Whether we need something to lift our spirits, support our meditation or mindfulness practice, help us sleep, or just instil a sense of peace and calm during the current situation, now is an ideal time to consider the psychotherapeutic effects of certain essential oils.
It has long been known that an individual’s psychological and emotional response to a particular aroma, combined with the physiological effects on the nervous system, can have a profound effect on the mind and body.
Below, I have outlined some ‘aroma families’ and their potential uses. The essential oils can be vaporised into the room using a couple of drops in a diffuser, or gently inhaled from a cotton ball or tissue (again, using just one or two drops).
Because of the idiosyncratic nature of aroma, the following are suggestions only, and it’s important to ensure that you adhere to any relevant safety guidelines if using these at home. Please read the safety notes at the bottom of this article.
Aroma: sweet, soft, rich, intense, heady, light, delicate, fresh.
Suggested use: may help promote rest, sleep and balance mood. Comforting and uplifting. Use for stress, anxiety, nervous tension and irritability.
Examples: rose (otto/maroc), jasmine, lavender, chamomile, geranium, neroli, frangipani, geranium, ylang-ylang, petitgrain.
Aroma: fresh, light, crisp, sharp, fruity.
Suggested use: for anxiety and nervous tension, mental or physical fatigue, uplifting the spirits. Use for clearing negative thoughts and low mood. Energising and uplifting.
Examples: lime, orange, lemon, bergamot, grapefruit, tangerine.
Woody and earthy
Aroma: grounding, calming, deep, warm, lingering.
Suggested use: feelings of stress, anxiety, nervous tension and irritability. Use to promote feelings of well-being and security. Useful for when we feel insecure, scared and out of touch with what is going on around us. Calming, grounding and harmonising.
Examples: sandalwood, rosewood, patchouli, cedarwood, cypress, pine, vetivert, valerian.
Aroma: balancing, regulating, cooling, relaxing, clearing, clarifying.
Suggested use: emotionally balancing and grounding. Can help us breathe and ‘let go’ when emotions and feelings are cluttering our minds and our thinking. Use to help promote positivity.
Examples: clary sage, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, chamomile, thyme, yarrow.
Aroma: pungent, warm, dry, sweet.
Suggested use: stimulating, invigorating and awakening. Can be used to provide strength and stamina and focus with a particular situation.
Examples: clove, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon bark, cardamom, turmeric.
Some important safety notes…
• If you have allergies, sensitive skin, or are pregnant or on medication, consult a professional aromatherapist for advice before using essential oils.
• Never ingest (swallow) essential oils or apply them neat to the skin.
• Buy high-quality essential oils from a reputable supplier or stockist, to ensure these are 100% pure and unadulterated.
• Buy in small quantities, in dark glass bottles with a dropper at the top, and store in a cool place.
• Dispose of the oil safely, in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines, which might be before the ‘use by’ date, once the bottle has been opened.
• Aromatherapy and essential oils should only be used alongside standard medical care and not as an alternative. Consult your GP or other health professional if you have questions or concerns about any medical matters.
I hope you find this article useful. Let me know what are your favour essential oils and what they do for you.
Stay well, stay positive and stay healthy
We are now in week 9 of a lockdown that has been, to say the least, a challenge to each and every one of us. Life has been so different to anything we’ve ever known; we’ve been lucky enough in our lifetime to have never known a pandemic, thank goodness!
Mental Health Awareness Week 18- 24 May
Never has there been a more important time to focus on our mental wellbeing than now.
Mental Health Awareness week aims to get people talking about their mental health and reduce the stigma that can stop people asking for help. The theme for 2020 is kindness.
Firstly, be kind to yourself.
We are often our own harshest critic, judging ourselves and putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves to do, be, action etc.
Just breathe and do whatever feels right for you on that day. If you don’t feel like being productive, then that’s ok. Do some mindfulness meditation (going for a walk / sitting in a chair / lying on the sofa and letting your mind be still)
Go for a walk if you want to – save the 5K run for another day (or the gardening or the cupboard clearing, baking, cleaning, garage tidying etc).
Or (and this has to be my ultimate all time fave!) – read a book! Oh the bliss of allowing yourself time to just sit and read a good story.
If you’re kind to you – you can then also be kind to others. I’ve tried to keep in touch with friends and clients I know live alone and might be struggling a bit.
It seems they like a bit of a chat about this and that and it’s also been really good for me too.
10 DAYS OF HAPPINESS
Free online coaching program for challenging times
Action for Happiness has launched a new program to boost your wellbeing in these crazy times. If you feel you would like to access this resource visit their website here
I really love the Action for Happiness calendars and quotes as they are so positive whatever life is like for you (at whatever time).
I’m so looking forward to returning to my treatments and lovely clients, but in the meantime stay well, stay safe and stay positive.
Many thanks for reading.
So before Covid-19 and lockdown life I was in the process of changing my business name. As this brings a number of tasks attached to it, I thought in the circumstances, I may as well carry on….
In August 2015 I qualified as a Beauty Therapist, after having taken voluntary redundancy in January 2015, retrained and then set up my little business in November 2015.
I then undertook several massage qualifications and secured posts with North Devon Hospice (Voluntary Therapist) and Hartland House Spa (Spa Therapist) in February 2016. These roles gave me lots of experience and the on the job learning I needed and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them.
I’m still at the hospice, four years on, as many of you know, and spent 2.5 years at the Spa before it closed in August 2018.
Undertaking my City & Guilds Level 3 Complementary Therapy training (massage, aromatherapy & reflexology) in 2017/18 gave me further qualifications in treatments I am extremely passionate about.
It’s been quite a journey and a wonderful one so far. Having just completed my training in ScarWork, a relatively new therapy, in March moved me (I feel) more into the role of Complementary Therapist, as opposed to (only) Beauty Therapist.
So, in January 2020 I felt the business name slightly misleading and not accurately reflecting what I now (completely) offered, and thus the name change.
Sarah Butler Therapies
What I offer hasn’t changed hugely (just the name). I will still offer beauty treatments and, of course, still undertake pamper parties, which are extremely popular in summer months, and which my colleagues and I thoroughly enjoy.
Don’t worry if you google search Back to Beauty you’ll just be sent to Sarah Butler Therapies, so no problem. The same with the e-mail address.
Please do take a look the new name/logo. It would be lovely to know what you think.
Stay well, stay safe, stay positive
Many thanks for reading
I fully appreciate you will have received lots of information about how to cope during this challenging time. However, I thought I’d let you know a few things that I am doing, and which you may find useful to protect yourself and those around you at this challenging time with the Covid-19 virus.
1. Use an aromatherapy diffuser
Diffuse essential oils that are known for their anti-viral and immune system boosting properties. These include: lemon, eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, frankincense, tea tree, cinnamon and lemongrass
A diffuser creates a healthy environment. Diffusing the right oils can create an antimicrobial and antibacterial environment that eradicates airborne bacteria in your home.
If you’d like some ideas for blends do let me know.
Yoga helps lower stress hormones that compromise the immune system, while also conditioning the lungs and respiratory tract, stimulating the lymphatic system
to rid toxins from the body, and bringing oxygenated blood to the various organs to ensure their optimal function …. Yoga works on everything.
3. Eat healthily
To give your body the right fuel to protect itself. I’m not an expert so you could consult (via the internet of course!) a nutritionist, but there is also a plethora of information on line and in the main just be sensible. Avoid alcohol as, sadly, it can weaken your immune system and make the body more susceptible to infections.
4. Try not to worry.
This is not meant to sound like a cliché! The current situation is not ideal, but our immune system doesn’t work as well when we are anxious or stressed.
The current situation may not be ours by choice and we may find it frustrating but, having had it thrust upon us, try to look at it positively. Enjoy the peace and slower pace of life. Take time to drink in a view (from your window or on a walk), read that book (or finish it!). Be kind to yourself. There are many harder things to be doing than having to stay at home for a while.
I saw this recently and thought it was a bit of a reality check:
Don’t be a stranger. It can be lonely at home for a long period of time (for me too!). If you’d like to get in touch, it would be lovely to hear from you.
Stay safe and well.
Many thanks for reading.
I found myself in January thinking again about a new therapy that had come to my attention in the summer of 2018 and last May 2019 at The Holistic Health Show and somehow seemed to keep popping into my head as I was so impressed and intrigued with it.
So, after a bit of deliberation, some research with the trainer and some positive conversations with therapists who had trained and were now practicing, I am very excited and pleased to tell you that I will be training in ScarWork therapy in March this year.
SCARWORK IN ACTION
ScarWork is the brainchild of Sharon Wheeler from Seattle, US. Sharon has been training and teaching for over 40 years, during which time she has developed an approach which has only been available in the UK since 2014. ScarWork is a gentle, painless approach designed to assist with scar and adhesion problems after surgery/injury.
HOW IT WORKS
ScarWork is a series of techniques to assist with reconfiguring the soft tissue, normally reducing the adhesions left by scarring and improving the scar’s appearance. Adhesions connect structures that should not be connected; this can restrict mobility and organ function and create pain. We do not yet understand fully how ScarWork works. Research is ongoing into the power of the light touch approach.
Everything in the body is connected by fascia; this means that if there is an issue in one part of the body, there is inevitably a cascading effect through the rest of the body, affecting function and structure.
“Consultant surgeons in my area are now starting to recommend ScarWork treatment post-operatively for their mastectomy and breast reconstruction patients.”
Emma Holly, International Therapist Magazine (Summer 2018)
Below: A mastectomy scar before and after ScarWork treatment
As the restrictions in the actual scar and/or the adhesions generated by the scarring free up during therapy, there is a consequent release of tension throughout the body.
This takes the strain off of joints, vertebrae, limbs etc and allows for a rebalancing in the body, normally improving posture and mobility. Releasing fascial restriction of nerves can assist in pain relief or restore feeling to numb areas.
It is not possible to restore correct balance and alignment to the body if there is a restriction in the tissues caused by severe injury and/or scarring.
For this reason, by focusing on the scars first; this allows for a more permanent result when addressing other physical problems. Further, the traumatic memory of injury/surgery often surfaces after ScarWork and this normally helps reduce internal stress level and improve your emotional balance.
“ This is a unique service. Feedback from patients has been fantastic”
Joan Follett, Nursing Services Manager, Rennie Grove Hospice Care
WHERE I GO FROM HERE
My course is in Wigan 9-13 March. Once I have completed it I want to get as much practice in as I possibly can to gain experience and build a successful portfolio of work.
If you, or anyone you know, wish to be a case study for me and have your scar (old or new) worked on please do let me know.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Many thanks for reading
My husband, Andrew, having already had a successful channel relay on 11 June last year, will be swimming the channel solo in June this year raising money for the following charities:-
1. Care for Kids, North Devon
2. Ronald McDonald, Bristol
3. The North Devon Wave Project
4. Kidney Research UK
If you want to, you can read Andrew’s story here
Wanting to do my bit to support Andrew, and the charities close to our hearts, I am offering the following throughout February:-
1. Aromatherapy back massage
2. Aromatherapy facial massage
for the AMAZING price of £12.50 for a 25 min treatment. All monies raised will go to support the above charities.
If you are interested in having a treatment, please contact me via the contact form on my website here
I look forward to seeing you soon.
Its Aromatherapy Awareness Week – how fabulous! A whole week dedicated just to wonderful aromatherapy. I love how an aromatherapy massage can make you feel and completely relax or uplift you, depending totally on which oils are used. So what exactly is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is one of the most gentle and versatile of the complementary healing arts. It harnesses the natural therapeutic powers of essential oils to relieve a whole host of physical and emotional complaints ranging from stress, anxiety and fatigue through to insomnia, aches and pains (incl pain management) and problem skin conditions.
Essential oils are extracted from aromatic flowers, leaves, bark, roots, fruits and berries. They are complex substances that have many different properties. Like any other medicine, essential oils have a powerful effect and can chemically alter the body, albeit in a completely natural way! The oils enter the body via inhalation and by absorption through the pores of the skin. Once inside they enter the bloodstream and travel to different organs and body systems where they begin to trigger healing.
Essential oils are pure, plant substances which have been used for thousands of years so they can be trusted to help with our health problems in a safe and natural way.
As a qualified aromatherapist (qualified to blend oils) I am on The Federation of Holistic Therapists’ Accredited Register. Being listed on an Accredited Register demonstrates that I am committed to high standards of practice
The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) is the UK’s leading professional association for complementary, holistic beauty and sports therapists. For more than 50 years, the FHT been instrumental in ensuring high standards in therapy education and practice.
The FHT holds the largest Accredited Register of complementary therapists to have been independently approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.
An aromatherapy treatment is extremely relaxing treating both body and mind and is a completely natural therapy.
To celebrate and encourage you to try this amazing holistic treatment I will be offering 15% discounts on the following aromatherapy treatments:-
Aromatherapy Body Massage (pre-blended oils) – now £29.75
Aromatherapy Relaxing Facial (pre-blended oils) – now £25.50
Aromatherapy Body Massage (bespoke blend) – now £34
Aromatherapy Relaxing Facial (bespoke blend) – now £29.75
The pre-blended oils cannot be changed and are already mixed beforehand. The bespoke blend is made specifically for you just prior to your treatment.
This offer is available to bookings made between 10 – 21 June only. Excludes mobile bookings, gift vouchers, subscriptions and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers.
I look forward to seeing you soon!
Many thanks for reading
Every year, Birmingham welcomes thousands of therapy professionals to The Holistic Health Show held at the NEC in May.
This is essential a trade show for therapy professionals who have the opportunity to see the latest seasonal therapy launches, whilst enjoying free educational talks on a variety of subjects.
There is also an ever-popular Chill Out Zone, offering taster treatments to visitors whilst raising money for a therapy based charity (this year it was Healing Hands Network, see link here for more details)
I attended the event with 3 of my colleagues from North Devon Hospice which was lovely as it meant we could all share, learn and experience together.
The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) of whom I am a member, also hold a Training Congress just outside The Holistic Health Show in the NEC
This meant my colleagues and I could sign up to and attend hourly talks on a wide variety of subjects.
All very thought provoking and extremely professional.
I had a fantastic Thai Yoga Massage by the Central School of Massage – see website here.
I also attended a talk by Kathryn Ellis, Advanced Practitioner at the Central School of Massage who also did some brilliant demonstrations.
It was great to have the time and space to actually think about where I’d come from and now where I would like to take my business. Being with other therapists (3 of whom also have their own business) meant the experience could be shared and chatter flowed very easily (not that it ever doesn’t you understand!).
So, now to update my business plan and marketing plan with a view to my long and short term goals and then to begin to set things in motion!
Many thanks for reading.
Have a very happy June!
Although it’s ok and totally natural to feel anxious at times, it’s important not to let those feelings get out of control. Over time anxiety can have a serious effect on our health and wellbeing. We’ve all got certain pressures, i.e. work deadlines, financial worries, specific events, as well as the usual daily challenges. Some self-help therapies can help you feel calm and soothe your nerves.
The adrenal glands, which are directly affected by stress, are responsible for the “fight-or-flight” response we feel when under pressure. This response is meant to be short lived, but in many cases it is a regular occurrence, leading to overworked adrenal glands.
In reflexology, the adrenal reflex is found just below the ball of each foot and also on the fleshy area below the thumb on the palmar side of the hand. Gently pressing these reflexes for a few minutes can help calm the adrenal glands and reduce tension. The hands can be worked at any time of day and the feet are best worked for about five minutes per foot before bedtime.
Aromatherapy is the use of plant-derived, aromatic essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being.
The optimum way for the body to absorb the therapeutic qualities of essential oils is through a combination of inhalation and skin absorption, via a massage blend or bath.
Lavender is one of the most studied essential oils in terms of its relaxing effects. It has been shown to calm the nervous system, lower blood pressure, heart rate and skin temperature, as well as change brain waves to a more relaxed state.
Neroli, often referred to as the “rescue remedy” of essential oils, is also a valuable oil for helping to ease anxiety and stress, along with bergamot.
A natural facelift massage can release tension through the whole body when just the face is massaged. We tend to hold emotional stress is our faces, particularly in the jaw and temples, so gently massaging these areas using upward and outward circular motions helps to promote relaxation and reduce stress, while increasing muscle tone and revitalising your skin. It is easy to do yourself, using your favourite cream or oil after cleansing. Make it a daily routine to look and feel your best.
For all the above treatments you can find me on The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) Register here
I’m on both The Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register and the FHT Directory. Follow the link and put in my name – Sarah Butler.
The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) is the UK and Ireland’s largest professional association for complementary, holistic beauty and sports therapists. Founded in 1962, the FHT has been promoting the highest standards in education and therapy practice for more than 50 years. Its Complementary Healthcare Register has been accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.
Many thanks for reading
Well here we are again with Christmas nearly upon us. I literally do not know where this year has gone. I feel its time for some reflection and to take a look back over the year, whilst also preparing for the year ahead. Here’s a summary of B2B’s 2018.
A dear client passed away at the grand age of 91 years. I had been seeing Kit each month for 2 years, but so glad she went without suffering. I will never forget her.
With three large pamper parties to organise and deliver, February was quite a busy month. Also attending Wellbeing Day at the Hospice which is always so enjoyable.
Heavy snow on the 2nd meant Hartland Spa was closed so no work for me that day! Although lovely to look at, the impact on getting around is never good. So glad it doesn’t last…..
Really getting stuck into the 160 case studies I needed to complete for my Aromatherapy and Reflexology courses.
Taking and passing my practical and written exams (x4) for my courses and so glad to pass all!
Writing up 160 case studies (it took me all month!) and finally finishing my courses. Being interviewed by The Guardian and having the article published (on line) on 6th June. You can read it here
Pamper party season so travelling out and about in the gorgeous Devon countryside in, what proved to be, the best Summer we’ve had in a long time.
After 2.5 years working at Hartland House Spa it closed its’ doors on 31st August due to retirement and its’ sale. I will always be grateful for the experience and knowledge gained there, as well as forming some lovely friendships.
Joining The Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT), the leading professional association for therapists in the UK and Ireland for complementary, beauty and sports industries.
My busiest month of the year! Pamper parties, clients (in and out). A goodbye meal with the girls from Hartland Spa in Bude and Wellbeing Day at the Hospice. Also fitted in some back pain training with the FHT.
A belated honeymoon / much needed holiday in Kefalonia, Greece for two whole glorious weeks. Read 5 books, walked and swam a bit but not much else. Really felt I needed and thoroughly enjoyed. So good we’ve booked again for next year already!
Celebrating my birthday, 1st wedding anniversary and 3 years in business this month (soooo much food!)
A large pamper party at Webbery Barton Barn (visit the website here) at the end of the month was a lovely way to end another busy one.
A quieter month, but I don’t mind. It’s nice to have a bit of a rest after a very busy year.
Christmas again – where did the year go!
Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas and all good things in 2019.