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Got Allergies? Try Essential Oils for Relief.

22 Apr

These past few weeks we have seen a lot of clients at the studio suffering from seasonal allergies.  With that in mind we decided to pull this blog from our archives to help you out!  May you seek relief soon.

Using essential oils is a great way to help bring some relief to allergy suffering.  If you have been a sneezy, itchy, watery eye mess this season you are not alone.  Let’s take a look at which essential oils will help bring some relief and how to use them.

Itchy watery eyes soother

Use a compress.  Place a small amount of cool water in a bowl (about 1/4 cup) add to it 2 drops of Roman Chamomile (anti-inflammatory) and 3 drops of Lavender (anti-inflammatory).  Soak a washcloth in the water and wring out.  Place over eyes (5-10 minutes) for soothing relief.

Runny nose, sneezing relief

Use essential oils for decongesting: Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Rosemary.

Inhaling any one of these essential oils directly from the bottle can provide quick and easy relief.  You can also put a few drops of the oils on a tissue to take with you.

Hay Fever Diffuser Blend

Cedarwood: 5 drops

Eucalyptus: 3 drops

Peppermint: 2 drops

Rosemary: 3 drops

Place the above essential oils into a tea light diffuser or nebulizer.  Breathe in the aroma to find comfort and relief.  For best results diffuse for at least two-hour intervals.

*Use this blend in an electric diffuser at bedtime.  Omit the Peppermint essential oil (too stimulating for sleep) and add a total of 7 drops of Cedarwood essential oil in its place.

Steam inhalations are a great way to clear up nasal passages if you are congested or experiencing sinus congestion and pain .  A great blend is 1 drop of Peppermint and 2 drops of Eucalyptus in a bowl then add to it about a cup of boiling water.  Breathe in the steam; keep eyes closed when doing this as Peppermint can irritate the eyes.

Asthma and lung congestion

Cedarwood, Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Rosemary and Sandalwood.  These oils help to open and soothe the lungs and expand breathing.

Breathing Expansion Diffuser Blend:

Frankincense: 4 drops

Cedarwood: 3 drops

Sandalwood: 4 drops

Rosemary: 2 drops

Place the above essential oils into a tea light diffuser or nebulizer.  Breathe in the aroma to find comfort and relief.  For best results diffuse at two-hour intervals.

*Use at bedtime with and electric diffuser for relief while you sleep.

Stay Healthy Tips

In addition to using essential oils make sure you are drinking water to keep your body hydrated.  Also ensure you are getting adequate amounts of sleep.  Allergies can take a toll on our immune systems so rest is important.  Because our immune system is working hard Thyme is another essential oil to keep handy as it provides support to our immune system.

Try using a tea light diffuser  or electric diffuser in your bathroom during your morning shower routine using one of the above blends or with Thyme essential oil.  The steam of the shower and the diffusion of the essential oils help to clear nasal passages and open your lungs.  Be sure to place the tea light diffuser in a safe place so nothing comes in contact with the candle flame.

Here’s to finding some allergy relief this season!  Take care everyone.

…And one last quick tip…place one to two drops of Eucalyptus essential oil on your shower floor right in front of where you are standing.  The aroma will envelope you and open your respiratory system!

Aromatherapy for a Good Night’s Sleep

22 Mar

Unmade Bed

We have all been there.  Long nights  laying there with thoughts zooming around in your head, your mind won’t stop, the to-do list just keeps going and going with endless thoughts churning like an ocean during a storm.  You simply cannot sleep and time keeps ticking by leaving you awake while the world is at rest.  A sleepless night is miserable to say the least.

In order to function and perform daily tasks we need good quality sleep.  We spend an average of one-third of our lives asleep.  Sleep is necessary in order to recharge our minds and our bodies.  According to Harvard Medical School the average American adult gets 6.9 hours of sleep on a weeknight and 7.5 hours of sleep on  weekends and about 70 million of us sleep poorly and for more than half of Americans poor sleep is a long-term problem.  Sleep helps with memory function, attention and awareness to our surroundings, reduces stress, makes us less prone to accidents, increases  our creativity and more.  If you are not getting adequate sleep or if you want to enhance your sleep, the use of essential oils can truly help.

How Aromatherapy Can Help

Diffusing certain essential oils in your bedroom can help you get the restful sleep you need.  Essential oils will not cure insomnia or the cause of it however, using essential oils with therapeutic properties for calming the nervous system can help to promote a good night nights sleep.  Many of us are familiar with tea light diffusers however nebulizers (electronic diffusers) are perfect to use while you sleep; there is no candle and they turn off automatically.  You can fall into a slumber and not worry about a thing!

Here’s a list of essential oils to use for a restful nights sleep:

Chamomile, Roman– Helps to promote calm and restful sleep.

Clary Sage– Balancing to the mind, calming.

Frankincense– Helps to reduce anxiety and stress.  Also

helps with the respiratory system.

Lavender– Calming.  Helps to reduce mental stress and anxiety.  Very helpful for insomnia.

Neroli– Has sedative properties, soothing.  Useful in times of insomnia.

Orange–  Calms the nervous system.

Rose– A sedative for the nerves.  Helps to alleviate irritability and insomnia.

Sandalwood– Helps to relax the nervous system.  Useful for insomnia.

Aroma Blends for a Good Nights Sleep

Here’s a few sleep inducing blends to get you started.  These blends are based on using a nebulizer– in each case add distilled water to your nebulizer along with the essential oils.

photo

Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

  • Place an aromatic blend in your nebulizer about 15-20 minutes before turning in; the aroma will fill your room before you get there making it a sanctuary for sleep.
  • Take an aromatic bath using essential oils listed above.  Use no more than 6-10 drops total in your bath.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages after noon.
  • Avoid rigorous exercise at least 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Avoid falling asleep with the television on, better yet, remove the television from your bedroom completely.
  • A few minutes of meditation can help and gentle yoga stretches can also help you relax after a busy day.

Take time to wind down before bed so your body has time to switch gears from the activity of the day.  Perhaps spend some time reading or writing out your to-do list for tomorrow.  Find a routine that works for you.  You may find that you look forward to bedtime with the use of a nebulizer and essential oils and wonder how you lived without it!  Combining the use of aromatherapy with an evening routine to wind down is a healthy habit in which you will be rewarded with shut-eye, a well rested body and mind to take on the day!  Good night and sleep well everyone!

 

Don’t be Fooled; Massage is not a Trick or a Treat!

22 Oct

Massage Is Not A Treat 

A treat is something you limit yourself to; something that you do or have on an occasional basis.  Massage therapy is not a treat, yet far too often massage is referred to as something you “treat” yourself to on special occasions such as your birthday or while on vacation.  There is nothing wrong with receiving massage treatments on those so-called “special” days however massage should not be made exclusive to those days only.  Massage therapy in fact should be received on a regular basis as part of your healthy lifestyle.  You would not eat a nutritious meal only on special days of the year as a “treat”, or workout only on your birthday.  Your body is your container and you only have one body to live in during your lifetime; take care of your whole being.  This includes good nutrition, exercise, keeping your mind sharp, using aromatherapy, receiving regular massage therapy, stress reduction, breathing, meditation and so much more!  Change your attitude about massage therapy.  Realize it is not a treat but something you benefit from especially when received on a regular basis.  Regular sessions allow you to become more aware of how you feel in your own body.  Make massage therapy part of your regular routine and you will find that you look forward to these sessions and the more you go, the more you benefit both physically and mentally.  Whether you receive a massage focused on stress reduction or one with area specific work, your body benefits.

Massage Is Not A Trick

In a nutshell here is what goes on in your body during massage:

  • Endorphins are released during massage.  These are hormones that reduce pain, induce relaxation and promote feelings of well-being.
  • Muscle relaxation and pain reduction occurs through sensory receptors in the skin.  Touch is healing!
  • The pain cycle is interrupted.  This happens as muscles become relaxed and there is an increase in the blood supply.
  • Elicits the relaxation response where breathing deepens and blood pressure reduces.
  • Blood flow increases which allows nutrients to be delivered to muscles and tissues while removing wastes.
  • Increase in red blood cells which allows for more oxygenated blood.
  • Immune response is enhanced via the lymphatic system.

As you can see, massage not only feels good but benefits the entire body!  It is no surprise massage therapy has been used throughout history.  In fact the use of massage therapy has been found in every culture in some form all over the world.  In the words of  the Greek philosopher Hippocrates; “Healing begins with an aromatic bath and daily massage.”

Don’t Just Take Our Word For It

Here’s what some of our clients are saying about their own experiences with therapeutic massage:

  • “I look forward to my regular massage sessions.  I have a stressful job and perform a lot repetitive tasks.  Massage allows me time to de-stress and provides relief from my tension areas.”
  • “About 20 years ago I was in a serious auto accident and my legs were almost crushed in the door of my car.  Even though I was able to walk and didn’t have any broken bones my Dr’s said I would be dealing with limited mobility and pain as a result of nerve damage in my legs for the rest of my life.  They were right, for the last 18 years I had been dealing with pain in my legs and feet taking pain medicine and limiting some of my activities in order to cope.  That was until about a year or so ago I had my first massage and my therapist recommended more frequent sessions to help my pain.  After about 3 monthly sessions I noticed that the pain in my legs had all but gone away and after about 6 months the pain in my feet had subsided and I was able to walk without being in pain. I find myself now being able to walk and do things without pain and that before I either wouldn’t have even tried because I knew it would hurt or even those day to day things like walking up and down stairs and just getting out of bed would have been so painful.  I no longer take any pain medication and will continue to see my massage therapist on a regular basis.  Besides the benefit to my legs and feet my massages have made my stress levels go way down and have helped me sleep better too. “
  • “Massages for me are not a luxury but a necessity.  I find that having a
    monthly massage ensures that I feel my best emotionally and physically,
    which is important with my demanding schedule and dealing with a chronic
    pain disorder.  The fact that Your Body Needs incorporates the benefits of
    essential oils with fabulous massage therapists!means I am always feeling my best.”
  • “I used to think massage was only for special occasions: birthdays, holidays, graduation, etc. That was before I injured my back a few years ago.   I tried everything from medication, physical therapy, injections and even surgery.  I was stressed all the time and in chronic pain. Essentially, I was miserable. Eventually I discovered the more I was stressed, the more pain I experienced.  I ignored my body and what it was telling me. I’m stubborn, so it took me awhile to actually listen to some very well meaning friends and family telling me to make some changes.   They told me I worked too much, too hard, was irritable (so sorry friends and family) and too stressed. When my team of doctor’s suggested a second back surgery, I finally started listening to my friends and family and started looking for some alternative solutions. It took some time for me to come around, but I finally convinced myself I DESERVED to get regular massage and not just for those special occasions. Massage helps me to relax, de-stress, and keep my back in good working order.   It’s really simple-the less stressed I am, the less pain I experience. I’m happy to report that after regular sessions with Nikki at YBN, I haven’t needed the previously required regular medication schedule, physical therapy, injections or (and this is my favorite part) any more midnight trips to the ER because I could no longer walk.  Thank you family and friends for convincing me I was worth it and thank you Nikki and YBN for keeping me healthy.  It is truly a gift.”

Have you had your massage this month?  If not, take care of yourself by calling Your Body Needs today to set up that appointment (443-292-4395).  Do it for you, do it for your health.  Once you change the way you look at massage, you open a door to another avenue of a lifestyle that is good for you!  Take care.

Water, Water, Everywhere….

23 Jul

Drink more water.  This phrase has become popular these days.  You often hear your massage therapist tell you to drink water after a massage session.  The reality is drinking water allows for our bodies to be properly hydrated.  When we are hydrated our muscles are more fluid, waste materials are flushed out of our bodies, the occurrence of headaches is reduced and to be honest every system in the body benefits and functions more efficiently from proper hydration.

A common complaint people make is water is boring, it has no flavor and it’s plain.  Because of these excuses a lot of us tend not to drink enough water or we turn to water alternatives that may not be as beneficial.  There are many flavored waters on the market these days that people turn to in order to get their water intake without the plainness of water.  When it comes to flavored waters you want to be careful and become a label reader.

Watch out for the following in flavored water:

  • Artificial flavors and colors– these hold no nutritional value or benefit to your body.
  • Sugar– water drinks with sugar are okay if you consume them before or after a workout.  You do not however want to consume these all the time in place of water.
  • Hidden sugars– sucrolase (Splenda) is often added to water drinks to give it flavor without calories.  Sucrolase is a chemically modified sugar molecule made in a lab.

This may sound very gloom and doom for those of you who do not like plain old water. But there is hope! There are some alternatives to “plain” water that are not full of artificial additives to improve the flavor.

  • Mineral water– is a great alternative!  It does not contain any artificial sweeteners.  Mineral water also contains more calcium and magnesium than what is in tap water, so that is a plus!
  • Make you own flavored water! Add cucumber slices to a pitcher of water, or lemon slices, or even lime slices…be sure to drink within 2-3 days or change out the fruit/vegetable in the water.  Fresh mint is another good additive to your water.

If you want to see the power of water in action just water a drooping plant and take note of the results!  I hope this puts a new twist on your view of water.  Stay hydrated everyone and have fun making your own flavored water!

Welcome Summer!

21 Jun

Celebrate summer with these delicious recipes!  Enjoy the garlic and shrimp recipe and refrshing iced tea!  Anytime of the year is a good time for shrimp but somehow summer and shrimp seem to go hand in hand.  Shrimp makes a wonderful summertime food as it is light and refreshing with approximately 106 calories and only 16 grams of fat in a 3 1/2 ounce serving.  Shrimp also provides many nutritional benefits such as vitamin D and B12 and minerals such as phosphorus, copper and selenium.  Additionaly shrimp is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.  So cook up some shrimp this summer, whether it’s on the grill, broiled or steamed; shrimp is perfect for summer-time eats!

What better to serve with your delicious shrimp than iced tea?  Be sure to try this recipe for a refreshing summer beverage.  If you have mint growing in your garden you know how abundant it can be and what a wonderful way to use it, in your iced tea!  Happy summer, enjoy these refreshing recipes!

If you are looking for something to do for summer don’t forget our workshops!  We have some fun specialty workshops in store that will be here for this summer only, don’t miss out!  Don’t miss Food On Your Face!, Essential Oils for Outdoor Days and Neat Summer Hands and Feet.  See the workshop section of the website for more details.  We can’t wait to see you there!


Garlic Prawns (Shrimp)

Ingredients

8 Large Prawns (Shrimp), peeled and tail intact

6 Cloves Garlic, lightly crushed

5 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Dried Pepper Flakes

Paprika

Sea Salt to taste

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.  Place 2 ramekins on baking sheet.  Divide the oil, garlic and pepper flakes equally into the ramekins.  Place in the oven for about 6-8 minutes or until the oil is hot and the garlic is fragrant.

3.  Remove from the oven and place the prawns in the hot oil.  Return to the oven and bake for another 5-6 minutes or until the prawns are just cooked.  Season the prawns lightly with sea salt if necessary and top with a pinch of paprika.  Serve immediately with lightly toasted bread.

Serves: 2

Summer Time Peppermint Lemon Iced Tea

1. Boil 2 cups of water.

2.  Add 4-6 bags  of your favorite tea (earl grey, green tea, oolong, orange pekoe etc) and steep in the boiling water for ten minutes. During this time also generously add a few springs of fresh mint.

3.  After steeping and while the brew is still hot add any sweetner if desired.  A good choice here is agave nectar.

4.  Pour mix into a 2-quart pitcher add water and stir to blend.

5.  Add four drops of *lemon essential oil to give it a wonderful lemon taste.  Stir mix well to incorporate.

6.  Allow tea to cool before refrigerating to prevent clouding.

7.  Serve with a fresh sprig of mint and or lemon wedge and enjoy!

*Essential oils are highly concentrated substances.  Do not exceed the drops in this recipe.

Essential Oils for Allergy Relief

21 May

Does this allergy season have you going through more tissues than ever?  Do you need allergy relief? Essential oils can provide comfort  and combat allergy symptoms.  Using essential oils is a great way to help bring some relief to the suffering.  If you have been a sneezy, itchy, watery eye mess this season you are not alone.  Let’s take a look at which essential oils will help bring some relief and how to use them.

Itchy watery eyes soother

Use a compress.  Place a small amount of cool water in a bowl (about 1/4 cup) add to it 2 drops of Roman Chamomile (anti-inflammatory) and 3 drops of Lavender (anti-inflammatory).  Soak a washcloth in the water and wring out.  Place over eyes (5-10 minutes) for soothing relief.

Runny nose, sneezing relief

Use essential oils for decongesting: Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Rosemary.

Inhaling any one of these essential oils directly from the bottle can provide quick and easy relief.  You can also put a few drops of the oils on a tissue to take with you.

Hay Fever Diffuser Blend

Cedarwood: 5 drops

Eucalyptus: 3 drops

Peppermint: 2 drops

Rosemary: 3 drops

Place the above essential oils into a tea light diffuser or nebulizer.  Breathe in the aroma to find comfort and relief.  For best results diffuse for at least two-hour intervals.

Steam inhalations are a great way to clear up nasal passages if you are congested or experiencing sinus congestion and pain .  A great blend is 1 drop of Peppermint and 2 drops of Eucalyptus in a bowl then add to it about a cup of boiling water.  Breathe in the steam; keep eyes closed when doing this as Peppermint can irritate the eyes.

Asthma and lung congestion

Cedarwood, Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Rosemary and Sandalwood.  These oils help to open and soothe the lungs and expand breathing.

Breathing Expansion Diffuser Blend:

Frankincense: 4 drops

Cedarwood: 3 drops

Sandalwood: 4 drops

Rosemary: 2 drops

Place the above essential oils into a tea light diffuser or nebulizer.  Breathe in the aroma to find comfort and relief.  For best results diffuse at two-hour intervals.

Stay Healthy Tips

In addition to using essential oils make sure you are drinking water to keep your body hydrated.  Also ensure you are getting adequate amounts of sleep.  Allergies can take a toll on our immune systems so rest is important.  Because our immune system is working hard Thyme is another essential oil to keep handy as it provides support to our immune system.

Try using a tea light diffuser in your bathroom during your morning shower routine using one of the above blends or with Thyme essential oil.  The steam of the shower and the diffusion of the essential oils help to clear nasal passages and open your lungs.  Be sure to place the tea light diffuser in a safe place so nothing comes in contact with the candle flame.

Here’s to finding some allergy relief this season!  Take care everyone.

15 Things You May Not Know About Massage

21 Jan

Massage: the kneading of muscles and joints of the body with the hands to relieve tension or pain. This is one of the many definitions of massage.

We know that massage feels good but did you know that it is good for you and should be done regularly as part of healthy lifestyle?  Unfortunately the idea still exists that massage is a “treat” and is something for special occasions only.  In fact when massage is received on a regular basis all aspects of your body perform at more optimal levels.  There’s a reason why we feel good after a massage session, and also a reason why it should be adapted as part of a healthy lifestyle.  Generally maintenance massage is recommended once a month.  However, if you have muscle tissues that are really restricted or other specific work needed your massage therapist can discuss this with you to determine what frequency is right for you.  Massage is good for you, read on to see some other benefits that you may not know massage provides.

1. Drink water!  Water is beneficial for the entire body, and pre massage hydration is very important.  By keeping your body hydrated your muscle tissue will move better during a massage.

2.  That “tightness” we often feel in our muscles is from our daily postural habits which causes the muscles to shorten neurologically.  Massage helps to reset the muscle length.

3.  Massage can help lower blood pressure.

4.  Regular massage therapy can improve performance in exercise and sports as less tissue is restricted.

5.  Massage improves blood flow to tissues and enhances recovery via nutrient rich blood.

6.  Massage can help to decrease long-term chronic pain over time.

7.  Massage can assist in improving posture.

8.  Massage therapy can decrease dependency on N.S.A.I.D.( non- steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs, e.g. Advil).

9. Tight hamstrings contribute to low back pain, which massage can relieve through lengthening.

10. May help with nerve impingement like carpal tunnel.

11. May help relieve rotator cuff impingement.

12. May help relieve sciatica.

13.  Regular massage helps to strengthen the immune system.

14.  Massage helps to relieve anxiety and depression through the release of endorphins (those “feel good” chemicals in our brains).  In fact, clients who receive massage regularly have reported they feel happier and are better able to deal with stress.

15. Helps relive headaches and migraines.

If scheduling a massage is on your “to-do” list, call today and make that appointment happen!  You can also call us any time if you have any additional questions.  At Your Body Needs… we are here for you!  You can contact us at 443-292-4395.

January’s Essential Oil of the Month: Tea Tree!

7 Jan

Botanical Name: Melaleuca alternfolia

Source: Leaves

Overview:

Happy New Year!  Welcome the new year with the germ busting essential oil of tea tree!  This is a strong essential oil when it comes to germ fighting potential.  Tea tree is an immuno-stimulant which makes it a handy essential oil to have as we get through these winter months.  Tea tree helps support a healthy immune system while warding off those germs that cause cold and flu viruses.  If you don’t have tea tree essential oil in your home already; hopefully you will after reading about its benefits!  I encourage you to try the “Healthy New Year” diffuser blend, it smells very refreshing which makes it great for a new year while combining tea tree, rosemary and lavender to ward of germs! 

Tea tree oil has a history that begins in Australia.  It was used extensively by Australian aborigines who used it to treat a multitude of symptoms.  They used it to help heal cuts, burns, infections, bug bites and bruises.  The aborigines also used this oil to treat those with coughs, colds and headaches.  As you can see this essential oil is another one that is a must have for the first aid kit. 

Uses & Facts:

  • Used in YBN’s Clean Your Home Naturally Workshop.
  • Tea tree is a broad spectrum antimicrobial against bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
  • The name was derived from Captain Cook who used the leaves in a tea in effort to prevent scurvy.
  • Promotes the immune system which makes tea tree a great choice during cold and flu season.
  • Aides in the respiratory system; useful for asthma, bronchitis, coughs and sinus problems.
  • Useful in treating acne, athlete’s foot, cold sores and dandruff.

Healthy New Year Diffuser Blend

3 drops Tea tree
4 drops Rosemary
5 drops Lavender

Come on in and shop our studio or on-line!  For the month of January receive 10% off your Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil purchase!

As always, check out our website at www.YourBodyNeeds.com for more information and recipes!  Your Body Needs… wishes everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year! 

Pause… for Self Care with Massage and Aromatherapy

21 Dec

We need to remember to pause and take time for ourselves.  This is especially important this time of year as we find ourselves in a constant hurried state as we prepare for the holidays.  However, within this  state of “on the go” we must carve out time for ourselves to calm the mind and listen to our bodies.  Self care tends to be the first item on the to-do list to get eliminated this time of year as we are trying to fulfill other demands facing us.  Instead of ditching the routines that keep you performing at optimal levels, find time to stick with what is good for you; this will give you the energy and stamina you need to survive the holiday season.  So schedule that massage, use essential oils, stay in your gym routine and eat a balanced healthy diet.

Some Benefits of Massage:

  • Enhanced immunity
  • Increased range of motion
  • Decreased anxiety and depression
  • Reduction in stress

When we are experiencing a lot of  stress all of these benefits that massage offers is being reduced, this is why regular treatment is beneficial.  Massage is not a luxury, but rather an investment in your health and well-being. 

When you combine essential oils with massage you get twice the benefit!  Essential oils can help with a variety of issues.  To add more benefit to your massage session you can use YBN’s True Aromatherpay Blends.

Benefits of Aromatherapy with Massage:

The use of essential oils in your home, car and office in between your massage sessions is another way you can take care of yourself not only during this time of year but all year long.  Use a tea light diffuser or nebulizer in your home and office and a car diffuser during your daily commute. 

Essential Suggestions to Reduce Stress:

Take care of yourself and have a happy and healthy holiday season! 

Stay tuned for the next blog in January for the Essential Oil of the Month!

The Nervous System, Simplified.

21 Sep

Sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system; you may have heard your massage therapist make reference to this and wonder…what are they talking about? These are two branches of the nervous system each with its own job. Why is this important? Glad you asked!

The Nervous System in a Nutshell

There are two branches to the Central Nervous System.  One allows your body to kick it into high gear (sympathetic) while the other allows you to calm down and regroup (parasympathetic).

Kicking it into high gear with the Sympathetic Nervous System (fight or flight):

This SNS protects us in times of danger hence fight or flight!  The body does not always perceive what is “real” danger versus situations that are not life threatening and although the SNS is useful for survival it is not good for every day stress (such as paying bills).  The fight or flight response kicks into gear when your body knows you need to act quickly for example to avoid a car accident or in rescue situations.  The body is very smart and takes care of us.  We just need to pay attention to it to make sure it remains in a state of balance. If the body does not remain in balance then over time the body will wear down and the immune system becomes compromised.  So what’s going on when SNS is activated? 

  • The mouth becomes dry
  • The pupils open wide
  • Heart rate increases
  • Breathing becomes more rapid
  • Digestion is halted as all blood supply is at the heart
  • Adrenaline has been released which also releases cortisol (a stress hormone)
  • Blood flows to the muscles so they can react to the situation

While handy for survival it is easy to see why it is unhealthy to run at this level all the time. If your body is acting this way as a response to everyday stress it wears you down.  The immune system begins to suffer and your body begins battling illnesses. This is why it’s so important to activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System in order to relax and repair!

Slowing down with the Parasympathetic Nervous System (relax and repair):

The PNS allows us to slow down and “collect” ourselves. During this time your body is able to undergo growth, energy storage and other positive aspects. With no perceived threat, your body is taking it easy.  The PNS is important to stay healthy. Ways you can do this is by practicing focused breathing or meditation or receive massage.  You can even calm down with essential oils.  Good choices for a calm and relaxed state are a blend of  Bergamot, Lavender and Roman Chamomile.  Another essential oil that helps activate the PNS is Clary Sage.  So what’s going on when the PNS is activated?

Breathing becomes deeper and at a slower rate
• Heart rate slows down
• Digestion occurs and nutrients are absorbed in the body
• Blood flows away from the muscles
• Your body is able to heal and repair

These are the features of the nervous system you want to achieve more often.  So, take a deep breath and let the calmer side of life take over for you! Save the extreme for when you really need it! Sometimes you may need to make a conscious effort to initiate the relaxation response and that is normal.  Just remember that it is too taxing for the body to always be in high gear, pay attention to yourself because you are worth it!

Here are a few tips to keep you in a state of balance:
• Always remember to breathe and breathe deeply!
• Eat balanced and nutritious meals.
• Move your body! It doesn’t have to be a complicated work out plan; walking is always a good choice!
• Receiving massage on a regular basis helps too.

Hopefully this sheds a little light on what is going on inside the body during times of stress and relaxation and you can now notice changes within your own body and apply this to yourself.  The key is to not allow everyday stress leave you always running in a gear that is set for danger. This is key to staying well and healthy!

Relaxation Diffuser Blend

4 drops Bergamot

5 drops Lavender

2 drops Roman Chamomile

Take care!