier or base oil. My favourite is coconut but I also use Walnut and Olive oil at times. The latter is what I use in the skin balm I make using essential oils and wax from my bees.

Some massage therapists use mediums such as powder for massage or various other preparations some using oil based lubricants. There is an issue for sports massage therapists who wish to control the amount of friction when they do a massage and while not having used any of the products on the market for them I do understand that it may be more difficult to get the control they want with an organic natural product. I am not saying that they are wrong to use the products they do, just that they are not for me or my practice in Cambridge where I believe it is important that no artificial chemicals are involved.

I recently while on Crete bought some organic Avocado oil and this  is something I will use sparingly, almost exclusively for the face. Even at the price I paid there for it it is considerably more expensive than the oils I normally use. Other oils that can be added to the main carrier oil to help the skin include raspberry seed, rose hip, sea buckthorn and many others.

Another reason to know about the carrier oils used is allergies. My preference for using cold pressed oils rather than more refined oils means I am slightly more at risk of a client having an allergic reaction. (The worst so far has been a mild rash that was gone within a couple of hours.) This is because  allergic reactions as opposed to sensitivity reactions are much more likely to be to proteins present in small quantities in cold pressed oils than to any constituents of essential oils though on rare occasions those reactions do occur. This is just one of the reasons it is important to ask clients about allergies during the initial consultation. Of course they may not always be aware of an allergy so the practitioner needs to be aware of this.

If you want your massage to be only with organic natural oils and essential oils phone 07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com

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What’s in a Name?

As an aromatherapist, I will sometimes refer to the oils I use by their common name such as, “Lavender” and sometimes by their Latin or botanical name e.g. “Lavendula   Angustifolia.” Or broad leaved Lavender. The latter is much more precise and defines which of the many lavender species is being referred to. Yet this isn’t always enough, there is, “High altitude Lavender.” This has markedly different chemical make up and  therapeutic properties from the same grown at sea level. This does not imply that one is necessarily better or worse than the other, just different.

Sometimes even the Latin name is not sufficient. The wild carrot has the same botanical name as the domesticated version that we eat though most seeing the two roots together would not recognise them as the same plant. (It is fair to assume that if, “wild carrot” is not specified then it is the seed of the culinary variety that is being sold. Again the two have very different chemical make ups and therapeutic properties.

There are many other words  used by aromatherapists and oil suppliers. These include, pure, natural, organic and many others. Some have specific legal meanings but do not always imply quality. It is possible to have poor quality organic or wild crafted oils  that are not as good as some made with conventional farming practices.   This may be due to the particular season, the distilling process or many other factors. This also means that high quality oils will vary in price from season to season. There are around eight or ten high quality suppliers in UK that I am aware of from whom I have always gotten high quality oils from though even there, sometimes for a particular oil one supplier will excel over the others.

I only use  certified organic or wild crafted oils from sustainable resources and stick to just a few of the high quality suppliers that I know of here in UK, one of which is conveniently located close to my Cambridge practice!

To book an aromatherapy massage treatment using the highest quality oils, phone 07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com

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Don’t wait too long.

Both as an Aromatherapist and Massage Practitioner and in my former incarnation as a mental health nurse I have worked with many people who have had problems which could have been resolved very easily if addressed at an early stage. Sometimes because they have been left they turned into major problems sometimes taking months or even years to resolve. In mental health this was sometimes devastating for both the individual and their family. In my current work, examples of things that become more difficult to resolve if left too long are sleep issues, back and neck problems along with many emotional issues.  Please note that for depression and major psychiatric illness I may occasionally suggest that clients see a doctor as well as myself.

Often if addressed quickly, soon after a problem manifests depression, anxiety, or sleep problems can be resolved in a relatively short period of time so if you need help for these or other issues, don’t wait but contact me via phone on 07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com.

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An Aromatherapy Massage Treatment is something you deserve.

When I worked as a mental health nurse, I often worked with patients who believed that they did not deserve people doing nice things for them. Sadly that belief or elements of it are also common in the population at large, not just those who are formally involved with mental health services.

It is my strong belief that every single person I have heard say that they don’t deserve nice things like massage using Essential oils does deserve it. Not only that but this can be a way of building confidence in order to change this self perception.

One oil that is particularly useful in building self confidence and courage is the Thyme oil I bought while in Crete recently.  It has a slightly different chemical make up to the more common Thymol chemotype of Thyme which make it especially good for this. It is also helpful for those who suffer from respiratory problems.

To book an appointment for an Aromatherapy Treatment call 07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com

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Oils that many will not have heard of

Every once in a while, I buy an oil that I have not  had in my collection before. This past week I have been on Crete where I visited, Wild Herbs of Crete, where Janina Sorenson, (originally from Denmark) has made her home in the village of Kallikratis. She was the first to distil an oil from the seeds of Agnus Castus though it was used in herbal traditions for thousands of years prior to this. She also distils, wild Carrot, and Thyme, chemotype carvacol.

The first of these oils, is a wonderful one for women with either menopausal or menstruation problems. Helping to correct oestrogen/progesterone imbalance.

Carrot Seed oil is an oil that is a marvellous tonic for the skin for those of any age while the Thyme oil is now on my must have list for respiratory problems as well as for those with gastric issues. Needless to say, these oils also have properties for working with the emotions as well! Thyme for instance is an oils to instil strength and courage. Carrot Seed is not surprisingly, one of the oils that is good for helping us to stay grounded. Agnus Castus or chasetetree is particularly useful for helping women to find balance in their lives.

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To experience a massage with these wonderful Cretian oils or any of the others I keep email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com or phone 07939273569

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New Clients

I have seen a few new clients in my Cambridge practice over the past few weeks, problems ranging from neck and shoulder problems to depression, anxiety and grief.

As always each client is an individual and while I will use bitter orange or bergamot essential oil with ninety per cent of my clients who have depression, this is not and should never be automatic. Each client’s needs are different even if the name given to the problem is t he same. I also have to check that a client is not allergic or sensitised to a particular oil. This  last is most likely if a client has in the past indulged in the unsafe practice of applying neat oil directly to the skin. Sensitisation due to use of undiluted essential oils is a particular risk with the citrus oils and more so if combined with UV exposure. One reason I quite like it when depressed patients have evening appointments – by the next morning the time period for UV exposure will be up by the time they might go out in the sun! However I still warn clients on the off chance that they might use sun beds.

Remember, whatever your issues you are worth it!

To book email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com or phone 07939273569

Please note, I am away from 7th to 20th April but taking bookings for after that.

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When did you last Treat Yourself?

For some this is most days, something nice to eat, playing some favourite music, a long shower or hot bath etc. For others, and this is particularly true of those who suffer from anxiety or depression this is much more difficult and yet these are the people who probably need  to do so the most. This is where an Aromatherapy Massage can really help. There is a lot of evidence to show how therapeutic touch and massage can help with both of these conditions and certain essential oils can also help a lot.  Rose and Jasmine are particularly helpful for those suffering loss or who have been abused. Frankincense is a wonderful oil for helping us to stay centred. Bergamot, Bitter Orange and other Citrus oils help those with depression and also aid clarity of thinking with their clean aromas. In my practice in Cambridge I have seen all these oils help along with many others.

If you have been avoiding treating yourself, especially if this is alongside feelings of not being worth it contact me to book an aromatherapy massage.

07939273569 or dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com