By Hillary Arrieta,
LMT, MTI, and Certified Aromatherapist.
It's summer and I absolutely love walking and hiking in nature on warm, dry days. If it were up to me, I'd probably spend most of my time outdoors. However, mosquitoes are a problem everywhere you go. Sometimes these Texas summers require early morning or evening hikes, which can be an issue because those are the times of the day when they are the most active.
A few years back, I was at an outdoor meditation retreat where I forgot about these pesky and unrelenting creatures. I came away with welts that were so itchy and miserable that I decided to blend something that could take the sting out and give me some relief. This aromatherapy recipe worked like a charm! I make sure to always have some of it handy for the summertime.
For this recipe, you will need to gather essential oils of:
4 drops Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)
4 drops Blue Tansy (Tanacetum annuum)
2 drops of Tulsi (holy basil) (Ocimum sanctum ct eugenol)
3 drops of Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)
(1) One ounce PET plastic flip top bottle.
One ounce of any of the following: Organic, unscented lotion, aloe vera juice (a nice and cooling option), or your choice of organic, cold pressed seed or vegetable oil. Fill the bottle almost to the top with your carrier product. Drop by drop, add your essential oils. Shake to mix and apply to the itchy bites as needed. Avoid the area if the skin is broken and/or bleeding. Pro tip: Add your blend to a glass roller bottle for on-the-go convenience. I find glass roller-ball bottles at Natural grocers for a very reasonable price.
If you don't have any of this stuff and aren't interested in blending oils at all, try an old folk remedy of using a banana peel! Just peel the banana and place the inside part of the peel on the bites. That should ease the itch.
If you tried this recipe, Leave your results in the comments section! I'd love to hear how it worked for you.
Hi! I’m Hillary Arrieta and I help people improve their lives by offering holistic solutions to ease stress, eliminate pain, and inspire self care practices. I own Gaia Bodywork in Richardson, TX. and specialize in unique and effective massage and meditation techniques such as ashiatsu Barefoot Bar Therapy and iRest® Yoga Nidra. Gaia Bodywork PLLC offers the Best Massage and ashiatsu in the Dallas area for pain and stress management.
By Hillary Arrieta
I love this this time of year! The sun is shining, the birds are singing + the flowers are blooming.
I'm a big flower person so I've spend most of this lovely weekend out in my garden weeding and feeding my roses.
It's one of my regular self-care activities. I love how quiet + peaceful the outdoors can be. The sun on my skin feels so good after a long week in the dark at my wellness studio.
The only thing that stops me from enjoying my time in the yard this time of year is the big oak tree behind my house. It's beautiful but it drops the biggest, yellowest pollen ever! Burning, itchy, watery eyes + usually a nice little headache comes next. It's THE WORST!
After I've used my saline nose spray + tear drops for my eyes to get rid of all that gross, irritating pollen, I choose my favorite aromatherapy oils of lavender + peppermint. I also like to add few drops of lemon (I love the brightness of this yummy citrus oil.)
I like to make an inhaler + carry it with me but you could use this blend in any vegetable oil carrier for massage.
6 drops Lavender (angustifolia)
5 drops Peppermint
4 drops Lemon
Massage oil recipe:
10 drops Lavender (angustifolia)
8 drops peppermint
2 drops lemon
One ounce vegetable/seed oil (coconut, olive, sweet almond, or jojoba are nice.)
Use as needed when headaches begin.
Did you try our recipe?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
Enjoying hours of restful sleep is on the top of my personal self care list. I don't know about you, but I've always loved sleep. It just seems to be the perfect reset button for me. If I'm feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I do my little night time ritual and go to bed early.
I wake up rested and feel like I can focus on problem solving with a clear head.
Lately, many of my clients have been talking to me about their lack of sleep these days. They say that they are having a hard time winding down in the evening. Of course we know that massage helps people get better quality of sleep and eases insomnia so they are already in the right place to received sleep related benefits.
Recent seasonal changes and lunar events can also make it difficult on our sleep patterns.
Some people turn to alcohol or prescription medications to help them achieve restful sleep.
I checked out the long list of side effects some people have experienced from medications, so I thought that I'd write about some natural ways to catch some high quality zzz's.
First, consider your current lifestyle. Look at it from a holistic point of view. That means examine all of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of your life right now.
Make some changes to your lifestyle that feel good to you and see if it has a positive affect. I also love this list of questions to ask yourself when you're feeling overwhelmed. It's a big help to me when I need to put things in to perspective. An excellent self care list!
Some of my favorite bed time routines are taking a hot bath with bath salts and massaging my feet with an aromatherapy salve. I also love to do a few restorative yoga postures to get my body ready to sleep. Spinal twists are my absolute favorite before bed.
Now, set up your sleeping space.
Make it cool and dark. Consider removing electronics from your bedroom.
Make yourself a retreat that you enjoy going to every evening. I always have a book and a flashlight on my bedside table so I can read because i've found that it puts me right to sleep. Find out what works for you and make it easy to access. Some other suggestions are aromatherapy eye pillows or deep breathing exercises.
I've also included this great pillow spray recipe below the picture.
Recipe for a simple pillow spray:
2 oz empty and clean spray bottle
1 tsp. vegetable glycerine (can be found online) to help disperse EO's
Distilled or filtered water
7 drops of Lavender ( Lavendula angustifolia) essential oil
7 drops of Ho wood (Cinnamomum camphora ct linalol) essential oil
6 drops Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) essential oil
First, fill the bottle almost to the top with water (make enough room for the other liquids that you're about to add).
Then, add essential oils drop by drop.
Next, add your vegetable glycerine.
Put the top on the spray bottle and shake it up.
Spray your pillow before bed and enjoy!
Did you try the pillow spray recipe?
Share your experiences in the comments.
If you made alterations to the recipe, which scents did you use and why?
I was first interested in aromatherapy beginning in the seventh grade. I went to a natural health store with my mom and found a beautifully packaged essential oil boasting about it’s ability to attract the opposite sex. I was intrigued immediately and purchased the oil without hesitation. The next day at school, I showed all of my friends, telling them “ This magic oil will get you noticed by boys!” Of course they were also very interested in this so we all took turns sharing the bottle, scenting ourselves in the lovely lavender aroma.
I don’t remember it having any effect whatsoever on our middle school crushes, but it opened me up to a whole new world of essential oils. The magical promise of this oil was too exciting to my thirteen year old self, that I had to give it a try. From then on, lavender has been one of my top favorite flowers and essential oils.
I enjoy growing lavender in my garden, specifically the Goodwin creek gray variety, and enjoy the intoxicating aroma on windy warm evenings. I can personally relate to the pleasant and loving feelings this herb and it's oil is thought to bring about.
I have never seen lavender oil marketed as a man magnet again since my middle school days. Thinking back on this early experience, I wondered where the part about attracting love by way of lavender came from. I usually see lavender marketed as a calming, sleep inducing, and skin healing oil so I went looking for more on the subject of it’s use as a love potion, as well as it’s history, and the history specifically linking it to love and attraction.
Lavender and it’s uses have been documented for over 2,500 years by many many cultures. It has been thought that lavender originated from the Mediterranean, areas of the Middle East, and parts of India. It’s now being grown all over the world including Australia, The US, Southern Europe, France, and parts of Asia. Lavender has a rich history that can be linked to advanced ancient civilizations. Egyptians, Romans, and the Greeks are just a few civilizations that reaped the benefits of the herb.
Lavender has many uses in today’s world as well. It’s widely used in the cosmetic industry to fragrance creams and lotions and has massive therapeutic benefits in modern aromatherapy. There are so many uses for this lovely oil. Some of it’s most celebrated benefits are it’s skin healing properties, It’s assistance in the relief of emotional tension, relief from cramps, digestive discomfort, and the list goes on and on. It’s truly an amazing herb and essential oil.
So why does lavender make a good oil for a love? After reading so much about this oil and the herb itself, Lavender has so many practical uses and while love is not always practical, Lavender has been a fragrant symbol of love and fidelity exchanged by lovers as a sign of undying devotion for centuries. As it was previously stated, several cultures throughout history used it to excite their partners, to attempt to keep them chaste, or give it to one another as a symbol of their love.
Gaia Bodywork PLLC is the private massage practice of Hillary Arrieta LMT040051 and is located in Richardson, TX. Hillary offers the best massage services in the area for pain and stress management. Visit gaiabodywork.com for more information.
Lavender is often associated with love spells according to Patti Wigington, the author of an article discussing lavender in the pagan/wiccan tradition on about.com. Patti suggests carrying a sachet of lavender flowers on your person or hanging it in your home to bring love into your life. After reading about this, I was able to discuss it’s use in love spells with a few people I met in my aromatherapy group online who practice wicca. I came to find out that it’s not always the main ingredient but it is more of a helper herb in many spells. If you were wishing to create a love spell using lavender essential oil, you could make it as simple or as complicated as you wish. A “spell” is really just an intention setting ritual directed towards yourself. Diffusing lavender oil while meditating on love and setting an intention of loving someone or something could be a simple ritual.
It was just pure intuition that gave this herb it's reputation in the beginning. Now we have GC/MS testing that can tell us the chemical components of an oil. Knowing which components make up an oil can help us understand it’s therapeutic value, then we can blend or use oils in a more clinical way. Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry are analytical tests that are done on samples of oils to determine exactly what is in your essential oil bottle. This is very important because oils are not regulated so there are no real standards imposed on companies who advertise and sell EOs. Not only will GC/MS testing discover synthetic components, the tests will determine the chemistry of your oil, giving you an idea of how to use it from a clinical standpoint. If you are a clinical aromatherapist, this information is very important to you because it will determine how you will blend for your clients.
According to the information I have on my lavender oil, lavandula agustifolia, the report shows high levels of monoterpenols and esters. These chemical components tell me that this oil would be wonderful to calm, soothe, and balance body systems. It would also help reduce fear and panic and offer relief to tight muscles and headaches from tension.
When you feel calm and comfortable with no stress or fear, most people would agree that connecting with others is much easier. Intimacy is bound to happen if all of these effects took place. So now we have a little science on lavender to back up the intuition of our ancient ancestors.
Surprisingly, there's quite a lot of information out there on the correlation between lavender and love. For over 2500 years, people have been enchanted with it's beauty and comforting fragrance. They have used it’s oil in perfumes, spells, and therapeutic applications. The herb itself has been hung in bedrooms to invite love and romance, it’s been placed in wedding bouquets, planted for it’s beauty, utilized for protection, and has been offered as gifts to ancient kings.
While there are many oils labeled as having an aphrodisiac type effect, lavenders uses are many and it has found it's way into peoples hearts.
I hope you enjoyed my blog post. This comes from my paper I recently wrote for my aromatherapy certification.
Are you into aromatherapy?
Which oils or smells are you naturally attracted to?
I'd love to read your answers in the comment section below!
I'm still playing with my signature blends so I'm not quite ready to fully introduce them into my sessions but I hope to be offering them to you very soon! Of course I'll still have my unscented oil as an option too. I know many people are highly sensitive to smells or have allergies.
These new oils will be a free add on to anyone who is interested in giving aromatherapy a try.
I plan to offer three choices. One for for muscle relief, stress relief and relaxation.
As some of you know, I've been working hard this year on several projects. Becoming an aromatherapist, doing Marie Forleo's B-school (starts next week!), and taking Richard Miller's IRest training this summer. I'm powering through all this new stuff and getting pumped up. Full steam ahead just like you should during the year of the horse.
I'm about to wrap up my certification from aromahead institute in clinical aromatherapy.
Aromahead institute has two schools, one in Ithaca, NY and the other in Fort Meyers, Fl. I enrolled in their online training program and have been having so much fun learning about safe and practical ways of using essential oils.
I've been making creams, lotions, salves, lip balms, facial moisturizers, aromatherapy inhalers, and body oils. I'm really excited about this because I have also learned some really helpful ways of using aromatherapy oils in my massage sessions for muscular pain and tension as well as stress relief and relaxation. I'm convinced that as soon as I start offering these oils as options during your massage, you'll see an even bigger improvement in your overall experience at Gaia Bodywork.
Gaia Bodywork PLLC is the private massage practice of Hillary Arrieta LMT040051 and is located in Richardson, TX. Hillary offers the best massage services in the area for pain and stress management. Visit Gaiabodywork.com for more information.
You maybe wondering what aromatherapy is, exactly. I'm sure you've heard of the term and have seen products with aromatherapy on the label so I'll explain it a little more for those that have no experience with it.
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils from aromatic plants and carrier oils therapeutically.
Examples of essential oils that are very popular are lavender oil, rose oil, and eucalyptus oil.
Examples of a carrier oil would be olive oil, coconut oil, and sesame oil.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils come from aromatic plants. The oils are usually steam distilled but can also be cold pressed, like many citrus oils or solvent extracted which are called absolutes, from special cells or glands found in the plants. They can come from the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, and/or seeds depending on the type of plant.
The oils are then analyzed by their chemical make up to determine their therapeutic benefits.
An aromatherapist will take this information and blend the essential oils in to a carrier to make it safe to apply topically or create an inhaler for inhalation. Some aromatherapists also blend from personal intuition as well.
I plan to be selling some of my aromatherapy products by the end of the year and doing custom blends as well!
Aromatherapy, It's a science and an art.
What do you think about using essential oils during a massage?
Have you ever had an aromatherapy massage before? What is your favorite oil?
Leave your comment! I love hearing from you.
This week, I spent time with Michelle Bardwell , The Owner and Registered Aromatherapist of Flower Road. She's local, extremely knowledgeable, and she's got some AMAZING product!
These potent, medicinal aromatherapy oils are shipped here by her mentor all the way from France.
European Doctors use aromatherapy as a way of healing the body and I can totally see why! Just a few hours smelling these oils made us all giggly and woozy- some pretty powerful stuff!
The mad scientist in me jumped at the chance to take a class that involved mixing or, what I now know as "formulating" (Never call it blending! as Michelle says). Yes, My childhood days were filled with concocting a mixtures such as hot water, toothpaste, and soda- which became the perfect way to trick and pester my older brother and who could forget about that a vat of "poop soup" in the back yard (the family dog supplied the main ingredient) HAHA! I know my mom remembers that one. Fond memories....Anyways-
What most of us know here as Aromatherapy is better described as Aromacology. We think of smelling the oil when we say aromatherapy. Inhaling the oil can have an effect on our brains and thus our bodies but inhaling essential oils can be super useful in affecting our emotions, because it hits the limbic system of the brain very easily.
Aromacology is the science and theory of how essential oils, or smells affect the mind and emotions, like when the smell chocolate chip cookies baking remind you of your childhood and give you a cozy "home" feeling.
Aromatherapy is the use of PURE essential oils to make a PHYSIOLOGICAL effect on the body by methods of ingestion, inhalation, and topical application. Aromatherapy is not ONLY about the Aroma- it's about choosing the right EO's for a desired outcome. Lucky, most formulas smell pretty great.
It seems that Aromatherapy has turned in to a buzz word for companies trying to market their products. (Example: Paint with aromatherapy??? )
So along with smell testing the oils, (I've also taste tested one...that was pretty cool) I learned about the individual oils themselves, formulating oils for my clients specific Hippocratic Temperaments ( I'm a "phlegmatic" but more about that later) and lots about the different extracting processes.
It's so inspiring to learn new ways of getting to the goal- which for me is to relieve the everyday stresses and add quality of life to my clients, friends, family and self.
These tools can surely make the world a better, calmer, happier place- and I know it's gonna take my massage treatments to a whole new level!