I have been a long time sufferer with migraines. I started getting them when I was fairly young, and they have continued and changed as I have gotten older. At my worst, I was getting 3-4 migraines a week, but now I have them mostly under control. I say "mostly" because I still get the occasional migraine like I did on Sunday night. That is what prompted me to write this post to share my "Migraine Survival Kit". Because I have dealt with hundreds of migraines over the years, I have developed a routine for dealing with them.
Today I was scrolling through Pinterest when I stumbled across an infographic about the proper way to meditate. It was a very well put together infographic with great pictures and bullet points. There were pictures breaking down the proper meditative pose for everything for you legs, to your hands, to your head, as well as suggestions for what to focus on while meditating. One thing was a bit off for me though. There is no "proper way" to meditate. There are a lot of people with a lot of ideas about how to meditate, and while their ideas may work for them, they don't work for everyone. Not everyone can sit in lotus pose and focus on filling themselves with a bright white light (which is what the infographic instructed), so I decided to write my own post about the "correct way" to meditate.
One of the most common questions that I get asked is "How often should I receive massage?". This is a great question, and one that I really cannot give a direct answer to. There are many factors that go into deciding how often to get a massage, which makes the answer different for each person. When trying to figure out the best frequency for yourself, there are 3 basic questions that you need to ask. First: What are you coming in for? Second: What is your budget? Third: How open is your schedule? In this post, we will explore how to answer each of these questions, and with that information, you should be able to make a better informed decision as to how often to come in.
This month, I would like to continue the aromatherapy series with one of my personal favorites; sandalwood. The reason I haven't written about sandalwood yet is that I was hesitating due to its low availability and high price. Sandalwood essential oil is steam distilled from the sandalwood tree. Trees used for essential oil production need to be 40-80 years old, with the oldest trees producing the most oil. The best, most beneficial variety comes from India, followed by trees found in Hawaii, and finally a variety found in Australia. Indian sandalwood is extremely expensive because the trees are nearing extinction, and the ones that are left are being illegally poached leaving fewer and fewer for legal harvesting. The Hawaiian trees are also dwindling and Hawaiian sandalwood too, is expensive and hard to come by. The Australian variety is less expensive and more readily available, but it is not as beneficial. Sandalwood is very versatile and can be used aromatically, internally, or applied topically. It is recommended that if you use it topically that it should be diffused in a carrier. Sandalwood is safe for both pregnant women and children. So what are the benefits of sandalwood?
When it comes to birth, there are 2 ways that your baby can come out; vaginally or via Cesarean. The best outcomes for mother and baby tend to come with a vaginal delivery, and because of this, Cesareans can sometimes get a bad reputation. This is unfortunate because sometimes there is a bit of a stigma placed on women who have a Cesarean delivery. Sometimes it is placed on them by other people (especially with a planned Cesarean), and sometimes women place that stigma on themselves (particularly with an unplanned Cesarean). As with most interventions, Cesareans are there for a good reason, however like other interventions they are also very overused. I have heard some very good reasons and some not so good reasons for surgical birth, but regardless of the reason, there are a few things you should know about Cesareans before going into your birth.
This month, I would like to start off with the first aromatherapy post of the year. This month's topic is cedarwood. Cedarwood essential oil is steam distilled from pieces of wood from cedarwood trees which are generally found at high altitudes in colder climates.
When using cedarwood, it is important to remember that it should never be ingested. It is generally safe to diffuse or breathe in, but should be done so cautiously during pregnancy. It is also safe to apply topically, but should be applied with more caution in pregnant women and children. When applying topically, it is recommended that you dilute it in a carrier oil or in water for a spray.
Cedarwood has a very warm, woodsy smell to it that can be lovely on its own, or provide some nice warm undertones in a blend. It mixes particularly well with citrus and flower essential oils such as lemon, orange, bergamot, rose, jasmine, lavender, and more. Along with smelling nice, cedarwood has even more wonderful benefits for your health and home. Some of its most common uses include repelling insects and purifying the air, but it is also very beneficial for treating skin conditions, clearing mucus, and aiding in digestion. Let's take a look at those benefits and more in a little more depth.
...of the toilet that is. That's right. This week's blog post is about what happens in the bathroom. We all use it, but no one likes to talk about it. The fact that people don't talk about it leads to some not so great practices and bad habits. Today, I want to talk a little bit about why you should close the lid (not just the seat) of the toilet before you flush.
I'll admit, this is a pet peeve of mine, but one that I feel is incredibly justified, as it can have an effect on not only your own health, but the health of countless other people.
I am a fan of massage therapy. There are so many benefits both physically and mentally, and it can be a great addition to your healthcare and to treatment plans for many diseases and disorders. That being said, there are times when massage is not an appropriate choice. Many of the things on this list may come as a surprise, and can sometimes be avoided, which is why I think it is so important to share them.
First, let's start with a little bit of terminology. The first terms I would like to introduce are indicated vs. contraindicated. If something is indicated, it means that it is safe and appropriate. If something is contraindicated, it means that it is inappropriate for the situation and potentially unsafe. Next we have systemic vs. local. Systemic refers to the entire body, while local refers to a specific area. So, if you have a systemic contraindication, all massage is inappropriate. If you have a local contraindication, massage is indicated except at the area affected.
In today's post, we will go over instances of both systemic and local contraindications to help you know if massage is the right choice for you.
If you have ever flown on a plane, you have probably had to sit through their safety presentation. If you were paying attention, you may remember the part where they talk about the oxygen masks. Every time, they say that if you are traveling with a child, first secure your own mask, then assist the child. This may seem counterintuitive to may people, as we are used to putting our children first. Most of us wear many hats. We are partners, mothers, daughters, professionals, and much more. Many of those roles put us in the position of care-giver. For a good number of us, we are so used to putting others first, that we forget to think about ourselves. Not only is this a disservice to ourselves, but it is also a disservice to those we care for.
This post focuses on why self-care is so important. The reason we are instructed to put our own oxygen mask on first and then assist our children is that we cannot be the best care-providers for others unless we are taking care of ourselves. Once you get your own oxygen mask on, you will be better able to assist others. So it is in life. Once you begin to take care of yourself, you may notice that it becomes easier to take care of others.
Most of us are familiar with the word frankincense as it appears in the Christmas story, but what is it? It is actually an aromatic resin derived from Boswellia trees. The bark of the tree is cut open, and resin seeps out of it, much like sap. The resin is allowed to dry and is then collected to be used as incense, in perfumes, or as an essential oil. Frankincense has a very long history of use in many cultures. Not only is it mentioned in the bible, but we see references to frankincense trade in the hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt. Evidence suggests that it has been traded throughout the Arabian peninsula and Northern Africa for more than 5 millennia. There is a good reason that frankincense has enjoyed such a long history of use. Even ancient civilizations recognized its many therapeutic and healing qualities.
Meet the Author
Amanda Tarver, (LMT, CEIM, PES, RMT) is a massage therapist and birth worker in the Chicago area. She is dedicated to using a combination of bodywork and education to help people live a better quality of life.