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Home Spa

By Charlie Payne,2014-09-14 22:21
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Home Spa

    Home spa: pamper yourself naturally

    (Sterling publishing Co., Inc. New York, first paperback edition 2001)

Introduction

    Spending a day at a health spa would certainly be at the top of many peoples list of ultimate indulgences.

    The idea of wandering around in a thick, fluffy dressing gown and being pampered with a variety of relaxing

    stbeauty treatments sounds like the perfect antidote to the stresses and strains of 21-century life.

    But why wait to go a spa? You can enjoy many of the treatments and benefits of a health spa in the comfort of your own home, every day. All you need to do is set aside a little time for yourself, shut the door on the rest of the family, then relax and enjoy some serious pampering. Remember, beauty comes from within, so the more relaxed and carefree you feel, the better you will look.

    Setting the scene

    One of the most enjoyable elements of going to a health spa is being in comfortable, sumptuous surroundings, so make sure you spend some time setting the scene at home. Turn the heating up so that you wont shiver

    when you come out of the shower or bathtub. Get a clean dressing gown ready and put it in the airing cupboard or over a radiator so that its warm and cozy. Turn the lights down low in the bathroom-you wont

    want to linger in an aromatherapy bath if youre being dazzled by the glare of a bright overhead light. Close

    the drapes and incest in a couple of rose-tinted bulbs or candles to enhance the atmosphere. Our sense of smell has a strong effect on the balance of our emotions and can be used to relieve anxiety, depression, and mental fatigue. To make your bathroom and bedroom smell sweet, use an oil burner or light-bulb ring vaporizer with a few drops of a relaxing essential oil, such as geranium, jasmine, or lavender. All you have to do then is lie back and inhale the therapeutic scent as you enjoy spa treatments. Lets talk therapies

    In the first chapter of the book, we take a detailed look at the various relaxation therapies you can use to help yourself unwind, both mentally and physically. Many health and beauty problems are exacerbated by anxiety and negative emotions, so we have put together a series of therapeutic treatments that are sensual, calming, invigorating, or uplifting, depending on the experience you care seeking.

    First is hydrotherapy, which harnesses the power of water. After three treatments, your immune system will be improved; after 10 treatments, you will experience long-lasting pain relief from aching joints and muscles; after 20 treatments, you will notice a heightened tolerance to minor ailments and depression, your skin will be clearer, and your muscle tone and mobility considerably improved.

    Or perhaps youd like to try aromatherapy, which uses health-giving essential oils to elicit various therapeutic effects. Aromatherapy oils are used in spas the world over to eliminate stress and encourage health and relaxation. We explain which oils to blend and how to use them in baths, massage, and inhalations.

    Next, we de-mystify thalassotherapy, which is the strange-sounding name given to the use of seaweed wraps and baths to detoxify and heal. It works because the seaweed contains a similar mix of minerals and water to our own bodies, so that can easily pass through the skin into the blood-stream, binding themselves to toxins and withdrawing the toxins from the body. Mud therapy works in a similar way and has a particularly beneficial effect on the skin.

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    Finally, we look at basic massage methods to relax and rebalance your system. Stressful situations trigger a whole chain of biochemical and physical reactions, releasing hormones into the bloodstream that can build up to toxic levels, causing lethargy and depression. We have devised a series of massage routines to help eliminate toxins while lowering blood pressure, aiding digestion, and relaxing muscles.

    Body works

    In chapter two we examine treatments for the body-beautiful, from rubs and scrubs that exfoliate the skin to reveal a soft, new you, to herbal wraps for reducing cellulite and creating instant inch-loss for that big night out. There are tips for the perfect step-by-step manicure and pedicure, plus relaxing natural bath recipes that can help to treat everything from insomnia to eczema. All the treatments are designed to be as luxurious as they are effective, so you can enjoy the experience of healing your body at home, much as would do in a five-star health resort.

    Head lines

    Chapter three looks at beauty treatments for the face and hair, from the essential basics of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing to specific skin problems such as acne, spots, and the effects of aging. In the hair section, you will discover how to make natural shampoos and conditioners to suit your particular hair type, plus herbal treatments for hair loss, psoriasis, dandruff, and overprocessed hair.

    Throughout this section we have devised easy recipes that you can make yourself using pure and simple ingredients such as fruits, flowers, herbs, and grains. By using these instead of commercially available products, you can be sure that what you put on your skin is fresh and pure and free from the chemicals and additives that bombard our systems every day of the week, giving rise to allergies and sensitivity. Storage

    All of the recipes in this book contain natural ingredients, so it is important to store them appropriately to maintain their freshness and efficacy. You will need a selection of sealable dark glass or plastic bottles and jars. Store recipes containing fresh ingredients in a cool, dark place-the refrigerators is ideal. However, many of the recipes contains natural preservatives, such as tea tree oil, vinegar, and vodka, and these recipes will stay fresh for a reasonable period of time. Where appropriate, all of the recipes state a maximum storage period. Now all you have to do is get mixing and enjoy the benefits.

    How to use this book

    The book is divided into three sections, which together explain all you need to know to turn your home into a spa. It forms a new way of presenting the theory and practice behind many of the treatments that you will have heard about or experienced in a professional health spa-and which you can easily recreate for yourself at home. By following the information in the first chapter, you will learn how the professionals use a number of key therapies to treat common ailments and beauty problems. Moving on to the second and third sections, you are shown how to use natural ingredients. You will learn when to exfoliate; different ways to remove unwanted body hair; how to make and use body wraps to treat cellulite and water retention; methods of counteracting aging and sun damage; and recipes to make your hair shine with health.

    The therapies and treatments have been chosen for their ability to rest the body, restore health, and revive flagging spirits. In short, this book is a collection of antidotes to the stresses and strains of everyday living. As you refer to the book, you will find that you gradually build up experience and become more and more familiar with spa techniques. With practice, you can begin to experiment by combining several treatments to

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    create tailor-made spa sessions that will work to overcome your own particular stress levels and body, face, and hair problem. Set aside certain times, or days when you can really indulge yourself, but if you are short of your time, consult the 10-minute pick-up that you will find at the beginning of each section for brilliant on-the-spot revivers.

    All of the therapies described in this section are designed to aid relaxation, and thereby help the body help itself. When you achieve a sense of inner well-being and your body is in harmony, stress is at a minimum. The contentment and lack of anxiety that result from relaxation therapies enable you to rest both mentally and physically, so that you feel revitalized and full of energy. Relaxation therapies are many and varied, but here we have selected the best tried-and-tested methods, many of which have been used for centuries in health spas around the world.

    Pick-me-ups

    The following remedies take just a few minute but have long-lasting effects. Try to repeat the times through the week as you can, or when you feel particular need.

    Aromatherapy Hangover Remedy

    If you wake up with a hangover, the most important aid to recovery is water, drink plenty of it and add I drop rose or peppermint oil to each glass, and 1tsp (5ml) honey. A compress using geranium oil may help a thumping head, and for a restorative bath, add 2 drops each of lavender and juniper oils and I drop rosemary oil.

    As you refer to the book, you will find that you gradually build up experience and become more and more familiar with spa techniques. With practice, you can begin to experiment by combining several treatments to create tailor-made spa sessions that will work to overcome your own particular stress levels and body, face, and hair problems. Set aside certain times or days when you can really indulge yourself, but if you are short of time, consult the 10-minute pick-me-ups that you will find at the beginning of each section for brilliant on the-spot revivers.

    Calming color therapy

    Lie down your bed or on the floor, with your eyes closed, and place one hand on your solar plexus(situated in the center of the chest immediately below the ribcage). The solar plexus is the nerve center of the autonomic nervous system. Imaging that it is filled with intense, calming blue light, and feel the light passing in and out of your body as you breathe in and outrest and restore.

    Aromatherapy de-stresser

    Certain essential oils have a strong sedative and relaxing effect. To de-stress, place 4 drops chamomile, 2 drops bergamot onto a cotton handkerchief to your nose, then breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth for a few minutes. The effect will be almost instantaneous.

    Hydrotherapy

    Water has long been revered for its healing properties, and you can adapt many hydrotherapy treatments for use in your own home, to help your body and mind unwind and relax.

    Hydrotherapy, which simply means water therapy, has been with us since the classical civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome, and probably long before that. The Greeks believed that water had great healing powers and was essential for all areas of health and well-being. The Romans were so fond of bathing that they incorporated this pastime into the very fabric of their society, building great temples and baths near to natural

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springs.

    Today, with our frantic modern life-styles, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of health spas and hydrotherapy. There is nothing quite like completely immersing your body in warm water for instantly feeling the cares and tensions of the day melt away. Not all hydrotherapy is quite so pleasurable, however.

    thAt the turn of the 19 century, the Austrian spa at Grafenberg was known for its harsh cold-plunge baths, cold compresses, and wet sheet rubs. Ever today, many hydrotherapy spas advocate alternating hot and cold water treatment.

    Health benefits

    In hydrotherapy, water is used to relieve the muscular tension that accompanies mental stress and causes acute aches and pains. Changing or alternating the temperature and pressure of the water can increase the beneficial effect. Hot water boosts circulation to help counter backache and muscle stiffness, while cold water reduces immune system. Steam can also be used to create a wet heat, which causes the blood vessels to dilate and increases the rate of blood circulation.

    Hydrotherapy for better sleep

    This hydrotherapy treatment for insomnia may sound a little strange, but it is surprisingly effective. Take a pair of cotton socks, run them under cold water, then wring them out. Put the wet socks on, then put a pair of dry, woolen socks over the top. Get into bed and leave the socks on for at least 30minuted-all night if you fall asleep fast enough.

    Create your own flotation tank

    Flotation tanks are a relatively new invention, but you can achieve a similar effect in your own bathroom using Epsom salts. Epsom salt baths were first used to treat shell-shocked soldier during World War ?,

    when the salts were found to have a calming effect on the nerves. Flotation tanks work by stimulating the bodys production of natural pain-relieving hormones, known as endorphins. These ease pain, lower blood pressure, and reduce the level of stress-induced chemicals.

    1 Start the session by washing your body, face, and hair thoroughly to remove any dirt and body oil. Make sure the bathroom door is closed while you shower to help the room warm up.

    2 Once the bathroom is warm enough, run a bath, adding 6ib (2.5kg) of Epsom salts to the water. The salts increase the buoyancy of the water and help to prevent the skin from wrinkling. The ideal temperature for the bath water is around 82.5-86F (28-30).

    3 Switch off the lights and relax in the bath for around 15 minutes. It is a good idea to use earplugs to stop any water from entering your ears and to prevent audible, distractions. The aim is to remove all sensory input, so that your sole sensation is one of floating in water. In the silence of weightlessness envelop your body. Tensions and stresses will gradually float away, leaving you feeling both mentally and physically restored. Soothe away aches and pains

    Stand under a warm shower until you feel thoroughly relaxed, then work your body with slow, steady movements, as outlined below. Do not force anything beyond what is totally comfortable. If there is not sufficient space to swing your arms and legs in the shower, wait until the bathroom is hot and steamy, then get out of the shower to perform the movements. When you have finished, get back into the shower for a final hot burst.

    For the shoulders

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    Repeat each of these movements 10 times. Swing your arms alternately backward and forward, so that the right arm is going forward when the left arm is going backward. Swing your arms out from the sides and back into the body again. Next, swing your arms in a circular motion, moving one arm at a time. Shrug your shoulders up and down. Finally, move your shoulders in a circular motion, first backward, then forward. For the back

    Tuck your chin in slightly and imagine you have a length of string pulling your head up into the clouds; feel your head floating upward. Hold that feeling, then tuck your bottom in and feel your spine lengthening down toward your heels. Gradually start to bend your knees. As you do so, feel your spine lengthening even more. Continue to bend your knees until you reach the lowest point you can manage with comfort. Hold that position for 15 seconds. Stand up straight, rest, and repeat.

    For hips and legs

    Stand up straight and hold onto the side of the shower to keep your balance, then repeat each of these movements 10times. Swing your right leg backward and forward, then draw circular movements with your foot, first outward and then inward. Repeat with your left leg.

    Caution

    Epsom salts are potent and must be used with care. Do not stay in the bath for longer than 20 minutes. Be especially cautious if you have diabetes, hypertension, or a heart condition. If in doubt, seek medical advice first.

    Create your own steam room

    You can easily enjoy the benefits of a steam room at home, without having to visit a spa. Steam rooms work in a similar way to saunas, the differences being that a sauna delivers a dry heat and a steam room a humid heat. The hot, humid environment causes the pores to open and the body to perspire profusely. As you sweat, toxins are flushed out of your system. At the same time, the heat causes surface blood vessels in the skin to dilate, creating a hot flash, which brings oxygen to the skin to revive it. Steam rooms are also an excellent way to relieve sinus conditions, since the humidity of the steam aids decongestion.

    1. close all of the doors and windows in the bathroom and set the shower at the highest temperature. Run

    the shower for about 10 minutes, until the room begins to fill with steam. When the bathroom is full of

    steam, turn off the water and sit in the room for a further 10 minutes.

    2to get the most benefit from the steam, fill a muslin, cheesecloth, or thin cotton bag with herbs and hang it

    under the shower stream. Use camomile to reduce feelings of restlessness and anxiety; linden flowers to

    encourage mental relaxation and calm; and elderflowers to ease congestion in your chest and sinuses.

    3Finish your steam session with a warm shower, and finally, with a quick blast of cold water. Towel

    yourself dry and drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

    Thalassotherapy

    Bring the healing powers of the sea into your bathroom with seaweeds, algaes, and sea minerals. They will

    soothe away stress and recharge your body.

    Thalassotherapy originates from the Greek word "thalasso," meaning the sea, so thalassotherapy literally means

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    sea treatments. In France and some other European countries, thalassotherapy is so revered that treatments are available in coastal resorts on their national health service or standard health insurance. KELP TABLETS

    A growing number of sea plants, including blue-green algae and the common kelp that is found on beaches, are available in tablet form and as seaweed drinks. They are high in nutrients, minerals, and proteins and help to boost energy levels.

    CHLORELLA TABLETS

    Chlorella is a blue-green algae that is commonly available as a nutritional supplement. It is rich in Iron and the whole spectrum of nutrients needed for human health. Just 1/3oz (10g) of chlorella contains the full recommended dally allowance of Iron, and in a form that is much more easily absorbed than iron from meat or vegetable sources, and even other supplements.

    Seaweed is thought to have a natural affinity with the human body, because they are both composed of a similar mix of minerals, vitamins, trace elements, and water. This similar composition means that the minerals from the seaweed can easily pass through the skin into the bloodstream and out again, binding themselves to toxins and withdrawing the toxins from the body In the process.

    HEALTH BENEFITS

    Marine treatments help to stimulate circulation, soothe muscular aches and pains, reduce cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. When combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, seaweed's detoxifying and circulation-boosting properties also make it ideal for toning the body. In addition, seaweed destroys bacteria, so it is excellent for the skin. It is particularly effective for spots, acne, blemishes, and dry-skin conditions.

MARINE AND ROCK SALTS

    Sea salts are minerals that have been collected from the sea, cleaned, and dried. You can add them to your bath water or use them while showering to recreate the therapeutic qualities of natural sea water. The most common ingredients of mineral salts are bicarbonates, sulfates, nitrates, chlorides, and calcium. Usually taken from the Dead Sea in Israel, mineral salts help to ease stress and provide relief from health complaints such as arthritis and psoriasis. Rock salts are useful for relieving muscular aches and pains.

    SEAWEED

    Seaweed is bursting with vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial elements, including large amounts of iodine- it can be used to ease aches and pains, detoxify the body, soothe the skin, boost the circulation and metabolism, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Seaweed is also a potent diuretic, so it can even cause temporary weight loss. If you live by the sea, you can collect your own seaweed, steam-clean it, then add it to your bath water to bring the sea into your own home. Alternatively, buy fresh or dried seaweed from health food stores and Japanese delicatessens. You can also buy seaweed by mail order.

    WHICH TYPE OF SEAWEED?

    Seaweed is the generic term for over 20,000 species of sea plants and algae (single-celled organisms) that live in

    the world's oceans and seas. The table below shows the varieties most commonly used in thalassotherapy spa

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treatments.

    Seaweed is available in many forms. You can buy fresh, dried, or powered seaweed, or even collect your own if you live by the sea.

    Soothing seaweed wrap

    You can utilize the therapeutic power of sea minerals at home by making your own treatment wrap. Rather than buying fresh seaweed, it is easier to use dried seaweed powder. Drink several glasses of water after the treatment to prevent dehydration, because seaweed has a strong diuretic effect.

    INGREDIENTS

    8oz_ (225g) concentrated, dried, micronized seaweed powder 2 drops lavender essential oil 1 drop rosemary essential oil 3tbsp (45ml) almond oil

    PREPARATION

    Mix the dried seaweed powder with a little warm water to make a paste. Add the essential oils to the almond oil, then stir this mixture into the seaweed paste.

    APPLICATION

    Take a warm shower and exfoliate your skin using a loofah or body scrubber to aid absorption of the seaweed minerals. Apply the seaweed paste over your whole body, starting from your feet. Ask someone to apply it to your back and other areas you cannot reach. Cover yourself in plastic wrap and lie in a warm place for 20-30 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and rinse off the seaweed paste with a warm shower.

    Mud therapy

    Use the rich minerals of mud and clay found deep within the earth and at the bottom of the sea to ease aches and pains, relax your body and mind, and rejuvenate your skin in the comfort of your own home. Mud therapy, or fangotherapy as it is also known, is another spa treatment that has been used through the centuries and continues to be a key therapy in many of the world's health spas.

    In fangotherapy, warm mud is applied all over the body (the chest and left arm are sometimes omitted because of the high temperatures that the body reaches during the course of the treatment, but such temperatures will not be achieved when employing products designed for home use). The body is then wrapped in foil and covered with towels and blankets. Over the next 30 minutes, the mud begins to dry, the skin starts to tighten and tingle, and the body's temperature rises to around 104-118'F (40-48'C), causing profuse sweating. Mud treatments are also suitable for the face.

    WHAT SORT OF MUD?

    We're not talking any old mud here; there are two main types of curative mud.

    DEAD SEA MUD

    In the Dead Sea, black mineral mud is dredged from the seabed. It is made up of non-soluble clays, plus such high concentrations of magnesium, potassium, and calcium that only a few algae and bacteria can survive the conditions - hence the term "dead" sea.

    EARTH MUD

    The other type of mud comes from deep down in the earth, and is often of volcanic origin. It is laden with beneficial minerals, including magnesium, bromine, and iodine.

    Mud, glorious mud

    Mud has been prized for centuries by those seeking pain relief and skin health, and is revered in health spas

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    throughout the world. In Germany, patients are even offered two-week spa treatments at the Dead Sea on their national health service, while in Tuscany 60 percent of visitors having mud treatment at the Montecatini spa are there by national health referral.

    Both of these types of mud are available In health stores and beauty salons for use at home. Most ready-prepared mud packs contain kaolin or Fuller's earth day, which are well-known for their deep-cleansing qualities and which also stimulate blood circulation and lymph flow,

    The color of mud varies, depending on its place of origin, and different colors are suitable for different types of skin, Choose white clay for oily skin, brown clay or mud for dry skin, and green clay or Dead Sea mud for problem skins that are prone to blemishes.

    HEALTH BENEFITS

    Mud treatments are undoubtedly good for you, but we are still not sure exactly how they work. Stimulation of bone cells is thought to help those with osteoporosis;

    Increased production of anti-inflammatory hormones alleviates arthritis; reduced water retention around areas of tissue damage speeds recovery after surgery or major injury- Mud therapy has even been shown to stimulate cartilage regrowth. According to researchers, this is why 88 percent of people with degenerative arthritis feel better after regular mud baths.

    Other studies conclude that it is the heat generated that aids recovery. The mud is said to heat up the body in a spe-cial way. Increasing blood circulation and releasing endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. This eases muscle and joint stiffness, and reduces the aches and pains associated with arthritis, rheumatism, and other joint problems. The mud pack is probably (he oldest and most effective face mask. It cleanses, soothes, and tones the skin, making you feel wonderfully refreshed.

    THE WAY TO BETTER SKIN

    Mud packs are probably the oldest known facial treatment, and mud is renowned for its ability to improve the quality of the skin. Research has shown that warm mineral mud stimulates the underlying skin cells to produce new, healthy tissue. Some types of mud also contain natural antibiotics, such as sulfur, which detoxify, exfoliate,

    and rejuvenate the skin. A full body wrap is said to eliminate impurities and toxins, and so reduce the appearance of cellulite.

    Rejuvenating mud pack

    The next best thing to wallowing in the Dead Sea or having fangotherapy at a health spa is to try one of the many mud products that are available for purchase at home. This mud pack can be used both on the body and the face. INGREDIENTS

    10fl oz. (300ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

    8oz (225g) Fuller's earth powder

    1tbsp (15ml) almond oil

    1tsp (5ml) clear honey

    2 drops sandalwood essential oil

    PREPARATION

    Gradually stir the lemon juice into the Fuller's earth powder to form a thick paste. Add the almond oil, honey, and

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    essential oil to the mud paste, then stir in a little hot water to warm and liquefy the mixture. Mix thoroughly using a wooden spoon.

    Large sheets of foil designed for use with mud packs are available from specialist outlets, but you can achieve a comparable result with kitchen foil, though it is a little more tricky and takes longer to do. APPLICATION

    1 Start by having a warm shower and exfoliating your body using a loofah or body brush. Spread the mud pack all over your body, starting with your feet and working your way up. Alternatively, concentrate on areas that need particular attention, such as the thighs. Don't forget the back and face, particularly if you have problem skin. 2 Lie down in a warm room and cover the mud-coated areas of your body with foil. The foil helps to retain the heat generated by the mud. Leave on for 15 minutes, then remove the foil.

    3 Get into a warm bath infused with a few drops of almond oil. Close your eyes and relax in the bathtub for at least 30 minutes. During this time the body continues to react to the heat of the mud treatment and the metabolism increases. More oxygen reaches the cells, and toxins and other impurities are flushed out of the body.

    4 After your bath, pat yourself dry with a warm towel; try not to rub the skin too briskly. Finally, drink several glasses of water to rehydrate your body with the fluid lost in perspiration.

    Aromatherapy

    Aromatic essential oils can be used to de-stress, relax, invigorate, detoxify, and pamper your skin and psyche. No home spa is complete without them.

    The word aromatherapy simply means smell therapy, and as the name suggests, aromatherapy is the use of healing aromas from flowers, trees, herbs, and other plants. Most of the plants are well-known and often powerful

    medicinal herbs, The volatile essential oil is captured through a process of extraction or distillation, believed to

    have been discovered in the 10th century by the Arab physician known in the West as Avicenna. However,

    essential oils have long been highly prized for their medicinal and therapeutic value, and the use of aromatherapy can be traced back to ancient Egyptian times.

    For me past few centuries, the world's essential oil industry has been centered in Grasse, in southern France. It was a French chemist, Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, who first coined the term aromatherapy, after carrying out important healing work with wounded soldiers during World War 1.

     HEALTH BENEFITS

    Research has shown that the sense of smell is strongly linked to the emotions. The area of the brain associated with smell is the same as that used in memory, which is why some scents are so evocative. The olfactory nerve cells terminate in the cilia, tiny hairs in the nasal cavity. When these are stimulated by an aroma, they transmit a direct impulse to the limbic part of the brain, where the memory and emotions are governed. This in turn connects to the, hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, which control the hormonal systems. Certain oils therefore have an amazing effect on the balance of our emotions and can be used to relieve anxiety, depression, and mental fatigue. Diluted oils can also be applied directly to the skin. They are absorbed via the pores into the bloodstream or

    lymphatic system and then circulated around the body in much the same way as medicinal herbs or drugs. The oils help to stabilize the body's systems: they are believed to lower blood pressure, stimulate circulation, and promote detoxification and healthy cell renewal.

    GETTING STARTED

    The extraction of oils is complex and expensive to perform, and huge amounts of plant stock are required to distil

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    minute quantities of oil, so it is not worth trying to extract essential oils at home. Essential oils are, however, widely available from health food stores and pharmacists, and also from mail order companies. It is important to note that many oils are highly potent and must only be in the dilutions Stated in the directions on the bottle. In addition, there are a number of oils that should not be used under certain circumstances (see warning

    panel to the right). This is particularly important if you are pregnant or are using the Oils on babies or children.

    Also bear in mind that aromatherapy has its limitations; you should consult a qualified practitioner if you think

    there may be cause for concern or if you have an underlying condition that requires professional medical attention.

    Warning There are a number of oils that need to be used with extreme care in certain circumstances .

    • Not to be used except by used professional aromatherapists: aniseed, bay, camphor, hyssop, lemon grass,

    pennyroyal, sage, savory, tarragon, thuja, thyme, and wintergreen

    Not to be used on the skin: cinnamon, cloves, and rue

    Not to be used during pregnancy: angelica, basil, cinnamon bark, clary sage, hyssop, juniper berry, lovage, myrrh, origanum, pennyroyal, rosemary, sage, savory, sweet fennel, sweet marjoram, and thyme

    Use only the following diluted oils on children: camomile, clary sage, eucalyptus, geranium, juniper berry, lavender, peppermint, rose, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, sweet marjoram, and tea tree • Not to be used before

    going out in the sun: citrus oils - if applied directly to the skin, they can cause a phototoxic reaction HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS

    Aromatherapy oils work by absorption through the skin and by inhalation through the olfactory system, and there are a number of different methods you can use to inhale the oils and to apply them to your skin. Pressure of time and individual circumstances will dictate the method that best suits your needs.

    MASSAGE

    This is probably the best-known and most enjoyable method of using aromatherapy oils. The skin contact alone is beneficial, and the oils are able to penetrate the skin very efficiently. Essential oils should always be blended with a carrier oil, such as almond oil or grapeseed oil, before being applied to the shin. A whole spectrum of different scents can be used to treat various conditions. (See the massage section on pages 40-47 for application methods.) BATHS

    Aromatherapy baths are particularly useful for treating whole body ailments, such as rheumatism of arthritis, where painful inflammation can make massage inappropriate. Taking an aromatherapy bath before you go to bed can also be a great way to cure insomnia and get a good night's steep - lavender oil is particularly effective. Add 5-10 drops of oil to your bath water after you have filled the tub. Do not run the water too hot, because the essential oils will evaporate and be lost. Swish the water around to mix the oil thoroughly before you get into the bathtub.

    Steam inhalation

    This is an excellent way to treat throat, chest, and sinus problems. Pour some boiling water into a bowl and add 10drops of essential oil. Eucalyptus oil, in particular, is an excellent decongestant and a powerful natural antiseptic. Cover your head with a thick towel and breathe in deeply. Continue for about 10 minutes. Caution Do not use this method if you have asthma.

    Vaporization

    Aromatherapy oil burners are readily available. They are usually heated from a small candle, which causes the oil

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