Blog Archives

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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

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In massage, what is appropriate?

Last year I had two clients at my practice in Cambridge who have experienced inappropriate touching by massage therapists.I  have also had people who are  not clients ask me about what is and isn’t appropriate. I encouraged the clients to report their experiences to both the police and to the therapists’ professional bodies. (I am assuming they were actually registered with one of the many bodies that do this.)

The answer I gave the people I met who were not clients was, “Anything that you do not want or do not feel comfortable with is inappropriate.” That is of course on top of any touching that is clearly of a sexual nature such as touching of breasts or genitalia.

I have had a small number of clients who are not comfortable with stomach massage. For me to try and persuade them otherwise may or may not be inappropriate depending on how I went about it and the information I already had about why they didn’t want it. Some clients are happy about the  muscles in the buttocks being massaged some are not. However, for me to massage there without checking out how the client felt about it would be inappropriate. I make a point of telling my clients what parts of the body I do and do not massage as part of my normal routine so that they have the chance to tell me if there is anything they do not want massaged. (Most common is head though in every case so far that has been about not wanting oil on hair so if I wash my hands before doing the head  there is no problem.) Feet is one that crops up occasionally and as I said stomach.  I have had other parts of the body crop up occasionally, sometimes due to scarring from operations.

The bottom line is that the client is in control and I make a point of finding out about what they are comfortable with first as many clients fall asleep during a massage and I don’t want to have to wake them up to find something out or to start massaging an area inadvertently that they are not comfortable with.

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