Archive for August, 2011

We are continuing to discuss “aromassage” as a valuable method of using essential oils as part of the healing process when using aromatherapy. In previous blogs we have discussed which essential oils to use for sore or fatigued muscles (See Essential Oil Muscle Relief). You can always look at the archived blogs if you have any questions. Now let’s look at what kind of aromassage to use for different parts of the body.

  • Shoulders – aromassage into the shoulder muscles with both effleurage and petrissage movements. Make firm strokes from the shoulder to the neck and back again using thumbs and palms.
  • Arms – aromassage up towards the armpit, using effleurage or petrissage on the fatty or muscular areas only.
  • Back – Use firm or gentle effleurage or petrissage but do not massage over the vertebrae. Start from the lower part of the back and with both hands stroke all the way to the shoulders. Slide your hands over the shoulders and then return down the sides of the back. Repeat these strokes as many times as you like, the longer you aromassage, the more relaxing it is.
  • Abdomen – only use circular movements on the abdomen and move in a clockwise direction. Effleurage is the best method to use on the abdomen.
  • Legs – use effleurage to aromassage the legs and always move upwards. You can use petrissage on the fatty or muscular areas only but not over varicosed areas.
  • Women’s reproductive problems- aromassage using effleurage movements beginning at the lower back and sliding over the hips. Then slide each hand over the abdomen separately and repeat the whole process.
  • Feet – aromasssage from the toes to the heel with the thumbs under the foot and the fingers on top.

All massage should flow as the blood does, toward the heart. After an aerobic workout, aromassage is useful to release toxins and keep your muscles supple.


Aromatherapy massage or aromassage is an excellent way to apply essential oils as part of an alternative healing process. It is not hard to do and anyone can do it to family, friends, even to yourself. There are many different ways to apply aromassage:

  • Effleurage – this is a series of gentle, soothing strokes which allow essential oils to penetrate your body and help you to relax and become calm. For this method, use your whole hands in  either long or short strokes that can be either firm or gentle.
  • Petrissage – is similar to gently kneading dough. Use the palm, finger tips and thumbs to slowly and gently knead the body. Petrissage is most helpful when used on fatty areas and on backs.
  • Head massage – put the essential oils  on your fingertips to massage the scalp. Work the fingers all over the scalp.
  • For migraine and headaches – massage around the base of the neck and work your way up to the base of the scalp. Massage in this manner for a few moments with firm effleurage strokes.
  • For the neck – massage the neck using small, firm circular movements from the base of the neck, up either side of the vertebrae to the base of the scalp. Massage the sides of the neck and repeat these movements in a more gentle fashion and work your way down the neck. Repeat several times using appropriate essential oils.

We will continue this blog tomorrow with more areas for you to massage.


Cool Off With Lavender Water

Author: Dr. Larita
August 29, 2011

Do you want to know a simple and inexpensive way to cool off in this summer heat? Make yourself some lavender water and spritz your skin whenever the heat is getting to you. All you need is a plant spray bottle and a bottle of lavender essential oil. You can keep the bottle in the refrigerator until you get ready to go out in the heat. Be sure to shake the mixture before you spray yourself. The recipe below uses lavender water but you can use other calming herbs like rose or chamomile to help ease your skin’s discomfort in the heat.

  • 8 drops of lavender (or another calming essential oil)
  • 1 cup spring or distilled water

Combine in a plant spray bottle like the one pictured above and shake well before using.


How to Use Body Oils

Author: Dr. Larita
August 26, 2011

We have a retail store in Topeka, Kansas where we sell body oils. People come in the store looking for a particular scent but they usually want to smell the designer oil types because they recognize the name. Most people do not ask us how to use the oils they buy so I always assumed that they already know what to do but I am recalling how my brother, Land Grant, used his first oil and I think I need to explain some ways to use body oils. Land (yes, that was his given name) fell in love with the designer type body oil called Joop. He bought a 2 ounce bottle and I didn’t see him for a few days. He came back in within a week to buy another bottle and  I asked him if he spilled it or what happened since a two ounce bottle will last quite a long time. He told me he used it all and he wanted more!

How to Use Body Oils:

  • Use a roll on bottle and roll the oil on your pulse points and rub it in (rubbing it in starts it working with your body chemistry)
  • Use a pour out bottle and pour a dime size amount in your palm, rub your hands together and dab the oil on your neck, chest, arms and legs, then rub it in on those areas – you can use more or less according to your taste or scent
  • Blend your oil in an unscented shower gel and take a shower with it before putting on your lotion and/or body oil
  • Blend your oil in an unscented lotion and rub it all over your body – you can then dot the oil on your pulse points with your roll on bottle if you don’t feel the scented lotion is enough
  • Buy your oil in a spray bottle – the oil is diluted with a disperser but you can spray the mist and walk through it or spray it on your clothes and it is just as potent as the oil alone

If you use oils often and you have a different method of applying it to your body, please let me know so I can spread the word.

 

 


Tea Tree Oil

Author: Dr. Larita
August 25, 2011

Deb and I were discussing the band aid on her finger one morning and she told me she had gone to the doctor because her finger was infected at the site of a hang-nail. He suggested she purchase tea tree oil to take care of the infection. We had discussed tea tree oil before because of its anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti viral properties and I thought it could possibly take the place of some of the antibiotic prescriptions she used so often.

Later in the day I smelled the strong scent of tea tree oil and I kept hearing the question, “What’s that smell?” Deb came into my office and we had a good laugh because she had spilled half the bottle of tea tree oil when she was changing her band aid but she didn’t want anyone to know that the strong smell was coming from her cubicle and anyway her finger was feeling a lot better. I told her that her secret was safe with me.


Essential Oil Techniques 3

Author: Dr. Larita
August 24, 2011

This is the last in a series of three blogs discussing techniques for using essential oils for aromatherapy. So far, we have talked about body methods and water methods for using essential oils. Today, I’m going to talk about ways to use them throughout a room.

Room Techniques

  • Candles – use 1-2 drops.  Light the candle and when the wax starts to melt, add the oils to the melted wax. Be careful not to get the oils on the wick because they are inflammable.
  • Diffusers – use 1-6 drops. Diffusers are specifically made for use with essential oils. There are many different kinds of diffusers and they can be heated by electricity or by candle flame. Be sure the bowl part of the diffuser is made of non-porous material so that it can be wiped clean before a different essential oil is used in it. The main idea is that the bowl is heated by the heat source allowing the essential oil molecules to be released into the air.
  • Light bulbs – 1-2 drops. Heat from light bulbs can release essential oil molecules into the air. You can put the essential oil directly on the light bulb before you turn it on or you can use a light bulb ring. Do not put the essential oil on a bulb that is hot because the oils are inflammable. Light bulb rings only work on the bulb type of light bulbs. They do not work on the new coiled, energy-saving type bulbs. Make sure the light bulb ring fits on your bulb before you add the oils.
  • Humidifiers – 1-9 drops. Add the essential oil to the water. Eucalyptus would work well for humidifiers because it is antiseptic and antibiotic.
  • Radiators – 1-9 drops. Add the essential oil to a cotton ball and place it by the pipe or somewhere that puts it in contact with the heat.
  • Room sprays – 4 -8 drops per 1 cup water. Use a new plant sprayer  and add warm (not boiling) water, add the essential oil and shake well before using. You can spray the mist into the air or on the carpets, curtains, and furniture. Do not let the water fall on good wood.
  • Water bowls – 1-9 drops. Pour boiling water into a bowl and add the essential oil. Close doors and windows and allow 5 minutes for the aroma to fill the room.
  • Wood fires – 1 drop per log. Use cypress, pine, sandalwood, or cedarwood essential oils. Put 1 drop on each log and let it soak for 30 minutes before using. The oil will be effective on the log for a long time so you can prepare logs in advance and use one essential oil log per fire.


Essential Oil Techniques 2

Author: Dr. Larita
August 23, 2011

Yesterday we talked about some body methods you can use to get the maximum effect from your essential oils. Today let’s talk about a different technique.

Water Techniques

  • Baths – use a maximum of 8 drops of essential oils in the bath or the amount directed for use in a particular recipe. First, close the bathroom door and run the bath, then add the essential oil and swish the water around. Soak in the tub for at least ten minutes while relaxing and breathing deeply. You can dilute the essential oils in a carrier oil before adding it to the water to help your skin feel silky smooth while also relaxing your body.
  • Bidet – use 2 – 3 drops of essential oil diluted in 1 teaspoon carrier oil. Run warm water from the bidet or from the tap, add the essential oil and swish it around so the oils don’t irritate mucous membranes.
  • Douche – only use this method if you are under the care of a naturopath. Add the essential oil to boiled and cooled water from the tap or warmed, bottled spring water. Shake the douche thoroughly before using.
  • Jacuzzi – use 3 drops per person using the jacuzzi.
  • Sauna – use 2 drops per 2 1/2 cups of water. Use eucalyptus, tea tree or pine essential oils. Mix the essential oils in the water  and throw it onto the heat source as usual. Only use one of these three oils because they are the only ones that enter the body with inhalation and exit by perspiration. All three oils are very beneficial as cleansers and detoxifiers.
  • Shower – as directed or use a maximum  of 8 drops essential oil. First, wash as usual in the shower. Then add the essential oil to your washcloth or sponge and rub it over your body quickly as you stand under the running water. Deeply breathe in the aromatic steam.
  • Sitz bath – as directed in your recipe or 2-3 drops. Run a bath to hip level or use a bowl or pan that is big enough for you to lower your behind into it. Add your essential oil and swish thoroughly so the oils don’t irritate your delicate mucous membranes.
  • Hand bath – use 2-4 drops of essential oil – soak the hands for a maximum of 10 minutes in a bowl of warm water.
  • Foot bath – as directed in your recipe or 2-6 drops. Soak your feet for twenty minutes in a bowl of warm water.


Essential Oil Techniques 1

Author: Dr. Larita
August 22, 2011

Essential oils can be used in various ways and today we’re going to discuss body techniques which are excellent methods to incorporate essential oils into your life.

Body Techniques

  • Perfume – dissolve your essential oils (the strength is up to you) in a light carrier oil and apply to the body as you would perfume.
  • Tissue or handkerchief – apply 1 drop and sniff as needed.
  • Inhaled as a Vapor – use 2-3 drops  of essential oils. Pour hot water into a bowl, add the oil, cover your head with a towel and lean over the bowl with your face about 10 inches away and with your eyes closed. Breath deeply through your nose for 1 to 3 minutes, take a break and do it again as needed or until the water cools.
  • Massage oil -  use a maximum of 5 drops to each teaspoon of carrier oil or as directed in a particular recipe. Purchase a brown glass bottle and measure out your base oil. You can use sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, shea oil, coconut oil, etc. Add the essential oil and blend it into the carrier oil by turning the bottle upside down several times and then rolling the bottle briskly between your hands. You only need about a teaspoon of this mixture poured into the palm of your hand to massage the whole body.

We will continue this blog this week with two other techniques for using essential oils.


Aromatherapy for Alzheimers

Author: Dr. Larita
August 19, 2011

Watching your loved one’s intellect become disabled by the debilitating disease of Alzeimer’s is a disheartening experience. Living with and caring for a parent or spouse who no longer knows who you are may seem hopeless but aromatherapy massage can bring back your former closeness and introduce a new form of communication between the two of you. This is not a therapeutic massage, just a way to show love and caring so a gentle body massage or a foot or hand massage will do. The essential oils used in this aromatherapy massage will be not only pleasing to the Alzeimer’s sufferer’s senses and yours too, but could also reawaken pleasant memories. Any essential oil can be used but if the sufferer is your Mom and you know she always wore lavender perfume then lavender essential oil would be the perfect choice. Who knows what the Alzeimer’s patient, locked inside her brain, will experience with such an olfactory memory jerk?

Think back and try to recall the aromas your loved one favored and recreate them now. If you simply can’t remember, some good choices are the citrus essential oils of lemon, grapefruit, and orange plus the spices such as cardamom, coriander, ginger and nutmeg because they stimulate the gastric juices and also touch on the basic instincts of feeding and survival. In less advanced cases of Alzeimer’s you can incorporate the gentle fragrances of flowers such as lavender, rose, and geranium coupled with the spices mentioned above or even with basil or rosemary. Make a synergistic massage oil blend of 5 drops of rose, 5 drops of geranium, 2 drops of basil, 10 drops of lavender and 2 drops of rosemary essential oils. Add 5 drops of this blend to 1 teaspoon of jojoba or grapeseed oil and either give the full body massage, hand or foot massage, or simply gently massage the neck and shoulder area.


I have been in the hereafter many times – I’m in the middle of a room but I can’t remember what I am “here after?” Recently I have been losing things like the cord to my cellphone, keys, books I am currently reading or who I was just getting ready to call. It is very frustrating but I refuse to let it get me down. I found the books and I no longer lose my keys, as long as I remember to put them on the hook I now use specifically for them. I know I am getting older but I don’t think I have dementia or Alzheimer’s yet; I just have lapses in concentration and that can happen to us at any age from childhood to our senior years. These lapses in concentration are probably caused by having too much on your mind or thinking about five things at once. There is no magic oil to bring back your memory but there are some essential oils that can help with concentration and thus make remembering things less difficult.

Use  the following essential oils in equal proportions in one of the room methods, either in a diffuser or in a plant spray for a simple and effective way to improve concentration:

  • Basil
  • Cardamom
  • Ginger
  • Black Pepper

Your brain is like an electrical circuit that can short out when switching from circuit to circuit making your mind go blank or get confused. This is a very involved subject that includes fortifying the brain with nourishing food and making certain your body gets certain vitamins, minerals, and micro-nutrients especially vitamins C and E, selenium and zinc. Pernicious anemia can be helped by taking vitamin B-12 and iron supplements and lack of potassium which accounts for memory loss in some of us can be remedied with potassium tablets. Tomorrow I am going to continue this subject with a discussion of Alzheimer’s disease. No, I don’t have a cure but I believe you will find some relief if you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.

 

 


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