Tag Archives: Trumpington

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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

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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.

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Aromatherapy for pain, a look at the evidence.

Does Aromatherapy work for pain? I would imagine that just about every aromatherapist out there would say, “Yes it does!” This review on Pubmed  would seem to agree. I can’t quote verbatim from it currently as pubmed’s website is down right now.

However, statistics are one thing. What my clients with chronic or other pain want to know is, “Will it HELP ME?” They don’t care about whether it helps seven out of ten cats or whatever! Theyu want to reduce their own suffering.

In my experience, it is more likely to make a difference with severe chronic pain than severe acute pain. Acute pain is giving the body a message such as, “Take your hand away from the heat.” Chronic pain is often present long after an acute injury has healed or it may be from a condition such as Fibromyalgia etc. Here something is wrong with how the pain receptors in blood vessels are working. It is not a message to the body to sort something out. There is a need to disrupt the mechanism that these nerve pathways are using. That may be the pleasant sensations produced by a massage, the physiological action of the essential oils or even the emotional reaction to the aroma. All can play a part.

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Abstract – now the site is back up!

“Background. Aromatherapy refers to the medicinal or therapeutic use of essential oils absorbed through the skin or olfactory system. Recent literature has examined the effectiveness of aromatherapy in treating pain. Methods. 12 studies examining the use of aromatherapy for pain management were identified through an electronic database search. A meta-analysis was performed to determine the effects of aromatherapy on pain. Results. There is a significant positive effect of aromatherapy (compared to placebo or treatments as usual controls) in reducing pain reported on a visual analog scale (SMD = -1.18, 95% CI: -1.33, -1.03; p < 0.0001). Secondary analyses found that aromatherapy is more consistent for treating nociceptive (SMD = -1.57, 95% CI: -1.76, -1.39, p < 0.0001) and acute pain (SMD = -1.58, 95% CI: -1.75, -1.40, p < 0.0001) than inflammatory (SMD = -0.53, 95% CI: -0.77, -0.29, p < 0.0001) and chronic pain (SMD = -0.22, 95% CI: -0.49, 0.05, p = 0.001), respectively. Based on the available research, aromatherapy is most effective in treating postoperative pain (SMD = -1.79, 95% CI: -2.08, -1.51, p < 0.0001) and obstetrical and gynecological pain (SMD = -1.14, 95% CI: -2.10, -0.19, p < 0.0001). Conclusion. The findings of this study indicate that aromatherapy can successfully treat pain when combined with conventional treatments.”

One area where a high quality study has been carried out is with Menstrual Pain, where the initial study compared abdominal massage with ginger essential oil compared with Thai Massage through clothes. The Abdominal massage group did considerably better. However this could have been the abdominal massage rather than the aromatherapy component . A further study was done comparing the abdominal massage with and without the ginger oil. Again the Aromatherapy group did significantly better.

So, if you wish to see how Aromatherapy Massage can help you with pain, do email me or phone. dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com or 07939273569 to book an appointment either in Trumpington or Central Cambridge.

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Seedy Sunday 2017

Put the 5th February into your diaries if you have an allotment or garden and live near Cambridge.

This is a chance to swap saved seeds or if you don’t have any to swap, just leave a small donation. There will be seeds from the Heritage Seed Library, Waterland Organics and of course from others attending the event.

Trumpington Seedy Sunday is an important event because it aims to reduce our reliance on F1 hybrid seeds and the seed companies’ stranglehold on what we grow.

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Close up of comb in the observation hive on Trumpington Community Orchard.

I will be selling my skin Balm made from wax produced by my bees on Trumpington Allotments a few hundred yards from Trumpington Village Hall where the seed swap takes place.  Other ingredients are organic olive oil and organic essential oils. I may also be offering short head and shoulder massages for those who need a break from walking around the tables. Book a one hour or ninety minute massage for later while at the event and get a £5 discount.

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Skin balm is £7 for a 60ml pot. This is around half the price of a well known product sold at Waitrose among other places!

Essential oils used are Geranium and Frankincense but others can be made to order with oils of your choice or for an additional £15 consultation fee made up especially for your needs.

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Most Depressing day of the Year

Next Monday has been given the Moniker, based on people’s lack of enthusiasm for returning to work, low light levels, winter weather and the come down after the winter and new year celebrations.

Of course for some who really enjoy their work, especially if they don’t enjoy time with family etc. for whatever reason this is total bunkum. For me personally, being self employed it will be great if I have clients next Monday!

However, it is the peak time for people to see GPs with problems related to depression, more people die at this time of year and according to at least one website it is also the peak time for people to file for divorce!

If you feel the need for some more brightness in your life and want to get your energy moving, try using this blend of oils.

Bergamot 5 drops,

Frankincense 4 drops,

Pine 3 drops.

You can use this in a burner or vaporiser or use it for massage if mixed in 30ml of a vegetable based carrier oil. In a bath you can add just a few mls of the mix to the bath.

Alternatively, if you live near Trumpington or Central Cambridge, why not book an aromatherapy massage to lift your spirits.

Phone 07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com to book an appointment.

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Anxiety follows a good time. Why?

I was asked this question by a client recently. She suffers from panic attacks, usually at home and in situations which shouldn’t (in her mind) be a cause for any anxiety. This has reached the point where she sometimes avoids good things because of her fear of having an attack later. This pattern is one I see both in my Central Cambridge and my Trumpington Practice.GEDC1747.JPG

As well as giving a massage using oils which help with anxiety we also talked about some of the things she had been taught about dealing with her panic attacks. Mindfulness exercises had been suggested including concentrating on her breathing. However judgements made her give this up because she thought she was no good at them.

What went wrong? Well as someone who has taught mindfulness to others over many years before leaving the NHS I quickly discovered that my client had not been taught what to do if her mind did wander. The thing to do is to on noticing that one has started to daydream or think about something else, just notice it and return to concentrating on one’s breath (or other mindfulness exercise.) Mindfulness is not a competition! The exercise is about returning to full concentration on noticing that it has gone. There is nothing wrong about having one’s mind wander!

As to the question about why a panic attack often follows feeling good the clue is in the research on the body’s response to anxiety. Thy physiological response, including raised pulse rate, the chemical changes etc to anxiety is exactly the same as the body’s response to excitement. The only difference is the label that we put on the sensations.

At first this doesn’t make much sense unless we look at some examples where the two sensations where the dividing line between the two is very thin. A white knuckle ride at a theme park is one example. Is it fear or excitement? The same is true of a difficult ski run.

A friend of mine who used to be an Olympic gymnast at one point could not do a good performance with an audience of less than about five thousand. With this number his adrenaline levels got up to the level he needed!

Of course another factor is that fear of panic attacks makes them more likely so work on realising that panic attacks do not kill or whatever her fear behind them is will also be important.

Mindfulness is important for me as a practitioner too and when working I too have to notice if my mind does ever wander and bring it back to my client and their needs. This helps me to stay more focussed and to improve the quality of massage I can give.

To book an aromatherapy massage for anxiety or any other reason

call 07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com

 

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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

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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