Holistic and Massage Therapy in Brighton and Hove

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Seasonal Uses for Aromatherapy Oils

December 7th, 2011

Tis the season to be jolly and also the time of year when our immune systems have to work their hardest. Winter colds and viruses are prevalent and while eating well and maintaining fitness levels can help us to stay fit and healthy, all of us need a little extra help from time to time.

Aromatherapy can help in many ways and essential oils are a useful tool in treating symptoms in a non invasive and holistic way.

As many essential oils are bactericidal and stimulate the body’s ability to fight infection, they can not only lessen the discomfort of coughs and colds but also help to reduce the risk of secondary, more serious infections, such as bronchitis or sinusitis.

Another irritation that a lot of us can suffer from around this time of year is more self inflicted – a hangover! Of course, avoiding excessive drinking in the first place is the most sensible course of action, however if you feel a little worse for wear, essential oils can help!

Here are some simple and effective ways to use essential oils to treat minor ailments.

Aromatherapy Baths – add 3 drops off essential oil to 20 mls of semi skimmed or full fat milk and add to a bath.

Steam Inhalations – fill a bowl with hot water and place a towel over your head. The water should be as hot as can be tolerated without burning the nose or throat. Add 2 drops of essential oil and breathe deeply through the nose and mouth.

Decongestant Gel – add 2 drops of essential oil to 4 teaspoons of aloe vera gel and mix together (the gel will turn white as you mix them together). Apply the gel to your chest, throat and upper back and breath deeply. For fans of reflexology you can also apply the gel to the soles of your feet so that your reflex points receive the benefit of aromatherapy as well.

Massage – add 3 drops of essential oil to 20mls of carrier oil for a body massage or 1 drop of essential oil to 20mls of carrier oil for facial massage or for sensitive skin.

Essential Oils

Colds –lavender or marjoram can be used at any time of day and can aid restful sleep. Rosemary or ti-tree oil are also very effective but should only be used in the earlier part of the day as they are both quite stimulating.

Coughs and Sore Throats – sandalwood, lavender, frankincense and marjoram are all excellent for coughs. Sandalwood is particularly good for dry coughs and frankincense is especially soothing for sore throats.

Hangovers – rosemary essential oil is excellent for hangovers as it is detoxifying and can clear a foggy head. As rosemary is a stimulating oil it should only be used during the day. Lavender or frankincense are relaxing and can aid a restful sleep.

Please note that these recommendations are for minor ailments only. If symptoms persist, please seek medical advice.

Pregnant women should be cautious when using essential oils and should seek advice from an aromatherapist before use. The quantities above are recommended for adults. If you would like recommendations for dilutions suitable for children, would like to book a treatment or have any other queries please contact me at amanda@amandawilsontherapy.com

Posture at your PC

November 5th, 2010

A lot of my clients spend a large part of their working day in front of a computer and so I tend to treat a lot of people that have similar postural problems and patterns of muscle tension.

Muscles support our skeleton and work together to enable us to make the movements that we ask of them. When we do physical activity we know that it is best if we warm up beforehand and stretch afterwards, even if we choose not to!

While sitting at a desk your muscles are working hard in a repetitive pattern with no warm up or stretching. If you do lots of keyboard work then the muscles and tendons that move your fingers are running a marathon every day!

Obviously, having a workstation that is set up correctly for the user’s specific requirements with a supportive chair and taking regular breaks will help to guard against RSI. But everyone can help themselves by taking an active role in preventing injury.

Keep both feet on the ground! Crossing one leg on top of the other pulls the whole spine out of alignment and can contribute to shoulder and neck tension, as well as lower back pain.

Don’t let your mouse get away from you! If you’re mouse is too far out to the side, you will be using the muscles of you upper arm and shoulder, just to move the mouse. If the mouse is closer to you then the arm and shoulder joint can remain relaxed and your body doesn’t have to work so hard.

Have a Stretch! If it’s at all possible taking little breaks and moving around can make all the difference to the build up of muscle tension. Just simple movements like rolling your shoulders or moving your head slowly from side to side enables the muscles to stretch and relax.

Have a Massage! Contracted muscles can be stretched and tension can be eased enabling  pain to disapate and your body to relax. A sports therapist will also be able to recommend specific exercises and stretches to suit your body’s needs.

Be Active! If you have a job that requires you to be static for long periods of time it’s important to spend some time being active. Whether it’s walking your dog or playing your favourite sport, taking part in a physical activity that you enjoy will be hugely beneficial for your mind and your body.

I’m on twitter!

August 12th, 2010

I’m joining the rest of the world on twitter today: I’ll be announcing offers, news and advice with it.

You should follow me! I’m @awtherapy. Feel free to ask questions etc…

Reflexology Maps

July 9th, 2010

The following reflexology maps show the links between the areas of the feet and the associated body area.

Dorsal Reflexes

Medial and Lateral Reflexes

Plantar Reflexes

A History of Reflexology

August 21st, 2009

Reflexology was the inspiration for my becoming a therapist. I was so impressed by the relaxation and stress relief that I experienced after receiving treatments that I decided to train myself.

History of Reflexology

Reflexology does not have an exact origin, throughout history many diverse cultures have been working on the feet to affect overall health.

Amanda At Work

Amanda At Work

In Egypt the tomb of Ankhmahor, physician to the king, has wall carvings dated 2330 BC, which include scenes of  pressure massage on the feet.  Pressure techniques on the feet have been performed as part of Ayevedic treatments in India for over 5000 years. Chinese Traditional Medicine also incorporates foot massage and zone theory, Eastern philosophies see the individual being as a microcosm of the universe and the feet as a microcosm of the individual being.

It is thought that Indian techniques travelled with Buddhist monks from India to China at the end of the 100’s AD and later through China to Japan. Near Ziaan, in China, a stone carving of Buddha’s footprint was preserved in a Buddhist temple. The carving is identical to footprints in India and Japan.

Western reflexology is closely linked with the Inca and Mayan tribes of America. Zone Therapy, in which the body is divided into 10 vertical zones, was practiced in Europe in the 1500’s. In 1913 Zone Therapy was rediscovered by Dr Fitzgerald an ear, nose and throat surgeon, who found that the whole zone was affected when pressure was applied to a specific point in the same zone. Fitzgerald also used Mayan engravings showing  reflexology points as part of his treatments. Dr Shelby Riley, a colleague of Fitzgerald, produced diagrams of the foot reflexes. Eunice Ingham, Riley’s assistant, researched and worked with the ancient reflexes and evolved the reflexology maps and techniques that are still used today.

Since Doreen Bayley, a student of Eunice Ingham, introduced reflexology into Britain in the 1960’s it has been growing in popularity. Many research projects have been initiated in recent years, through organisations such as the Association of Reflexologists and also through funding by the Swiss and Danish governments.

Reflexology is equally beneficial for emotional and physical conditions and continues to be one of my favourite treatments to give and receive!