Dave Jackson joins Salus Wellness

DaveJacksonWe are very pleased to announce that Dave Jackson has joined Salus Wellness this month. Dave is a passionate Aromatherapist and Massage Practitioner and specialises in working with the interface between psychological and physical problems including stress, anxiety and sleep issues.

The team here at Salus Wellness are looking forward to working with Dave to support his private practice and grow his client base in Cambridge; Dave is another great addition to our already extensive list of professional therapists.

Visit his profile by checking here.

Premenstrual syndrome: aromatherapy for healthy emotions

aroma pamper partyWomen are like the moon – constantly experiencing change. This ‘change’ many women dread is marked by arrival of monthly ‘cycle’ or menstruation, which can literally be a pain and play havoc with your emotions.  However, Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) has only recently been recognised as a real medical condition, yet it is estimated that approximately 40% of women suffer from this condition every month.

Does feeling irritated and short-tempered resonate with you? Apart from the many typical physical symptoms many women have to regularly endure (cramping pain in pelvis and lower back, fluid retention and breast/ankles/ abdomen swelling, headaches or migraines, nausea, aches and pains in the upper legs, sinus problems, acne flare-ups, tiredness) there are other important emotional and psychological symptoms associated with PMS, which are truly capable of wrecking your personal life if they go untreated for too long.

Menstruation often brings along an emotional rollercoaster so the incentive to find a long-term relief to these problems is quite high, especially when the symptoms are likely to also have a negative impact on your relationships. I’ve had several reports from female clients talking about how they live with PMS emotional symptoms and how they go through depression spells, stress/anxiety, anger, mood swings and snappy moods. All these affect their behaviour, performance and relationships on a daily basis. If you seem to be in a bad and low mood more often than not and are taking it out on your friends, family or partner for no apparent reason, now, it’s time to nip it in the bud… and little did you know that aromatherapy may be the answer you have been looking for.

PMS discomforts can be eased by helping balance your emotions with the help of aromatherapy. Regular massage with essential oils can keep female hormones in check and shape! As opposed to some conventional medicines for PMS available in the market, a massage with essential oils has no side effects or risk of addiction. These oils not only contain natural chemicals with therapeutic properties but they can also deeply influence our physical imbalances, psychological well-being and our spiritual equilibrium. They act on holistic principles having a positive effect on our main, body and soul.

An effective all-rounder ‘female balance’ essential oil blend I would recommend is made up of clary sage, geranium, neroli and chamomile.  Your aromatherapist would prepare and apply it to the skin via gentle massage  ideally a week prior to the expected arrival of your period and/or even during menstruation as a good preventative measure and perhaps a solution to your disruptive ‘monthly crisis’. Clary sage has in fact been used for centuries to alleviate female conditions. It is very rich in antioxidants and contains sclareol, a diterpene alcohol very similar to the chemical structure of the hormones produced in the human body. Therefore, clary sage has a balancing effect and stimulates our bodies to produce more hormones. In addition, those of you who wish to gain relief from the emotional and psychological symptoms of PMS go for ‘hormone balancer’ essential oils such as geranium, rose, jasmine and even exotic ylang ylang. This synergy blend helps relieve premenstrual conditions and smoothly navigate the menopausal period. Geranium is very effective in successfully treating female hormonal imbalance and autonomic nervous system (ANS) imbalances due to its alcohol geraniol chemical composition. ANS stimulates hormonal production and response. Jasmine alleviates anxiety and stress, balances hormones and uplifts your mood. Ylang ylang balances hormones for progesterone imbalances and Rose, the highest frequency essential oil, affects every cell on a molecular cellular level to enhance frequency and to bring the body into harmony. Hormone balancing essential oils clean out and reset the cell’s hormone receptor sites. These also provide the proper levels of hormones and improve endocrine glands’ health so that the body can improve hormone production naturally. Balanced hormones influence every function in our body, drive our feelings and improve our daily life.

Now, suffering with PMS emotional symptoms yourself? Aromatherapy uses a natural and holistic approach to improve your menstrual life. Do contact me on info@elenagonzalez.co.uk for more information on how aromatherapy can help your condition or to arrange a consultation and treatment.

The power of scent: revisiting memories from the past

ElenaThe amazing ability of the sense of smell to bring back past memories is certainly not unheard of and not to be underestimated. Aromatherapy plays a very important role in providing emotional relief very often sought after in the hustle and bustle and stresses of modern life. There are specific behavioural responses to smell translated into positive or negative emotions, which are attached to certain smells.

Releasing these can have an extremely therapeutic effect on the client. Anyone who’s not tried aromatherapy before would be very surprised to realise on the powerful effect the smell of a particular essential oil can have on our brain and hence our emotions. The power of essence to unlock hidden emotions and bring them onto the surface through a past memory is quite an incredible fact and a very important benefit of aromatherapy! I recently saw a new client; let’s call her Olivia for the purpose of confidentiality as I would like to present her case study as a good example to illustrate this point. Following Olivia’s initial consultation involving discussion of medical history, lifestyle and diet we moved to the stage of treatment of essential oil selection for her massage blend.

An Aromatherapist would then consider the factors mentioned before as well as the client’s mood and aroma preferences. Having identified treatment objectives and Olivia’ need to relax, she picked flower-based Ylang ylang and Jasmine (a relaxing and mood balancer respectively).  Finally, I offered her a couple of herbs-based options to round off the essential oil  blend, I randomly picked rosewood, but it was not till I passed the rosewood essential oil bottle to her that I realised the full impact that smell of rosewood had on her emotions. She automatically burst into tears…I then tried to calm her down, gave her a tissue and a glass of water and held her hand whilst she tried to get composure. She then said’ OMG, I’m so sorry for this, what was it that you gave me to smell?’ – ‘Rosewood’ – I said. She added’ it just so reminds me of my grandma’. . I then made the executive decision of carrying on with the treatment once she had given me permission to add rosewood to the blend. I judged it as a good move as by the expression on her face I could tell hers were tears of happiness associated to a nice memory from the past, a memory that the smell of rosewood had facilitated. I then diluted the blend with sweet almond carrier oil and went ahead with the full-body massage treatment. I thought I’d further explore the link between rosewood and her emotional reaction at the end of the treatment when she was even more relaxed and felt emotionally relieved. Olivia then thanked me for helping her ‘digest’ her emotions with aromatherapy. At that point I asked her more about the memories evoked by rosewood. She then confirmed that on smelling it, she instantly thought about her grandma’s garden and how much she actually loved and missed her family (as they don’t live in the UK she does not get to see them often enough)

There is a clear connection between a past experience and the very scent we smell in the present, which affects our behaviour.   Let’s not forget that essential oils do have an effect on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. On smelling rosewood, Olivia felt physically and emotionally relaxed extremely content and at peace.  A past happy memory relived thanks to rosewood helped connect with her family at a more meaningful level. Her sense of smell brought the memory of happy times with her family to the present. Her brain was then stimulated causing a positive emotional reaction (tears of happiness). The power of smell knows no boundaries really: how is our brain so greatly connected to our sense of smell? Our brain does indeed associate certain smells to past memories, revisiting these can lead to a good or bad emotional reaction. Rosewood (see note * below) helped Olivia process pent up feelings of nostalgia and sadness whilst enhancing her feelings of love towards her family. She just needed to acknowledge and release these emotions. The power to heal emotions is one of the many benefits of aromatherapy and with the New Year looming, achieving emotional balance may perhaps be one of your resolutions. Perhaps it’s time for a good emotional check-up…

(note *) Rosewood has anti-bacterial, anti-infectious, antiviral, antifungal, stimulant and anti-parasitic properties – generally used for skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis, acne, and dry and oily skin, elasticity, wrinkles), fungal infections (Candida, oral, vaginitis), depression, improves skin elasticity, wounds. Its sweet and woody aroma makes is grounding and relaxing effect on the mind. This oil has interesting spiritual influences and often used in blends used for emotional release, trauma and encouragement. It is said that Rosewood creates peace and security and has been associated with alleviating depression.

Some benefits of Aromatherapy

ElenaGonzalezLooking for joint pain relief? Recent studies have corroborated the use of aromatherapy for pain relief. Professor Mehmet Oz at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City commented “Aromatherapy is effective because it works directly on the amygdala, the brain’s emotional center. This has important consequences because the thinking part of the brain can’t inhibit the effects of the scent, meaning you feel them instantaneously.”

Aromatherapy has common uses and has calming effects helping reduce anxiety or energising effects helping combat depression. It also promotes skin rejuvenation but on top of this pain relief is also an extremely important benefit of a bespoke aromatherapy treatment and in particular it can ease the pain of arthritis.

Arthritis sufferers commonly complain about pain in the limb joints and those who have tried aromatherapy can vouch for the pain relief properties of certain essential oils . Sudden weather changes do not help those with joint pain either as they sometimes struggle using their limbs. A simple task like grabbing a door handle, keeping hold of things or picking something up can become quite a strain.

Massage itself can benefit people with painful hand or wrist arthritis although. As a massage therapist aware of the physical symptoms of arthitis you are extremely gentle whilst massaging those achy joints. The pressure applied needs to be quite light and gentle. However, an aromatherapy massage can be a more powerful combination as you get the added benefit of using therapeutic essential oils suited for your condition, and diluted in carried oil and these are applied via massage helping alleviate the joint pain experienced.

A gentle aromatherapy massage warms up the skin and underlying muscles and joints hence helping relieve pain. Chamomile, peppermint, sweet marjoram and ginger are effective essential oils for joint pain, which can be used in a full body massage. These can also be added to a pain-relieving bath. For arthritic hands or feet you can also try a daily hand or foot bath (ensure you first consult your aromatherapist on how to use these concentrated oils safely [*])

An essential oil preparation with cinnamon, peppermint, and clove is also great skin-heating blend. In addition, Tiger Balm, which contains peppermint, can stimulate both hot and cold reactions in the skin’s nerve endings. There are also some muscle-relaxing and inflammation-reducing essential oils such as rosemary and lavender, which penetrate into the skin to work directly on the muscle.
An an interesting fact : did you know that, in between your aromatherapy massage treatments, you can regularly drink nettle tea at home to also help alleviate joint pain?

All in all, it is worth noting that, whilst aromatherapy can certainly help relieve the painful symptoms it does not tackle the root cause of the condition itself, therefore, so you would still need to take medical advice from the experts on your condition as well take the necessary treatment as prescribed by your own doctor.

In the meantime, why not trying aromatherapy alongside conventional medicine? Be kind to your mind, body and soul…a therapeutic massage can work a treat. Keep warm in this weather too 🙂

[*] Please notice and remember: do not use essential oils at home without first consulting your qualified aromatherapist on how to best use these safely at home – these contain very concentrated natural chemicals, which could irritate your skin and/or cause you an adverse reaction.