Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stinky Stuff—Good Therapy?

Aromatherapy originated in Europe back in the early 1900s. Aromatherapy uses aroma-producing essential oils from plants to provide relaxation and help relieve stress. The essential oils are taken from a plant’s flowers, leaves, stalks, bark, rind, or roots. The oils are mixed with other liquids such as alcohol, oil, or lotion and are then rubbed on the skin or sprayed in the air and inhaled. You can also mix them into your bathwater.

Users of aromatherapy believe that the fragrances stimulate nerves in the nose that, in turn, send impulses to the part of the brain that controls both your emotions and your memory. Aromatherapy oils are thought to interact with hormones and enzymes in your body, and can cause changes in pulse rate, blood pressure, or other body functions. Depending on the type of aromatherapy oil, the result may be stimulating or very calming.

The following is a list of symptoms followed by the suggested aromatherapy oil.

Stress — Bergamot, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Mandarin, Rose, and Sandalwood
Anxiety — Cedar wood, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Mandarin, Rose, and Sandalwood
Anger — Jasmine, Orange, Roman Chamomile, and Rose
Irritability — Lavender, Mandarin, Roman Chamomile, and Sandalwood
Memory — Basil, Black Pepper, Cypress, Lemon, Peppermint, and Rosemary
Depression or Grief: Frankincense, Rose, and Sandalwood
Fatigue — Basil, Black Pepper, Cypress, Frankincense, Ginger, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Sandalwood

Aromatherapy products can be found in most stores offering lotions, candles, and bath oils.

People with certain chronic illnesses or conditions, lung conditions, asthma, allergies, skin conditions, children under age five, and pregnant women should not use aromatherapy without first consulting a doctor.

Post Author: Carol Denbow is an award winning author of three books including Stress Relief for the Working Stiff, How to Reverse the Embalming Effect. Visit Carol’s website at http://www.booksbydenbow.weebly.com/

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Stretching – Something So Simple!

Stretching is a good way to relieve muscle tension. Simple morning stretches help relieve the body tightness we develop while sleeping. Stretching prior to any physical activity also reduces your likelihood of injury. Basic stretching exercises require very little space to do and can be easily done at home or at work.

Simple stretching when you wake up in the morning, or before exercise, can be done in about five to ten minutes. Stretching in the morning will help you maintain a feeling of relaxation during the day.

Before exercising, always consider doing some simple stretches because exercise reduces stress. If you suffer from achy muscles and joints after exercise, your stress can be elevated again.

Stretching should never induce pain. If you feel pain while stretching, you may be pushing too hard. Never push or pull your muscles beyond comfort. The following are some simple stretching exercises.

1. Lie flat on your back on the floor or in your bed and reach up towards the ceiling. Pull your hands up over your head until they reach the floor or bed. Hold this pose for three to five seconds and repeat two to three times. This stretches the shoulders and chest.

2. Stay lying down and bend one knee. Place both hands around your knee and pull your leg up as close to your chest as is comfortable. Repeat this with your other leg. Then pull both legs up to your chest in the same manner. Hold this position for fifteen seconds. This stretches your lower back muscles.

3. Sit on the edge of your bed or a stool with your feet flat on the floor. Turn your head to look as far to the right as is comfortable and hold for three to five seconds. Do the same looking left. Then turn your head and shoulders to the right. Reach back behind you with your right arm. This time, while your head is turned, slowly move your head to look upward, and then downward. Repeat, turning to the left. This stretches your neck and shoulders.

4. Lie flat on your stomach. Bring your upper body up, leaning on your forearms. Look straight ahead. Lift your head slightly to look up, left, and then right. This stretches the neck, back, and abdominal muscles.

5. Squat down with your knees bent until your buttocks are as close to the floor as possible without falling backwards. Keeping your balance, lean forward and look upwards. This stretches your lower back, hamstrings, and buttocks.

Implementing a daily stretching routine can reduce common stress throughout the day. Be committed to morning and pre-exercise stretching.

Post Author: Carol Denbow is an award winning author of three books including Stress Relief for the Working Stiff, How to Reverse the Embalming Effect.
Visit Carol’s website at http://www.booksbydenbow.weebly.com/