Friday, October 15, 2010

NAHA October Article

Featured Aromatherapy Article
Contributed by; Cathy-Anne Gins

The Pleasure Factor

When good advice is not enough
As a practitioner of several therapeutic modalities I am often asked by my clients to recommend a practice they can do on their own to maintain their sense of well-being between sessions or to manage various symptoms (mostly stress) during their hectic day. Being in constant search of such practices myself, I have learned first hand that the best and most effective practice is the one you will actually do! Over the years I have tried and failed to follow some great advice (like meditate and do yoga) and have discovered that all of the practices I actually do on a regular basis have one thing in common...pleasure!

Pleasure is an antidote to "do it because it's good for you"
This tired and dry incentive produces more guilt than results. I must confess (and I know that I am not the only one) that I am more inspired by pleasure than discipline. What gets me to the gym regularly are the personable and inspiring teachers who play great music. Eating healthier foods is truly tempting when they're prepared using delicious recipes.

Too good to be true?
When I first discovered natural essential oils with their beautiful aromas I could hardly believe they were also "good for you"! The many benefits combined with their natural "pleasure factor" made aromatherapy an ideal practice for me and many of my clients. Mother Nature in her infinite creativity has provided many beautiful aromas with similar benefits. This allows an individual a personal choice of pleasure factors with which to nurture themselves.

Measuring the pleasure factor
Will a pretty pen write more beautiful words? Will a stylish sweater keep you warmer? Will a beautiful tea cup make the tea taste better? Will a delightful aroma make essential oils more therapeutic? Will a beautiful piece of scent diffusing jewelry increase the practice of self care using essential oils? For those who are already fully engaged in the practice of self care using essential oils or other modalities, the "pleasure factor" may not make a measurable difference. For the rest of us who need some encouragement, I say yes, absolutely! What's more, there are those who testify to the power of pleasure as a therapeutic modality in itself, relieving stress and setting our mind and body on the path to restoration. It's sometimes prescribed as "lightening up"! Now there is a practice we all can enjoy!

Fortunately, you don't need a lot of essential oil to have a positive impact on your well-being, and carrying some with you to address on-the-spot needs is something that has been done since ancient times. Back then, when oils were more precious than gold, only the nobility could afford them and they would commission the finest artisans to fashion magnificent ornamental essence containers to wear or carry with them. The design of these ritual objects was as beautiful and uplifting as their contents, adding a dimension of pleasure even when not in use. Since our culture has lost sight of the power of beauty in this last century of technological advances, in creating the AROMAWEAR collection of scent diffusing jewelry and accessories, I reached back to the 18th and 19th centuries, a time when elegance and utility were happily married, for inspiration. See some historical pieces at

Favorite fragrant traveling companions
Aromawear is versatile inside and out. Its classic designs make it fashionable with any style wardrobe and you can use the custom wick case system to carry interchangeable wicks infused with your personal arsenal of oils to support your changing needs throughout the day. The Royal Locket II provides ongoing diffusion. I regularly use lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) straight or in a blend for stress; a blend of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) and peppermint (Mentha piperita) for focus, blends with sweet orange (Citrus sinensis), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) and ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) for mood enhancement, and blends with patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) and vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides) for grounding. To protect myself from airborne germs during flu season or when I am traveling in close quarters I always use a "Thieves" type recipe including rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) clove (Eugenia caryophyllata), cinnamon (Cinnamomun zeylanicum), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) and lemon (Citrus limon) and shorten the length of the locket so that it is worn as close to my nose and mouth as possible. I do the same for respiratory congestion using a blend that includes eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), and pine (Pinus sylvestris).

While ambient aromas created by ongoing diffusion can create a fragrant and therapeutic environment, there are times when I use oils intermittently to address specific symptoms. For this application I will insert an oil infused wick into The Secret Locket whose diffusion is further controlled by opening and closing the cover. This "on-demand" design is perfect to fill with a stimulating oil if you are about to attend a boring event; a calming oil if you might encounter a stressful situation; a respiratory oil if you have a cold, etc., and you need only open the cover to inhale your desired dose. As we never know what life has in store for us, I always carry an assortment of oiled wicks with me in their individual wick cases so I can meet any challenge with the support of my essential oils. They are my favorite traveling companions.

Cathy-Anne Gins, Founder and Designer of Aromawear is active in both the healing and fine arts. A practitioner of Therapeutic Touch, ReConnection Healing and Aromatherapy, she is a Professor of Jewelry Design at the New York Fashion Institute of Technology. Formerly the Global Design Director of Avon Jewelry and Accessories and Vice-president of the Monet Jewelry Group, she continues to develop products that empower individuals to manage their well-being.

To learn more about Cathy visit her website at

Click here to visit Cathy's Blog and videos.

Click here to purchase Cathy's NAHA tele-conference presentation recording: The Benefits of Aromatherapy Jewelry and How to Make Your Own.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

NAHA Article September 2010

Featured Aromatherapy Article
Contributed by; Kayla Fioravanti, RA

Bedbugs and Dust mites....Aromatherapy to the Rescue

When I was first introduced to aromatherapy, I studied every single aromatherapy book I could get my hands on at the public library. In one of those many books I stumbled upon information about bed bugs and dust mites. The entire topic caught my attention. First, because bugs are just gross, but also because of my dust allergies and skin sensitivities.

One of the top selling products I created in our aromatherapy party plan business years ago was Bed Bug Spray. My recipe was super simple, but I couldn't make enough of it. Most people bought it because of the initial fear value of the possibility of creepy crawlies being in bed with you, but they continued buying it because it helped them sleep, reduced their allergies and they never got bed bug bites when they travelled.

I never travel without Bed Bug Spray and my kids use it faithfully as part of their night time ritual. Recently, bed bugs have been all over the news as an epidemic. They are being found in even the nicest of hotels and retail establishments. Lavender is the answer to both dust mites and bed bug problems.

DIY Kit Bed Bug Spray Recipe
1/2 gallon Essential Wholesale Body Linen Spray

1 Tbsp Neem Extract
1 Tbsp Lavender (Lavender angustifolia)
1 Tbsp Lavender Distillate
1 Tbsp Polysorbate 20*

Directions: Mix lavender essential oil and polysorbate 20 together thoroughly in a separate container. Mix together Body Linen Spray, neem extract and lavender distillate and then add the combination of lavender essential oil and polysorbate 20Mix together thoroughly and package in bottles with spray tops.

EW Body Linen Spray is a preserved water based formula. If you would prefer to work from scratch replace with de-ionized water and an appropriate preservative system.

From Scratch Bed Bug Spray Recipe

42 ounces De-ionized Water

20 ounces Neem Extract or Lavender Extract

.64 ounces Lavender (Lavender angustifolia)
1 ounce Lavender Distillate
.64 ounces Polysorbate 20*

Directions: Mix lavender essential oil and polysorbate 20 together thoroughly in a separate container. Mix together water, extract and lavender distillate and then add combination of lavender essential oil and polysorbate 20. Mix together thoroughly and package in bottles with spray top.

*Made from lauric acid (olive oil source) connected to a sugar (sorbitol) this compound is then ethoxylated (grain based alcohol) to make it water dispersible. Click here to learn more

Editors Note: To learn more about bed bugs visit these weblinks which include information about the use of Eucalyptus with bed bugs

Link to Eucalyptus research study
Kayla Fioravanti is Vice President, Chief Formulator, ARC Registered Aromatherapist and Co-Founder of Essential Wholesale and Essential Labs. She has lived around the world, from the US, to Japan, Ireland, Germany and lots of places in between. She received a Bachelor's degree in psychology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She and her husband, Dennis have 3 children. They started making aromatherapy products in their kitchen back in 1998 when their son had a stubborn case of ring worm. After trying every over-the-counter ointment and even some prescriptions, Kayla finally looked into the natural way of healing with essential oils. The results were outstanding and healing took place quickly. Kayla was so fascinated that she spent the next several years researching natural cosmetic formulating, while studying to becoming a certified Aromatherapist. Contact Kayla at or visit Essential U Blog

Click here to purchase Kayla's NAHA tele-conference presentation recording: Create Simple and Effective Bases for Your Aromatherapy Blends.

Would you like to be a contributing author for a future NAHA E-news article? If so, click here for Writer's Guidelines