Why I’m addicted to Essential Oils

Essential Oils

Little bottles of scentaliciousness!

Why I’m addicted to Essential Oils

It’s true, I confess!  I am addicted to Essential Oils.  The first time I came across the power and beauty of essential oils, and the fascinating art of aromatherapy, was over 20 years ago when my sons were small.  I have always had an insatiable appetite when it comes to learning about complementary therapies, and when I saw that there was a workshop being held nearby by a lady who worked as an Aromatherapist,  it sounded right up my street, so off I went to find out more.  The class was held in a local village hall,  and there were about 20 of us there, all female, eager to learn about the subject.   From the moment the tutor opened her magical wooden box full of dark glass bottles of these precious and gloriously aromatic essential oils, I was hooked, and I still am – and even better now I have my own magical wooden box!

Why do I love them so much?  I find it fascinating that essential oils extracted from leaves, petals, stems, bark can have such beneficial effect on our emotional and physical well-being.  I use them at home, of course, all the time for bathing, for coughs and colds, for first aid, and I always have them to hand.   They promote healing, help to relieve anxiety and depression, improve quality of life for those with chronic  health conditions, improve sleep and reduce pain – amongst a whole host of other benefits. Aromatherapy is natural, drug free and gentle way to improve your health and that of your family.  What’s not to love?

addicted to essential oilsAfter my little workshop experience all those years ago, I was motivated to want to learn more, so I took myself off to college and studied Holistic Massage, Anatomy & Physiology and then Aromatherapy over a period of 2 years, finally qualifying as an Aromatherapist. In the years that followed I qualified in lots of other things too, and became a qualified teacher.  Now I have come full circle and I have the absolute pleasure of being able to teach people who want to learn about essential oils and aromatherapy all about how to use these precious liquids.

Although essential oils are natural products, that doesn’t mean they are safe.  You need some knowledge about how to use them properly, safely and effectively.  There are contraindications that you need to be aware of; you need to know how to blend them, what quantities to use for different age groups such as babies, children, the elderly and infirm; how many drops to use in a bath for instance, or how to use in a compress, or diffuser, etc, and the best way to use the essential oils for any given circumstance.

The workshops I teach will give you the know how to use essential oils safely and effectively at home and in one afternoon I will teach you invaluable knowledge that will last you a life-time.  I run small class sizes so that everyone has chance to ask questions, and you get to make a product to take home, and I guarantee you will leave buzzing with enthusiasm and confidence to put your new found knowledge to use.

I love running these workshops because I love to inspire people and to pass on my knowledge, and by doing so improving health and wellbeing.

Use the contact form to find out the date of my next workshop.   Daventry and Milton Keynes.

Thanks for reading!

Sue Jaycock






Purveyor of inspirational scentaliciousness extraordinaire!


Essential Oil Recipes for Arthritis and Joint Pain

Essential Oil Recipes for Arthritis and Joint Pain

Essential Oil Recipes for Arthritis and Joint Pain

Massage blend Ingredients:

60 ml of carrier oil (grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil is ideal)
5 drops Juniper Berry
5 drops Eucalpytus
5 drops Lavender
5 drops Chamomile

Blend the oils well together and store in an airtight dark coloured glass container.  Use this blend to gently massage into arthritic joints using a small amount of oil.  If you experience any discomfort, discontinue use and consult your GP.

Bath ingredients:

2 drops Lavender
2 drope Rosemary
3 drops Eucalpytus

Sprinkle the drops into the water and swish around thoroughly before getting in.  Have the water warm, not too hot.  If pain is severe add a further 2 drops of Roman Chamomile.

You can purchase your oils from my Neals Yard Organics online shop by following this link.

Thanks for reading.  Do let me know how you get on with the recipes.

Sue Sig

Stress Relieving Aromatherapy Recipes

stress relieving aromatherapy recipesStress Relieving Bath Oil:

There isn’t always time to book an Aromatherapy Massage, so here is something you can make easily at home.

Massage blend Ingredients:

125 ml of carrier oil (grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil is ideal)
12 drops Lavender
2 drops Cedarwood
25 drops Sandalwood
10 drops Bergamot
10 drops Geranium
20 drops Frankincense

Blend the oils well together and store in an airtight dark coloured glass container.  Keep in a cool dark place.  Run a warm bath, not too hot or the oil will just evaporate too quickly.   Once the bath is run add 1 tablespoon of the ready mixed oil making sure to shake well before adding to the bath.  Swish the oil around in the bath water well with your hand before getting in.

Make sure that the doors and windows in the bathroom are closed so that you get full benefit from the aroma. Enjoy!

You can purchase your oils from my Neals Yard Organics online shop by  following this link.

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog.  I would love to hear if you tried these recipes out.

Thanks for reading.

Sue Sig

Essential Oils to Repel Insects

Essential Oils to Repel InsectsEssential Oils To Repel Insects:

Insects can be a right pain at this time of year.  I much prefer them outside the house to inside the house.  Earlier on today I was queuing in the bank when I felt something tickling my leg, I don’t know what sort of insect it was but it had a good chomp on my ankle and now I have a bite.  Luckily I had some Tea Tree oil in my handbag.  Meantime there are ants everywhere, not to mention flies which are coming through the open doors and windows during the good weather.  Not that I am complaining about the good weather you understand – us Brits have to take the good weather when we can, seeing as some years summer seems to pass us by.

Essential oils can be helpful to persuade pesky pests to go the other direction:


they don’t like Peppermint essential oil.  Arm yourself with some cotton wool balls onto which you have sprinkled a few drops of Peppermint and place them in the areas where you think they are coming in.  Generally ants follow the same trail so if you can spot where the trail is, put a couple of cotton wall balls on the trail.


I am not afraid of spiders, they don’t bother me, but my sister really doesn’t like them.  To keep spiders away put a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil onto cotton wool balls and place in your cupboards and clothes drawers or anywhere else spiders may lurk.


Keep moths out of your wardrobe by sprinkling a few drops of Frankincense, a few drops of Juniper and a few drops of Cedarwood onto cotton wool balls and place or hang on the clothes rail. You can also put the drops onto a piece of kitchen roll.

Insect Repelling Essential Oils for the house:

Prevention is better than cure, as they say, and in generally insects dislike lemongrass or citronella.  You can buy citronella candles.  A diffuser is a good idea as this method causes the essential oil droplets to become airborne reaching the whole room.  You can also use a plant sprayer and dilute the essential oils in water and spray liberally around the room avoiding polished surfaces.

Insect Repelling Essential Oils for the body:

If you are looking to put something on your skin to avoid insects then lavender is always a great choice.  The easiest way to use this is to put 30ml of massage oil such as sweet almond in a bottle and add 30 drops of lavender.  Use this lotion before you go out to repel insects whilst smelling nice at the same time.

One of my Aromatherapy bibles is this super book –  The Fragrant Pharmac by Valerie Ann Worwood. It is full of fantastic recipes and I will share a couple with you below:



Insect Repelling Blend:

  • Thyme 4 drops
  • Lemongrass 8 drops
  • Lavender 4 drops
  • Peppermint 4 drops

You can multiply these ingredients up to make a quantity, ie  x 4 (16 drops Thyme, 32 drops Lemongrass, 16 drops Lavender, 16 drops Peppermint) if you wish.  Place the blend into a small dark coloured bottle and shake. A dropper bottle is great if you have one.

Here are some ways to use the blend:

  • 2 drops on a cotton wall ball leave it somewhere near your bed at night time to repel mosquitoes.
  • Cut up lengths of ribbon or tissue paper and put one drop on each piece and hang around the area you are sitting – if you are outside on trees or balcony for instance, or above a window.
  • Use 2 drops in 1 dessertspoon of massage oil such as sweet almond oil or jojoba oil for a body rub or add the neat essential oil to any unperfumed body lotion or cream.
  • Add 5 drops to 1 tablespoon of witchhazel and dilute in 4 tablespoons of water. Shake and splash on your body.  Always avoid eyes.  Alternatively you can use vodka instead of witchhazel!
  • Put a few drops in a diffuser.

Too late – already been bitten? 

When you are out and about it is easy to get bitten or stung by mosquitoes, horse flies, wasps, and other little beasties.  They can be irritating, itchy and hurt.  I always keep a bottle of lavender handy.  Make sure to remove the sting if applicable and apply neat lavender to the bite or sting.   You can do this with a cotton bud or just the tip of a clean finger.

If you suspect a tick bite, though, or if the bite looks infected it is best to seek medical advice.

Here’s a Disinfectant Wash blend you can create and keep handy:

Disinfectant Wash Blend

  • Lavender 10 drops
  • Thyme 20 drops
  • Eucalyptus 10 drops

Keep these in a dark coloured bottle (with a dropper if you have one) and when needed simply add a few drops to a bowl of luke warm water to wash/dab the affected area.  Again, keep out of eyes.

If you don’t have the blend ready made, then just add the following to a bowl of water:

  • 2 drops Lavender
  • 4 drops Thyme
  • 2 drops Eucalyptus

Also, you might like to refer to my Aromatherapy First Aid Kits blog for further reading.

All oils can be purchased through my online shop or from any reputable essential oil retailer.  Go for organic wherever you can. It’s worth paying a bit extra and the oils last for ages.

Once you are bitten by the essential oil bug (excuse the pun!) you will never look back.

Give it a go – let me know how you get on.

Thanks for reading.

Sue Sig

How To Deal With Stress – 4 Easy Ways

How To Deal With Stress.

How To Deal With Stress – 4 Easy Ways

As much as we enjoy the emerging flowers and longer (slightly warmer) days during April, it is the time of year when we realise that time is going too quickly and there is a lot to do and plan. Maybe that’s why April is Stress Awareness Month; to remind us to take care of ourselves, and not let stress go unchecked. Here are 4 easy ways to deal with stress:


Meditation does not have to be about sitting cross-legged, chanting, and reaching enlightenment. It can simply be about creating a moment of stillness in your mind as a way to become more relaxed. Just one minute, 60 seconds of meditation, can dramatically improve your mood, your productivity and the quality of your day.


It can be difficult to make time for exercise when you are up to your eyes, and you are feeling stressed. But that’s when it becomes even more important. Exercise can relieve the physical symptoms of stress like fatigue, pain, and moodiness. If you can’t make time for daily workout, try to fit a 5-10 minute walk outside into some part of your day. A little goes a long way when you need it.  If you want to get healthy but hate the thought of a noisy fast-paced gym, and do have time for a regular class, you can do no better than visit The Body IQ Studio in Wolverton, Milton Keynes, to check out their classes.

Giggle and hum

Both laughter and music can lower the blood pressure. In fact, this study showed that 3 months of laughter or music therapy resulted in the same drop in blood pressure that could be achieved with a low-salt diet, losing 10 pounds, or taking a blood-pressure-lowering medication. So put the funny videos on or start singing along to the radio.

Bowen Technique and Aromatherapy Massage

Regular treatments can improve sleep, relieve headaches, reduce muscle pain, and improve moods. Plus, these therapies make you feel good. Read about Bowen Technique’s effects on stress and about how Holistic Aromatherapy Massage helps relieve stress.

When you feel good, you play more, work more efficiently, and take better care of the people you love. Schedule a treatment now to prepare for a busy (and fun) spring!

Commit to taking care of yourself this spring!   You may be surprised with the results.

Thanks for reading my ideas on how to deal with stress.  Remember to sign up to my monthly newsletter to be the first to receive special offers.


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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.


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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.


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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.






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.


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.


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.


Thanks for reading.

To book an appointment with me:  click here

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10 causes of neck pain and how to deal with it

Bowen Technique Daventry, Bowen Technique Milton Keynes, Bowen Technique Northampton, Choosewellbeing, Neck PainToday we are looking at causes of neck pain.  When you think that an average head weighs around 15 pounds and has the ability to move in such a complex way, it is no wonder that neck pain is so common. Most people suffer from neck pain at one time or another and it can be extremely debilitating.

Usually the area is feeling very sore and stiff, and there will be difficulty in moving the head in the normal way. You may also have shoulder pain accompanying the discomfort in the neck, and sometimes a headache. When you want to turn around you find that you have to move your body in order to do so.

Often neck pain will go away by itself after a few days but if you have neck pain that does not go away after a week then help may be required. Here we look at some common causes of neck pain and then at how to deal with it and when to visit your GP.

First of all here is a super video explaining about neck pain neck sprain and strain video

Causes of Neck Pain:

  • Whiplash – this is a very common neck injury which occurs usually during a car accident. It is caused when the head is forcefully moved backwards and/or forwards too rapidly and uncontrolled, and outside of the normal range of movement. This overstretches the muscles and ligaments in the neck and the resulting discomfort is caused when the muscles contract. It is a very painful condition and medical attention should be sought after any traumatic injury.
  • Muscle Strain – this can happen when you have been carrying out an activity which is unusual for you. For instance starting gym and doing sit ups.    If you ever talk on the telephone and hold the phone between your ear and your neck, this can cause muscle strain.
  • Osteoarthritis – conditions such as osteoarthritis cause gradual and progressive deterioration of the spine. The movement of the neck is restricted by the body creating bone spurs which then causes pain.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease – this causes damage to the discs in the spinal column and eventually causes a bulging disc or a herniated disc which causes pain.
  • Posture – sitting all day at a computer with the head pushed forward, texting and checking mobile devices frequently, not moving around and changing your position, being overweight, weak abdominal muscles, lack of exercise; these are all factors which contribute to neck pain as well as many other issues.
  • Your Job – people such as hairdressers can really suffer from neck pain due to the way they have to stand and hold their hands and arms for lengthy periods of time.
  • Jaw Problems – when there is a misalignment and derangement of the temporomandibular joint this can cause referred pain in the neck.
  • Emotional factors – the neck is very indicative of emotional problems such as stress, nervous tension, and anxiety.
  • Meningitis – if you have a stiff neck and also have a temperature, and a headache, this could point to meningitis or other infections. It is advisable to seek medical attention.
  • Torticollis – neck pain and pinched nerve. This happens when the muscle on one side of the neck goes into spasm. Usually you wake with this condition, and the head will be tilted to one side. Often this is due to your pillows being too low or too high, or sleeping on your stomach with your head on one side.


  • If neck pain is accompanied by a temperature then seek medical advice as a matter of urgency. If you suffer a trauma to the neck such as whiplash seek medical attention.
  • Seek the help of a Bowen Therapist, Chiropractor or Osteopath.
  • Book a massage treatment.
  • Look at the underlying causes – is it your posture? Are you stressed? Are there emotional factors? Is it your sleeping position? Have you been carrying out a new activity?
  • Gentle exercise.  I have included some links below to help you. skull-778073_1920

Video:  Exercises for pinched nerve and neck pain

Video:  Exercises for neck pain

Video: Exercises for torticollis

Bowen Technique and Neck Pain:

Bowen technique has been shown to be an effective and gentle treatment for neck and shoulder pain.  Out of 271 clients treated by Bowen Therapists, 86% showed a partial to full recovery after a series of just three treatments.  See link for full report.


I offer Bowen Technique treatments for neck pain as well as Aromatherapy Massage treatments.  I have clinics in Daventry, Northampton and Milton Keynes.  Call me today to see how I can help relieve your neck pain.

Thanks for reading




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Aromatherapy First Aid Kits

Conventional First Aid Kits

Hopefully we all have a first aid kit of some kind in the cupboard. I did my First Aid refresher course with St John’s Ambulance recently so I am feeling all inspired again to make sure my kit has the right stuff in it. (Good course – here is the link – if you get the chance, do it!)   Anyway, I decided to buy a complete new kit as my old one had things missing, and, quite frankly, was a bit of a mess.  What does yours look like?
Aromatherapy First Aid Kits

Aromatherapy First Aid KitsWhen I was on holiday recently, we went out for the day, when we arrived at our destination (an hour’s drive) I went to get my dog out of the car and looked for the dog lead. It was nowhere to be seen and then I remembered where I had left it, back at the apartment where we were staying. Not bright. I was not popular. Think……what can I use…….INSPIRATION – a large bandage from the first aid kit of the car. It was okay at first until she pulled a bit and the bandage stretched, and stretched, and I ended up with a 12 foot long lead and getting some very strange looks. I kept wrapping the excess around my hand until it looked like I had a nasty injury.  Anyway I thought I deserved Brownie points for ingenuity, but my point is, this is what happens to First Aid kits, well to mine anyway. And here is another story….

During a visit to a large supermarket chain at the weekend, (I won’t mention which one), I was standing in the queue waiting for my turn when I noticed a member of staff running along the shop behind the tills and I was sure she was shouting ‘I need a First Aider‘, but my friend thought she was shouting ‘I need a Key Holder‘.  Anyway a good 5 minutes later a woman passed us, holding her arm, she had her hand wrapped in a supermarket carrier bag, she was crying, and her hand was dripping with blood. No one was helping her, everyone just staredat her, so I went to see if I could help.   Turns out that the member of staff was a cleaner who was indeed shouting for a First Aider, but the only First Aider was serving on the checkout, and the injured woman was still waiting. A young male member of staff then came over and looked totally flummoxed as to what to do, so I sent him off to get the First Aid kit. He returned after a few minutes with this tiny and tatty First Aid kit, which had nothing useful in it, but it did have one very large size dressing, and about six pairs of disposable gloves.  I dressed her hand and she was okay after a while the bleeding stopped and she went off to the hospital for stitches. Take my advice don’t have an accident in a certain supermarket. Anyway back to my point – First Aid kits – make sure they are refilled and you have everything you should have in them. What is that I hear you ask?

  • A leaflet giving general First Aid guidance.
  • Individually wrapped sterile plasters (assorted sizes). (Some people are allergic to plasters so hypoallergenic maybe)
  • Sterile eye pads.
  • Individually wrapped triangular bandages.
  • Safety pins.
  • Large sterile individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings.
  • Medium sizes sterile individually wrapped unmedicated wound dressings
  • Disposable gloves (beware latex allergies)

The above is the advice from www.hse.gov.uk and is applicable to workplaces.

Aromatherapy First Aid Kits.

However, if you are at home obviously you can put in your First Aid kit whatever you find useful and being an Aromatherapist these are some things that I find invaluable in my personal First Aid kit. Always make sure the oils you buy are pure essential oils and not fragrant oils. I have added some links to pure oils further on. Keep them in a cool dark place. They keep for ages (but citrus oils can go off after six months or so).

Tea Tree – antibiotic, antiseptic, anti-fungal so this is a supreme oil. It can be applied undiluted – minor cuts and abrasions, put a few drops onto a cotton wool pad and dab gently on the area. I wouldn’t advise a cotton wool ball where the cotton wool might stick. A few drops of this oil in a foot bath for athletes foot, or in the bath. Use for acne and spots, just dab on gently.  I have added a link here to an Neals Yard organic essential oil.
Tea Tree, Aromatherapy First Aid Kits, Choosewellbeing



Lavender – antibiotic and antiseptic properties, plus it smells nice. Great for minor burns and sunburn.   For small burns, eg to the hand, run the hand under cold water for five minutes first. Apply a drop of undiluted lavender oil on to the burn – repeat every few minutes. For larger areas and for mild sunburn you can mix up a spray with a hand sprayer, fill with cold water add 3 to 4 drops of lavender and shake, then spritz the area with a fine mist. Dab it directly onto insect stings and bites (if it’s a bee-sting, remove the sting first). It’s a lovely calming oil, so a drop on a pillow to aid sleep and induce calmness. A drop on the temples for headaches.  Here is a link to Lavender Neals Yard organic essential oil.

Lavender, Aromatherapy First Aid Kits, Choosewellbeing



Roman Chamomile – superb for children, soothing and calming, super to add a drop or two into a warm bath. A gentle clockwise massage on the tummy using a small amount of carrier oil (such as sweet almond) with a drop of this oil helps with tummy ache. 5 ml carrier 1 drop oil. Here is a link to NYR organic Roman Chamomile essential oil.

Roman Chamomile,Aromatherapy First Aid Kits, Choosewellbeing




Eucalyptus – decongestant and antiseptic – immediately when we smell eucalyptus we think of cold and flu remedies – I like to add a couple of drops to a bowl of hot water and inhale when I have a cold, it soothes and clears the sinuses. Or put a few drops on your pillow, or on a hankerchief.    Here is a link to NYR organic Eucalyptus essential oil.  (Do people use hankerchiefs anymore? My dad always had some with his initials on.)

eucalyptus, Aromatherapy First Aid Kits, Choosewellbeing



I have limited myself to 4 oils for the First Aid kit – I could go on! All of these oils can also be used in an oil burner of course.  I have one of the oil burners that you plug in, but that is a bit expensive.  Otherwise you can use the ones that have a night light candle and a drop of water in the top.  Check out the range by NYR here.  Use cool (not hot) water otherwise the oils will evaporate too quickly. The idea is that the candle gently heats the water and then you will get the benefit from the oil. I have recommended these essential oils as I use them myself and know them to be a good quality and pure essential oil.

Any questions? Suggestions? Just contact me I will be pleased to hear from you.

Thanks for reading,


PS: Apparently they still do hankerchiefs with initials!! Who knew!
Aromatherapy First Aid Kits