Tag Archives: Depression


Top reasons for having an Aromatherapy Massage.

Knowing why my clients come to me is important in making sure I keep a stock of the best oils to help them. My two guides to this are firstly and most importantly the clients whom I actually see or who consult with me via Skype.

The second is the enquiries that are generated by my website and the pages that get the most hits. This year because I did a promotion for the page, back massage has received the most hits and don’t get me wrong, a significant proportion of my clients do come for issues with their backs, especially if  you include neck and shoulders in that. But by far the biggest proportion of my clients come for issues to do with depression and anxiety. I would also say that most of these have depression or anxiety because of significant traumatic life events.  I see a few clients where genetic factors play a much larger part but they are the minority.

Bergmot, Bitter Orange and other citrus oils are a must working with these clients. They are particularly good for the client who feels stuck. They are also good for some of the physical manifestations of depression and anxiety such as lack of appetite and constipation. Rose is another oil I would not be without. It soothes anxiety and is particularly good for those dealing with grief be that for a childhood they didn’t  have or the loss of a close friend or loved  one. Frankincense completes my first line triad for depression, in particular if agitation or anxiety are also present. Both Roman and German Chamomile can also be good for this.

Once a client comes to me these oils are also good for building self confidence and helping the client to really believe that they are worth it. This last is probably the biggest barrier to depressed and anxious individuals coming for massage. They give themselves the message that they don’t deserve good things and often blame themselves even when the blame is  patently with another, e.g. an abuser.

Interestingly, I find that at least one in ten of the clients that are depressed also have back pain.

Do follow the links on this site and get in touch if you would like to discuss the possibility of having an aromatherapy massage treatment for anxiety, depression, back issues or anything else.



Thoughts after Permaculture Intro

I loved having another Introduction to Permaculture course running in Trumpington, Cambridge. As ever, a lovely bunch of people and, each time I end up with slightly deeper knowledge of the subject to carry on in my own permaculture practice.

Again I am struck by the links between permaculture and aromatherapy.

Two of the principles of permaculture come to mind in particular.

Each element should have multiple functions


Each function should have multiple elements.

If we think about each oil in a blend being an element, it will always have several functions.

Take Lemon for example.

It is an an oil with both anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. It can be used for treating depression. It also promotes clarity of thought and is good for digestive problems. This makes it and some of the other citrus oils especially good for treating depression as thought clarity often suffers with the depressed client thinking they aren’t good enough or no one will like them etc. They are also more prone to infections and constipation is common in depression.

But as with conventional medical treatment for depression, Lemon may not be the best oil for all individuals with it, the same with Bergamot which is often thought of as the best oil for depression and shares the above properties. The main difference being Lemon is usually better for promoting clarity of thought and Bergamot better for feelings of being stuck.

However a blend of oils for depression will usually  include some other oils too. Frankincense is often good and is particularly good for helping calm the agitation that some depressed clients feel. Another oil that is particularly good for depression is Rose which is an amazing oil for healing the hurt that goes with loss after a break up or bereavement or from abuse. – All common in depression.

If sleep is a problem, I might well add Roman or German Chamomile, both oils that are good for sleep, digestive issues and agitation.

While I have used depression in this example, any other issue is also going to have a range of oils that can treat it with each chosen oil also treating other aspects of a client’s reasons for seeking treatment.

to book an appointment email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com or phone 07929273569.



A Winter Warmer

There are a lot of oils that might be associated with Christmas, the Solstice and indeed Winter in general. Oils that encourage us to look inside ourselves and aid meditation, just as plants draw their energies down into their roots before the exciting rush of growth in the spring. Frankincense and Myrrh are two of these.

Other oils of the season are the warming oils from spices that are used in many festive recipes. Ginger, Cinnamon, nutmeg along with the citrus oils that are light and help to keep our energy moving, Lemon  for clarity of thought, Bergamot which helps counter depression and Seasoned Affective Disorder.

I expect to be using all these oils a lot in the coming weeks but if you don’t have them in your home why not make either a mulled wine or mulled apple juice with the spices instead? You can add some slices of citrus to the mix and you can burn a good quality incense as well to complete the mix.

Another alternative is to book an aromatherapy massage in Trumpington or Central Cambridge. Phone  07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com



Today I will be melting down more wax along with olive oil to make some more skin balm. Beeswax has many healing properties as well as being an antifungal agent in itself. Combined with essential oils, this I am sure is why one client finds it the only effective agent against athletes’ foot.IMG_0016

My standard mix is with Frankincense and Geranium. These oils together are good for relaxation and for aiding mindfulness. Also good for depression.

They also have an anti-inflammatory action making them good for arthritic conditions.

If asked I can also make this with Tea Tree oil which is good for helping the immune system as well as having a direct anti-viral and anti-bacterial effect. The bees are kept on my allotment in Trumpington Cambridge so about as local as it is possible to get! Essential oils used in this way provide an alternative for those who are not comfortable with massage for any reason.


Massage and Aromatherapy for Depression

An all too often hidden problem, yet one in four of us will be diagnosed with it at some point in our lives! At it’s most extreme, help from specialist services is required. However, many can be helped before things reach that stage.04

Depression in characterised by a number of symptoms, including lethargy, loss of motivation, decreased libido, constipation and sleep disturbance. Aromatherapy oils and massage can be used to help all of these symptoms, indeed some of the oils I use with depression will treat more than one of these symptoms. Remember if you suffer from depression it does not stop you being worth it. You still deserve treats such as massage and aromatherapy! Indeed, the help they can give puts them above the level of simply being treats!

Bergamot  with it’s clean uplifting smell helps to address lethargy, constipation and other symptoms of depression.

An aromatherapy massage treatment would be aimed at restoring the balance in the body. If there is Yang deficiency which is often the case, Marjoram or another warming oil might be used. For blocked Qi or energy, Bergamot or another of the citrus oils would be chosen. Other oils may be added to the blend in order to address other disharmonies in the system.

In my Cambridge and Trumpington practice, I bring as well as my aromatherapy and massage skills, over twenty five years of mental health nursing experience and can guarantee that whatever you tell me will be taken seriously. I do use humour therapeutically but that does not detract from my seeing your problems as important.





Dealing with Chronic Pain

04If you are reading this because you suffer from chronic pain, let me start by saying that your pain is real! This is true, even if your doctors have been unable to come up with a medical explanation for your pain.  Why do I say this? Because both in my practice in Trumpington and Central Cambridge as well as when working as a mental health nurse, I have worked with people who have been told that because the reason for their pain hasn’t been found that they must be making it up.

The additional pain that this causes adds another layer of complexity to the treatment of  chronic severe pain.

If the pain is so bad that it prevents the person getting on with their lives I often use the words of a colleague I worked with for nine years when I first came across severe chronic pain which the medical doctors had been unable to find a cause for and ask, “Given that I may not be able to take your pain away, which is better, that it totally controls your life or that you have a much more normal life, doing things despite the pain?”

This is a complex subject, or pain clinics which often have doctors prescribing medication, psychologists, psychiatrists and alternative practitioners all working together would not exist. A quick search on Google will reveal that there are scores if not hundreds of books on the subject ranging in price from just over a fiver to over £150!

So, what is my approach as an aromatherapist?

Firstly, I will during my history taking make sure that there is not a medical condition such as osteoporosis that I need to beware of. This wouldn’t stop me doing massage but it would affect how I did the treatment.

I would almost certainly include Bergamot  as part of the treatment for it’s ability to move blocked Qi or energy and treat depression. (Depending on which study you read, between 75% and 90% of those with chronic pain also suffer from depression.) This creates a positive feedback loop as those with depression also experience more pain. I would use  Lavender as one of the best oils for pain relief as well as it’s uplifting effect. I would also use, Neroli, Jasmine or Rose oil especially if working with someone who felt that their pain was not believed. Frankincense is an oil I would use to aid acceptance.

For the massage, I have found that working on the bladder meridian is often helpful. This runs up the back of the legs and then either side of the spine. In particular working on the area either side of the spine. This seems to be especially true if the area where the pain is experienced can not be massaged for some reason. There are also acupressure points on the hands and feet that can be helpful with some people.

Like most things in massage, there is not a one size fits all solution so it is important that I ask my clients what works for them and to tell me at once if something seems to make it worse.

I may also suggest that a client sees an acupuncturist or suggest lines of discussion with their doctor if appropriate. On occasion, I may also insist on the client’s GP/consultant approval to work with them.


Aromatherapy Massage for Depression in Cambridge


01In my massage and aromatherapy practice in Cambridge I see a lot of clients with depression, one day  out of five clients three were taking antidepressants prescribed either by a psychiatrist or a GP. Also three quarters of people with depression in The United Kingdom go undiagnosed or untreated — and even if the disorder is diagnosed, today’s medications will work well for only about half of those who seek help.

Depression affects about one in five older people, (two in five in care homes) Over a life time about one in four of us will suffer from depression at some point in our lives.

To see how depression has been ignored by researchers compared to cancer see this article in Nature Magazine.

Massage and Aromatherapy can be very helpful in depression for a number of reasons.

  1. Many when depressed do not feel they are worth spending time on. This leads them to deny themselves pleasurable experiences which then reinforces a belief that life is not good setting up a vicious circle. An aromatherapy massage can be part of breaking this pattern.
  2.   Depression is often characterised by a disturbed sleep pattern, either difficulty getting off to sleep or early morning wakening. aromatherapy can help deal with this sleep disturbance.
  3. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, depression is always associated with blocked Qi or energy. Most essential oils help to release blocked Qi in one part of the body or another. Massage is also powerful in doing this.
  4. Constipation and reduced bowel motility are symptoms of depression. Massage can help with this as can most of the oils derived from culinary herbs.

Essential oils used in treating depression include Bergamot and other citrus oils plus Melissa all helping to move stagnant or blocked Qi or energy. They are invigorating and uplifting in their aroma. Ginger, Pine and Rosemary among others can be used to increase energy levels while Rose and Jasmine can be used to help heal the effects of grief or abuse.

I can see clients both at the Salus Wellness Centre in Norfolk street or my home in Trumpington.

email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com to find out more.