This is for you 145 King Streeters!June 19 2018, 0 Comments
I hope you enjoyed your session on Aromatherapy today.
In my efforts to go paperless, I did not provide a handout, however, below you will find some content that was covered in the presentation that you can reference at your leisure, and share with others.
Thank you for your interest in aromatherapy. Once you start learning about and incorporating essentials oils into your life, I guarantee you will find it hard to live without them!
All the very best,
What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is categorized as a Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM) alongside health modalities like massage therapy, traditional Chinese Medicine, reflexology and chiropractics. This powerful and natural system uses pure essential oils that are derived from plants to help correct imbalances that affect us both physically and emotionally.
What are essential oils (EOs)?
Essential oils are non greasy liquids in varying viscosity that are extracted from flowers, leaves, twigs and seeds, roots, bark, fruit, needles, resins. They are highly concentrated and are not to be used undiluted. It concerns me when I see essential oils for sale in their pure undiluted state. There are sensitization issues, toxicity issues, and even drug interaction issues with some essential oils. They are powerful healing agents and should be used with caution.
Get to know these 6 multi-use essential oils
- Lavender – One of the safest, most versatile essential oils, lavender is the ultimate for relaxation, headaches and normalizing breathing. Also very strongly anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory so it’s good for first aid and cleaning. It is also safe for children when used in appropriate dilution rates.
- Roman Chamomile – one of the most calming oils for all systems of the body. Safe for children when used in appropriate dilution rates, good for skin conditions, PMS. A great nighttime oil to help prepare the mind and body for sleep.
- Eucalyptus (globulus) - There are many different varieties of eucalyptus but this one is best know for coughs, colds and flu, sinus congestion, respiratory congestion, fever and headaches.
- Rosemary – Widely used in skincare and for muscle pain, this EO is also known to support clear thinking. It has a compound in it called 1,8 cineole that has been clinically proven to improve cognitive thinking.
- Peppermint - Known most for its analgesic properties, which means pain reducing, this is a fantastic essential oil for headache and nerve pain (think sciatica!). It's also good for nausea and digestion and a stimulant for mental fatigue.
- Petitgrain - Calming to the nervous system, said to help insomnia and a wonderful skin care oil to balance dry or oily skin. A beautiful uplifting oil. Cousin to more expensive Neroli.
There are very few EOs that can be applied "neat", that is, undiluted on the skin. Until you are very familiar with the oils and their properties, dilute all essential oils before applying to the skin. The most popular way to dilute oils is through carrier oils such as jojoba, sweet almond oil, rosehip oil. Every carrier oils has their own nutrients and benefits. Get to know which one works for your skin type.
VERY IMPORTANT: Before you start using essential oils, know that a little goes a long long way. Every drop of essential oil packs a HUGE punch. Essential oils are said to be 75-100x more concentrated than dried herbs.
A few ways to use essential oils and quantity (for adult use only):
|Method||Amount of Essential Oil|
Add 20 drops EO to 2 cups sea or epsom salts or a blend of both. Shake to disperse essential oils Use 1/2 cup salts per bath.
3 drops in warm to hot water
|Bath (no salts)||5-8 drops EO diluted in 1 tsp carrier oil|
Hair & Scalp
|3-4 drops EO in 10 ml carrier oil|
|Steam inhalation||3 drops EO directly in hot steamy water, place towel over head and breathe in (do not use if you are short of breath or are asthmatic).|
|Compresses||In 500 ml of water in a bowl, add 4 drops EO, soak cloth in water. Squeeze out excess water. Apply where needed.|
|Body Massage||6 drops EO in 10 ml carrier oil|
|Skincare||4 drops EO in 10 ml carrier oil|
|Diffuser||3 drops directly into water reservoir|
Here are the blends we did in the session:
Blend 1 – Sleepy hour bath salt blend (makes 4 baths with 5 drops EO per bath)
2 cups dead sea or epsom salts
20 drops essential oil total
3 drops Roman Chamomile
10 drops Lavender
7 drops Sweet Orange or Mandarin
Shake in a sealed bag until well blended. Use ½ cup of blended salts per bath.
Blend 2 – Uplifting and grounding Massage oil (3%) for 1 full body massage
15 ml fractionated coconut oil or lightweight carrier oil of your choice
3 drops petitgrain
3 drops frankincense
3 drops cedarwood
Pour into glass container and store away from heat and light.
Blend 3 - Headache help – 3%
2 drops peppermint
2 drops lavender
2 drops eucalyptus
10 ml jojoba oil
Stir blend, pour into roller bottle or similar and massage into temples, base of neck, shoulders. Store away from heat and light.
Buying essential oils:
There is a lot of information online as you can imagine when it comes to purchasing essential oils. Do your research and read reviews when it comes to buying "pure essential oils" (that's what you want!) and try to buy the best quality possible. Check out your local health food store, talk to wellness practitioners and start sniffing around!
Here are a few links you may find useful:
I am so entitled...to change my mindDecember 27 2017, 2 CommentsI was the Lion King at the salon, a cougar for a couple of weeks and then a skunk with the white stripe going down my part a week later. I’m done!
September Bliss?September 04 2016, 0 Comments
The same September when you put skinny jeans on for the first time after a summer of BBQ and gallons of ice cold Sauvignon blanc?
When Labour Day feels like the mother of all Sundays?
To rationalize the dread of summer's end we embrace September as a time for fresh starts, fall fashion (yay boots!) and the comfort of a regular schedule that helps us keep a steady pace until that pace becomes a sprint to the Christmas holidays.
I feel compelled every year at this time to remind people how something as simple as a steamy eucalyptus bath or a diffuser at home can help promote sleep and keep and bring you back in balance. No matter what the method of application, essential oils are highly beneficial to fend off and decrease mental and
You may already be familiar with Wake and Harmony – two natural perfume blends that, judging by the tester turnover at retail are highly coveted states of my current customer. I am happy to introduce an addition to the Essential Eaux collection.
A little story first....
I had the usual challenges with naming the new addition so a friend and colleague who loved the scent gave me this gem to work with:
“It smells like that feeling you have...when you are in love, and you just graduated and
you are leaving for Europe and you have the best hair...
and the world is your oyster.”
Sounded like bliss to me.
Note: Friend in question at the time was resigning from her job, in love, heading to Europe on an Italian holiday before relocating with her BF to the UK. She has great hair. So, ya, she’d know.
A blend of petitgrain, ylang ylang, fragonia and a hint of mandarin, Bliss is a delicate green floral with wood and citrus notes. For me, the blend is reminiscent (see what I did there?) of a day at the ocean when you step off the hot sandy beach to where the tall grasses start growing: your skin is hot from the sun, your natural oils have overtaken the sunscreen and each step through that grassy path emits a sweet hay-like scent.
As for the ingredients, there’s fragonia, which hails from Australia: analysis has found it to have very similar anti-microbial benefits to that of its neighbour, Tea Tree. Way more pleasing in scent, fragonia is also used in aromatherapy to help people get to a peaceful place and “unstuck.” Then there's Ylang ylang. So sweetly soothing, it will melt even the most stubborn of moods. And mandarin, used extensively by parents in France to calm les enfants at bedtime - a sweet, yet complex orange scent that seems to stay in the background yet connect and round out the notes.
All of the Eaux in the collection are 100% natural (as are all Aromacentric products). No synthetic fragrances or ingredients are used. There are some amazing perfumes out there. I am a fan of a few you can be sure, but these days I limit my use as I learn more about safe personal care products. Less and less am I able to wear the cloying, clingy fragrances that stay on clothing for a week.
Two of the dirtiest synthetics found in perfume are the petrochemical preservatives (made from petroleum and natural gas) known as parabens and phthalates. Much has been written on the topic of these two ever-present preservatives, their effect on hormone disruption, their carcinogenic properties and how they cause allergic reactions like eczema and headaches. The benefits of a synthetic perfume is a much more extensive library of fragrance notes available to the perfumer that are not available in nature and a longer wear time.
With no parabens or phtalates, wear time for naturals is shorter. The wear time for Bliss and all of the Eaux is about 2-3 hours, however it differs for everyone. Synthetic EDTs (or eau de toilette) tend to last 2-4 hours, while eau de cologne last 2-3 hours. On some it will last longer, some less. It depends mostly on the oil content of your skin. Along with these fragrance hacks, applying at the hairline at the back of your neck and applying after using a scent-free lotion or oil like jojoba are ways I extend wear time. Or simply reapply a few times a day. The new and beautiful leak-proof glass atomizers are easy to carry around in your bag for a quick blast as you wish.
No headaches, no allergic reactions and no scent police giving you the greasy eyeball. Just beautiful scents and the benefits of essential oils.
Check out the Essential Eaux collection this fall at these retail partners and onAromacentric’s website. If you order online, enjoy 20% off the Eaux collection this month and use code EssentialEaux16 at checkout. If you prefer to pick up locally, this is how to get the promotion and avoid the shipping costs.
Here’s to your September.
May it be even smoother sailing than that blissful summer day at the beach.
Caught myself: Keeping up with upkeepJuly 02 2016, 0 Comments
It happened. I fell into the shellac hole - a long stretch of baking long-wear nail polish onto my fingertips in an effort to make my hands to look tidy and professional. After the last few sessions, I’ve left feeling, no other way to put it, silly. What with the weird polish colours that never seem quite right after the fact, clashing with my skin colour and making me feel like a nasty TV series Housewife. Yesterday was the tipping point. With my fingernails wrapped in acetone-drenched cotton, the toxic juice seeping through the sliver on the side of my thumb from the knife mishap at breakfast, I swear I felt shockwaves running through my bloodstream. I am calling off shellac and nail polish on my fingernails until further notice.
It just doesn’t add up for me. The garbage in my favourite local nail bar was spilling over with latex gloves, tin foil and cotton pads soaked with old polish and acetone. Every chair was filled with women prepping for the long weekend by absorbing a crazy cocktail not of the variety that one enjoys on a sunny patio surrounded by friends, but by chemicals, some of which have been proven to be hormone disruptors. This article even suggested wearing sunscreen on your hands because of the part of the process where you stick your hands inside a little UV oven intermittently to bake on the shellac. It's the same concept as a sunbed which has proven to be a hazard to your health due to exposure from cancer causing rays.
Chemicals and waste aside, something else has been niggling at me. It was a comment made by a man on CBC radio I heard a month or so ago (can't recall who or what show) to the effect that, women, in the morning because they put on make-up, are already "behind" men. Horrible reality. This nail thing, as fun as it can be to have pretty decorative fingertips, for me anyway, needs to moderated for that reason as well. What could I be doing in the hours spent sitting in the mani-pedi place breathing in polish fumes and acrylate dust from the drilling of fake nails?
Will I paint my nails again? Likely, but I will aim for this activity to fall back into the “special occasion” category, definitely holding off on the shellac and will also explore the natural polishes out in the market that I previously shunned due to my love affair with mani pedi pals Essie and Opi.
In the meantime, to heal my nails during this hiatus, I am honouring them with Neem oil from India blended with Lemon and Frankincense essential oils.
I happily share this with you on your shellac hiatus.
5 ml neem oil
5 ml coconut oil
2 drops lemon essential oil
2 drops frankincense essential oil
Pour into clean container. At bedtime, apply one to two drops across fingertips and rub in. Repeat with the other hand every night for two weeks.
Mirror on the Wall, Who is No Longer the Greyest of Them All?January 01 2015, 0 Comments
It's January 1st and I feel the need to come clean.
Remember back in April when I pledged to give up colouring my hair and go grey? That I would fight to stay youthful in other ways? That I couldn't stand the maintenance, cost and toxic goop on my head?
Well, I couldn't do it. Not yet. Not 100% anyway.
I reached the point where 5" of 40% grey had grown past the part. I'd gotten pretty creative with styling my hair and used to people staring at my head. I felt pretty virtuous when I explained why I was doing what I was doing.
But in August, likely precipitated by a heart-wrenching change, I woke up one morning and in the mirror I saw someone who didn't look like me.
There was white – not grey, white – hair framing my face. Maybe I could have given it a bit more time, but time had everything to do with it.
So I went back to Maria at worldSALON who was helping me with the transition and requested emancipation from my Cruella Deville look. She came up with a new strategy – a combination that used semi-permanent, lowlights and limited permanent dye – that would still allow the grey to come in but it would be less visible and at a slower rate.
This new strategy I can live with. I see Maria every 8-10 weeks, so from a cost and time perspective I am good. And I know at worldSALON they use are the lowest toxicity products available, so I'm good there too.
Do I feel like I've failed because I said I'd do something and couldn't follow through?
I believe that trying is never failing. Failing is when you never try.
What I do feel is happy, youthful and healthy. That is success.
Happy New Year. 2015 is going to be stellar!
It doesn’t matter that you don’t get meAugust 20 2014, 0 Comments
I went to meet a supplier the other day, in search of, as always, unique ways to package Aromacentric products. The showroom way north of the city was located in the typical generic, tired-looking industrial park. Inside the showroom, the glass cases held hundreds of packaging options, but alas, being the niche artisinal brand with an aesthetic that doesn’t fall into that of mass channels, my pie in the sky bottle was not there.
It was fun to be there, however, and talk with the owner, an older gentleman and a veteran in the beauty business. He was as friendly and knowledgeable as they get, but what blew me away, what was truly astounding was this conversation after I told him about Aromacentric and how, due to the ingredients used, the products had wellness benefits for the people who used them.
Supplier: (laughing) You are saying that people feel happy or relaxed or confident after they use a product?
Me: For sure! Have you never heard of aromatherapy?
Supplier: That’s crazy! I’ve never heard of such a thing.
Me: Crazy? Look around your showroom. You work in the multi-billion dollar industry that sells beauty and confidence and happiness to women and you supply the packaging. Why do you think people use these products? Too feel…better, right?
Me: Wow. OK then. Umm, great to meet you! Thanks so much for your time! Really enjoyed this!
I was gobsmacked. How could someone who has worked in the beauty business for more than 30 years not “get” the beauty business? But I quickly realized that this particular guy is in the widget business. I respect that of course – business is business (Truth be known I was actually a bit envious that Mr. widget could be so focused and not be affected/distracted by the nuances of the beauty industry).
While hearing someone express their disbelief of my brand’s entire purpose – and not that I haven’t heard it before - was amusing and frustrating at the same time, it was also a reminder that forcing my products, my ideas, my knowledge onto others is unnecessary and unimportant.
What’s important, for me, is to reach those who are open and willing to learn about different, natural and beautiful ways they can maintain their health and wellness. There are tons of these enlightened ones out there – and I am meeting more and more of you every day.
Grey is the New BlackApril 28 2014, 0 CommentsSurprise. Sympathy. Fear.
This is the progressive reaction of most women when I tell them I’m no longer dying my hair. Surprise, perhaps because if they know me they (justly) see me as vain; sympathy, because I’m going to look old (aka my age); and fear, because likely, my uncoloured hair is a mirror to the undeniable fact that they are aging too.
Toxicity, Time and Money
I was pretty late into the hair colouring treadmill, starting to cover up my grey about 5 years ago. But from the very first time, I loathed sitting in the salon chair with dark goop tingling my scalp, getting in my ears and leaving a toxic smell in my hair for days. And as the rate of grey growth sped up, the need to do it increased to the point where every couple of weeks I'd see a grey hair and reach for a product to cover it up until I could get to my next appointment.
Even low toxicity colour didn't seem to keep me from feeling silly about sitting in that chair and spending my hard earned money and my even more valuable time to keep my locks a perfect shade of chestnut. I felt like the star of a spray paint hair infomercial from the 90s.
When first I met green beauty blogger Andrea Victory-LaCasse of Shop Pretty, the conversation quickly sped off in all directions and as women do when they talk beauty, we eventually got onto the topic of hair. With some hesitation, I pulled off my tuque and revealed my grey roots which were at an early poor-thing-better-hit-the-salon stage. Andrea immediately pulled out a book from her substantial library and sent me home with Going Grey, How to Embrace Your Authentic Self with Grace and Style, by Anne Kreamer. It's kind of like the Malcolm Gladwell on going grey, or “silver” as Kreamer likes to call it, addressing the topic from various angles, with interesting field and desk research, documenting the author's own journey of going natural.
Just one of the interesting bits was Kreamer’s hypothesis that on the dating front silver-haired women would be rejected, but would be accepted on the job front. It turned out to be the opposite! Men actually find women with "silver'" hair quite hot, but on the job front, it was the first thing recruiters suggested to change. Now, keep in mind this does vary depending on professions, but in the corporate world, grey hair was a little too authentic.
Funny though, that for men this is quite the opposite. Kreamer writes about an incident where a man she knows, gets passed over for an opportunity because the client wanted someone "with a little more snow on top." Shows experience and knowledge in their field! As for dating, men pull off distinguished quite easily but dyed hair on men...for me, personally, I would wonder about the gentleman's confidence and why he would need to take such measures!
Double standards aside (and there are so many jaw-dropping examples in the book), this is where I am headed, with help from Maria Petrou at worldSALON in Toronto, who, using products with no PPD and very low ammonia, is expertly transitioning my hair to natural silver through strategically placed lowlights and toners every 4-6 months. Maria said that she's seen a bit of a trend over the last couple of years with about a 5-10% increase in clients who are reducing or completely eliminating colour. worldSALON and its owner Brian Philips are committed to green and clean products and are one of, if not the, most mindfully green beauty businesses in Canada. They also happen to be wonderful people with a great line of hair care products. Watch the video Andrea made to start documenting my transformation.
Friends, family, associates: I will defy my age in different ways. I will do everything I can to keep my skin, my body and my mind healthy with simple, natural products, exercise, healthful food, work-life balance and a good dose of humour. I will likely always have long hair, I will be silly with my girlfriends and I will try to keep up with social media. But hair colour is something I am going to try and leave well alone and will RUN to Pinterest for inspiration when I think I may have made the wrong decision.
We are looking at a year, maybe two, before this process is complete. In the end will I feel OK with my new look? Will I be the Silver Vixen to my Silver Fox? Hopefully. And despite my uncoloured hair, my success in love and work will be abundant, not redundant.
To a balanced life!
Aromacentric is pleased to announced, we will be at the green + good beauty pop-up May 1 - May 4!April 24 2014, 0 Comments
The ABC's of Essential OilsMarch 12 2014, 0 Comments
Just for fun.
And so you know why I use what I do.
Let's go through some of my favourite ingredients.
D is for Daucus carota - Carrot!
Latin Name: Daucous carotus
OK, I am cheating a bit and rather than talking about Carrot Seed essential oil would like to talk about macerated carrot oil.
The macerated oil is a carrier oil in which carrot has been infused with oils like sesame or canola.
Characteristics: Rejuvenating and regenerating for skin. Adds a glow to skin! Soothing to skin irritations scars and blisters. Great for dry and aging skin.
Scent: Sweet and slightly carrot-like.
Aromacentric products made with Carrot oil: Face It
Factoid: Here is a great post on how to make your own carrot oil! Be careful not to allow any water into your formula
as indicated in the instructions: http://bit.ly/1oq23Ze
C is for Cedarwood
Latin Name: Cedrus deodora
Where it comes from: wood from the tall evergreen tree found in Northern India, Pakistan, Afganistan
Characteristics: grounding, centering, anti-spasmodic, analgesic, bactericidal, anti-fungal, sedative, muscular aches and pains.
Scent: dry woody, slightly camphorous, spicy
Aromacentric products made with Cedarwood: Harmony essential mist, Flower Empower
Factoid: Cedar wood has for centuries been used as a material for closets and trunks because of its effectiveness as a repellant against moth larvae.
Tip: Try 10 drops on a cotton ball or piece of material and place in your drawer or closet to help protect your clothes. Replenish every couple of months.
Where it comes from: Expressed from the peel of the Bergamot orange, a tree fruit that looks like a lemon and is the size of an orange.
Benefits: Often the first of essential oil choices to treat depression and like many oils in this family are great for skin issues like cold sores and chicken pox.
Aromacentric products made with Bergamot: Happy Place, Balance, Harmony
Scent: A top note in perfumery. Citrus-Floral. Smells like Earl Grey tea which is flavoured using this oil.
Factoid: Bergamot was one of the ingredients in the original Eau de Cologne from 18th-century Germany.
Cautions: Like most citrus essential oils, Bergamot is phototoxic and can cause burns if skin is exposed to sunlight within 12 hours after applying a product that contains Bergamot UNLESS it is Bergamot FCF (Furo-Coumarin Free) coumarin free oil.
A is for Amyris
Where it comes from: The branches from a tree grown in the West Indies and South America. Haiti is a major producer.
Benefits: Sedative, antiseptic.
Aromacentric products made with Amyris: Citrus Cheer
Scent: Vanilla like. Woody. A sandalwood substitute for some.
Factoid: The branches of the tree are so high in the oil content, that they are lit and used as torches. Makes sense that the tree is often called Candlewood.
Meatmares, Toxic Worrying and How to Have a Better Night's Sleep on Sunday NightsFebruary 23 2014, 0 Comments
The Boomtown Rats should have written a follow-up to I don’t like Mondays called I don’t like Sunday nights.
It’s no coincidence that on Monday morning so many people complain about their crappy night’s sleep.
Maybe because the end of the weekend sometimes feels like it’s the end of the world.
Sundays and the anticipation of whatever lies in your week ahead can stir up anxiety, the symptoms of which are far from helpful for falling asleep…and staying asleep.
Here are 10 things you can try to have a smooth sailing and an extended visit to the Land of Nod on a Sunday night:
- If you need to review your week ahead and do a bit of scheduling, do it Sunday afternoon, not right before bed. If you are the type of person that needs to be well organized, if you don’t do this ahead of time, the chattering in your head will keep you awake and because you are tired, much of that chatter will not be great quality. This will frustrate you and keep you up further creating an ugly cycle.
- Routine. Routine. Routine. Our brains crave routine so adopt a bedtime routine for instance, like reading. If you read before you go to sleep every night, your brain will come to understand that after reading, comes sleep. If you take a bath before you settle down to bed, your brain will come to understand that after said bath it's time for your body to start shutting down for sleep.
- Wash your hair, choose your clothes and make lunches for Monday on Sunday evening so you needn’t think about any of this as you fall asleep. Making lunch eats up a lot of precious time in the morning because you are likely multi-tasking and not doing anything that efficiently.
- Don’t worry alone! From worrying comes stress and anxiety. Huge reasons why sleep is hindered. I heard this bit about worrying on MarieTV as presented by Marie Forleo’s guest Dr. Ned Hallowell. It resonated so much for me, I really wanted to share it with you. He says, “Never worry alone. Get the facts, because toxic worry is usually rooted in wrong information or lack of information or both. Worry alone and the worry tends to become toxic. You awfulize, you globalize, you get paralyzed. You hunker down, you withdraw, you disconnect. When you’re worrying with someone, you problem solve. And next thing you know you’re laughing - and it wasn’t a worry at all.” The entire video is definitely worth a watch.
- Meditation. There are some awesome meditation apps out there that you can listen to before bed to help clear your mind and end the chatter in your head. 15 minutes can often do the trick. Here’s a list of the top meditation apps of the year.
- DO NOT check your work email after dinnertime! OK, I know that’s impossible, how about not after 7:30 pm? Email content will get you roused up and opposite of ready for sleep, not to mention the backlit screens that are emitting blue, stimulating light. Unless you are in a deadline situation and/or your career depends on some deliverable, emails can wait until the morning. This goes without saying for all nights of the week. It can and should be done!
- Take a bath about a half hour-hour before bed with some soaking salts. If you don’t already know my philosophy on baths and the benefits of magnesium in different soaking salts, take a look here.
- Yoga postures. Certain yoga postures are extremely restorative and can help with insomnia like these. I also surveyed my favourite yoga spots and the yogis there. JP Tamblyn of Ahimsa, Emily at 889Yoga and Moksha Yoga all recommended Viparita Karani (legs up against the wall) and JP also said there are some great Pranayama examples as well.
- Meatmares, meat sweats and timing your consumption of meat. While the idea of eating a wonderful Sunday night roast is a dreamy way to end the weekend for some, digesting a big hunk ‘o meat takes a lot of work and up to 6 hours. Some people wake up sweating or from stomach cramps – all from digesting said hunk ‘o meat. It’s harder for your body to digest food when the body is not active. If you want that big meal on Sunday nights, eat dinner on the early side and let your body digest before it rests. Go for a big walk after dinner. I found the most bizarre and somewhat unnerving post on further reasons for waking up in a sweat after consuming meat from the POV of the folks at Epic Mealtime. It’s very, um…meaty stuff.
- S squared. It’s been said a million times. The bed should be reserved for two things: sex and sleep. If you watch TV in bed, this can be as stimulating to the nervous system as looking at a computer screen due to content and/or from the blue light emissions. Check out this interesting link on LED screens and blue-light emissions.
- Had to add one more! Experiment with essential oils. Use them in a diffuser, on a cotton pad, in your bath or by using a pre-blended formulation like Settle. Essential oils that are known to relax and calm the central nervous system, that can help you drift off to sleep include Roman chamomile, Melissa, Clary sage, Lemongrass and Lavender. You don’t need a lot! Essential oils are very robust. Using too much can do the opposite of helping you calm down so please follow the instructions on any essential oil-based products - or any products for that matter - that you use to self-treat.
Aromatherapy is a supportive modality, it’s not a cure. And all of the above are suggestions are meant to be preventative. The bottom line is that if you are truly having an awful bout of insomnia, it quickly becomes difficult to function and think clearly and you can feel out of control. Please see your doctor if you feel helpless. You may need something prescribed for a week or two to get you back on track.
Sleep is when our body and mind, including memory, restores. Make sure you do what it takes to get a good night's sleep for long term health and vitality.
Sleep well tonight,
Don't be SAD, Take a Bath: How a soak can make you happyFebruary 17 2014, 0 Comments
Let's just address this right away:
If taking baths grosses you out because you feel you are sitting in unclean water, go the Japanese route: rinse off quickly in the shower while filling up a hot bath, then, hop in clean as a whistle and soak away....done. And now to the post:
Any month that starts with No, can’t be good. Welcome November, the darkest month of the year, for us here in TO, anyway. Even though we get a bit of extra sleep in the fall, the shift back to standard time results in more dark hours than light. Our bodies naturally produce more melatonin due to the shorter days and this increase of melatonin causes a decreased level of serotonin. It has been proven that low levels of serotonin affect our metabolism, mental state, and disrupt sleep patterns and the circadian clock that can contribute to Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder (SAD).
There’s one more thing you should definitely do to help symptoms of SAD, lethargy and feeling crappy in general…
A bath will never disappoint. Do you ever say, “Oh that feels terrible!” as you slip into a steamy fragrant tub? I didn’t think so. Aromacentric bath salts are perfect for November and in my opinion, every day, no matter what the season. Our blend of Himalayan Pink, Dead Sea and Epsom salt will help regulate circulation, combat muscular aches and pains, detoxify and can help relieve headaches and flu symptoms. The salts are blended with essential oils that are calming to the central nervous system and help prepare your body and mind for sleep.
Try bathing 30 minutes before bedtime to allow your body to cool down before sleep
What’s in the salts that make them so therapeutic?
Himalayan Pink Salt
Also Known as Himalayan Rock Salt, this salt is hand-mined and harvested from ancient salt beds, deep under the Himalayan Mountains. Rich in over 80 minerals and trace elements, some of the most notable being calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron, this salt is considered to be the purest form of salt available. For therapeutic purposes, the Himalayan can be used in baths to relax the body, stimulate circulation, sooth sore muscles, and remove toxins. It is reputed to assist with relief from arthritis, skin rashes, wounds, and flu and fever symptoms.
Dead Sea Salt
The Dead Sea is the most saline body of water in the world with far greater concentrations of minerals than any ocean (a concentration of 32% minerals compared to other seas, holding approximately 3%). Bromides and Iodine are present in Dead Sea Salt, including other minerals in a dried form, such as Magnesium, Sodium, Calcium and Potassium. All these minerals work together as regulators of cell activity and daily functioning, relieving muscular pain and stabilizing fluid levels in the body.
Epsom Salt (Magnesium sulfate)
Experts like Dr. RH Waring from the School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, did a study on the effects of bathing with Epsom salt and found that magnesium sulfate does cross over into the bloodstream as a result of bathing. Magnesium is said to help produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation. Research shows that magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy packets made in the cells. Magnesium ions also relax and reduce irritability by lowering the effects of adrenaline. They create a relaxed feeling, improve sleep and concentration, and help muscles and nerves to function properly. According to this awesome site on Epsom salt, “Many people on a typical ‘modern’ processed diet are very deficient in magnesium as well, which Epsom salt also supply in a highly available form....Main effects of insufficient magnesium are hyperness, irritability, anxiety, and muscle twitching or spasms."
Aromacentric Soaking Salts
Aromacentric offers bath salt blends that are sold in 1Kg re-sealable bags. The salts are blended with essential oils like Canadian Spruce and Eucalyptus, each with its own therapeutic benefits adding to those of the salts. 1 Kg is enough for 6-8 baths at ½-1 cup per bath. Keep the salts in their original bag or pour them into a beautiful glass jar when you get them home to remind you of what's inside. Store in a cool dry place. Because of their shipping weight, if you live outside of the GTA we will calculate your shipping and notify you of the actual cost before shipping. Remember if you do live in the GTA you can always enter LOCALPICKUP as the promo code at check-out and you will be notified when your order is ready for pick up in mid-town Toronto.
Check out Aromacentric soaking salts and remember, nobody feels bad after a bath.
Midwinter Kiss: Introducing a Sugar Scrub to Slough off WinterFebruary 04 2014, 1 Comment
Welcome to Aromacentric’s inaugural blog post!
In the spirit of this month of love and this bitterly cold winter, and after about a dozen iterations and product trials (I have some very soft friends out there whom I thank very much), I am thrilled to introduce a new addition to the Aromacentric line-up (drum roll):
Here’s 14 reasons to love Sweet on You ginger citrus scrub:
- Sweet on You is made with 100% natural ingredients. No parabens, no pthalates, no synthetic fragrances or dyes. It’s naturally preserved with no animal testing.
- Sweet on You is an exfoliating AND a moisturizing product with a cream base, sunflower seed oil, organic coconut oil, organic shea butter and vitamin E.
- Sweet on You is made with sugar, a natural source of glycolic acid, and alpha hydroxy acid. Glycolic acid is good at breaking down protein, the stuff that keeps dead skin cells from flaking off. It also helps new skin cell production. (Source: http://huff.to/1eeQJNZ)
- Sweet on You will nourish the new skin that has been exposed by exfoliating.
- Sweet on You could help get rid of keratosis, those little red bumps that are common on upper arms and the back of thighs and that reportedly affects 40% of the population.
- Ginger, grapefruit, lime and lemongrass are supportive of improved circulation (as is exfoliating, generally). Grapefruit is known for its effect on breaking down cellulite.
- Ginger, grapefruit, lime and lemongrass are all have digestive properties, so they may help get things “moving” in the morning especially if you massage the scrub into your belly, clockwise.
- Lemongrass is particularly helpful for calming nerves and overcoming nervous exhaustion.
- Ginger is an aphrodisiac!
- Ginger is also known to be a good analgesic. Massage the scrub into your shoulders, neck, and lower back for some muscle love. Or better yet, get someone else to do it (see #9).
- Lime and Grapefruit are known to be highly uplifting and cheering. Feeling like sunshine is not a bad way to start your day.
- The fragrance level of this scrub is noticeable enough to enjoy but not overpowering so it won’t interfere with your other products. Nobody will smell like a yellow lifesaver.
- Sweet on You can be used all over the body. It’s unbelievable on the feet (top and bottom), especially after you use a file to get rid of the really hard stuff on the bottom.
- A body “polish” or scrub in a spa costs on average $140+ gratuities, + parking, ++++. This scrub will get you through the winter for $32.95 + HST
Enjoy the new scrub, and the new blog. I hope to keep it interesting, beautiful and real. As always, let me know what you think. Now you can do it right here in the comments section!
Keep warm, stay well.