Self-help guide to relaxation and stress relief using Aromatheraphy and massage.
TIRED? Stressed out? Sick of reaching for sleeping pills? Then Aromatherapy is for you.
Aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years and has supplied welcome relief to millions of people without the use of drugs. It has evolved little over the years and is one of the purest forms of the essence of plants and flowers and is very therapeutic. Cleopatra was known for her use of aromatics to cure ills and of course, as an aphrodisiac.
It neednít cost a fortune to get started, just a small bottle of Lavender, costing around $12-$15 (AUS) is all it takes. Try putting some warm water in a basin (about one third full) with 3 or 4 drops of Lavender Essential Oil. Swish the water around to ensure dispersion, throw in a soft face washer and leave it to soak for a minute, just to ensure the washer has absorbed the oil.
Now hydrate your face after gently squeezing out most of the excess water. Press the washer gently to your face. Do this about four times, leaving a gap of around two or three minutes between each hydration. Not only will you get a deep, relaxing sleep, but also you will see a noticeable difference in your skin tone in around a week.
Lavender is one of my favourite oils because it is so versatile. It has a number of first aid applications, including bites, stings, cuts and bruises. It can also be used as a disinfectant. Lavender accelerates healing and is particularly calming. One drop on your pillow will lull you into a restful nights sleep and wonít leave any oil marks on the pillowcase. Two drops in the final rinse in the washing machine will leave your clothes and linen smelling fresh and clean.
If youíre a bit more adventurous, try putting 10 drops Lavender oil to 50ml of carrier oil to make a massage mix. Essential oils in their pure state are generally too concentrated to use undiluted on the skin. Lavender is the only exception to this.
Carrier oils (or base oils as theyíre sometimes known) are used most commonly when mixing oils for massage. My personal choice is Sweet Almond Oil, but ordinary cooking oil will do, itís main drawback being itís a bit heavier to handle.
By now, youíre thinking what an impossible task you have been set. Not so. All it takes is a little oil and a soft touch. Research has proven time and again that touch is one of the most important ingredients in any healing process. Just a little gentle stroking across the back, up and outward, is particularly calming and relaxing.
Try massaging your partner for ten minutes each night before going to bed. You may even be able to convince him/her to reciprocate. Massage can be a very intimate activity, and has been known to bring couples closer together.
Hopefully, I have caught your interest. If so, there are many books available which teach the basic principle of massage, and your local library will get you started - itís that easy.