Aromatherapy – Medicines From the Earth.

Aromatherapy – Medicines From the Earth.

The medicinal properties of essential oils have been understood and accepted since the dawn of time. Many ancient spiritual texts refer to the uses of herbs and oils for bodily protection and healing. Essential oils were also highly prized for their spiritual properties and used for anointing, for healing wounds, and when applied with the laying on of hands, as acts of love and compassion for healing the human psyche too.

‘The Lord hath created medicines out of the earth, and the sensible will not despise them.’ Ecclesiaticus 38:4 (Book of Sirach)

In the 17th century, scientists began to identify the chemical constituents and the medicinal properties of essential oils, and by the 20th century Medical Aromatherapy had become a new specialty. Nine hundred years after St Hildegard of Bingen talked about collaborating with Nature in the work of healing, French pioneer Dr. Jean Valnet brought aromatic plants and their essences to the forefront of preventative medicine.

His attitude was very interesting: while he acknowledged the existence of bacteria and viruses, he did not consider micro-organisms to be the primary cause of disease. Instead, he saw microbes as, “opportunistic invaders taking advantage of the human body that may be malfunctioning. Infection does not automatically follow once a microbe enters the body. There are many other factors. A naturally healthy resistance or immunity prevents a microbe from finding a good breeding ground.” *

Recent experiments have shown that our faith in the properties of essential oils is not misplaced. Some of the properties of common essential oils include:
• Antispetic, Antiviral, Antibacterial
• Stimulate the adrenal cortex
• Strengthen sexual faculties
• Promote sweating, detoxify
• Support hormonal and menstrual cycles
• Lower blood pressure
• Support healthy gut bacteria

They can help us to breathe, ease headaches, relax muscles, and relieve infections – the list is endless, and some oils can affect more than one system in the body. Through their smell, they can affect our memory, stress levels, emotions and behaviour. We can access their help through the skin, through our breath and, much less effectively, by eating them. They are truly holistic.

More recently, the influence of science and medicine have overwhelmed the spiritual and esoteric beliefs around the oils. People are confused and afraid of using them. So the ethos behind Lovegrove Essentials is to provide simple, natural products, lovingly made, using high quality active ingredients for positive and stimulating effects on multiple systems in the body,

The amount of essential oil we are permitted to use in our products is heavily regulated, so to get the maximum potency we use the best quality oils we can find. Preventive health and beauty care is about empowerment of the individual. When we each take responsibility for our health and well-being we cease to be at the mercy of the vested interests of drugs and cosmetic companies, and we can make choices based on what works for us, what we like, what feels good and what makes us happy.

Hannah Lovegrove MIFA (Member of the International Federation of Aromatherapists)

* Linda L Smith: ‘Healing Oils, Healing Hands’

 

Lovegrove Essentials' Clean & Natural Kit
Photo courtesy of www.TheBeautyType.com

Put your back into it!

Put your back into it!

Over the past 6 weeks, I have been seeing lots of arm and shoulder problems in yoga classes and in my massage treatment room. I was blaming the long, cold winter, which has seeped into everyone’s bones – hunched up, shoulders rolling forward in an effort to keep out the weather – not surprising really.

I recently had two cases, both fit active people – one a life-long tennis player, the other a competitive rower – both tall and therefore a tendency to stoop, and the arm problems had got so bad that one couldn’t serve a ball, the other couldn’t take her t-shirt off! So it’s not just about building strength; something else was going on and the common thread was posture.

pexels-photo-88654Whenever someone comes to me with frozen shoulder, it’s often preceded by an activity like moving house, lifting heavy things up or down, or spring gardening, holding tools above shoulder height for long periods cutting hedges. The sort of strenuous activities one doesn’t do very often. It’s not just that we need to be stronger – as I said, these people were already strong, in both cases. What we need is much better postural awareness when we’re doing these activities so that we don’t hunch up, roll the shoulders forward, and end up trying to do them with our delicate neck muscles instead of using our much stronger backs.

Try this: stand up. Imagine your posture is slightly stooped. Notice how your shoulders roll forward, your chest drops, and your shoulder blades lift up. Now, exaggerate the slouch a bit and SLOWLY try to lift your arms upwards and outwards. (Don’t go quickly – you will hurt yourself.) Notice how your chest drops further, shoulder blades lift more, and your neck and shoulder muscles become ‘bunched up’.  It’s painful and your arms feel incredibly heavy – they won’t lift very far.

So, when lifting our arms up, especially above shoulder height ,we must learn how to change which muscles are involved by moving the shoulder blades DOWN
and lifting the chest UP first.

How do we learn that action? 

Clasp your hands lightly behind the back. Focus on the upper arm bones and roll them very slightly back. Observe how your shoulder blades move down and become firm into your back ribs. Notice how your chest lifts and your shoulders roll back. Do this a few times to really understand – it’s only a small movement.

Do it again and HOLD IT. Notice how your lower back muscles are also activated by this action – you need these to provide stability when taking your arms above shoulder height, otherwise your neck has to do all the work.

Clasp hands behind again for a few moments, stretch your pectorals, take your shoulder blades down, and engage your lower back muscles. Now release your hands and try again to slowly lift your arms out and up whilst MAINTAINING this action. See how the arms feel lighter and move much more easily?

As we say in Iyengar Yoga – Alignment before Extension, if you want to avoid A&E!

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