Oncology Massage: Easing the Side-Effects of Cancer Treatment

Oncology Massage: Easing the Side-Effects of Cancer Treatment

Oncology massage is a gentle, nurturing and effective therapy that safely addresses the needs of a cancer patient or anyone with a history of cancer (or other degenerative illness). Oncology massage therapists understand the science and pay close attention to the physical, emotional and psychological needs of a client during diagnosis, treatment, recovery, survivorship or palliative care. Oncology massage therapists are highly trained and equipped for different types of cancer and other health conditions and will make adjustments for a person’s current state of health. We design a suitable treatment plan for the individual with cancer and make site, position and pressure adjustments.

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Aromatherapy: Balancing Yin and Yang - a TCM Approach

Aromatherapy: Balancing Yin and Yang - a TCM Approach

In this modern world it is easy to become imbalanced with so many responsibilities such as family, work, friends, house duties as well as distractions everywhere - from social media, to gossip, as well as bad news, and social issues. Too much doing (yang), and not enough time being (yin) leads to imbalance (emotionally, mentally and energetically) and physiological stress. On the contrary, too much sitting around (yin) and not enough exercise (yang) also leads to imbalance and lack of energy (to gain energy, you need to use it).

Essential oils affect your body physiologically -  creating change in the mind, emotions, and hormones via the limbic system in the brain as well as making their way into the bloodstream and affecting the different systems in the body such as the respiratory system, digestive system, musculoskeletal system, and so on. However this life force (Qi) that runs through the meridians in the body is also influenced by essential oils. 

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Aromatherapy & Natural Remedies for Colds & Influenza

Aromatherapy & Natural Remedies for Colds & Influenza

You can diffuse essential oils at home (or in the office) when one of the people you live with (or work with) is sick and you want to help protect yourself and your family from the germs - as many essential oils make great air-antiseptics. As you diffuse the essential oil it can help kill the germs floating in the air as well as help treat the symptoms a person experiences when they have a cold. Inhalation works to treat respiratory ailments because the essential oil molecules go directly into your nose and lungs where they immediately go to work against the virus. They also enter the bloodstream this way, and can help improve your mood - because lets face it when we are sick our moods can be pretty flat and it just so happens that many of the best essential oils for treating viruses are often uplifting for the mind and emotions.

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Choosing a Massage Therapist - Trust & Safety

Choosing a Massage Therapist - Trust & Safety

Massage therapy is an important health service which has been proven to reduce stress, reduce general pain, reduce or heal muscular tension and pain, improve sleep quality, and can help to prevent muscular injuries and increase range of motion. Massage isn't just some luxury, it is an important part of many people's self-care, stress management, pain management and mental health management, as well as an important therapy for athletes. Massage encourages the release of feel good hormones such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin which assists many people to cope with stress, anxiety, depression and grief, as well as feel more relaxed and focused. Disappointingly, from time to time a person may come into the health industry and instead of wanting to provide a healing service like the majority of people drawn to this industry, they are a predator/abuser or under-qualified. I'm providing this guide to help you choose a genuine massage therapist, who provides an honest healing service, without an agenda.

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Valentine's Day: Love & Self-Love - How to feel Fabulous!

Valentine's Day: Love & Self-Love - How to feel Fabulous!

I see Valentine's Day as a reminder to love and appreciate our partners, and ourselves, and welcome more romance into our lives. Rather than confine romance to one day of the year, or to special occasions, I feel it's fun to experience romance often and spontaneously. We can plan little surprises to make our partners feel special. Romantic music, candles, and diffusing essential oils is a great start for some romance at home. You can create an aromatherapy massage oil too and take turns giving each other a back massage - this helps you relax and really connect with your partner. 

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Aromatherapy: Part 3 - Emotions

Aromatherapy: Part 3 - Emotions

I will now delve into the topic of using essential oils to improve our emotional state. Essential oils are complex and unaltered from nature. Even if scientists try they can never truly be recreated in a laboratory. Their many components create a synergistic value that is in biochemical harmony with our bodies because we too are part of nature. Many aromatherapists, such as myself, like to use essential oils as a tool to help bring our minds and emotions back to a state of balance and harmony. We see aromatherapy as both an art and a science. Most of all, aromatherapy is very enjoyable - it is sensuous and restorative and works on the mind and emotions rapidly.

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Aromatherapy: Part 2 - The Science

Aromatherapy: Part 2 - The Science

Inhalation of essential oils is the best way to assist with emotional problems such as stress, anxiety and depression as it reaches the limbic system in the brain quickly. The forebrain is the largest portion of the brain and consists of the two cerebral hemispheres (left brain, right brain) and also contains the limbic system. The limbic system consists of many parts. These parts control integration of information from our senses, voluntary movement, higher abstract thought, logic, speech and emotions. The limbic system establishes emotional states (happiness, fear, anger) and links to both conscious responses such as movement, as well as autonomic (unconscious) functions including hormones. It also facilitates memory storage and retrieval. 

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Aromatherapy: Part 1 - An Introduction

Aromatherapy: Part 1 - An Introduction

Aromatherapy isn't just about beautiful, natural aromas. It is an actual therapy, meaning that it may assist with relieving a disorder and bring about wellbeing as part of an integrative healing approach. In aromatherapy, volatile plant oils, otherwise known as 'essential oils', are used with different application methods to assist with a particular health issue (such as pain, headaches, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, mood disorders, insomnia, colds/coughs, etcetera), or to influence the mind and body to a particular wanted emotional state (calm, happiness, energised, focused), etcetera. 

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Restoring Calm: Massage for Stress Relief

Restoring Calm: Massage for Stress Relief

Massage therapy is one of the best treatments for stress. It is important to manage stress, as it can lead to exhaustion, burnout and even to disease in the body. 

The sympathetic nervous system triggers the stress response and it forms part of the autonomic nervous system. The other part of the autonomic nervous system is the parasympathetic nervous system which controls the "relaxation response" otherwise known as "rest and digest". Activating the parasympathetic nervous systems turns off those harmful biochemical reactions so that our heart rate returns to normal, our body can digest properly, our immune system can work well again and our body can relax. So essentially we need to encourage the parasympathetic nervous system to take over as often as possible, and massage therapy is a great way to do this.

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Restoring the Mind-Body Connection during Trauma Recovery

Restoring the Mind-Body Connection during Trauma Recovery

Dr van der Kolk advises: "The big issue for traumatised people is that they don’t own themselves anymore. Any loud sound, anybody insulting them, hurting them, saying bad things, can hijack them away from themselves. And so what we have learned is that what makes you resilient to trauma is to own yourself fully...." He goes on to say "So trauma treatment starts at the foundation of a body that can sleep, a body that can rest, a body that feels safe, a body that can move." On these discoveries, it is clear that therapies involving the body such as yoga and massage (used in a mindful way and as part of an integrative treatment program) will be beneficial for many traumatised people.

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