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Archive for May, 2010

At Last Naturals Presents 10 Tips for Natural Menopause Relief

Just wanted to give a shout out to “At Last Naturals” who are g!uest bloggers today!

~love it, and keep up the great work!  I’m honored to have you here.

At Last Naturals is a women-owned company specializing in Menopause and Perimenopause support products that help provide symptom relief and assist the body in achieving hormonal balance naturally. President and CEO of At Last Naturals, Stacey Rosen, is dedicated to women’s health and advises women that small lifestyle changes can really make a difference in alleviating many of the uncomfortable symptoms that are caused by changes in estrogen and progesterone levels. Her 10 tips below summarize a few of the things you can do to improve your quality of life during Menopause and Perimenopause.

1. Nourish Yourself – Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Reduce consumption of alcohol and caffeine, two things which can trigger a host of symptoms including hot flashes, mood swings, anxiety and depression. If you have hot flashes, you may also want to consume soy which has been shown to help naturally relieve the symptoms of declining estrogen levels.

Since joint pain caused by inflammation is common during Menopause, eat foods like fish and flaxseed which contain omega-3 fatty acids that act as natural anti-inflammatory. And don’t forget about the bone-strengthening benefits of calcium, Vitamin D and magnesium by eating dairy products, fish, eggs, nuts and leafy green vegetables.
2. Get Moving – Of course, exercise is good for everyone, but for women in Menopause or Perimenopause it is especially beneficial. Hormonal imbalances during this time can make you more prone to depression. Exercise releases endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones that can improve mood.

Weight bearing exercises help keep bones strong and aerobic exercises promote good cardiovascular health. Regular exercise strengthens the muscles that surround your joints, helping to minimize pain and joint damage. Stretching, yoga, tai chi and walking are excellent, gentle ways you can help keep your muscles and joints healthy.

Exercise can also help you control those extra pounds that creep up as a result of your slowing metabolism.

3. Control Stress – Stress exacerbates the depression, anxiety and mood swings that are often associated with Menopause. Deep breathing, meditation, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation and other techniques can help minimize triggers. Exercise is also a natural stress reliever.

4. Ward Off Night Sweats – If you are dealing with night sweats, avoid eating spicy foods and not too close to bedtime. Eat snacks such as bananas, turkey, peanut butter, yogurt or figs which all contain tryptophan, an essential amino acid that encourages sleep. Lower the heat while sleeping and put a fan on to keep the air cool and circulating. Also stay away from alcohol and cigarettes which are common night sweat triggers.

5. Have a Set Sleep/Wake Schedule – A good sleep helps keep serotonin levels steady throughout the day which can help improve mood. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day and try to get between 7 and 8 1/2 hours of sleep each night.

6. Avoid Vaginal Irritation – Low estrogen during Perimenopause and Menopause can cause vaginal dryness. Reduce further irritation of the vaginal area by avoiding scented soap, laundry detergent, menstrual pads and dryer sheets.

7. Cool Off the Heat – To help minimize hot flashes, wear layered cotton clothing that allows your skin to breathe. Sip cool drinks while avoiding coffee, spicy foods and alcohol. Keep a small battery operated fan in your pocketbook. Try not to take hot showers or baths right before bedtime. Stress relief and exercise are also key to keeping your body’s thermostat in check.

8. Keep Track of Symptoms – While fluctuating hormones are at the root of menopausal symptoms, there are usually certain things that can trigger the symptoms. Keep track of what you were eating, drinking or doing just prior to when your hot flash, night sweat, mood swing, etc. occurred. By understanding your triggers, you’ll know what you should try to avoid.

9. Quit Smoking – You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again. Smoking is unhealthy for so many reasons but did you know that it can actually exacerbate Menopause symptoms by dropping your estrogen levels even further? In fact, women who smoke have been shown to reach Menopause approximately two years earlier than non smokers. Smoking is also a major risk factor for osteoporosis, doubles a woman’s odds of developing heart disease and nicotine is a known trigger of hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings. It is never too late to quit!

10. Relax and Take Care of Yourself – Be good to yourself and realize that Menopause is a natural event. You will get through it. Take time to laugh and enjoy your family, friends, pets and hobbies. Empower yourself and embrace this new stage of your life.

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ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES FOR MIND, BODY and SPIRIT by American Cancer Society

Here are a few alternative and complementary therapies that can aid health in mind, body and spirit.
A good attitude and healthy spirit may have positive physical effects on the whole body 🙂
Aomatherapy 
Aromatherapy is my favorite of these. I love making purfumes and remedies with essential oils. It’s also one of the fastest growing health mediums in the scientific world
Art Therapy
Art is always a great release of the spirit…letting it fly, persay is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself.
Ayurveda
an old tradition that still has merit in today’s modern alternative healing arts
Bioenergetics
Biofeedback
Breathwork
Crystals
Curanderismo
Cymatic Therapy
Dance Therapy
dancing is a wonderful way to be fit and is a great workout for the spirit as well, just boogie around the kitchen next time you’re cooking and tell me you didn’t smile!
Faith Healing
a miracle could be out there for you, if you believe in it.
Feng Shui
Holistic Medicine
I believe this should be practiced by every doctor, and layperson that calls themselves a healer. Treating the body, mind and spirit as a whole is the only way to really “heal”.
Humor Therapy
everyone could use a good laugh!
Hypnosis
Imagery
Kirlian Photography
Labyrinth Walking
Meditation
super way to increase health by reducing stress on a daily basis
Music Therapy
music to me is a connection of the physical world to the spirit world, it can be a magical healing  tool for anyone.
Native American Healing
Naturopathic Medicine
Neuro-Linguistic Programming
Psychotherapy
Qigong
Another one of my faves…the art of using breath and breathing techniques for healing work is underestimated
Shamanism
Spirituality and Prayer
never underestimate the power of prayer, it can work miracles!
Support Groups
we all need a little support now and again. 
Tai Chi
this ancient art of the eastern people is a fabulous and fun way to keep a healthy mind, body and spirit
Yoga
 another favorite of mine! Yoga is a fabulous fitness for every part of you, physical, mental and spiritual.

Q&A about Aromatherapy via Nat’l. Cancer Institute

Questions and Answers About Aromatherapy

  1. What is aromatherapy?
    Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants to support and balance the mind, body, and spirit. It is used by patients with cancer mainly as a form of supportive care that may improve quality of life and reduce stress and anxiety. Aromatherapy may be combined with other complementary treatments like massage therapy and acupuncture, as well as with standard treatments.

    Essential oils (also known as volatile oils) are the basic materials of aromatherapy. They are made from fragrant essences found in many plants. These essences are made in special plant cells, often under the surface of leaves, bark, or peel, using energy from the sun and elements from the air, soil, and water. If the plant material is crushed, the essence and its unique fragrance are released.

    When essences are extracted from plants in natural ways, they become essential oils. They may be distilled with steam and/or water, or mechanically pressed. Oils that are made with chemical processes are not considered true essential oils.

    There are many essential oils used in aromatherapy, including Roman chamomile, geranium, lavender, tea tree, lemon, cedarwood, and bergamot. Each type of essential oil has a different chemical structure that affects how it smells, how it is absorbed, and how it is used by the body. Even varieties of plants within the same species may have chemical structures different from each other because they are grown or harvested in different ways or locations.

    Essential oils are very concentrated. For example, it takes about 220 lbs of lavender flowers to make about 1 pound of essential oil. Essential oils are very volatile, evaporating quickly when they come in contact with air.

  2. What is the history of the discovery and use of aromatherapy as a complementary and alternative treatment for cancer?
    Fragrant plants have been used in healing practices for thousands of years across many cultures, including ancient China, India, and Egypt. Ways to extract essential oils from plants were first discovered during the Middle Ages.

    The history of modern aromatherapy began in the early 20th century, when French chemist Rene Gattefosse coined the term “aromatherapie” and studied the effects of essential oils on many kinds of diseases. In the 1980s and 1990s, aromatherapy was rediscovered in Western countries as interest in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) began to grow.

  3. What is the theory behind the claim that aromatherapy is useful in treating cancer?
    Aromatherapy is generally not suggested as a treatment for cancer, but as a form of supportive care to manage symptoms of cancer or side effects of cancer treatment. There are different theories about how aromatherapy and essential oils work. A leading theory is that smell receptors in the nose may respond to the smells of essential oils by sending chemical messages along nerve pathways to the brain’s limbic system, which affects moods and emotions. Imaging studies in humans help show the effects of smells on the limbic system and its emotional pathways. .

  4. How is aromatherapy administered?
    Aromatherapy is used in various ways. Examples include:

    • Indirect inhalation (patient breathes in essential oils by using a room diffuser or placing drops nearby).
    • Direct inhalation (patient breathes in essential oils by using an individual inhaler with drops floated on top of hot water) to treat a sinus headache.
    • Aromatherapy massage (massaging essential oils, diluted in a carrier oil, into the skin).
    • Applying essential oils to the skin by combining them with bath salts, lotions, or dressings.

    Aromatherapy is rarely taken by mouth.

    There are some essential oils commonly chosen to treat specific conditions. However, the types of oils used and the ways they are combined may vary, depending on the experience and training of the aromatherapist. This lack of standard methods has led to conflicting research on the effects of aromatherapy.

  5. Have any preclinical (laboratory or animal) studies been conducted using aromatherapy?
    Many studies of essential oils have found that they have antibacterial effects when applied to the skin. Some essential oils have antiviral activity against the herpes simplex virus. Others have antifungal activity against certain vaginal and oropharyngeal fungus infections. In addition, studies in rats have shown that different essential oils can be calming or energizing. When rats were exposed to certain fragrances under stressful conditions, their behavior and immune responses were improved.

    One study showed that after essential oils were inhaled, markers of the fragrance compounds were found in the bloodstream, suggesting that aromatherapy affects the body directly like a drug, rather than indirectly through the central nervous system.

  6. Have any clinical trials (research studies with people) of aromatherapy been conducted?
    Clinical trials of aromatherapy have mainly studied its use in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and other health-related conditions in seriously ill patients. Several clinical trials of aromatherapy in patients with cancer have been published with mixed results.

    A few early studies have shown that aromatherapy may improve quality of life in patients with cancer. Some patients receiving aromatherapy have reported improvement in symptoms such as nausea or pain, and have lower blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rates.

    A small study of tea tree oil as a topical treatment to clear antibiotic -resistant MRSA bacteria from the skin of hospital patients found that it was as effective as the standard treatment. Antibacterial essential oils have been studied to lessen odor in necrotic ulcers.

    No studies in scientific or medical literature discuss aromatherapy as a treatment for cancer.

  7. Have any side effects or risks been reported from aromatherapy?
    Safety testing on essential oils shows very few bad side effects or risks when they are used as directed. Some essential oils have been approved as ingredients in food and are classified as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, within specific limits. Eating large amounts of essential oils is not recommended.

    Allergic reactions and skin irritation may occur in aromatherapists or in patients, especially when essential oils are in contact with the skin for long periods of time. Sun sensitivity may develop when citrus or other oils are applied to the skin before sun exposure.

    Lavender and tea tree oils have been found to have some hormone -like effects. They have effects similar to estrogen (female sex hormone) and also block or decrease the effect of androgens (male sex hormones). Applying lavender and tea tree oils to the skin over a long period of time has been linked in one study to breast enlargement in boys who have not yet reached puberty. It is recommended that patients with tumors that need estrogen to grow avoid using lavender and tea tree oils.

  8. Is aromatherapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use as a cancer treatment in the United States?
    Aromatherapy products do not need approval by the Food and Drug Administration because no specific claims are made for the treatment of cancer or other diseases.

    Aromatherapy is not regulated by state law, and there is no licensing required to practice aromatherapy in the United States. Professionals often combine aromatherapy training with another field in which they are licensed, for example, massage therapy, registered nursing, acupuncture, or naturopathy. Some aromatherapy courses for healthcare providers offer medical credit hours and include conducting research.

    The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (www.naha.org) and the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (www.alliance-aromatherapists.org) are two organizations that have national educational standards for aromatherapists. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) plans to have a standard aromatherapy certification in the United States. At this time, there are 19 schools that offer certificate programs approved by NAHA. National exams in aromatherapy are held twice a year.

    The Canadian Federation of Aromatherapists (www.cfacanada.com) certifies aromatherapists in Canada. See the International Federation of Aromatherapists Web site (www.ifaroma.org/) for a list of international aromatherapy programs.

The Science of Scent; Aromatherapy and Essential Oils

Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of pure essential oils derived from roots, barks, resins, herbs, flowers and other plants to promote emotional well being and physical healing. If you’ve ever used a lavender eye pillow, burned a citronella candle to keep mosquitoes at bay or taken mentholated cough drops, you’ve experienced the effects of aromatherapy.

The Science of Scent

By: Susan Ware

Aromatherapy works with your sense of smell and when used for medicinal purposes, when essential oils are absorbed into the bloodstream.
When you inhale, scent is picked up by your olfactory receptors and transmitted to your brain’s limbic system, which is connected to memory and emotion. That’s why coming across a scent from your childhood-cotton candy, for example-takes you straight back to the first time you went to the county fair.
Aromatherapy works on the same principle. Different essential oils have different properties-some calm and relax, while others stimulate and awaken-and may be used separately or in combination to bring about the desired effect. When aromatherapy is used topically, like in aromatherapy massage, the oils are absorbed through the skin.
Aromatherapy Essential Oils
The use of pure essential oils is at the heart aromatherapy and these oils are used in a precise, deliberate manner-not added as an afterthought to dryer sheets. Store shelves are full of aromatherapy products that advertise mood-enhancing benefits, but unless they contain pure essential oils, they’re not truly aromatherapeutic-they just smell nice.
Essential oils contain the purest essence of the plants they’re taken from and are obtained through a distillation process that uses water or steam. Plants naturally create essential oils to help defend them from bacteria, disease and predators. Essential oils are highly concentrated-a little goes a very long way. Pure essential oils should always be mixed with a carrier oil, like almond or jojoba oil, before being applied directly to the skin.
By contrast, perfume and fragrance oils, though they may contain some natural compounds, are artificially made or contain some artificial components.
Common Uses of Aromatherapy
One of the most common and popular uses of aromatherapy is treating insomnia with lavender. Known for its ability to reduce anxiety and calm the nervous system, lavender essential oil shows up in eye pillows, aromatherapy bath oils and linen sprays. Aromatherapy massage oils may contain essential oils that promote relaxation when you inhale their scent or soothe aching muscles after being applied to your skin.
Essential oils can also be added to bath salts and body scrubs to energize you in the morning or unwind after a long day. If you’re interested in making your own aromatherapy bath products at home, be sure the essential oils you buy come with an informational insert or you’re using a recipe you trust-using too much of these highly-concentrated oils may irritate your skin. Or, consult with a trained aromatherapist.
Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic that’s also an antibacterial and fungicide in nature. You’ll find tea tree oil in number of natural health and beauty products like facial cleanser, deodorant and toothpaste. Eucalyptus and peppermint are often used in combination to ease cold and flu symptoms. These essential oils might be added to hot water where they mix with steam to make a soothing vapor.
Essential Oil Properties
There are hundreds of essential oils available in natural form or added to products you use every day, each with its own unique properties. Common essential oils you might find include:
  • Bergamot. Know to be refreshing and uplifting.
  • Geranium. Reduces stress.
  • Lavender. Promotes relaxation, calming and balancing
  • Peppermint. Aids digestion, relieves headaches and fatigue
  • Rosemary. An anti-inflammatory that also stimulates the mind
Aromatherapy Products
While it helps to know a little about which scents produce the effects you’re looking for, you don’t need to be an aromatherapist to introduce aromatherapy into your life-you just need to go to the store or do a quick search on leapfish or google.

There are a wide variety of aromatherapy products available to get you started, including oil burners, aromatherapy diffusers for your home or car, aromatherapy soy candles, incense and other air fresheners, and host of health and beauty products, like bath salts, shampoos and body lotions. The key is to find the products that contain essential oils and not perfumes or other artificial fragrances.

By: Susan Ware

Scientists Confirm E.O.s are an Alternative to Anitbiotics

Thank GOD for scientists who are willing to test natural remedies!

Scientific Research Confirms Essential Oils Are an Alternative to Antibiotics

Aromatherapy students have always known the power of essential oils, yet those unfamiliar with the use of essential oils, often dismiss the “real” power of what essential oils can do.  Science is constantly testing essential oils and verifiable research goes a long way to helping essential oils become recognized as more than “just a pretty smell.”

Science Daily reports that Professor Yiannis Samaras and Dr Effima Eriotou of the Greek Technological Educational Institute of Ionian Islands recently presented research at the Society for General Microbiology’s spring conference in Edinburgh, Scotland which proved the efffectiveness of some antibacterial essential oils in fighting certain “superbugs”.

Thyme and cinnamon essential oils were found to be effective against several strains of bacteria in tests carried out.  Professor Samaras said:

” Not only are essential oils a cheap and effective treatment option for antibiotic-resistant strains, but decreased use of antibiotics will help minimise the risk of new strains of antibiotic resistant micro-organisms emerging.”

and Anti-bacterial essential oils include tea tree, thyme, cinnamon, lavender, lemon, eucalyptus, peppermintblack pepper.  Research such as this can only help strengthen the campaign to get essential oils accepted for use into medical settings.  Many scientific studies have been conducted over the years on essential oils – and perhaps slowly the medical profession is truly starting to realize the potential of essential oils…

DIY; YellowstarEssentials Cellulite Buster Body Scrub Recipe

Yellowstar*Essentials Cellulite Buster essential oil blend includes a delicate blend of therapeutic grade essential oils : Juniper Berry, Lemon, Basil, Cedarwood, Bitter Orange, Fennel, Cypress, Pink Grapefruit, Katrafay, Coriander, Parsley Seed, Rosemary, Geranium, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Myrtle, Bay Laurel, and Helichrysum, Patchouli, White Sage, Niaouli, Eucalyptus Citridora, and Oregano.

If you want to save money by making your own: All you need are a few ingredients and this simple recipe

5ml Pre-Measured Cellulite Buster Essential Oil Synergy : added to salt scrub

Homemade Salt Scrub Recipe

Summary:

This recipe is basically 2 parts Salts to 1 part carrier oil

+ essential oil blend;  Pre-Measured Cellulite Buster Essential Oil Synergy- 5ml

To make 16 oz total SALTS = (2 cups total)

Mix of Epsom, dendric and/or sea salts use:

  • one cup dead sea salts,
  • 1/2 cup epsom salt and
  • 1/2 cup dendric salt.

Add your carrier oils  and e.o. blend and mix well.

8oz (1 cup total) -Buchu oil (best for cellulite), and/or Hazelnut oil 1/2 cup each.

(your choice of either or both carriers. You may add any kind you wish) -even olive oil or grapeseed oil is fine, but the best for cellulite is Buchu.

-Add about 5ml (or 1 tsp.) of essential oil or/ scents : preferably  Pre-Measured Cellulite Buster Essential Oil Synergy- 5ml to your carrier oil before adding to salts.

For Best Results Use Yellowstar*Essentials Cellulite Buster already made for you!

Cellulite Buster INGREDIENTS: Cedrus Atlantica (Atlas Cedarwood), Citrus Paradisi (Pink Grapefruit), Foeniculum Vulgare(Fennel), Citrus X Limon (Lemon) Petroselinum Sativum (Parsley Seed), Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli), Origanum Marjorana (Marjoram), Cupressus Sempervirens (Cypress), Eucalyptus Citriodora (Lemon Eucalyptus), Melaleuca Quinquenervia(Niaouli), Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary), Salvia Officinalis (Sage), Citrus Paradisi (Pink & White Grapefruit), Lavendula Officinalis (Lavender), Juniperus Communis (Juniper Berry), And Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) and others in this proprietary blend.

Get the best fragrancing spreadability by mixing e.o. blend into carrier first, then into dendric salts, and then mix in other salts (dendric is a good carrier for scents).

NOTE: keep unused salt scrub away from water as water will dissolve the salts.

You May Add Seaweed (Kelp) And/Or Finely Ground Coffee For Added Detoxifying Benefits.

Mix well and use immediately as there are no preservatives in this recipe.

By adding coffee to your scrub it can benefit by supplementing skin tightening qualities as the caffeine in coffee helps to redistribute fat cells and decrease the formation of cellulite. It also acts as a vasorestrictor, tightening and shrinking blood vessels thereby helping eliminate varicose veins. It has been used for years in spas in Hawaii and on the coast of Bali.

To use your scrub:

Start with warm damp skin. Stand under a warm shower for a few minutes, and then start using your scrub by scooping out a generous portion and working your way up your body in circular motions, concentrating on areas with cellulite. Follow by rinsing under the shower and then washing with a mild organic soap or shower gel.

A few words of caution:

Do not use this treatment if you are sunburned or have had any hair removal treatment within the last 24 hours. It could really sting!

You could make the salt a bit finer by grinding it in a coffee grinder. If the salt is too chunky it will just fall off your hand when you turn it towards your skin.

Buchu oil is the best for cellulite, but Hazelnut and grape seed oils are great to use too because they are slightly astringent, fast absorbing and almost odorless. With regular use will help to eliminate toxins from the skin and create a healthy fresh start for your new skin!

NOTE: Buchu essential oil has an antiseptic action on the urinary system and is beneficial to inflammation of the urethra, and cystitis and mild prostatitis, and other bladder problems. It is a useful diuretic, possibly aiding conditions such as rheumatism and arthritis, helping the body remove excess toxins and fluid. Used for water retention and aids weight loss and cellulite. It is used to reduce the inflammation of painful joints, especially sprains (compress).
Any questions? Feel free to email: Yellowstar2000@yahoo.com

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