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6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

6 Essential Oils for Insomnia – helping you sleep and relax

You know the feeling, your mind is hyper-active and you just can’t get off to sleep. Stress at work, problems with relationships, financial worries turn over in your mind just when you want nothing more than to relax. The clock is ticking away and you know that it won’t be long before you have to get up and start a new day. The anxiety of not being able to sleep is now keeping you awake. Your brain keeps turning over the events of the day, maybe noises keep you awake, the dog next-door barking, or traffic on the nearby road.

Sometimes we can get off to sleep okay, but for some reason we wake at some point and just can’t get back to sleep again.  Insomnia affects nearly everyone at some point in their lives.  We all need our sleep, it is vital for our overall health.  We need all the help we can get.

Here are six essential oils known for their sedative properties.  Put a few drops on your bedding (but not directly next to your skin), or on a tissue, alternatively use a diffuser. Remember you will only need a few drops as they are powerful oils.

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)Choosewellbeing, Clary Sage, 6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

Clary Sage is a powerful relaxant with a sweet and heady aroma. It is uplifting and relaxing, good for relieving anxiety, tension and mental fatigue. Promotes dream filled sleep. Good for calming children. Use sparingly. If you  simply want to relax and have a good night’s sleep then Clary Sage oil can help you. Chronic stress and anxiety are helped by the use of Clary Sage essential oil.

 

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)Choosewellbeing, Geranium, 6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

This is an uplifting oil with a natural sedative action, helpful with overcoming insomnia.  In addition it helps to alleviate stress, depression and anxiety.

Once you have dropped off to sleep, should you wake again, the sedative effect of Geranium should ease you effortlessly back to sleep.

Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)Choosewellbeing, Roman Chamomile, 6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

There are different types of Chamomile essential oil, but the best for insomnia is Roman Chamomile.  This is a calming and relaxing oil, good for relieving anxiety, depression and stress. Particularly suitable for children.  A good choice to help you relax.

 

 Choosewellbeing, Lavender, 6 Essential Oils for InsomniaLavender (Lavandula augustifolia)

An essential oil with balancing properties. Uplifting, soothing and therefore helpful for insomnia. Do not overdo the drops of oil or it will have the opposite effect and keep you awake. 2 drops is sufficient.  There are various types of Lavender but look out for Lavandula augustifolia as this is ‘true’ lavender with the best properties to help with insomnia.

 

Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)Choosewellbeing, Sweet Marjoram, 6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

This is a soothing and comforting oil with a light aroma. It is calming and sedative and helpful for insomnia and periods of irritability.  Again make sure that you choose the right type of oil in this case Origanum majorana as this has the best properties.

Warning: Avoid during first five months of pregnancy.

 

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)Choosewellbeing, Ylang Ylang, 6 Essential Oils for Insomnia

Ylang Ylang has a calming and sedative effect and soothes the nervous system. This oil helps is helpful in times of stress and helps with anxiety, tension, shock, fear and panic.

 

Relaxation Blend:

2 drops Lavender

2 drops Roman Chamomile

2 drops Ylang Ylang

Place onto a tissue or on your bedding and inhale deeply as you settle down to sleep.

Choosewellbeing, NYR Night Time Blend,

 

Ready Made Blend:

Available from NYR Organic – Aromatherapy Blend Night Time.  Key action: Relaxing

This blend of grounding vetiver and relaxing lavender brings welcome relief when you find it difficult to relax and switch off. It will stop your mind whirring and give you a refreshing night’s sleep.

All of the links I have provided will take you to my NYR Organic UK page.  As a qualified Aromatherapist for many years now, I recommend these products as they are organic and the oils are second to none.

I hope that the information and ideas in this blog will help you sleep well and relax.

Sweet dreams.

Sue

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10 Natural Remedies for the Common Cold

Common cold, aromatherapy, choosewellbeing, 10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynes

10 Natural Remedies for the Common Cold

Everywhere you go there are coughs and colds around and it is hard to prevent catching them. Having a cold can make you feel really miserable. Here are 10 things you can do to help relieve and shorten the symptoms.

  1. Echinaceaecinacea, 10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynesthis herb can be bought as a herbal supplement or as a tincture from your local health food shop and is said to help boost your immune system to help your body fight off infections. Studies are mixed with some studies say that it doesn’t help to actually prevent a cold but that it can shorten the symptoms by a few days so that has to be a good thing. Take it as soon as you feel the symptoms coming on and continue for a week to ten days. The tincture is said to be a little more potent that taking the tablet form. Go for quality – a cheap product won’t give you the results you want.
  2. Zinc – again studies are inconclusive with some showing that although taking a zinc supplement may not prevent a cold, it may help shorten the length of time and the severity of the symptoms.
  3. Vitamin Cvitamin c, 10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynesThis is one of the most studied remedies and again studies show mixed results, but out of all remedies this has most support of its benefits. Research shows that it can reduce the time you suffer from cold symptoms but it won’t prevent you getting one.  You can buy vitamin C supplements alternatively increase your intake of fresh organic fruit and vegetables, especially citrus fruit, sweet potatoes and kiwi.
  4. Chicken Soup – is it an Old Wives’ Tale? Possibly, but a very effective one! Chicken soup can help cold symptoms by easing your blocked nose. Recipe here. There is a compound in chicken soup called carnosine which helps the immune system. You need to take it regularly though so a constant supply would be required! MailOnline Article.
  5. Fluid – a warm drink relieves your blocked nose and soothes your throat and keeps you hydrated which is very important.  A cup of tea, black tea, green tea, honey and lemon, hot water, all important in keeping you hydrated.
  6. Hot Toddy – a teaspoon of honey, a small shot of whiskey, a squeeze of lemon in a cup of herbal tea helps to ease congestion, soothe your throat and help you sleep
  7. Garlicgarlic, 10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynesgarlic has anti-bacterial properties and helps the immune system to fight infection. Taking a garlic supplement may help prevent colds when taken regularly. Better still use garlic regularly in your cooking together with onions and leeks which have similar properties.
  8. Steam – breathing in steam decongests and relieves your nasal passages.  See 10. below for ideas for steam inhalation using essential oils.
  9. GingerGinger, 10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynesginger is a valuable consideration. The way to take it is to soak fresh ginger in some hot water, and drink the tincture. Alternatively include fresh ginger in your cooking. You can keep a root in the freezer and grate as you require it.
  10. Essential Oils – I would recommend keeping the following oils in your Aromatherapy First Aid Kit – Eucalyptus, Ginger, Thyme, Tea Tree, Lavender, Lemon.   When you feel a cold coming on run a warm bath and add 2 drops of thyme, 2 drops of tea tree, 1 drop of eucalyptus, 3 drops of lemon and swish the oils around well before getting in the bath for a soak. Inhale deeply. For steam inhalation use 1 drop of thyme, 1 drop of tea tree, 1 drop lavender. Put hot water into a bowl, add the oils, and put your head just above the bowl with a towel over your head. Inhale deeply. All these oils can be bought from Neals Yard Remedies here.10 natural remedies for the common cold, choosewellbeing daventry, choosewellbeing northampton, choosewellbeing milton keynes

When you have a cold, keep hydrated, take time to rest, remember that colds last around 7 to 10 days so it will soon be gone. If you are always catching colds then it may be that your immune system is lowered, perhaps you are stressed and not sleeping well, so it may be that you need to look at your lifestyle and diet.

(See also my previous blog about Aromatherapy First Aid Kits here.)

Thanks for reading 10 Natural Remedies for the Common Cold.  If you like my blog please comment, like or share.

Sue

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All About Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar FasciitisI have had quite a few clients coming to see me lately with Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced Plan-Ter-Fash-Ee-Eye-Tus!) If you have been unfortunate to have this, you will know it is a really painful condition causing foot arch pain and/or heel pain. The plantar fascia is a flat band of tissue which connects your heel bone to your toes. Its job is to support the arch of your foot. If you overstrain this ligament it can become inflamed and then the pain starts when you stand or walk. Basically it is a Repetitive Strain Injury. If the ligament is repeatedly strained then tiny tears can result and then pain and swelling occurs.

jogger-603620_1280

 

 

 

 

You are more at risk of getting Plantar Fasciitis if:

  • Middle aged
  • Overweight
  • Fallen arches
  • Run
  • Stand a lot
  • Walk extensively
  • Wear ill fitting shoes
  • Have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles – which can be caused by wearing high heeled shoes for too many years or due to posture.

fashion-601557_1280Symptoms:

The first steps out of bed in the morning are often the worst of the day for people with Plantar Fasciitis. Morning pain is a telling sign as to whether you have this condition. This can also happen if you have been sitting for a long time and then get up. Once you have taken some steps the pain can lessen but as the day goes on the pain may come on again. Standing may bring on the pain and climbing stairs.

Treatment:

No doubt about it, Plantar Fasciitis can be a stubborn condition to treat. No one treatment works for everyone. Some people recover fairly quickly, but some people find it can drag on. No one can promise a cure but here are some ways you can help recovery.

  • Rest – this can be difficult as you have to get on with your day to day life, however, it is important that you need to cut back on the activities which caused the condition in the first place such as running, standing for lengthy periods of time, or extensive walking. The body is amazing and is self-healing but we need to help it along.
  • Stretches Before Getting Out of Bed: When you wake up in the morning do some stretches. These first Calf Stretches Plantar Fasciitissteps out of bed can re-aggravate the condition. Your body has been healing overnight. The best way to deal with this is to stretch your calf muscle BEFORE getting out of bed. This is because the muscles of the calf pull on the heel bone, which then tightens the plantar fascia. Keep a towel or belt near the bed and loop it around the ball of your foot. Keeping your leg straight gently pull towards your body until you feel the stretch in your calf. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat up to 5 times before stepping out of bed. Follow this link for detailed instructions.  Follow this link for a YouTube video demonstrating the stretching exercises.
  • Stretch the Fascia: simply pull your toes up with your hand until you feel the stretch along the sole of your foot. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat. Follow this link for detailed instructions:
  • Stretch the calf muscles: Stand facing a wall, place your hands on the wall at eye level, put one leg behind you. Keep the heel of the back foot on the floor and bend the knee of the front leg until you feel a stretch. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat 2 to 4 times. Follow this link for detailed instructions:
  • Avoid hard surfaces: try not to walk or run on hard surfaces. Give yourself time to recover.
  • Book a Bowen: book a Bowen treatment and receive a full body balancing treatment including treatment on your feet. This cross fibre therapy will relax and release the fascia not only in your feet but in your calf muscles. However, it needs to be combined with the exercises and wearing good footwear.Plantar Fasciitis and Bowen
  • Flat Feet or High Arches?: People can have plantar fasciitis if they have flat feet but also it afflicts people with excessive arches so it isn’t always a ‘flat feet’ issue. However, a lot of people who have flat feet or excessive arches do not have plantar fasciitis so it is not a cause.
  • Shoes: buy some shoes which have a good arch support, and a cushioned sole. What you wear on your feet has a massive bearing on recovery time. Here is a YouTube video explaining the types of shoes to wear. Basically an enclosed shoe with arch support, Velcro strap or lace ups are ideal, heel height 2 cms (not flat and not higher), a rigid shell (not soft fabric or ballet type shoes), something that doesn’t give way, with a stiff sole and generally supportive. We see a lot of women who wear the soft ballet type shoes with foot problems.  Follow this link for  a YouTube video explaining what to look out for in footwear.
  • Golf Ball Treatment: find yourself a golf ball and roll it under your foot for a couple of minutes daily which will help to release the fascia. It will be tender so take it gently.
  • Foot Support: you can purchase a sock or sleeve to support the foot and provide some relief.   Follow this link for an example.

How long does recovery take:

It has taken a long time for the condition to get to this stage, and it can take time for the pain to go away. It can take a few months but it can take up to a year and in some cases even longer. Consistently following the above advice will help relieve your symptoms.

Please Note:  This blog is for information purposes and is not intended to take the place of medical advice – if you are in any doubt always refer to your GP or medical practitioner.

anatomy-of-plantar-fascia

Thanks for reading.

To book an appointment with me:  click here