Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) is one plant most people don’t think about as having benefits, however it does have some incredible “powers”! The essential oil originating in Sri Lanka is from Steam Distilled peppercorns. The aroma is actually quite pleasing, a mix of floral, spicy and woody. Benefits of Black Pepper are:
- good for the circulatory system
- Warming to stimulate muscles
- great for concentration
- soothes aching muscles
- anti-bacterial, anti-viral
Black Pepper blends well with Bergamot, Clove, Ginger, and other woodsy aromas.
Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) originates in Australia, using it’s leaves in steam distillation. It’s aroma is medicinal and herbaceous. Tea Tree has many benefits:
- anti fungal
- anti viral
- often used for acne
- good for dandruff
Best blended with Cedarwood, citruses, Lavender, Rosemary, and other herbaceous oils.
Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum) oil is distilled in Egypt. Besides it being a popular culinary herb, this sweet fresh green aroma has many benefits as well:
- Helps in focus and concentration
- Great for fatigue
- supports a healthy inflammation response
- promotes respiratory health
Blends well with citruses, woodsy aromas, Palma Rosa, Juniper, and Jasmine.
The Chakra system, originating in Hindu and Buddhist traditions, have thousands of texts and information written. However, since this is just a little peek, I’ll spare you the pages of information and just give a bit about the system.
The Chakra System are energy centers located along the body. Each chakra corresponds to different physical, emotional, and metaphysical properties. When our chakras are “balanced” we are “well”.
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Spearmint (Mentha Spicata) is steam distilled originating from South Africa. You will find a perky sweetness along with the herby mint aroma in Spearmint. Benefits of Spearmint are:
- has been said to be an appetite stimulant
Blends well with peppermint and citruses.
If anyone asks me who my favorite massage teachers have been, I’ll always answer one as Tina Allen. She is a rock star! She’s taken Pediatric Massage around the world and truly spread a special gift.
I was very excited to answer some questions for her article in Massage Magazine (a monthly publication) about my son, who is on the Autism spectrum, and being a Massage Therapist as well.
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Starting new year resolutions with de-stressing, I’ve decided to bring in Vetiver (Vetivera zizanoides) this week. Vetiver is used more in male perfumes, but is a favorite of both genders. It has an aroma combination of grounding, earthy to sweet and sexy. It’s benefits are as follows:
- mild sedative
- balances sebum production
- supportive in body image issues
Whether or not you make resolutions, it’s become more important than ever to take care of yourself. Besides living a long life and being around for your loved ones (including children), don’t you want your long life to be as stress-free as possible? Many people are probably laughing at that last thought, but of all the things you can control: How to relieve your body of unwanted stress.
Have you heard of 21st Century Stress? Yes, it’s a real thing. Whether we want to admit it or not, our lives are a constant buzzing around, checking emails, posting on facebook, tweeting this and texting that. We’ve actually somehow added to the day to day stress of just living, working, and even playing.
The Center for Brain Health reported that 40% of Americans said stress was the biggest health concern in a survey by The American Psychological Association.
Obviously, being a Massage Therapist, my first answer would be to get regular massages. Even if it’s a quarterly event, keep your appointment! However, if massage isn’t your “thing” or you are low on funds, there are many other things to bring you back down to earth.
- Breathing Exercises
- 10 minutes of quiet
- Removing the stressor out of your life
- Learning to say “No”
- Setting aside time to think about positives in your life
- Writing or drawing
- Bubble Baths
- Listening to music
- Having a cup of tea
Or start out even easier. Write down 5 things on a piece of paper that instantly make you feel good. Try to remember to look at that list whenever you are feeling down or burnt out.
And now that you’ve made it through this little post, go do one of the above 🙂
To kick off the Yule season, I’m covering Myrrh for the first week of December. Myrrh(Commiphora myrrha) is an ancient aroma. It is a from the Myrrh tree found in Somalia and distilled from the resin in France. If you haven’t used it, you may have at least heard about it as one of the gifts the Three Wise Men brought to Jesus. Not only is it ancient, it even smells like something from long ago. It’s used in male fragrances, but also has many benefits:
- Helps itching from eczema
- Clears out mucous from respiratory system
- Good for chapped or cracked skin
It is best blended with Frankincense, Bergamot, Clove, Lavender, and other earthy aromas.