Tag Archives: Essential Oils


Winter Returns

Just as many of us are gearing up for spring this weekend looks to bring a return of sub-zero temperatures and the Met Office has a yellow warning out for snow in our area. Indeed, the cherry blossom on the street tree opposite my window as I type is in full bloom but the temperature is low enough that none of my bees will be venturing out to take advantage of it!


Cherry  is not a species where one can easily buy the essential oil despite websites giving that impression. These are fragrance oils and are not produced by the distillation process used for essential oils and indeed most of them have  artificially produced chemicals in their make up.

What does the change in the weather mean for our health?

Firstly it means we need to be more careful as even those much younger than I can slip and injure themselves or even worse suffer a car crash due to the conditions. It also means we are more vulnerable to infections so keep using those essential oils, particularly Tea Tree which can help fight infection. We should also warm up more before doing any exercise – that one particularly for my allotment colleagues! After all next Saturday is traditionally the day to plant our potatoes.

For myself it means another week or so before I take some honey from my bees. – I left them with a lot to get through the winter and paradoxically in a colder winter they eat less of their stores as they aren’t out flying so much.

IMG_2017-10-30_10_12_59It also means I will be making sure the rooms I use for massage and aromatherapy are kept very warm. At home the woodstove will be in use and at the Salus clinic I will make sure I am in in plenty of time to make sure the radiators are turned on.

So rest assured that if you book an aromatherapy massage, you will not be cold during the treatment. Indeed, I tend to err on the side of caution and make the room so it is a little too hot for myself. This does make it important to drink some water after the massage, both for my clients and for myself!



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.



Why is Aromatherapy so powerful?

Start pealing an orange, how long does it take for your mouth to start producing saliva? If you are anything like me, not very long. Many of the essential oils used in Aromatherapy belong to plants which also have culinary uses but that is only part of the story. Our sense of smell is very powerfully connected to our emotions. Frankincense helps to instil a sense of calmness and was used in temples for that reason for over a thousand years before Christian churches started using it for the same reason.

How many of us associate particular smells with individuals? These associations can be both positive and negative. Every so often I have a client with a real aversion for a particular oil and sometimes, though by no means always this is because of an association with a particular individual.

The sense of smell is fast. It takes a fraction of a second for the brain to react and not much longer for molecules that are inhaled to reach the brain. This compares with a much longer time-scale for the essential oils to do their work through being absorbed by the skin, though this is also important in a treatment as the amount of oil absorbed is much greater.

Even today our sense of smell which is far from being the best in the animal kingdom is more sensitive than all but the best of scientific instruments. That is why often when an emergency call is made because of a smell of gas in a house, the person who comes out with instruments to check this is unable to detect it!

So why not treat your nose as well as your skin by booking an Aromatherapy Massage Treatment. £40 for an hour and £50 for 90 minutes if booked between now and 7th January. Appointments available both in Trumpington and Central Cambridge.

07939273569 or dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com


And what was that like for you?

Some years ago while working as a mental health nurse I had a client who had been hearing voices (mostly benign) since quite an early age. Mostly she would converse with them, silently, having learned quickly that taking about them would make people regard her with suspicion at best and at worst it would often lead to bullying.

This was in an adolescent in-patient unit and she had been seen in the community for a couple of years prior to being referred to us. One day, I asked her, “What was that like being different and not being able to talk about it?” The question led to tears but also a great sense of relief. She told me that she was not a naturally secretive person but that her experiences had made her very wary of who she would talk to about her experiences, not just of hearing voices but generally. This made me wonder among other things, “How often is paranoia among schizophrenics a learned thing and a means of protecting themselves?”

I was horrified that it had taken this long into her care before that question had been asked. (She told me that no one had ever asked that before.)

As an aromatherapist and massage practitioner, I often find myself being the first person who has asked that question or one very similar to it. I know that a number of my clients who come primarily because of mental health issues rather than physical things find that it is really important that they can share their experience. This also helps me in understanding them and choosing essential oils appropriately. This is not to say that I don’t sometimes say the wrong thing despite my therapy and counselling training. I do though often even mistakes can lead  to breakthroughs in therapy. What it does mean is that I am prepared to take the risk of asking the unasked question every so often.

If you are looking for a massage/aromatherapy session where perhaps what you really need is for someone to ask that question that allows you to say what is really going on give me a call on 07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com


Keeping healthy in Winter

Winter is a time when the number of hospital admissions always goes up. What can we do to minimise the risk of that to ourselves and our loved ones? Also for many of us, what can we do to minimise the number of coughs and colds we get?



For myself it starts with diet and getting enough exercise. Plenty of green vegetables and eating fruit to get that vital vitamin C. I like to eat as local as possible and at the moment we still have some of our Spartan apples (one of my favourites) left.

When it comes to exercise, warming up is important, before cutting wood which will be used next winter, I always do some stretches and get my muscles warm before I start really going for it with the axe. In cold weather warming up well really reduces the risk of sprains etc.

On top of this, essential oils make a real difference.  I use a wide range of oils on a weekly basis and all have some degree of antibacterial and antiviral action. Doing a lot of massage, I absorb the oils through my skin just as do my clients. I believe this is part of the reason I can go for years without catching the flu and indeed get through most years without any colds!

Oils that particularly help I believe include, lemon, eucalyptus (all varieties), tea tree, myrrh and many others. Why not book an aromatherapy massage either in Trumpington or Central Cambridge to try  and boost your chances of getting through the festive season without going down with anything? £5 off first appointments booked before 7th January.

Call 07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com for an appointment.


Can I have an Aromatherapy Massage during My Period?

Well, obviously, I can’t as a man but this is a question I get asked at least three or four times a year and the answer is always the same, yes as long as you are comfortable with it. Indeed, many of my clients find it relieves menstrual pain. Essential oils that are particularly helpful are, Everlasting, Rose and Clary Sage among others.


Some oils have a very mild diuretic effect and this can help women get rid of the extra fluid that builds up prior to menstruation. I always ensure I have a Terry towelling robe available should they need to leave the practice room to pass urine during the massage.

Abdominal massage is found by most of my clients to be particularly helpful but so is work on some of the accupressure points, Sea of Energy, Gate Origin and 3Yin Crossing are the points I use most. Two of these are done as part of the abdominal massage.

Interestingly, A Cochrane Review was unable to determine whether Acupressure and acupuncture helped because of the poor design of the studies they looked at so as far as research on Traditional Chinese Medicine and menstrual pain is concerned, the jury is still out. However if what my clients in Central Cambridge and Trumpington say is anything to go by there is little doubt that Massage and Aromatherapy which includes work on these points there is little doubt that it helps. I don’t see enough clients to do a comparison  between doing the massage with and without the work on these points to be able to judge their value. To do so would require a multi practitioner study.


Finding your Balance


When I see a client, I am not looking to, “cure” a disease in the way a doctor might by prescribing antibiotics. (While vastly overused, they are valuable tools in treating some illnesses.) Rather I am working with the individual person in the practice room to help them find a balance either in their life, their body or their mind or even in all three.

Traditional Chinese Medicine views illness as a pattern of disharmony in the body. Massage with essential oils can help to correct this.  Lifestyle choices can also help us to achieve a balance in our lives and this is something many of my clients talk to me about.

Achieving the right balance can be with exercise as in the above picture, having a massage using essential oils, leaving an abusive or non nourishing situation or even just spending time in nature. This is something I have been reminding myself of over the past few days.

To book an appointment to restore some balance in your life, email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com or phone 07939273569