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Nature & Nurture Therapeutic Massage - Massage for the Soul
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The Role of Mothers
Active Birth & Postnatal Support
Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage
Myrhh - Commiphora Myrrha
Negative Media Attention


Essential Oils
Good Health & A Sense of Self
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Introduction to Nature & Nurture Therapeutic Massage
Massage Practitioners in the Spotlight.
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Essential Oils

Myrhh - Commiphora Myrrha

MYRHH (also known as Commiphora Myrrha)

Myrrh is a resin that comes from a large shrub that grows in rocky terrain. Throughout ancient history it was as highly valued as gold. At times, when scarce, its value rose even higher than gold.

The word Myrrh comes from the Aramaic, to mean 'bitter'. It has a mild sweet, woody and balsamic smell. It has been used for perfume, incense and medicine over the years.

This is an essential oil that I use a lot at home. It is one of the ones that I always keep in my first aid kit as well. As a household application it could be applied to floors, kitchen/bathroom surfaces and walls for keeping bacteria at bay.

One of its best known uses is as an antiseptic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory, especially for the mouth. Used in a mouthwash/gargle it helps to relieve gum disease and tooth ache. It is also beneficial for slow healing wounds, such as ulcers and weeping eczema. I like to use it on cuts and abrasions. The essential oil can also be effective for drying out mucus associated with respiratory infections.

Myrrh blends quite nicely with Clove, Frankincense, Mint and Citrus. It is believed that it can induce menstruation, therefore it is best avoided during pregnancy.

Eucalyptus Oil - Eucalyptus Globulus

EUCALYPTUS OIL (also known as Eucalyptus Globulus)

I would assume that all Australians are aware of the Eucalyptus Tree (and possibly many more people around the world). It is a tree that is symonomous with Koalas but the essential oil extracted from this plant is another household name for many families.

Eucalyptus is a refreshing and energising oil. It is used primarily for its anti-septic qualities but it is known to have anti-viral qualities as well. Most people find that eucalyptus oil (like tea tree oil) has a medicinal scent. It is often associated with throat lozenges and decongestants. It is also a common deodorant ingredient and ideal for household cleaning. I use it in my washing, adding it to each load with the usual washing liquid. I especially like to use it for soaking heavily soiled clothes. It can irritate the skin so it needs to be used with caution.

I also like to burn this essential oil in an oil burner during the winter months or when anyone in the household is feeling a bit under the weather. It is a strong oil and can overpower a blend. It combines well though with other woody or citrus based oils.

Eucalyptus can be effective against coughs and colds, helping sore throats, bronchitis and sinusitis. It can aid skin infections, such as ulcers and sores if diluted and used topically. This is another essential oil that I like to keep handy - either in the laundry, cleaning cupboard or first aid kit.

Eucalyptus essential oil can come in quite a few different varieties (as there are approximately 800 species of this tree in the Asutralian wilderness). Some share common cautions while others stand alone. Not all eucalyptus varieties are good for use with children or the elderly so please be careful when choosing your product.

Frankincense - Boswellia Carterii

With Christmas literally just around the corner and the festive season well and truely under way I thought that I would write about one of the gifts that the Three Wise Men gave to the Baby Jesus ..... Frankincense.

It has to be one of my favourite essential oils, alongside Mandarin. More often than not I combine the two as the heavy resinous tone of the Frankincense blends well with the more uplifting and fragrant scent of the mandarin. In combination they create a wonderful and harmonious aroma which I use for deep relaxation. My clients always comment, with approval, when I use these two essential oils for their treatments.

FRANKINCENSE (also known as Boswellia Carterii)

Frankincense, like Myrrh is another essential oil that has been around for many years, although now it is rarely used in the developed world. Ancient priests and physicians would use it to treat illnesses and disease. It is also a very spiritual oil which is great for meditation, deep relaxation and slowing down one's breathing.

I absolutely love this oil and often find myself using it in blends. It has an aroma that really appeals to me. It is a resinous oil with a sweet and woody scent. It blends very well with citrus oils, such as Orange, Mandarin and Neroli. As citrus oils have uplifting qualities the two complement each other very well and can be used to aid general malaise.

Frankincense is another essential oil that is used in perfumery, for incense and also for room fragrances. It is very beneficial for use on the skin and can even be used from the 2nd trimester of pregnancy to soothe and rejuvenate the skin on the belly. It has been said to reduce scars, stretchmarks and cellulite. It is not uncommon to find it as an ingredient in many anti-aging products.

It has been noted in some literature that Frankincense can cause gastro-intestinal upset and possible blood thinning. People must be aware of this if they are having any medical procedure performed or are taking certain anti-coagulant medications, herbs or homeopathic remedies.

Tea Tree Oil - Melaleuca Alternifolia

TEA TREE (also known as Melaleuca Alternifolia)

It has been a little while since I have made a post and one which covers the ever wonderful benefits of an essential oil. I have decided to share with you some knowledge about Tea Tree.

Tea Tree is a clean and fresh smelling oil that is used for its anti-septic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities. People often find that
it has a medicinal scent which is probably related to its common topical and household applications. It can be applied successfully in very low dilutions but it is also used neat. Users need to be cautious if applying neat as it can irritate those with sensitivities.

Tea tree leaves were actually being used as a healing tea by Indigenous Australians long before Europeans arrived. It wasn't until the 1920's though that an Australian chemist discovered its medicinal qualities. Arthur Penfold found Tea Tree oil to be an effective means of disinfecting wounds and stopping fungal infections. He was indeed a very important chemist recognised worldwide. He was mainly regarded for his knowledge of the essential oils of Australian flora.

During the Second World War Australian soldiers carried Tea Tree oil in their first aid kits. I do too, alongside Lavender. They are the two main oils I often wouldn't go traveling without.

Basically, Tea tree is a great immuno-stimulant and is perfect for many ailments from acne, to dandruff, head lice, athletes foot, candida, cold sores, ringworm, colds & flu etc. In times of illness it is a great oil to diffuse in an oil burner to limit the spread of infection through the air. NB. Best mixed with either peppermint or eucalyptus essential oils.

Just like Lavender the applications of this oil truly are remarkable. As mentioned above it is a great little bottle to add to the first aid kit. You could also put Tea Tree oil in your laundry cupboard (if you prefer it to Lavender oil ) as it too will help to freshen up your washing - especially if you have smelly work/sports wear. It can also be used to remove chewing gum/tar and other sticky substances from clothing.

Tea Tree oil blends very well with: Atlas Cedarwood, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Eucalyptus, Ginger, Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint & Rosemary.

Tea Tree can cause skin irritation. It should really be used in lower dilutions to begin with. For an adults bath only 3 drops need be added to gain some therapeutic benefit. As with the use of all essential oils some research needs to be done before application.

Writings from Denise Leicester - Ila Spa

The founder of Ila - Denise Leicester (who I mentioned in my previous post) writes a little more on the topic of chemicals in products in her own blog.

This is certainly something that people should be thinking about as the skin is our largest organ and dalily it is assaulted with a barage of lotions, potions and pollution. It is from my own negative experience with commercial products that led me down the path I am on today. I love aromatherapy and it is a wonderful joy that I receive from creating my own blends. If you can't make it yourself be sure to ask the right questions about what you are purchasing. You'll realise that you don't need half the things in your bathroom cabinet and what you do have is probably a waste of money.

I will soon be making products to purchase. If you are interested before I have anything available up on my site please contact me to see if we can come to some arrangement. I am happy to make small quantities to order.

Product Choice

To successfully operate a small, part time business takes a lot of management. For Nature & Nurture much thought is given to purchases that need to be made, such as what products to choose.

Although in an indeal world I would love to be able to offer clients organic products I know that it would not be viable for my pocket or yours. I am also aware from experience that the 'organic seal of approval' does not always mean the best product available. I had the pleasure of working in a spa that used products painstakingly created with care and love from ila ( Their products are not organic but are labelled 'beyond organic'. The reason behind this is that on their quest around the globe, searching for the most pure and ethical ingredients they realised that some plants, although given the organic approval, were grown in undesireable locations. Roses from Bulgaria can be found in fields beside roads with heavy traffic (causing all sorts of pollution and contaminants to land on these living, breathing organisms). In the U.K. the Soil Association certifies these roses organic but that is only really addressing the absence of chemicals used in the soil.

I use Plant Essentials based right here in Australia because I would like to support an Australian business. I have been bery pleased with their range, their service and their oils.

Below is an extract from their website:
"Where possible we source local, organically farmed & wild crafted ingredients, or we search afar for top quality community produced ingredients. We use recyclable packaging, & most products can be refilled in store for a discount. These products are not only better for the environment, but better for you. We prefer to choose cruelty free products & ingredients. We are constantly looking for ways we can limit our impact on our precious environment. Using plant derived raw, organic & simple safe ingredients for all the family. With No animal testing. No parabens, No sulphates, No synthetic preservatives, No mineral oils."

I'm happy with that and I hope that you are too!

Lavender oil - Lavendula Angustifolia

LAVENDER (also known as Lavendula Angustifolia)

This is an essential oil with a household name. Lavender is used by so many that I have decided to write a little about this well known essential oil.

Lavender is a fresh, sweet oil that many people are aware of for use with insomnia. It may also have the opposite effect though as it can be used as a stimulating oil.
Literally 2 drops are all that is required when using to relax before bed.

Lavender is also known by many to have great skin healing properties. It was actually an accident which caused burning to the skin that created a greater interest in essential oils for their therapeutic use. A French chemist named, René-Maurice Gattefossé burnt his hand in his labratory. The first vat of liquid available was what he stuck his hand into - it contained the essential oil of Lavender. He was surprised to notice the effect the oil had on cooling the burn and aiding the healing process. I too can attest to this from personal experience.

Lavender has also been known to be used for it's anti-septic and anti-fungal qualities. In World War II a French surgeon, Jean Valnet, used it to treat wounded soldiers.
The applications of this oil truly are remarkable. It's a great little bottle to add to the first aid kit. You could also put it in your laundry cupboard as it helps to freshen up the laundry - especially if you have smelly work/sports wear.

Lavender blends very well with most oils.
It is used greatly in cosmetics, perfumes, soaps, insect repellants and teas.

Lavender can cause skin irritation and some people may feel nauseous from using it. I find it a very heady oil at times, it can be overpowering. This oil needs to be used sparingly and diluted preferably with a carrier oil (olive oil is suitable).

Vetivert Essential Oil

VETIVERT (also known as Vetivera Zizanoides)

Vetivert is a strong and woody oil with sweet, honey like qualities. It can be known to be very calming and balancing. It is often used as an anti-anxiety aid and to treat depression. It blends extremely well with Jasmine, Neroli, Orange, Patchouli, Petitgrain and Rose. It can overpower a blend so only a little is needed. I choose to use it time and again and find that it works beautifully in unison with my favourite oil; mandarin.

Vetivert is often used in cosmetics, perfumes and body soaps. In ancient times it was used in the Far East as perfume, often by men as it does not have the floral scent that many other essential oils share.

It is not known to have any cautions and is non-sensitising, nor-irritating and non-toxic.
As with mandarin I truly love this oil and I often choose it for my clients.

Mandarin Oil - Citrus Reticulata

I have decided that I would like to share with you some of my favourite essential oils as I have a great love for aromatherapy.

To begin with I would like to write a little about:
MANDARIN (also known as Citrus Reticulata) from the Rutacea Family.

It is a beautiful, fresh, citrus oil that can be very warming and uplifting. It is often used as a sedative as it has a very calming effect. It blends extremely well with other oils (especially when using for a massage) and can lift a heavier blend to make it more pleasurable. It compliments both the summer and winter seasons because it's such a refreshing oil.

It is often used in cosmetics, perfumes and body sprays. It has no known cautions or side effects and can even be used (further diluted) for small children and babies.

I truly love this oil and I often choose it for my clients when i'm creating a blend for their massage treatment.
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