stress

Enchanting Aroma's

By Angela England and Linda Bertaut

Nature heals in many ways. Most of us have felt the sense of renewal that comes from walking through a garden filled with fragrant flowers, or sitting under a massive tree, shaded from the burning rays of the sun. Indigenous peoples worldwide believe that each plant has a spirit we can communicate with, to ask for their help in healing.

You can tap into "plant spirit" by keeping aromatic plants around your home or wherever you spend time. Whether fresh or dried, herbs and plants can delight the senses and offer varied health benefits.

Choosing Favorites Here are some popular herbs, as well as their purported health benefits. When choosing your favorites, take a few minutes to breathe in the scents and try to identify what the aroma does for you. Caution: If you have plant allergies, some herbs may cause a reaction.

Chamomile: Euphoric--Soothes nerves, aids digestion, and improves appetite. Good for circulation to the surface of the skin. Induces perspiration. Good as an overall tonic. 

Jasmine: Magical--Helps menopause symptoms. Antibacterial, antioxidant, and aphrodisiac. May lower bad cholesterol when used in teas.

Lavender: Healing--Calming and sedative. Relieves anxiety, depression, and exhaustion. Helps with digestion, headaches, and skin problems. Antiseptic, antibiotic, and a natural detoxifier.

Lemon Balm: Joyful--A member of the mint family, it was used for centuries to treat melancholy. Soothes the nerves and helps with indigestion. May be used topically to reduce redness and swelling. 

Peppermint: Uplifting--Calms the stomach and helps with digestion. Increases secretion of bile. Anti-fungal, highly nutritive, and can alleviate symptoms of allergies and asthma.

Red Clover: Cleansing--Blood purifier, sedative, and good for the nerves. May be used topically to help acne, psoriasis, and skin sores. 

Rose Hips: Fortitude--High in vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Antioxidant. Also contains vitamins A and B, essential fatty acids, and lycopene.

Rose Petals: Beautiful--Antibacterial, antidepressant, and aphrodisiac. Rose water is beneficial to the skin.

Rosemary: Awakening--Highly nutritive, with vitamins A, C, and B complex. Boosts the immune system. Anti-fungal,anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiseptic.

Sage: Wisdom--Grounding. Antibacterial and astringent. Helps with digestion; good as a gargle for sore throats; relieves sore gums; helps reduce hot flashes. Can be used as a rinse to darken grey hair.

At Harmony Day Spa we are currently diffusing Peppermint and Lemon Balm.  Delicious.

Four ways to keep stress at bay

As much as we enjoy the emerging flowers and warmer weather of almost April, there can be a bit of a dark cloud hanging in the spring sky. Often the first few weeks of the month are a rush of receipts and 1040’s as the April 15 Tax deadline looms, and a rush of new schedules as the kids’ sports seasons fire up. Maybe that’s why April is Stress Awareness Month; to remind us to take care of ourselves, and not let stress go unchecked.

 

Meditation

Meditation does not have to be about pretzeled legs, chanting, and reaching enlightenment. It can simply be about creating a moment of stillness in your mind as a way to become more relaxed. Just one minute, 60 seconds of meditation, can dramatically improve your mood, your productivity and the quality of your day.

 

Exercise

It can be tough to make time for exercise when the schedule gets tight and tensions get high. But that's when it becomes even more important. Exercise can relieve the physical symptoms of stress like fatigue, pain, and moodiness. If you can't make time for daily workout, try to fit a 5-10 minute walk outside into some part of your day. A little goes a long way when you need it.

 

Giggle and hum

Both laughter and music can lower the blood pressure. In fact, this study in 2011 showed that 3 months of laughter or music therapy resulted in the same drop in blood pressure that could be achieved with a low-salt diet, losing 10 pounds, or taking a blood-pressure-lowering medication.  So cue up the "Who's on first?" or dance around with your kids while making dinner and work some giggling and humming into your day.

 

Massage

Regular massage can improve sleep, relieve headaches, reduce muscle pain, and improve moods. Plus, massage feels good. When you feel good, you play more, work more efficiently, and take better care of the people you love. Schedule a massage now to prepare for a busy (and fun) spring!

Commit to taking care of yourself this spring! You may be surprised with the results.