Twenty essential oils safe to use in pregnancy

Twenty essential oils safe to use in pregnancy

Many of my clients enjoy using essential oils at home but during pregnancy it can be difficult to know what oils are safe to use. It’s a question I hear a lot so, to answer it, I’ve put together this guide. I have grouped the oils into three distinct categories based on their main effect to make it easier to choose the most appropriate one for you.

 

Calming Essential Oils

The following essential oils are renowned for the soothing & calming effect that they have on the body and emotions. Best used when feeling stressed or anxious.

 

 

Chamomile

Soothing to the skin & emotions. It reduces oedema and encourages sleep.

Benzoin

A vanilla – like, warm and comforting oil. It helps relieve heartburn and is also good for healing cracked skin. 

Cypress

This oil improves circulation and eases the discomfort of varicose veins.

Eucalyptus

An excellent oil to use when congested, Eucalyptus acts as a decongestant as well as relaxing muscle tension.

Frankincense

Historically one of the most precious essential oils, Frankincense relaxes the body by encouraging deeper breathing. Often used in meditation.

Lavender

This oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It can reduce muscle tension & relieve insomnia.

Mandarin

A gentle and soothing oil, Madarin is great to use in skin care as it can help prevent stretch marks.

Energising Essential Oils

These oils have an uplifting effect on the body & emotions. They are good to use when feeling sluggish, tired or down.

Bergamot

Uplifting to the emotions, relieves insomnia & settles indigestion.

Black Pepper

Warming & stimulating. Black pepper eases muscular tension by encouraging blood flow to the areas that are achey.

Clary

Lifts the spirits and eases muscular tension

Ginger

Another warming oil that settles indigestion and nausea.

Grapefruit

This oil balances emotions and energises the body and mind.

Lemon

Uplifting, stimulating & cleansing.

Sweet marjoram

This oil is has a  warming and analgesic effect on the body.

Balancing Essential Oils

These oils are good to use when you’re feeling out of sorts and need some extra support. 

Geranium

Balances the mood and hormones. It’s also effective at reducing oedema.

Rose Otto

Regulates appetite, relaxes and balances emotions. It’s known for having an affinity with the female reproductive system and is often use to ease women;s health issues. 

Neroli

Relieves stress, anxiety and has an aphrodisiac effect.

Sandalwood

Very calming & grounding. Can increase focus but is almost sedative if too much is used. 

Ylang Ylang

Lifts the mood and promotes self-confidence

Tea Tree

Wound healing and stimulating to the immune system

Information taken from:

“Pregnancy Guidelines” by The International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists 

 “The Essential Guide to Holistic & Complementary Therapies” by Beckmann and Le Quesne.

“Aromatherapy: An A-Z” by Davies

 

Contact me to work together – if you would like to experience the benefits of essential oils with an experienced aromatherapist, you can book an aromatherapy massage at my clinic in NYR Glasgow online here, or I can create a bespoke aromatherapy oil blend for you. Email rachael@atlastherapies.co.uk for more information.

You might also find the next post helpful, detailing how to use oils at home safely.

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Five Simple Ways To Improve Your Wellbeing This Spring

Five Simple Ways To Improve Your Wellbeing This Spring

Spring is officially here! I love everything about this transitional time of the year – the first bulbs that poke their way out of the earth, the lighter days and the longer nights. But more than any of this, I love the energy of spring. It’s the time of year when we start to feel more optimistic as we cautiously head out of winter and into the new season. Spring feels like a promise of better things to come and I find it easier to make changes to my habits and routines at this time of year. Below you will find the five things that I’ll be doing over the next few months to improve my wellbeing this spring season.

  1. Eating more fruit and veg!  As the chilly winter weather starts to dissipate, I don’t feel the need to fortify myself with as many heavy stews and soups as I did over the winter. For me, warmer weather = salad. This website has a calendar showing what is in season in Scotland for each month of the year which is really helpful in preparing your meals.
  2. Use the optimistic energy of spring to renew resolutions made in winter over the new year. It can be hard to stick to those plans of exercising more and eating healthily when all you want to do is hibernate so why not use the new season as a chance to revisit your resolutions? You could try a new outdoor exercise class or recipe.
  3. Spring clean! This can apply to anything in your life. Declutter your home, open the windows and let out stagnant energy. Work in your garden or spring clean your wardrobe by repairing and storing your winter clothes and accessories so that they are ready to go next year. Then, update your wardrobe with some new season touches if needed.
  4. Connect with loved ones. The longer days and lighter nights mean more opportunity to socialise and spend time with friends and family.
  5. Bring some joy into your everyday life – appreciate the spring blooms, enjoy the seasonal fruit & veg and notice how the lighter mornings make you feel more awake each day.

Let me know what you thought of my tips and comment below with any suggestions of your own!

 

Categories: Holistic Health
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“It helped me sleep better, cured my worries & soothed my aches & pains” – An interview with pregnancy reflexology client and Lipstick & Loathing blogger, Gillian

“It helped me sleep better, cured my worries & soothed my aches & pains” – An interview with pregnancy reflexology client and Lipstick & Loathing blogger, Gillian

After the excitement of welcoming baby Ellie into the world,  Gillian from the blog Lipstick and Loathing managed to spare some time to share her experience of pregnancy reflexology with Atlas Therapies readers…

So how did you first come to hear about reflexology and what made you want to try it in pregnancy?
 Whilst pregnant I had issues with hip pain & sleep was in short supply. I tried pregnancy massages but I felt that it didn’t really leave me feeling as relaxed as it should. When I was looking at the different options, I came across an online forum for pregnant ladies who were discussing the benefits of reflexology. I could relate to so many of their pregnancy woes & decided I needed to give it a try. 
What made you choose Atlas Therapies for your treatment?
I read the reviews & all the information about Atlas Therapies & after speaking with Rachael via email, I knew it was the right choice. 
Tell us about the treatments you had, did you enjoy them? Was there anything you weren’t too keen on?
I had reflexology in my third trimester. I loved it! I used it not only to help with my aches & pains, but also as a time for me to clear my head & completely relax. 
Did you feel that reflexology met your expectations?
I didn’t know what to expect from reflexology, but it’s safe to say I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did I benefit from deeper, more relaxed sleeps, I also left feeling a sense of renewed energy. Something that was in very short supply toward the end of my pregnancy! 
Is there anyone who would you particularly recommend reflexology to?
Anyone who loves massage but wants a feeling of total zen & relaxation. Reflexology delivers these things without the discomfort of getting undressed in front of a stranger. 
And finally, what advice would you give someone thinking about trying reflexology?
Go for it! Go with an open mind & be prepared to learn things about yourself & your body. 
To read more from Gillian, find her blog at – www.lipstickandloathing.com

Categories: Pregnancy, Reflexology
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Seasonal Wellbeing – Surviving & Thriving over Christmas!

Seasonal Wellbeing – Surviving & Thriving over Christmas!

The festive season is well and truly upon us! I hope you are all having a lovely time and enjoying everything it has to offer – from time with friends and family to delicious festive food and drinks. I know that for all the benefits that this time of year brings, there are a few downsides. It’s so easy to overindulge on everything, saying no (to socialising, shopping, eating, drinking…) is so difficult when you feel that you have to make the most of it because it only happens once a year!

There is often a lot of stress involved with trying to get organised for Christmas, feeling the need to please everyone and not to mention the financial stress that can affect us too.

Often these things combine to result in us feeling tired, run down and not at our best to enjoy the things we want to say yes to! With this in mind, I’ve put together a few tips to keep you glowing over Christmas and to start the New Year off in a happy and healthy place!

15492312_860682314068684_8213854764066920618_n“Prevention is better than cure” 

Balance

If there is one thing that I’ve learned about health and wellbeing, it’s that balance is the key! So enjoy that mince pie and mulled wine, but also cram lots of veg into your meals. Have a great time at your Christmas night out but also schedule a quiet night in to restore your energy later in the week.

You can always get by for a while if one aspect of your life is out of balance but if everything is then you will feel run down much more quickly.

Beauty Sleep

Good quality sleep is the key to enjoying yourself this Christmas and approaching events with energy and vitality. Your body loves a routine to help wind down at night so why not create a lovely ritual to encourage this? You could start by having a bath with some lavender essential oil and magnesium flakes added to it, listen to some calming music or a podcast and drink a cup of herbal tea. Finally, spritz your pillow with a sleep mist and you’ll find getting your beauty sleep a breeze.

Obviously, at this time of year it can be difficult to switch off and if you find that this is affecting your sleep, why not try keeping a notepad next to your bed to jot down anything that’s on your mind before going to sleep? You might also find that only drinking caffeine before 4pm can help too, as can getting some exercise every day.

 Hydration

The cold weather, central heating and air con during winter really affects our skin and hydration levels so ensure that you’re looking after your body inside and out by drinking plenty of water, fruit and herbal teas throughout the day. This not only helps your skin, but it also keeps your body functioning well and helps you to keep thinking clearly and feel energised.

If you find that your skin needs some extra help, you could try applying some rich moisturising cream or oils to your skin. Olive oil is great for chapped hands and feet, while sweet almond oil is lovely on the face.

Exercise

When it’s cold outside it is so tempting to stay indoors and hibernate and there is definitely a time for this, but make sure that you introduce some movement into your body every day too. This is also good for your mind and emotional wellbeing. You could go for a short walk during your lunch break to try and absorb some natural light, or wrap up warm and take in all the festive lights and decorations around town in the evening. A gentle walk after dinner has the added benefit of aiding digestion.

Extra Support

Finally, there is also extra support to be had in the form of herbal supplements, superfoods and therapies. You could try some Echinacea in a tea to help support the immune system or baobab powder added to a smoothie or your porridge for a boost of vitamin C.

Aromatherapy massage is fantastic for helping to energise and restore, or calm and balance depending on what you need. Reflexology is also a lovely way to spend some time on yourself and to achieve balance.

Wishing you all a healthy and happy Christmas and New Year!

Categories: Holistic Health, Reflexology, Stress, Uncategorised
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The Alternative Gift Guide – Presents to Promote Wellbeing

The Alternative Gift Guide – Presents to Promote Wellbeing

A gift guide to help enhance your loved ones wellbeing this festive period.This list might also be useful if you’re having difficulty deciding what to get that tricky person who’s impossible to buy for – there’s always one!

 

Yoga Class Pass

Many yoga studios offer multiple-class passes or gift vouchers so that people can try out different styles of yoga and teachers to find what suits them best. Why not buy one as a gift for someone who is thinking about starting yoga?

For those people who already have a regular yoga practice, how about some yoga accessories? A new mat, towel, bands or blocks could revitalise their practice.

 

An Aromatherapy Diffuser

Diffusers are becoming more popular now and can be used to add fragrance in to the home or in a therapeutic way with specially chosen essential oils to address specific issues. Why not also gift a blend of essential oils too?

 

Complementary Therapies

Give the gift of relaxation this festive season with a voucher for one of Atlas Therapies’ treatments – choose the ideal therapy for your loved one, or choose the amount and let them pick for themselves. Guaranteed to make you very popular this Christmas!

 

Reusable Water Bottle

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated so a reusable water bottle makes a thoughtful and practical gift. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it also contributes to the recipients day to day wellbeing and there are so many modern designs available, you’re sure to pick something they’ll love.

 

Categories: Complementary Therapies, Holistic Health
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Autumn Attunement – Seasonal Wellbeing

Autumn Attunement – Seasonal Wellbeing

As I’m writing this blog post, it is cold and grey outside and rain is pouring down. It’s the end of October and this weekend the clocks ‘fall back’ an hour. We are approaching the time of year when coughs and colds abound and we start to crave hearty meals and warm drinks!
Autumn has many positives – the colours of the landscape, the crisp weather and pumpkin flavoured everything! Although sometimes the effect that this change into the second half of the year has on us can be far from positive. The idea behind the Autumn Attunement is that any negative effects can be addressed to let you fully embrace the new season and everything it has to offer us!
So, who is this treatment for?
Well, it’s for you if you feel lethargic since the summer ended, if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or find it difficult to get going in the dark mornings. It’s also for you if you want to align yourself with this new season and welcome everything it has to offer us. Equally, if you want to spend an hour on self-care and supporting your wellbeing then this is the perfect treatment for you.
The Autumn Attunement has been designed to nurture each of your senses from the moment you enter the room until you leave feeling restored, energised and balanced. After the treatment, you can extend the benefits by using the specially designed Autumn Wellness Guide that I created. I have made this available to download from the website – just click the link in the latest newsletter to access your copy.
So if this sounds like something you could benefit from, just send an email to Rachael@atlastherapies.co.uk to arrange an appointment.

Categories: Complementary Therapies, Holistic Health, Womens Health
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Natural Menopause

Natural Menopause

This month I have been re-reading a book by Dr Christiane Northrup called “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom”. Originally released in 1995, it has been updated and reprinted many times since then and is a great reference book for all issues related to women’s health. The reason that I consult it so often is because it covers each topic from a holistic viewpoint and doesn’t just rely on the western model of health and care.

I have just finished reading a chapter all about menopause so have decided to focus this month’s blog post on the same topic since it’s at the front of my mind! Included is an overview of what the menopause is and natural ways to cope with the side effects.

Firstly, some background information on the menopause. This season of a woman’s life usually begins between the ages of 45 and 55. It can occur quite suddenly or over a period of 10 years and is caused by a change in levels of sex hormones, as well as the ovaries becoming less receptive to other hormones. Because of this, ovulation and menstruation become more and more irregular until finally ceasing.

Biologically, this means the end of childbearing but the symbolic beginning of a new chapter in the woman’s life and, possibly, the chance to focus on her own needs and interests again. In a culture that celebrates youth and fertility, it is easy to lose sight of the positive aspects of the menopause but it can be helpful to remember that menopausal and post-menopausal women have a wisdom, power and beauty that only come from experiencing this life stage.

 

Symptoms of the menopause and natural ways to cope

The symptoms of menopause that women can experience include: fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, dizziness, decreased libido, decreased confidence, mood changes and hot flushes.

Making positive lifestyle changes can help in managing the symptoms, this includes supporting yourself with good nutrition. Including lots of whole foods and reducing sugar and caffeine consumption can help. Incorporating foods like soy beans that contain phytoestrogens can also help.

Sleep is another important aspect. Developing a relaxing night time routine to prepare yourself for sleep and aiming to be in bed by 10pm can help.

Getting some light to moderate exercise a few times a week is so beneficial to your physical and emotional health too, so try to find something  you enjoy and that leaves you feeling invigorated rather than depleted.

There are a few complementary therapies can help support you through menopause as well, including herbal medicine prescribed by a qualified medical herbalist. There are various herbs which can reduce the severity of symptoms. Reflexology can help you to achieve balance within in the body, reduce stress and improve mood, as can massage using specially chosen essential oils. You could also use essential oils at home in a diffuser or added to a bath.

Hopefully this post gives you some inspiration and ideas to explore more thoroughly and if you know anyone who might benefit from the information then share this blog post with them!

Categories: Complementary Therapies, Diet, Holistic Health, Menopause, Reflexology, Womens Health
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Five Reasons To Try Reflexology

Five Reasons To Try Reflexology

Welcome to the first ever Atlas Therapies blog post! I plan to write a new post each month with the aim of sharing useful information that you can incorporate into your own life – usually health and lifestyle reflecting the holistic nature of my work.

In this post, I wanted to shine a light on Reflexology. Recently I’ve had a surge in people booking reflexology appointment so to reflect this I thought it might be interesting to look at the conditions people use it to manage and the reasons why it works.

Firstly, I thought I’d share a little about my own experience. Reflexology is one of my favourite therapies to practice, but it wasn’t always this way! I always considered myself someone who understood that the mind and body were connected but I really struggled to accept the Eastern philosophy of reflexology, which sees the body reflected on the feet with channels of life energy flowing around the body.

I have to admit, I was skeptical.

However, as I read more and more about the therapy and saw first-hand the effect it had on my clients, something clicked! One day I remember it all fell into place and I became its biggest supporter! One of the main principles of reflexology is that the body has the ability to bring itself into balance and heal and we just support and encourage that process through reflexology. Strangely, this was exactly the way that I saw my role as a midwife when caring for women in pregnancy and labour. I was just the facilitator of a natural, beautiful process that women had the ability to complete themselves. Once I made that connection I felt so much more confident in my role as a reflexologist and its ability to bring about positive change in people.

Since I have started practising, people have come to me for reflexology to help with :

  • Pain and lack of mobility caused by arthritis
  • To help encourage the healing process following surgery
  • PCOS
  • Migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Stress
  • Physical and emotional symptoms of PMT
  • Physical and emotional symptoms of menopause
  • Common ailments of pregnancy – indigestion, backache, nausea, tiredness, oedema
  • MSK issues such as tense and achy muscles
  • Side effects of chemotherapy – nausea, changes in appetite, pain, low mood, isolation, lack of mobility
  • And as a preventative measure, as a way to maintain good general health.

Although the real benefits of reflexology accumulate over the course of a few sessions, most people respond well to reflexology immediately. Within minutes of beginning their treatment, it’s not uncommon to feel the muscles releasing tension and stress beginning to lessen. I feel privileged to be able to create an environment where people feel comfortable and safe enough to relax completely like this and find it one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.

So what is it about reflexology that causes people to feel like this? After reflecting on it, I think that there are actually a few different factors that contribute to the effect.

  • It’s non-invasive. This is especially important for people who are ill and whose experience of healthcare can sometimes involve quite invasive – and sometimes what can be seen as violent- interventions like being jagged with needles, physical examinations, scopes etc.
  • Gentle but effective! There are specific techniques involved in reflexology which apply pressure to reflexes but generally, there isn’t too much kneading or manipulation required to bring about change. This can be important for people who feel quite vulnerable, emotionally or physically, when going through an issue that they are seeking help for. Also, as reflexology is a touch therapy it creates a feeling of being nurtured and cared for which is soothing in itself.
  • It allows for reflection on your own health. Having a period of time which is devoted entirely to your own wellbeing encourages positive reflection on the effects of your lifestyle on health and wellbeing.
  • It brings attention to areas that need some TLC. I often find that clients enjoy the ‘feedback’ session at the end of a treatment when we discuss things that I have noticed during the treatment. Sometimes this confirms a thought that they had and therefore creates a feeling of confidence in their ability to be ‘in tune’ with their own body.
  • It is a truly holistic treatment. By this, I mean that although I only work on the feet during a treatment, all of the body’s systems can be addressed. Also, reflexology is perfectly safe to use alongside conventional health care and medications and other complementary therapies.

Maybe this all explains the recent surge in popularity that reflexology has had at Atlas Therapies! Are there any other reasons you think could contribute? What is your favourite effect of reflexology?

Experience the benefits yourself and take 20% off your first reflexology treatment.  Quote ‘September Blog’ when booking.

Categories: Complementary Therapies, Pregnancy, Reflexology
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