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  • Practicing the Art of Rest with Frankincense Essential Oil

    "If you don't make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness." - Unknown. Rest is imperative to good health. Most of us do not get enough quality relaxation. If experiencing a cancer diagnosis has taught me anything, it’s that you have to listen to your body. You have to rest. You have to self-soothe to calm your mind. A calm mind is what allows us to open up to the healing process. My brother sent me this astute passage by Thich Nhat Hanh from his book The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: This goes hand in hand with the popular quote: "If you don't make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness." Whether you're facing an illness, or running full steam ahead with a jam-packed schedule, it is of the utmost importance to give yourself time in the day to do absolutely nothing. If you're like me, resting is a challenge. I have always taken pride in working hard, being productive, and being on the go. Many of us are raised with the mentality that if you work hard, you can play hard, but only for 2 days a week! Then back to the grind. This is unnatural, and it takes a while to undo this ingrained sense of pressure to be "on" all the time. Aromatherapy can be an excellent tool to help rewire the brain to help practice the art of rest. Taking a moment to take deep inhalations of a calming essential oil like Lavender, Clary Sage, or Frankincense can help center the mind, release pent-up emotions, and bring your attention to the present moment. When you're looking for a sense of calm, use your sense of smell! Our sense of smell immediately affects our limbic system (the part of the brain that's involved with emotional and behavioral responses) and can help us whenever we need by using calming and stress-relieving tools like soothing Frankincense Essential Oil. Frankincense is one of the most grounding, calming, and restorative essential oils there is. Frankincense has been used since at least 1500 BC for a myriad of uses like purification, embalming, fragrance, and most notably, as medicine. For emotional support, Frankincense helps us quiet the mind to allow mental space for introspection. It encourages emotional healing on all levels and helps support tranquil, focused attention. In addition, for physical support, Frankincense is an effective pain reliever, immune supporter, has anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, and is a renowned skin and wound healing oil. When mental or physical stress comes around, diffusing or applying Frankincense topically is a soothing remedy to help restore balance and peace from the inside out. To help ground and nurture the mind: Add Frankincense to your diffuser Apply topically by adding up to 12 drops of oil to your favorite carrier oil Or, inhale directly out of the bottle. You can also use a handy tool, like the Zen Blend Aromatherapy Inhaler for stress and anxiety relief. It's a perfect pocket-sized companion to take with you wherever you go to help encourage deep breathing when stress hits. Great to use at work, at home, or wherever life takes you. I hope you take some You-time today to rest, rejuvenate, and enjoy this we get to live! Questions? Comments? Please feel free to reach out using the contact box below! I always love to hear from you.

  • Hydro-Aromatherapy - 5 of the Best Essential Oils to Soak In and 3 Different Ways to Use Them!

    Essential Oils for the Bath Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, is known to have claimed that the way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day. Sounds pretty dang nice to me! Sign me up for that. (Now I just need 2 more hours of free time every day and a lifetime of free massages.) Busy schedules and lengthy to-do lists often get in the way of self-care time. Dedicating a few hours a week to treating yourself to an at-home Spa Day can do wonders for an overworked mind and body. A Spa Day could include yoga, journaling, or meditation in addition to skincare rituals. Gotta give some love to both the mind and body. With baths on the mind, I wanted to share 5 of the best essential oils to soak in. Choosing the best essential oil for your bath depends on personal scent preference and the benefits you’re seeking at the time. Here are 5 excellent essential oils for your next bath: Lavender Essential Oil - Renowned for its calming and relaxing effects, lavender is excellent for reducing stress and promoting better sleep. It can also help soothe sore muscles and relieve tension. Eucalyptus Essential Oil- With its refreshing and invigorating scent, eucalyptus essential oil is commonly used to clear the sinuses and alleviate respiratory issues like congestion and coughs. It can also provide a cooling sensation and relieve muscle aches and pains. Ylang Ylang Essential Oil - With its sweet, floral scent, ylang-ylang is often used for its mood-boosting and aphrodisiac effects. It can help reduce stress and anxiety while promoting feelings of joy and relaxation. A little goes a long way with Ylang Ylang’s strong aroma. Frankincense Essential Oil - Frankincense has a warm, resinous “woodsy” aroma that’s known for its calming and skin-healing benefits. Adding frankincense oil to your bath can help promote relaxation, reduce stress, and ease anxiety. It’s a prized essential oil for use in meditation and spiritual practices as it helps create a sense of peace and helps promote mindfulness. It’s an excellent choice for sensitive, irritated, or dry skin as it deeply nourishes skin as you soak. Sandalwood Essential Oil - Sandalwood has a rich, woodsy aroma that is known for its calming and grounding effects. Adding sandalwood oil to a bath can help promote relaxation, reduce stress, and ease anxiety, making it an excellent choice for unwinding after a long day. It also helps soothe irritated or inflamed skin. In addition to the physical benefits of a warm soak, baths can be an excellent way to get quality alone time to clear your mind, meditate, and release built-up tension and stress. How to add essential oils to a bath: When preparing a bath, you'll likely be using more carrier oil compared to a topical application, as you want to disperse the essential oils throughout the bathwater effectively. It's important to mix the essential oils with a small amount of carrier oil before adding them to the bathwater. This helps to prevent the oils from floating on the surface and reduces the risk of skin irritation. Since heat and steam amplify the effects of essential oils, you will want to use about 5-6 drops of oil per ounce of carrier oil of your choice (like olive oil or coconut oil). You can also add Epsom Salts or Pink Himalayan Salts to increase the physical tension-releasing benefits of your soak! No tub? No troubles. Hydro-Aromatherapy soaking without a bathtub For those of us without a tub, foot soaks in a large bowl can offer many of the same benefits as a full body soak because our feet still absorb the salts and essential oils through the skin through a process called “transdermal absorption.” And of course, you can still bask in the therapeutic aromas. Outdoor foot soaks are one of my favorite summer pastimes. Sit back, plop your feet in the warm aromatic waters, soak up the scents, and enjoy your silky soft feet! Be sure to dilute essential oils into a carrier oil of your choice. Dilute your oils as you would for a bath using the above guidelines. Not enough time in the day for a soak? Try an Aromatherapy Shower! If you’re not much of a soaker, you can also use essential oils in the shower! Simply add a few drops of essential oils to the shower floor (out of the direct stream of water) and let the shower steam do its thing. Peppermint or Eucalyptus essential oil makes for a great energizing morning shower and Lavender or Cedarwood are perfect to destress and relax the mind before bed. A hot aromatherapy shower can reduce stress and anxiety, soothe tension, provide respiratory support, and clear the mind. Take a look at the full line of therapeutic essential oils here! If you’re not one to DIY, try Topsy Blends Spa Day Tranquility Bath Set Or, Treat your Feet with the Self Care Aromatherapy Set to Soothe, Soak, and Soften. So many lovely self-care products to choose from! Questions? Curiosities? Please feel free to get in touch using the contact box below and I’ll be in touch shortly. Wishing you health and harmony, Rachel, your personal aromatherapist

  • Ancient Beginnings: Tracing the Timeless Journey of Essential Oil Origins

    A Brief History of Essential Oils Maybe our modern love of essential oils is rooted in our ancestral DNA. From what we understand today, nature has provided these therapeutic essences since the beginning of the plant kingdom. Cultures all over the world— Rome, Egypt, Greece, India, China, and Europe — have historical evidence of using essential oils for centuries. They have been used for everything from beauty and healing, to ceremonies and food preparation. (1) The first documented use of essential oils was back in 4500 BC. Ancient Egyptians used aromatic oils in cosmetics, perfumes, and ointments as well as for spiritual and physical well-being. (1) Though it’s not documented, it’s believed that aromatic oils were also being used in traditional Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine during the same time. Based on the recorded history (starting as early as 3000 BC), “China and India listed more than 700 substances including cinnamon, ginger, myrrh, and sandalwood as being effective for healing.”(2) There are many prized depictions of Egyptians in ancient pictorials on temple walls showing royalty using essential oils. As the story goes, an excavation team found King Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922 and found over 50 alabaster jars that were specially carved for essential oils. Previous thieves of the tomb had taken the revered essential oils, but left the gold! (1) The Way to Health The use of essential oils to combat the bubonic plague dates back to the Middle Ages, particularly during the outbreak known as the Black Death in the 14th century. During this time, people turned to essential oils for their purported antiseptic healing properties in an effort to prevent or alleviate the symptoms of the disease. The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, also fumigated the city of Athens with aromatics to combat the plague, and prescribed aromatic treatments to Greek soldiers. (1) Hippocrates is known to have claimed that the way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day. Count me in! Though essential oils had long been considered prized possessions to be used sparingly and with care, Romans used essential oils with sheer decadence. Not only did they scent their hair, body, and beds, but they also lavishly bathed multiple times a day with their oils and had frequent aromatic massages. (1) As history goes, Roman culture was influenced by Greek culture which was influenced by the Egyptians. At least with their use of these precious aromatic oils! The Test of Time We continue to use essential oils in many of the same ways our ancestors did. Today, essential oils are widely used throughout the world for therapeutic purposes ranging from sleep disorders, stress relief, wound healing, aches and pains, skincare, cosmetics, bug bite and sting relief, meditation, and an assortment of aromatic purposes. According to the National Library of Medicine, some essential oils like Lavender, Peppermint and Myrrh are still being used pharmaceutically and soon “could be used effectively as suitable alternatives for many synthetically produced medications.”(2) Perhaps Hippocrates was onto something. Maybe it doesn’t have to be hours of soaking or lavish spa days. Maybe the way to health is as easy as using essential oil-based skincare. Topsy Blends offers a wide range of both natural remedies and luxurious body care made with 100% pure essential oils for cleansing daily rituals proven to stand the test of time. Cheers to good health, Rachel Your personal aromatherapist (1) https://essentialoilsacademy.com/history/ (2) Elshafie HS, Camele I. An Overview of the Biological Effects of Some Mediterranean Essential Oils on Human Health. Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:9268468. doi: 10.1155/2017/9268468. Epub 2017 Nov 5. PMID: 29230418; PMCID: PMC5694587. (3) https://www.curioushistory.com/the-history-of-essential-oils/

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